swisscovery – FAQ

FAQs on registration, user accounts and research in swisscovery.

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Swisscovery registration and user account


Where and how can I register for SWITCH edu-ID and the new swisscovery research platform?

You can register on the Swiss Library Service Platform’s (SLSP) registration platform.


  • You already have a SWITCH edu-ID: Sign in with your login details and complete the fields required for the Swiss Library Service Platform.
  • You do not have a SWITCH edu-ID but you are a student or member of a Swiss university. Follow the instructions to create one and, if you have difficulties, contact us (DE, FR, IT).
  • You do not have a SWITCH edu-ID and you are not a member of a Swiss university: Log in using the ‘without AAI’ option.
  • You are a member and/or student at several Swiss universities: Add the additional universities in your SWITCH edu-ID account.
  • You wish to register with the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) as an organisation.

An e-mail address is mandatory for registration to use all of the library’s services.

During registration I forgot to add the library card I already possess. What should I do now?

You can add your library card number here.

I have various positions at different universities. Do I have to register multiple times?

Follow the instructions on the swisscovery FAQS website (in particular point 2.8) and, if you have difficulties, contact us (DE, FR, IT).

I have registered twice with different e-mail addresses. What should I do now?

Combine your two accounts here: SWITCH edu-ID Duplicate Accounts.

I’ve already registered so why can’t I log into swisscovery SFUVET?

You may not have fully completed the Swiss Library Service Platform’s (SLSP) registration process. Go to the SLSP registration platform, select ‘Start registration’ and log in with your SWITCH-edu-ID. When the page appears where you have to consent to the transfer of your data, continue with the registration process. If the message ‘You already registered with SLSP previously’ appears and you are still unable to log into swisscovery, then contact our support team.

I live abroad but would like to use SFUVET library’s services. Can I also register?

Yes, anyone can register. However, persons residing abroad only have restricted access to the services: no courier service or postal deliveries, no interlibrary lending and article orders, limit on the number of media items loaned at the same time.

User card

How do I get a user card? How much does it cost?

If you are not yet a customer of the SFUVET library and do not have a user card of a Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) library, you can obtain a card from our library free of charge.

The user cards of all libraries affiliated to the SLSP are valid at the SFUVET library.

I already have a card from another university library. Can I use this card at SFUVET?

All library cards registered in the BibliOpass lending network are also valid at the libraries of the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) and therefore at SFUVET’s library too. To use the services you must firstly register on the SLSP registration platform.

When entering the library card number, it says this number has already been assigned or is invalid. What should I do now?

Please contact the SFUVET library.

Manage user account

How can I view my loaned or ordered media items in my swisscovery account?

You firstly need to register on the swisscovery SFUVET research platform. After log-in, your name appears in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Click on it to view your account. Under ‘swisscovery Network’, select the institutions ‘With Activity’. Your loaned items and orders are listed under the collection library. Postal orders are listed under the holding institution. In the ‘Requests’ section you can track the processing steps of your order.

How can I change my contact details or library card in my user account?

You can update your account details on the SWITCH edu-ID website. If you wish to add a user card to your account, you can do so on the Swiss Library Service Platform’s (SLSP) registration page. Here select ‘Manage library card numbers and settings’ and log in with your SWITCH edu-ID.

I have entered two postal addresses in my account. How can I define a preference?

Go to and click on ‘Manage library card numbers and settings’. If you then log in with your SWITCH edu-ID, you can select your preferred address under ‘Settings’.

I have forgotten my swisscovery password.

You can reset your password on the SWITCH edu-ID website. Select ‘Forgot password?’ and follow the instructions. Please also check your contact details at the same time.

How can I change the correspondence language?

To change the language in swisscovery SFUVET, you firstly need to log in. Then click on your name that appears top right and then on ‘Display Language’. If the e-mails sent to you are not in your preferred language, then go to, log in with your SWITCH edu-ID and change the language.

