What is walk-in access and how do I use it?


1. What is walk-in access? 

Walk-in access is the name for the way in which members of the public who are not registered with the University can access certain electronic resources, such as e-journals, e-books and databases. This is not the same as general internet access, as the walk-in service is directed specifically towards electronic academic resources. 

2. Where is this service available? 

Aberystwyth University has terminal expressly for walk-in user access located on Level D of the Hugh Owen Library, Penglais Campus. The walk-in access service is available only on this terminal within the University. 

Other universities in Wales which provide this service include:  

  • Cardiff University 
  • Cardiff Metropolitan University 
  • University of South Wales 
  • University of Wales Trinity Saint David (on the Carmarthen and Lampeter campuses) 

3. Who can access it and when? 

Any member of the public over 18 can use the walk-in access service; age restrictions are due to the sensitive nature of some materials within the electronic resources. 

The walk-in service is available throughout Hugh Owen Library opening hours 

4. How do I register? 

Firstly, you will need to visit the enquiry desk at Hugh Owen Library with a form of identification, such as passport, credit or debit card, driving license or utility bill. For certainty of access, you may wish to contact the Library before arriving to ensure the service is available, as during busy times the Library may prioritise PC usage for students and staff. 

After registering, you will then be asked to agree to an Acceptable Use policy, which details the conditions of use by Aberystwyth University and by e-resource copyright holders.  

After this is completed, you will be free to engage with the service within the bounds of the Acceptable Use policy; a Library staff member will introduce you to the service. 

It is worth noting that access to the walk-in service can be permitted only for educational use, such as private study or research. Commercial use is strictly prohibited by license agreements. 

If you have any questions about this process, you are welcome to consult a Library staff member. 

5. How do I use the service? 

When you have registered library staff will show you where the computer terminal is located. You should then be able to see the Welcome page with a list of available resources. Individual copyright details and information about each resource will also be available on the Welcome page. 

Please note that you can only search for content within the individual resources, not the service as a whole. Click on the To Resource Website tab located under a description of each resource and search for content. 

6. How much can I access? 

A list of accessible databases, e-books and e-resources is available on the Walk-in access terminal Welcome Page. Currently, the University provides access to 22 of resources for walk-in users, including e-journal and e-book collections:


Resource type 

American Chemical Society 


Annual Reviews 


British Education Index (ProQuest) 


British Periodicals 


Burney Collection of Newspapers 


Cambridge Journals Online 


EBSCO Business Source Complete 


EBSCO e-book collection 


House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (18th, 19th & 20th Century) 


JISC Historic Books (including Early English Books Online and Eighteenth Century Collections Online) 




Library and Information Science Abstracts  


Literature Online 


Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 


Oxford English Dictionary 


Oxford Journals 


Periodicals Archive Online 


Royal Society of Chemistry 




The Times Digital Archive 1785-1985 


Web of Science 


Wiley Online Library 


7. Why isn’t this e-resource available? 

Not all resources that Aberystwyth University subscribes to are available for walk-in users due to the discretion of the copyright holder, and the University may not subscribe to all content within each resource. Additionally, as copyright holders reserve the right to give or withdraw access as they see fit, current walk-in access to specific resources is subject to change and therefore not guaranteed.

8. What resources are available for my subject of interest? 

On the welcome page, each resource link should be accompanied by a brief description of the resource contents. Some resources are subject-specific, while others are collections of a wider range of material. You cannot search for content within the service as a whole, but it is possible to search within individual databases, e-journals and e-books for information related to your subject of interest. 

9. How much can I print? 

Walk-in users will be allowed print a single copy of an extract from a single journal issue or from a book. This extract is limited to one article from a journal issue, or alternatively one chapter or up to 10% of a book. Check printing prices: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/is/it-services/printing/  

10. How do I print? 

Currently unavailable.


Contact for this page:
Information Services, Aberystwyth University, Hugh Owen Library, Penglais, Aberystwyth, SY23 3DZ
Tel: 01970 62 2400 Email: is@aber.ac.uk