Read for Research

Taking an overview of Read for Research at City University London Library


  • A patron driven acquisition scheme offered by Library Services  based on the research interests of students and staff.
  • Started in November 2013 and has continued since.
  • So far we have purchased 1208 titles (books and e-books) through the scheme.
  • Very popular across disciplines in the University.
  • A reading list of titles is being compiled which indicates the breadth of research done at City.
  • A visual display of titles  can be found on our Researcher guide.
  • See our #readforresearch and @Citylibresearch on Twitter and see feedback from our research students on their choice of titles and on Read for Research. Feedback includes : “Highly recommend – have ordered loads of fantastic books. Get into it students!”
  • The furthest distance travelled by a Read for Research (Law) book is probably a title ordered from Australia.
  • City research students & staff can order titles by simply completing the Read for Research webform and use #readforresearch to discuss their choices.

Read for Research – City University London Library

Read for Research  offers the opportunity to research students and staff  at City University London conducting research to suggest  titles for purchase by City University Library Services  

See our Read for Research Twitter hashtag for some titles ordered so far and to see what students think of the scheme.

Read for Research has been very popular and so far over 900 new items have been added to the Library stock since the campaign started in November 2013. It has also been quoted as a good practice example in a new book called Practical tips for facilitating research / Moira Bent.

City research students and staff can recommend general research and specific books for Library purchase on the Read for Research webform.

Read for Research campaign at City University London Library

In November 2013 at City University London Library, we introduced a scheme called Read for Research #readforresearch


This allows our research and postdoctoral and academic staff doing research to recommend both general and specific research titles for purchase by Library Services.

It is very easy for our research staff and students to order a book through a webform on our website

Initally, it was intended for print book copies but we have seen a move towards researchers requesting ebooks and these can also greatly benefit students who find it easier to read books on the screen.

We have tagged the books on out Library catalogue and a list can be found here.

We have created a ‘reading list’ of some of the titles ordered so far and this indicates the breadth and diversity of research being undertaken at City.


The scheme has been very popular and in the first year approx. £20,000 was spent and the popularity has meant that we have been able to continue the scheme since with the support of our Library Leadership Team.  I have found it a great way to engage with researchers and have an insight into their research topics. I also think it makes researchers feel valued and feel that their research is important to the University.

One of our research students has created her own #readforresearch reading list on her blog  and one of our academic colleagues has created a Read for Research Community on Mendeley.

It has also helped Library Services to support the University strategy and focus on building up research collections.  We find that books chosen by the students tend to be borrowed by them and also may be of interest to other students. For example, some books ordered on fashion may be of interest to Fashion Journalism students. We also engage with students on social media #readforresearch and students mention the titles they have recommended.

Feedback from our research students has been very positive:

“Library support for research students has been excellent. I was especially impressed with the #readforresearch campaign, allowing research students to order books using a special library fund” (PhD Research student, City University London)

We have a new   Library guide for research and researchers are also  welcome to sign up for Library training workshops.

Diane Bell (Research Librarian)



Read for Research update

City University London Library has been working in partnership with our research students with our Read for Research promotion.

Since November 2013 our researchers have recommended titles for purchase by the Library in support of building research collections. We have found that a selection of students from all of our departments have requested titles and many of the titles are up to date and recently published.

There has been interest in some of the books recommended such as really interesting books on fashion such as Alexander McQueen / Savage beauty.
and In fine style : the art of Tudor and Stuart fashion / Anna Reynolds

See here a selection of titles chosen so far, more are being added:
Read for Research titles

City University London research students can currently still make requests at: and also use the #readforresearch on Twitter.

Read for Research promotion

Read for research

You choose, we buy!

Want to share your research expertise?

City University Library Services are giving our research students the opportunity to help build up our research book collections. You have the chance to suggest titles that will help your research, are key works in your field or are generally useful for the research community at City.

Simply complete the form to make your request and then wait for your library book to come in. The Read for Research campaign will continue until funds for this project have run out – so be quick! See the web page here.

Get involved and tell us what you have requested on Twitter #readforresearch and Facebook