New: Advanced order options

New: Advanced order options

The order process in swisscovery was updated and improved on 14 November 2022 – the main changes are outlined below:

  • Two order areas: Two order areas are now available for ordering media items: ‘Pick up on site’ and ‘Further request options’. Find out in Request when to consult which order area.
  • Cost transparency: You are now shown the services subject to charge in the order process and how much the individual order costs.
  • Usability: Your preferred collection location for courier service and postal orders is now stored.
  • Improvements to the user account: You now have the option of tracking the status of your order in the user account for orders from outside of the holding library.
  • Restrictions due to the changeover to advanced order options:
    • Journals cannot be ordered via courier service or by post until further notice.
    • Re-lending after the maximum number of extensions is possible again from 29 November 2022 in courier service libraries. This excludes media from other Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) libraries.

Search for literature in swisscovery

What is the difference between the various swisscovery research platforms and search profiles?

Different platforms:

  • In the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) network, there are various institutional zones (IZ) each with its own swisscovery platform. This enables you to limit your search to the collections of your libraries and to use the various services, such as the local courier service.
  • On each platform there is the option of extending the search to all collections of the SLSP network through the search profile.
  • You can find the platform for the collections of the SFUVET library here. Feature: colour – light green. In contrast, the colour of the overarching swisscovery page is violet. We recommend always starting your search on the light-green platform.

Search profiles​:

  • SFUVET: contains all physical and electronic media provided by the SFUVET library.
  • swisscovery: contains physical and electronic media from all SLSP libraries as well as media from selected libraries in the Renouvaud network.
  • swisscovery plus: contains additional media from the Renouvaud network that cannot be provided by any other library in swisscovery.
How do I search in swisscovery?
  • Log into the swisscovery SFUVET research platform.
  • Then start a search by entering a term in the search field.
  • Select the search profile ‘EHB-HEFP-SUFFP-Campus’. You can find books, journals and articles available at one of the SFUVET libraries (Zollikofen, Lausanne, Lugano).
  • The ‘Available in swisscovery libraries’ filter  shows physical media and e-books. The ‘Online’ filter shows electronic resources (e-books, journals and database content).
  • If no results are found, you can extend your search to all collections of the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) network by selecting the ‘swisscovery’ search profile.
How do I find journals?
  • Log into the swisscovery SFUVET research platform.
  • Start the search by clicking on ‘Advanced Search’ to the right of the white search field.
  • Select the ‘Title’ option on the left in the menu, enter the title of the journal you are looking for and select the ‘Journals’ option from the resource types on the right-hand side. Only journal titles are displayed in the list of hits.
  • The ‘Pick up on site’ section shows the locations where the journal is available.
  • You will now find your requested journal in the list of hits and you click on the title. In the ‘Pick up on site’ section, click on the library (e.g. SFUVET Zollikofen) and you have the option of entering a digitalisation order.
How do I find electronic journal articles?
  • Log into the swisscovery SFUVET research platform.
  • Start a search for a journal article or a paper in the search field.
  • Select the ‘EHB-HEFP-SUFFP-Campus’ search profile. If there are no hits, use the ‘swisscovery’ search profile.
  • Filter your search results with ‘Online’ and then you will receive the full-text version of articles and papers licensed by the SFUVET libraries. You have access to full-text versions in the SFUVET network, i.e. either on site at the campus or via your Switch-AAI login. Use the Online - Open Access filter to obtain articles freely accessible from anywhere.
  • You can either download the individual articles or read them online.
More information on electronic resources
Historical collections

The SFUVET library’s historical collection contains around 3,400 books in German on occupations and vocational education and training from 1870 to 1970. It is recorded in swisscovery.

Can I save search results in a list?

If you are logged into swisscovery, you can select titles of interest as favourites with the pin symbol. In a second step, you can label the selected hits and create thematic reading lists.

After carrying out a search, select one or more titles from the list of results. To do so either click on the pin symbol, shown to the right of the title, or place a tick in the number field in front of the title and then click on the pin symbol displayed in the grey field at the top. The number of datasets selected is shown here. This allows you to select a maximum of 50 hits and then save or export them as favourites.

To label favourites, go to the pin symbol (‘My Favorites’) displayed top right, next to your account. In the favourites view, select all or several titles (tick in front of the title). You can then add labels to the selection by using the pen symbol. Favourites can easily be removed from the selection by clicking on the pin symbol again.

