*Important Announcement* Following a review of Zetoc and in consultation with the British Library, we have decided to retire the service as of 1 August 2022. We would like to thank all users for your support and loyalty over the years. Please find more information here: "https://zetoc.jisc.ac.uk/news/2022/25jan2022.html"

About Zetoc

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The database

The Zetoc service provides Z39.50-compliant access to the British Library's Electronic Table of Contents (ETOC). Open Access content from selected publishers is also included and readily identified in Zetoc by the inclusion of the OA symbol Open Access Symbol. The database gives access to over 39,500 journals and more than 65.5 million article citations and conference papers and over 875,000 OA article citations and conference papers from PubMed. Zetoc covers every imaginable subject in science, technology, medicine, engineering, business, law, finance, the arts and humanities. The database covers the years from 1993 to date and is updated daily. A list of journal titles covered by Zetoc also provides the ISSN, latest issue and date loaded.

Zetoc Search

Zetoc Search allows you to search over 58 million journal and conference records. 3 search options are available: General Search to search for both journal articles and conference proceedings, Journal Search to search for journal articles, and Conference Search to search for just conference proceedings. Enter information into the search boxes provided and click 'Search' in order to retrieve your search results. Search results are displayed as brief records, divided into fields which are labelled to indicate their content e.g. title, author(s) etc. Click on a record's article title to view the full record. In the "Full text options" section of any Zetoc full record there are options to link to the full text (if available to you via your institution), to request a copy from your institution's library or to buy from the British Library On Demand. Additionally, Open Access Open Access Symbol records will have links to view the full text on the publisher website or Europe PMC. We have provided some search examples in our workbook.

You can also find out more about Zetoc Search with our helpful step by step Screencast videos.

Zetoc Alert

Zetoc Alert is a current awareness service that sends you email alerts matching the search criteria that you have provided whenever new data is loaded into the database. The alerts may be for particular journals, for authors or for keywords from the titles of articles and papers. These email Alerts will be sent on the day the new data is loaded into the database (the database is updated each week day so this can be as soon as 72 hours after publication). There is no limit on the number of Alerts lists that people can create, although there is a limit of 50 journals or searches in each Alert list. A Zetoc Alert Guide is available, providing information on how to set up Alerts.

You can also find out more about Zetoc alerts with our helpful step by step Screencast videos.

Zetoc RSS

Zetoc RSS enables you to subscribe to feeds for individual journals. You can subscribe to the feed in various ways, depending on your chosen RSS reader. Find out more on our RSS page.

You can also find out more about Zetoc alerts with our helpful step by step Screencast videos.

Who provides Zetoc?

Zetoc is made available through Jisc. Jisc provide digital solutions for UK education and researchers. The Jisc Digital Resources portfolio includes Web of Science Support for UK Education, JUSP, The UK Census and Jisc Library Hub Discover plus a variety of additional strategic research and teaching datasets.

The role of the British Library

Zetoc is the British Library's table of contents, and the BL provides Jisc with the data for the Zetoc service in an automatic data load every night. Zetoc development was funded by the British Library to March 2001, and Jisc subsequently took over the funding of the service.


Zetoc is made available to institutions through Jisc on behalf of the British Library. Zetoc is available free of charge to any member of a Jisc-sponsored UK further or higher education institution and is also available free of charge to the UK Research Councils. A list of eligible UK Further and Higher Education Institutions and Research Councils is provided on the Jisc Web site.

NHS Scotland and Northern Ireland subscribe to Zetoc.

Zetoc is also available to the Irish higher education institutions and CHEST Associated institutions upon payment of an annual fee. (A list of these subscribing sites is available. If you belong to an eligible institution which does not subscribe please contact your library.) In order to obtain further subscription information, please contact the Zetoc helpdesk, Email: help@jisc.ac.uk

Terms and Conditions of Use

Please see the Jisc Model Licence - Terms and Conditions of Use for further details.

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Zetoc mentioned in...

A selection of recent articles that refer to the Zetoc service can be found below. Links will take you to external websites and authentication may be required for access.

Publications and Presentations

For more information about the initial establishment of Zetoc see the Press Release from the British Library.

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Evaluation of Zetoc

Each year a survey is conducted by including a questionnaire on the Zetoc website, usually from November - December/January. The information received from the survey is used as part of a detailed review of this Jisc service.

Previous surveys

2019: Go to the 2019 Zetoc survey summary

2014-15: Go to the 2014-2015 Zetoc survey summary

2013-14: Go to the 2013-2014 Zetoc survey summary

2012-13: Go to the 2012-2013 Zetoc survey summary

2011-12: Go to the 2011-2012 Zetoc survey summary

2010-11: Go to the 2010-2011 Zetoc survey summary

2009-10: Go to the 2009-2010 Zetoc survey summary

Evaluation 2002-03

In the summer of 2002, we asked users to fill in an evaluation questionnaire. This was intended to provide an opportunity to gauge general opinion regarding the service and establish a list of potential enhancements. The findings from the questionnaire formed the basis of the 2002 evaluation report.

Go to the 2002 evaluation report (html version)
Go to the 2002 evaluation report (PDF version)

Following on from the evaluation, we asked users to fill in a short follow-up questionnaire. This was intended primarily to indicate whether users feel that the enhancements made to Zetoc have been successful. A second evaluation report was produced, which summarises the results of the initial evaluation, and uses the information gathered from the second questionnaire as well as an interview programme.

Go to the 2003 evaluation report (Word version)
Go to the 2003 evaluation report (PDF version)

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OpenURL Resolvers: accessing the full text of articles

Institutions with OpenURL Resolvers

Many institutions may have their own link resolver, enabling their users to link to the full text of articles where they have subscription rights, and also to other electronic resources.

Zetoc supports OpenURL resolver software, enabling users to link from the Zetoc full record to the range of services defined by their institution. Institutions set up their own Resolver page, and it will usually include links to the full text where the institution subscribes to the journal. This means users can go straight from the Zetoc record to the full text, via the Resolver service, if they have access rights.

We offer customisation of the link text provided on the full record page and the option to add an image. The default link text is:

More information about this article

Institutions can provide link text and/or additional text to replace the above, for example:

[openurl button] Find full text

To set this option up, you will need to contact the Zetoc helpdesk with the base URL of your OpenURL resolver and optionally the text that you would like and the image that you would like to use.

Institutions can use any OpenURL resolvers. The resolvers that we currently have enabled include:

Institutions without OpenURL Resolvers

Some institutions do not have their own link resolver. For these users, Zetoc gives users the option to look for further information about a journal article or conference proceeding. A link at the bottom of the full record display page will take the user to a default 'More Information' page. This page links to Jisc Library Hub Discover, a union catalogue enabling users to locate the journal in major UK research libraries, the British Library and the National Libraries of Scotland and Wales, and Google Scholar in order to facilitate users locating journals and accessing the full text.

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OpenURL ContextObject in SPAN (COinS)

Zetoc provides OpenURL ContextObject in SPAN (COinS) support. The OpenURL ContextObject is included within the Zetoc full record page. If you look at the HTML source you will see a SPAN element, which can be accessed by e.g. Firefox plugins, such as bookmarklets, and will allow a user to choose which OpenURL resolver to use. For more information about COinS see: http://ocoins.info

Zetoc as an OpenURL target

Zetoc can be accessed as an OpenURL target. For more information, please see our page on OpenURL Target Access.

You may like to read more about OpenURLs on the Library of Congress website guide to OpenURLs.

Zetoc Web Services SRU interface

Zetoc has a SRU interface, and on our site we provide a service definition, instructions for searching, information about authentication and some technical details.