Practical information

Which are the opening hours of my library ?

During the academic year, the opening hours are:

  • Monday-Friday: 8 am-10pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: 9 am-6pm

Consult the Opening hours page or download the UNIGE mobile app to know them in real time as well as the availability of work places.

Where to find my library card number?

On multiservice cards from the UNIGE, it is under the barcode:carte_verso.jpg

On the SLSP library card, it is also under the barcode. It starts with "SLSP-".


I cannot log into my SWITCH edu-ID account on swisscovery, what should I do?

To connect to the swisscovery.unige.ch catalog, it is important to have completed the 2 steps of the registration procedure, which involves the creation of a SWITCH edu-ID account AND registration with SLSP (swisscovery).

If, however, after checking, you still have connection problems, consult this information page or contact the IT department directly: cad(at)unige.ch.

How can I link my library account to my UNIGE account to benefit from the privileges reserved for the UNIGE community?

The connection to an institutional account must be made on Switch edu-ID: https://edu-id.ch. After login, in the "Linked Identities" section at the very bottom of the page, it is possible to add UNIGE as an organisational identity.

How to use the multi-services printers?

Follow the instructions given by the IT Department.

Finding and borrowing documents

How do I obtain a library card?

Your "Carte de Legitimation"  also serves as your library card, but a registration is needed. carte.png

More information on this card.

Non-UNIGE users have to register to get a library card. More info.

How many documents can I borrow and for how long?

You can borrow up to 100 documents, for 28 days*.

In most cases, documents are automatically renewed 5 times.

* restrictions may apply for certain documents or for certain users

What happens if I return documents late?

Documents not returned on time generate overdue fees that are common for the entire SLSP network:

  • For documents with 28-days term:
    • 1 day after loan term : free reminder
    • 7 days after loan term, 1st paying reminder: 5 CHF per document
    • 14 days after loan term, 2nd paying reminder: an additional CHF 5 per document
    • 21 days after loan term, 3rd paying reminder: an additional CHF 10 per document
  • For documents with 7-days term:
    • 1st paying reminder after 4 days late
    • 2nd paying reminder after 7 days late
    • 3rd paying reminder after 10 days late
  • For documents with 1-days term:
    • 1st paying reminder after 2 days late
    • 2nd paying reminder after 3 days late
    • 3rd paying reminder after 4 days late
  • The account is blocked after the 3rd reminder.
  • For lost or non-returned documents, a replacement fee applies.
  • Fees owed are sent by email and payable by invoice only.
  • FAQs on billing by SLSP for fee-based swisscovery services
I have just consulted my library account and I have some fees to pay, can I come to the Library to pay them?

No, the UNIGE Library is not allowed to collect these fees. The fees due are sent directly by email and are payable by invoice only.

FAQs on billing by SLSP for fee-based swisscovery services

How can I be sure that reminder notifications (overdue documents, requests, fees, etc.) are not blocked by my mailbox?

All communications related to your account on swisscovery are sent via email. To ensure that you receive UNIGE Library emails sent by the system, check that the senders "slsp" and "exlibris" are not blocked in your settings. On Outlook web, UNIGE members can go to "Options" - "Mail" - "Accounts" - "Block or Allow" to control the list of blocked senders (see screenshot in French).


I don't know how to look for a document in swisscovery.

Have a look at the Help page and don't hesitate to ask our librarians for a demonstration if you need to.

You can also register for a training session.

How do I extend the loan period for documents I have borrowed?

In most cases, documents are automatically renewed 5 times their original loan length, as long as they are not ordered by another person. There is therefore no need to manually renew borrowed documents.

Can I reserve a book which is already borrowed?


  1. Go to swisscovery and log in with your Switch edu-ID account.
  2. Search for the desired document.
  3. In the list of results, click on the desired title to access the details of the reference.
  4. In this new window, under "Loan and request options", click on "Loan".
  5. In "Pickup Institution", choose "Université de Genève" and in "Pickup Library", the pickup location (it's the library who owns the document). Click on the button « Send Request ».
  6. You will be notified by email when the ordered document is available.

