Practical information

Which are the opening hours of my library ?

Most libraries are open from 8 am to 10 pm (Monday-Friday) and from 9 am to 6 pm (Saturday-Sunday), but some have restricted opening hours. Please check this page before visiting us.

What is my Reader Number?

It is under the barcode on your student card.  Your initial password is composed of the last six digits of your Reader Number.  We recommend that you change your password the first time you use the card.   carte_verso.jpg

I have forgotten the password for my Reader Account, what should I do?

Your initial password is composed of the last six digits of your Reader Number.  If you changed it and forgot it, you can request a new password

How to use the multi-services printers?

Follow the instructions given by the IT Department.

Finding and borrowing documents

How do I obtain a Reader Card?

Your "Carte de Legitimation"  also serves as your Reader Card. carte.png

You need this card to borrow books at the library. More information on this card's use.

Non-UNIGE readers can register on-line or at the library desk. More info.

How many books can I borrow and for how long?

Students: 20 books max. for 28 days, renewable 3 times (online (my account), by phone or in person)

Lecturers and doctoral students: 40 books max. for a term (books are recalled if reserved)

Pay attention that some documents can only be borrowed for a few days!

How many DVDs can I borrow and for how long?

3 DVDs maximum for 7 days, renewable 3 times (online (my account), by phone or in person).

I don't know how to look for a document in the Explore catalogue

Have a look at our tutorials, and don't hesitate to ask our librarians for a demonstration if you need to.

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

Go to Explore Genève :

1. Click on « Login » on the top right of the screen to enter your account. register_login.jpg
2.Introduce your Reader Number (the number under the barcode on your Reader Card) and your password. (Your initial password is composed of the last six numbers of your Reader Number. We recommend that you change your password the first time you use the card).  
3. In the tab « Checked out», you will find the list of the documents you've borrowed. A red icon allows you to renew your loans. checked_out.jpgprolonger.jpg
4. The new deadline is displayed in green. return_date.jpg
5. Don't forget to logout when you are done.  

You can also ask to extend loans by phone or in person at your library.

Can I reserve a book which is already borrowed?

Yes.  After you have searched in Explore Geneva and found the document you need, follow these instructions:

1. Click on « Get ». get.jpg

2. Then click on « Login » to access your account. You need your reader number and password.


3. Click once again on "Get". Now you can see the pickup location.

4. Confirm the reservation by clicking on "Submit". A confirmation message pops up. submit.jpgrequest_done.jpg
5. For privacy reasons, don't forget to logout when you are done.  


You will receive an-email when the document is available at thelibrary.

How do I request a document from closed stacks ?

After you have searched in Explore Geneva and found the document you need, follow these instructions:

1. Select the item needed and click on « Login » to access your account. You need your reader number and password. login.jpg

2. Click on "Request". Pickup location and delivery times pop up.

(for articles, please mention the year and issue in "Remarques" field).

3. Confirm the reservation by clicking on "Submit". A confirmation message pops up. submit.jpgrequest_done.jpg
4. For privacy reasons, don't forget to logout when you are done.  
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 either online or at your library.  The cost of the Library Card is CHF10.-. 

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

If the document you need is not available in Geneva, you can order it through our Interlibrary loan service. We will try to deliver the requested document as soon as possible.

You can also directly submit your request at your library.

Please pay attention that this service may have a fee. More info

How can I find out whether the document I need is in the Library or is available online?

We have produced several tutorials to help you in your search.  You can also ask for assistance from our librarians and use our Help and training service.

Where can I find press articles?

By interrogating special databases : Nexis (International and Swiss articles) ; Swissdox  (Swiss articles, available with a password delivered to the UNIGE community).

Available through the Répertoire des bases de données.

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 on the A-Z list.  Available years are indicated below the title of the journal. 

With Explore catalogue, you can directly search for the journal or the article.


Who has access to online journals?

Everyone who is connected to the UNIGE network.

How can I access the online resources from home?

If you are outside the University, you have to install a software called VPN (for Virtual Private Network), so you can access UNIGE electronic resources as if you were in UNIGE premises. To install VPN on your private computer:

1. Go to: http://etugdl.unige.ch
2. Log in with your UNIGE account
3. Look for the VPN Client software corresponding to your operating system
4. Click on the button “Charger” (on the right) to download the software and follow the instruction for the installation given for your operating system by clicking on the info.png on the left.

Contact directly the Information Systems Division if you have any problem installing or using VPN: http://www.unige.ch/stic/cad.html.

Why can't I access an article even though it appears on screen?

Because we don't have a subscription for the year in question.  Check in the catalogue to see whether we have the paper version. 

Furthermore, if the document you need is not available in Geneva, you can order it through our Document Supply Service (free for members of the UNIGE community and partners).

How do I find ebooks?

By searching in the ebooks catalogue.  You can also look at our selections for each discipline : https://www.unige.ch/biblio/fr/disciplines/

 Ebooks are also indicated in the library spaces by QR-codes. You can access to ebooks with your smartphone. Download and information on UNIGE Library "on the go".

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.


Which databases can I use?

The sites for each discipline offer a list of the most useful databases and other material in YOUR field : https://www.unige.ch/biblio/fr/disciplines/

How do I search the databases?

InfoTrack is the UNIGE Library platform for online training in IT 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 don't know how to look for a book in the catalogue

Have a look at our tutorials, but don't hesitate to ask a librarian for a short presentation if necessary. 

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 the librarians and to use our Help and training service

And InfoTrack, the UNIGE Library platform for online training in IT 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.

Quels indicateurs de mesure sont à disposition pour les revues ?

Comme alternative à Journal Citation Report,  ressource à laquelle la bibliothèque n’est plus abonnée depuis janvier 2018, consultez la page : https://www.unige.ch/biblio/fr/formation/outils-de-recherche-documentaire/jcr .

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.