Finding resources without access to an academic library

Normally, only very few of us have access to a full academic library. The best most of us can hope for is a search on the web and the few books we may have. Therefore, finding quality material is difficult. Making your time on the web count is important and I hope the following will help with that:

  • of course, by all means, use the A to Z on and the other pages in the ‘Career Professionals’ section! Not all the theories are on there, but I’m working on it!
  • Picture search: if you are exploring a ‘new to you’ theory, I would suggest starting with a picture search in google or similar. This will hopefully bring up a visual representation of the theory. But… be careful you have the right one! This will hopefully give you a quick and easy way into a new theory.
    • enter the name of a theory in google
    • on the results page, click on ‘Images’ in the menu at the top. Often there are a lot of images that are not relevant, and a few will be. Especially if you’re a visual learner, this may help.
  • Wikipedia, however imprecise it is by reputation, is a good starting point to get to know more about theorists. Also don’t forget the references at the bottom of every Wikipedia page, which can offer an excellent reading list for further exploration.
    • put the name of the theory in google and add ‘wikipedia’ – I’m sure this isn’t rocket science! 🙂
  • Scholar or Academic search: by adding the word ‘scholar’ or ‘academic’ behind your search term, you may have access to one of the many extracts of research texts that are available online. Another possible source of references, information and research could be book previews on websites like Amazon and co. Often you find some really useful and relevant material in there, but don’t forget… this needs to be referenced as a book, if what you are referencing is from a page in the book (rather than a summary of the book).
  • .pdf search: another thing you can try is adding ‘ .pdf’ to any search term. Sometimes you find a treasure throve of sources and resources that way.
  • You can also access (at your own risk!!) an online open library such as or
  • Useful links on I have also added some useful links to websites about career Theory in the ‘useful links’ section of this part of the website.