N.B. This service is free of charge for UNIGE documents picked up at the UNIGE.


How do I request a document from closed stacks (magasin or compactus)?
  1. Go to swisscovery and log in with your Switch edu-ID account.
  2. Search for the desired document.
  3. In the list of results, click on the desired title to access the details of the reference.
  4. In this new window, under "Pick up on site", click on "Loan".
  5. Check the pickup location (it's the library who owns the document). Click on the button "Send Request".
  6. You will be notified by email when the ordered document is available.

N.B. This service is free of charge for UNIGE documents picked up at the UNIGE.

How do I request a document from DBU (or from Uni Bastions - Battelle to Uni Bastions - Jura)?
  1. Go to swisscovery and log in with your Switch edu-ID account.
  2. Search for the desired document.
  3. In the list of results, click on the desired title to access the details of the reference.
  4. In this new window, under "Further request options", choose a pickup location (in "Pickup Institution", choose "Université de Genève" and in "Pickup Library", the pickup location of your choice). For DBU documents picked up at the UNIGE and for Uni Bastions Battelle documents picked up at Uni Bastions - Jura, the cost is 0 CHF and the delay is 2 working days. Click on the button "Request". If necessary, enter the desired volume and a comment and click on "Send request".
  5. You will be notified by email when the ordered document is available.
How much do document requests cost?

All requests for documents from the UNIGE Library collections picked up at a UNIGE Library desks are free of charge for everyone.

The rates and conditions related to the scan on demand services of the BUNIGE collections can be consulted on this page: Scan on demand

The rates and conditions for ordering documents from outside the UNIGE Library's collections can be consulted on this page: Order of documents outside Geneva (SLSP Courier and ILL)

Fees owed are sent by email and payable by invoice only.

I am not a member of UNIGE, can I use the Library?

The Library is open to all.  In order to borrow documents, you will have to register first.

How do I get a document that is not available in Geneva?

If the document you need is not available in Geneva, you can order it by following the procedure explained on this page.

Where can I find press articles?

Access press articles via PressReaderSwissdoxNexis or by journal title (access limited by title)

Read the issue of the day of the daily newspaper Le Monde (access by password available for people affiliated to the UNIG)

The Press Area in Uni Mail puts at your disposal some sixty dailies and twenty magazines, in many languages (french, german, english, italian, romansh, arabic, russian and spanish)

Who may I contact with suggestions for new book purchases?

Your suggestions for acquisitions are welcome.  You can offer them directly to your library or complete the online form

Online Resources

How can I access journals online?

Online journals to which the UNIGE is subscribed, are available via swisscovery.  Available years are indicated in the details of the record.

Who has access to online journals?

Everyone who is connected to the UNIGE network, on site or at home through VPN.

How can I access the online resources from home?

If you are outside the University, here are two ways to access the Library's digital resources:

1. Use OpenAthens, a system that allows you to connect to the platforms hosting the Library's digital resources (publisher's website or database, etc.) with the institutional login (ISIs/HUG) from any computer, worldwide.

2. Install a software called VPN (Virtual Private Network) to be able to access the electronic resources of the UNIGE.

Detailed instructions and a procedure to follow are available on this page.

Why can't I access the full-text of an article?

Look for the tips provided on this page.

How do I find ebooks?

Swisscovery cover ebooks provided by the University of Geneva.
You can also look at our selections for each discipline.
Ebooks are also indicated in the library spaces by QR-codes.

Why are ebooks sold on websites like Amazon not available at the UNIGE?

Generally speaking, publishers make a distinction between selling ebooks to individuals for their private use and selling ebooks to institutions (such as universities) acting on behalf of a community of researchers or students.

Some ebooks are only sold for use by a single person on web sites like Amazon, and are not available for purchase by academic libraries or similar institutions.