The hit lists can be exported by marking the required titles either directly in the results list or in your favourites lists (max. 50 titles) and then exporting them, e.g. via e-mail or as an Excel file. However, the link to the list of hits cannot be shared directly.

Request, collect and return items

How can I request media to lend?
  • Log into the swisscovery SFUVET research platform.
  • Use keywords to search for a book or theme. The results are displayed in a list.
  • There are two request areas, each of which indicate how a document can be loaned:
    ‘Pick up on site’
    If you wish to collect the loan item on site. Loan request (except for courier service books) are sent to the private address of SFUVET students free of charge if required. External users collect and return their loan items on site.
    ‘Further request options’
    If you wish to make a courier service, postal delivery or digitalisation request.
  • SFUVET employees receive the loan request delivered to their place of work or home address.
How do I order items in several volumes?
  • In the ‘Pick up on site’ section, you can select or request the required volume or issue directly.
  • In the ‘Further request options’ section, you cannot select individual volumes of an item in several volumes. Always indicate in the request form which volume or issue you wish to reserve before submitting the order.
  • Only one volume can be requested per request. Please place a separate request for each additional volume.
How can I order the copy of an article or book chapter?
  • Under ‘Pick up on site’ you can request digital copies directly from the library holding the item. Please note: If the document is loaned out, the process only becomes active when it is returned. Only then will you receive a notification.
  • In the ‘Further request options’ section you can request digitalised versions from any library in the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) network. An available copy is selected.
  • Cost: CHF 5 per request (max. 50 pages), except for SFUVET students.
How can I reserve a book already on loan? Do I receive notification when it is ready for me?

A reservation on a loaned book is treated like a request. This means the book appears under ‘My Requests’ in your account. Here you can see your position on the waiting list. The system sends a pick up invitation when the book is available. A reservation can be cancelled in the user account.

I have not received a pick up invitation for my book request. Why is that?

The pick up request is sent to the e-mail address entered in the SWITCH edu-ID. E-mails sometimes end up in the spam folder.

Can I request books or journal articles that are not available in swisscovery?

Documents outside of the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) network and from abroad can only be obtained by larger libraries (subject to charge). The SFUVET libraries do not provide this service.

Where can I return loaned items?
  • Items from libraries requested and received via the courier service can be returned to one of these libraries.
  • Items from libraries not participating in the courier service are returned directly to the library from which they were loaned.
  • Items can also be returned by post at your own expense using the information provided above.

Courier service and interlibrary lending

Can I also pick up a book from a different library?

Yes. You can select the required pick up library in the ‘Further request options’ section.

  • Fee: CHF 8 per requested document
  • A pick up notification is sent via e-mail as soon as the item is ready for collection.
What is the Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) courier service and which libraries participate?

The Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) courier service connects academic libraries throughout Switzerland. It allows you to have books delivered from one SLSP library to another for a fee of CHF 8 per requested document.

You can see in the request whether a library is participating in the SLSP courier service.

I’ve forgotten the pick up location for the items I requested.

Go to swisscovery SFUVET and log in (top right). After logging in, click on your name, which is shown top right, and then on ‘My Requests’. Here you will see the collection location selected in the order.

I accidentally requested a book via the courier service for delivery to the wrong pick up location. Can I change that?

No. Please contact the library holding the copy or the library where you requested the copy.

How can I cancel the request of a copy (pick up on site, postal delivery, courier service)?

Go to swisscovery SFUVET and log in (top right). After logging in, click on your name, which is shown top right, and then on ‘My Requests’. In the list on the left you have to select the library to which the requested item belongs. Select ‘Cancel’ for the title concerned. The request is cancelled and you will receive written confirmation of cancellation by e-mail.

For how long do requested books remain available?

Items requested via the courier service are available at the pick up library from when you receive the pick up notification via e-mail and remain available for collection for seven working days. If this is not enough time then contact the pick up library concerned.

Loan periods, fees, billing, loss of items

For how long can I keep loaned books?

