Nov 202013

This is the fourth in a series of blog posts highlighting some of the new features now available in the redeveloped SUNCAT. In this post I will detail how you can quickly and easily find out more information about a journal you are interested in and the library which holds it. This information should enable you to either apply for an Inter-Library loan via your local library service or to plan a visit to a library to access the journal in person.

Once you have conducted a successful search on SUNCAT and have found a title or titles you are interested in, you can display further information about the title and discover detailed holdings information by clicking on the journal title in the results display. This will take you into the full record for the title.

The full record display includes bibliographic information, such as the ISSN (International Standard Serial Number), publisher details, first date of publication, subject headings and any changes of title etc. If you scroll further down the screen you will be presented with a list of the libraries holding the title. This holdings display represents the very heart of the SUNCAT service, providing an aggregated summary of where you can find a journal title in the UK.

The holding libraries are listed in alphabetical order and for most libraries the following information is displayed:

  • An icon indicating if the holdings are print or electronic
  • Summary holdings statement of the volumes and issues a library actually holds for that title
  • Location and shelfmark of the journal
  • A link to the online version if the holding is for an electronic journal
  • A link to the local library catalogue


Holdings Display for a Title


The combination of both the bibliographic information and the holdings summary allows you to ascertain that you are definitely looking at the correct journal and which libraries actually hold the volume/issue you require. The location and shelfmark information are important should you choose to visit the library. We would also recommend clicking on the link to the local library catalogue so that you can check the most up to date status of the item you are interested in before travelling to the library.

As well as providing information about journal holdings we also provide information about each of the holding libraries. Clicking on the library name will take you to the following:

  • A link to the library homepage
  • Contact details
  • Google directions to the library
  • British Library Code
  • The date the library’s data was last updated in SUNCAT

Information about the Barnes Library at Birmingham University


This information allows you to quickly and easily go into the library’s website or to contact the library to check their access and lending policies for external users. The Google directions are obviously helpful if you do indeed plan to physically visit the library. The British Library Code is provided for Inter-Library Loan staff and the date of the library’s last update to SUNCAT provides an indication of how current the holdings information is.

If you are affiliated with a UK University the link to the SCONUL Access website, which sits just above the list of holdings, will allow you to check whether you are allowed to access and borrow material from other UK University Libraries.



If you any ideas of additional useful information we could provide about holding libraries please get let us know via the EDINA Helpdesk.