Through its contacts with academic publishers, the UNIGE Library strives to find solutions to access edited contents related to teaching and research activities of the institution.

What is Digital Rights Management (DRM)?

Some publishers or distributors use technical tools to restrict usage of contents. Those tools are presented as means to ensure copyright is protected.

There are several degrees of restrictions. Some only allow printing and downloading of  a part of a document. Others block downloading or saving of documents altogether.
Those restrictions are what lies underneath the concept of Digital Rights Management or "DRM".

Several ebooks distributors use DRM. The UNIGE Library tries to purchase as a priority ebooks without or with light DRM, in order to make their use by academic staff and students as easy as possible.

More information :
Digital Rights Management (Wikipedia)

How do I cite an ebook ?

Scholarly works must mention all sources they rely on, as part of the scientific standards they are expected to achieve, but also to allow potential readers to follow other research tracks.

The format of those citations is based on international norms, such as ISO 690. Faculties and departments of the University of Geneva can rely on those to establish
their own set of conventions, adapted to the needs of each discipline. You should therefore contact your teachers to find out which conventions must be followed in your discipline.


How do I know if a book found on the shelf also exists in a digital version?

To find an book, the first reflex is to go to swisscovery.
In addition, when a digital version of a book on the shelf exists, this information is also sometimes marked directly on the paper copy with a label "I exist online" with a QR-code. To access the ebook, simply flash the QR-code with the reader integrated in the UNIGE mobile application that has been previously installed on your smartphone or tablet.
Download and information on the page "The UNIGE Library on the go".

Which databases can I use?

The sites for each discipline offer a list of the most useful databases and other material in YOUR field. You can also search directly in swisscovery.

How do I search the databases?

InfoTrack is the UNIGE Library platform for online training of information literacy skills.

The librarians can also help you with searches and explain how the different databases function:  https://www.unige.ch/biblio/en/formation/

What are the regulations on the use of electronic resources at UNIGE?

Use of electronic resources (journals, ebooks, databases) made available by the UNIGE Library are submitted, through law (copyright) and contracts with publishers, to specific regulations, in compliance with fair usage. 

All users of electronic resources are requested to follow the rules below:

- Full text access to electronic resources is limited to authorised users: students and staff of the University of Geneva, and persons present in the library buildings.

- Documents can exclusively be printed or saved for personal or academic usage (studies, teaching, research). Transmission of those documents to third parties for commercial purposes, whether in print or electronic medium, is not permitted.

- Downloading data systematically is forbidden (i.e. downloading all articles published in journals by any given publisher, downloading all data entries from a database)

Failing to follow those rules and any usage beyond those limits could put the whole University at risk of losing those electronic resources, as publishers will stop providing access.

Please note: when working on a document meant for publication,  reproduction of works or parts of works is only allowed under specific conditions which generally include obtaining agreement of the publisher and/or author ahead of publication.

I am confused by all these resources. How can I find what I need?

The Library offers a huge quantity of resources and information and it is often difficult to orient oneself.  Don't hesitate to ask for help from our training team

InfoTrack, the UNIGE Library platform for online training in information literacy skills, will help you to navigate around all the documentation.   

My publications

How can I find out how many citations my paper has received?

Look for your paper in Web of Science.  On the results page, in the right-hand column, you will see the number of times your paper has been cited.



 If you click on the title of a paper, a window opens with the complete "Citation Network". 

You can also sort for a list of references by "Times cited – highest to lowest" on the "Sort by" tab.



You can also use Google Scholar to know how many citations your paper has received.

How can I disseminate my publications more widely?

The Archive ouverte UNIGE  allows you not only to deposit your publications on the University server, but also to generate and professionalise your bibliography.  It guarantees reliable and long-term access to your documents. 

How do I distribute my thesis online?

Follow the procedure for thesis distribution.

UNIGE mobile app

Does the Library offer its services via mobile phone?

Whether you are a student or a staff member, UNIGE Mobile was designed to make your life easier with library hours, research of documents in Explore catalog, seats avalaible in real times, etc.

