University Library

A collection with over 800,000 books, journals, illustrations, early works and manuscripts. The combination with a voluminous collection of e-books and e-journals provides a treasure of scholarly information.

Searching information and accessing databases

The university library offers a large number of databases that you can use to find literature, data and other information, via Libsearch.

As a Tilburg University student or employee, you can use a number of online resources (or "databases") to find information. In many cases these are subscription databases that can only be accessed if the supplier can tell you are affiliated with Tilburg University. External visitors can also use these databases while on campus.

Access databases

On-campus access

  • Members of staff have access via their computer or notebook.
  • Students have access via all student and reference computers. You can also access databases on your notebook, just connect to the eduroam network).
  • External visitors can use the reference computer in the library.

Off-campus access

  • Members of staff need a secure VPN connection for most databases.
  • Students need a secure VPN connection for most databases.
  • External users can only access databases marked with an "O".

The best way to access most information offered by Tilburg University Library is through VPN.

  1. First activate VPN.
  2. Then start your browser.
  3. Go to
  4. Select a database.

If you cannot use VPN, check to see if EZproxy access is available for off-campus access for a particular database.

Access Control

Different access methods exist for databases or parts of databases such as full-text publications. These methods are explained below.

Please note: sometimes a database will show text such as 'access provided by Tilburg University'. This means the database provider knows you are affiliated with Tilburg University. It does not necessarily mean you can access all content on the site. Many times Tilburg University only subscribes to a part of the available content, not the entire site. This is often listed on the site itself.

Access on campus or via VPN (IP based access)

In Libsearch marked with the symbol: C.

The database checks to see if your computer is part of the Tilburg University 'domain' (in technical terms: if your computer has an IP address from the Tilburg University domain). If so, access is granted.

  • Every work station on campus automatically has access.
  • Every wireless connection by staff or students at Tilburg University (via eduroam) automatically has access.
  • Off-campus (at home or on the road) access requires you to run VPN.
    Make sure you do not use VPN's Split Tunneling option.

Single Sign-On (Tilburg University username / password)

In Libsearch marked with the symbol: S.

The database supports SURFconext. This way you can log in using our own Single Sign-On service. It is a safe way to log in and it does not require the use of VPN.

Unfortunately, several different terms can be used to indicate the support of Single Sign-On log in. The most common ones are:

  • Institution Login
  • SURFconext
  • Shibboleth
  • Federated login

Select the option and search for Tilburg University, Universiteit van Tilburg, or SURFfederatie. Sometimes the supported institutions are listed by country. If Tilburg University is not listed then it is not possible to log in using Single Sign-On.

Please note: if you want to log out of Single Sign-On, you need to completely shut down your browser. This is very important on shared computers.


In Libsearch market with the symbol: E.

EZproxy provides off-campus access to databases through the link listed in Libsearch. From this page you can safely log in via SURFconext and our own Single Sign-On service. This will give access to the database without the need to use VPN, which is also useful when working on a mobile phone.

Please note: this access only works using the link in Libsearch.

User account (create your own account)

In Libsearch marked with the symboll: U.

To use this database you can create your own account, using a username and password of your choosing. Via username/password combination you can access the database from any location.

This type of account differs from the type of personal account created after logging in to a service. Those accounts still require the use of VPN or Single Sign-On.

  • In many cases, an account has to be created on Tilburg University campus (or via VPN), or has to be requested through a form (like with WRDS).
  • Accounts often expire after a period of time. In many cases they require you to log in to the account every x months from an on-campus computer. This way the database owner knows you are still affiliated with Tilburg University. Make sure to read the terms of service when you create an account.
  • Never use your Tilburg University username and/or password for these accounts. Always pick a different password.

Open access, no restrictions

In Libsearch marked with the symbol: O.

Databases with this access method are available to anyone, anywhere, for free.

Pay Per View

When Tilburg University does not subscribe to (some of the) content of a database, it may be possible to purchase access to individual articles. This would be a personal purchase by you and is not supported by the library. This is usually a last resort kind of attempt to get the article if you need it fast. Interlibrary Loan (ILL) often is a cheaper, but slightly slower, alternative.

  • Payment is usually done by credit card or through PayPal.
  • Staff and students have to pay for this themselves, there is no institutional (library) account.
  • There are databases that have both content Tilburg University subscribes to, and content we do not subscribe to. Content outside of our subscription may have a Pay Per View option.
  • With Pay Per View you buy a single article, you do not buy access to the entire database.
  • Databases may impose restrictions on the kind of access you buy. Sometimes you can only read the article online, sometimes you are allowed to download the article.
  • Please note: there may be a limit on access or download time, e.g. you only get 24 hours after payment to read or download the article.
  • Costs vary per database, per journal, and even per article.
  • Check your rights and terms of service when downloading articles. The terms may differ from the terms of our subscription content.

Please note:

  • You can use services such as Unpaywall or Open Access Button to see if an Open Access copy of the article is available.
  • Consider putting in an ILL request instead. ILL requests take longer to process, but are usually cheaper than pay per view options.
  • Articles may be full-text available using a different database. Search the article in WorldCat Discovery to see if a full-text link is available.

Access on fixed workspace or in Datalab only

In Libsearch marked with the symbol: D.

Some databases can only be accessed through a special computer or a specific location in the library. This is listed in the description.

  • The software (or database) has been installed on a specific computer and can only be used on that computer.
  • Access is available during Tilburg University Library opening hours only.
  • Help with logging in is available through our Financial Data Support team.
  • Access is granted only to Tilburg University students.

Mobile sites

Databases increasingly offer a mobile version of their site, with the same functionality as the desktop version.

  • These sites are optimized for mobile devices (smartphone, tablet). In some cases reading full-text is limited for technical reasons.
  • Access to sites is available via VPN and/or so-called 'tokens' or through 'pairing'. By pairing your device with the site, the site knows you are allowed access due to the Tilburg University subscription. This access will then work even when you are not connected to the Tilburg University network.
    • The way in which tokens or pairing works may be different for each site. The following is a general description to illustrate how the process may work:
  • Visit the site on your mobile device while connected to the Tilburg University Wi-Fi network (on campus or via VPN). Your device will be automatically paired for use, or you will be presented an option to pair your device.
  • Create an account on the site from a Tilburg University network connection (on campus or VPN). Next, log in to request a 'token' or 'pairing code'. Open the site on your mobile device and enter the code to pair your device.

Mobile apps

Some databases may offer a separate mobile app for phones or tablets. Many of these apps will have limited functionalities compared to the regular or mobile site.

  • There are currently no apps supported by Tilburg University Library.
  • Apps are not always available for all platforms (iOS, Android, Windows).
  • Apps often have limited functionality.
  • You will have to pay for any paid apps.


In Libsearch, select 'All databases A to Z' for a complete listing of all databases, or select 'Databases by subject' for a listing by topic.


Each database listing has a short description of the database. You can find more detailed information about the database by clicking the More link in the description.