The general loan period for loaned items is 28 calendar days and is automatically extended by 28 calendar days up to five times unless the item is requested by somebody else. The exact loan period date is shown in your user account. Loaned items must be returned by the deadline indicated at the latest. Full information can be found in our conditions of use.

How much are overdue fees and other charges and what are the lending conditions?

You will find details of overdue fees and other charges here.
You can read the conditions of use here.

I received a reminder or a return request.

If an item cannot be extended, we will send you a request to return it via e-mail. Overdue notices are sent six working days after the sending of the reminder/return request for each item.

I have not received a reminder or overdue notice.

Firstly please check your e-mail account’s spam folder. If you don’t find anything there then check with the library holding the book.

How can I pay fees incurred in swisscovery (courier service, postal delivery, digitalisation or overdue fees)?

The Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) sends invoices monthly via e-mail. You must pay the amount due using the enclosed inpayment slip or via e-banking.

Where can I see whether fees are due?
  • Orders of digital copies via ‘Pick up on site’ are subject to charge (CHF 5 per order, max. 50 pages). A red box indicates this fee.
  • The fee amount is shown directly in the request in the ‘Further request options’ section.
  • All outstanding fees are shown under ‘My account’ in your user account.
  • Outstanding fees are invoiced monthly. Once the billing data has been removed from the system, the fees to be paid by invoice can no longer be seen in the user account.
  • If you have questions about specific fees, contact the library where they were incurred. The library concerned is shown on the invoice.
Swiss Library Service Platform (SLSP) invoicing

Invoices for outstanding fees are sent monthly via e-mail. These e-mails are sent from the following address:, subject: swisscovery – your invoice (no.). The signature is SLSP. The invoice is attached to the e-mail in PDF format.

Please check whether these e-mails have ended up in the spam folder.

What happens if I lose a book?

The replacement costs plus an administration fee of CHF 50 are charged.
In such cases please contact the library holding the item as soon as possible.


Electronic resources: databases, e-journals, e-books

What electronic resources do the SFUVET libraries provide?

The swisscovery SFUVET research platform contains records of almost all licensed or purchased electronic resources of the SFUVET libraries. You will find direct access to it in the title display.

Information on the licensed or purchased electronic resources of the SFUVET libraries can be found on our research websites (DE, FR, IT).

You have access to full-text versions in the SFUVET network which means either on site on the campus with WLAN or via Switchaai.

Why do I need databases?

Databases are specialised in thematic or specific areas. They are independent of the SFUVET collection and contain more comprehensive data for thematic or specialist searches. In most of the databases (referred to as reference databases) you will find bibliographic details which can be used to carry out further research on the swisscovery SFUVET research platform. Our databases are integrated into swisscovery but are also listed separately on our research websites (DE, FR, IT).

In some types of database the full-text versions are directly accessible which means you will find the PDFs for the articles and e-books here which can then be downloaded and printed out.

I would like to research electronic resources at home or while on the move. Is that possible?

The research itself is carried out in swisscovery, in other words online and freely. But if you wish to access something you require authorisation which means you have to authenticate yourself with SWITCHaai.

I am no longer a member of SFUVET. Can I still use the electronic resources?

Yes, if you use the public computers in our library or your private device on SFUVET’s public WLAN, you have access to the full-text versions of our electronic resources.

Information on the Swiss Library Service Platform's (SLSP) data privacy policy

SLSP data privacy policy

User details:
During the registration of your personal details (name, address, telephone number etc., see SLSP data privacy policy) SLSP imports data from your SWITCH edu-ID account to the swisscovery research portal. You can update your personal details at any time in your SWITCH edu-ID account. The changes are automatically sent to swisscovery. Library-specific data, such as information on lending, requests and fees, are entered directly in swisscovery. Your user account can be deleted at any time provided there are no outstanding transactions (lending or fees). To delete your account contact SLSP via

Search history and transactions:
Your search history is deleted after you log out of swisscovery. It is not transferred and can only be viewed by the researcher during a search request. Transaction data is anonymised on a regular basis and swisscovery accounts are deleted after 10 years of inactivity.

Further information on data privacy can be found on the SLSP website.