Download and information on UNIGE Library "on the go".


What is the purpose of the QR-codes in the Library?

Posters with a QR-code have been placed on the Library's shelves to indicate the digital versions of documents (ebooks) available at the University of Geneva. Other QR-codes are displayed directly on the cover of the paper copies with a "J'existe en ligne" label. To access these documents, flash the QR-code with the reader integrated in the UNIGE mobile application that has previously been installed on your device.

Download and information on UNIGE Library "on the go".


What is research data? Why keep them? What help can I get?

Research data are data collected or produced during the course of a research project. They may be the result of observations, interviews, experiments, measurements, etc. They may be derived from existing sources analyzed to produce or validate original research results. They may include: digital data tables, text files, images, audiovisual documents, questionnaire replies, etc.

They are kept in accordance with Open Access policies but also at the request of scientific research funding agencies in line with Horizon 2020.

All information related to the research data (writing a plan, storing and sharing your data, etc.) and the services offered by UNIGE on this subject are accessible here: https://www.unige.ch/researchdata/en/


Which copyright laws are relevant for audiovisual documents on loan?

Audiovisual documents in the library

In compliance with the Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights of 9.10.92:

- Holders of a reader card of the Geneva network of scientific and academic libraries can view and borrow audiovisual documents. A REVOIR AVEC ALEX

- Any use of audiovisual documents must be strictly limited to educational purposes.

- Use for educational purposes is ruled by the joint tariff 7 set by SUISSIMAGE (Swiss Authors' Rights Cooperative for Audivovisual Works). Through this payment (fixed fee paid the University) the Library can lend audiovisual documents bought from commercial suppliers or copied from TV broadcasts. (see details in the joint tariff 7 facsheet (in French only). Teachers are also allowed, for use in their classes, to copy TV or radio programmes. Those programmes will only be added to the collections if they meet the criteria defined in the Library mission statement and acquisition policy.

In addition:

- Reproducing parts of works or parts of TV or radio programmes is permitted. (Sources must be mentioned)(Joint Tariff 7, in French only)

- Similarly, reproducing complete TV or radio programmes is permitted if those programmes are not available for sale.

- However, reproducing complete works bought from commercial suppliers is forbidden.

Please note also:

- Use of audiovisual documents made accessible through the University internal network is ruled by the joint tariff 9/III (in French only)(Fixed fee paid by the University).

- Broadcasting of films must also follow specific rules as defined by Suissimage (see the factsheet,in French only, on Broadcasting of films).




a) Generally speaking, image and voice are part of what identifies an individual and are therefore protected as such. Individuals own the rights related to their voices and images, including rights for reproductions of their voices and images.

Taking photographs of individuals or recording their voices is in itself processing of personal data. This is ruled in particular by the Federal Act on Data Protection (applicable to private persons and federal bodies) and by the LIPAD (in French only) (applicable to the University)

 b) The Federal Act on Copyright and Related Rights protects intellectual creations and generally attributes exclusive rights to the author - which is to say that no one can assume those rights as one's own without the author's prior agreement, particularly in relation to:

- publication of the work (see article 9, paragraph 2) and

- use of the work (article 10)

c) The Law on the University (in French only) nevertheless makes a distinction between the rights on publications which belong exclusively to the authors, and the rights on other intellectual creations, in particular on computer programs, and on research results which belong to the University (article 15 paragraph 1)


Under the terms detailed in the general principal in point 1 above, the recording of university courses depends on:

- the professor's agreement on the act of recording itself.

- precise rules that the teacher has agreed to as to the possible use of those recordings and in particular:

•accessibility of recordings (on the intranet or internet...)

•duration of preservation, archiving*.

All those questions are submitted to the professors's approval, in the shape of a questionnaire to be filled out before any recording is made. Each request, which can be valid for up to an academic year,  must be dated and signed: https://mediaserver.unige.ch/demandes

*The University reserves the right, based on archiving standards, to opt out from long-term archiving.