A short introduction to Very Short Introductions

The perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly …

Launched by Oxford University Press in 1995, Very Short Introductions offer concise introductions to a diverse range of subject areas from Climate to Consciousness, Game Theory to Ancient Warfare, Privacy to Islamic History, Economics to Literary Theory.

Since the series was launched it has continued to offer new books each year for students and scholars, and the avidly curious, offering a bridge between reference content and higher academic work. All titles provide intelligent and serious introductions to a huge range of subjects, written by experts in the field who combine facts, analysis, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make challenging topics highly readable.

Hundreds of Very Short Introductions now online

Available for institutional subscription …

By making Very Short Introductions available online, scholars and students can discover new research journeys across subjects. Find out more by watching the video below:


“This is such a fabulous service: in addition to access to the VSI titles, blog essays written by the VSI authors are included, along with author videos, and reading guides as well as an online tour, help pages, and FAQs … The editors have certainly tried to make this service as useful for libraries as possible … If you are a librarian, you simply MUST check out this new resource!”

GrrlScientist, hosted by The Guardian. Read the full review

View a complete list of titles currently available online.

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Through the Oxford Index, a free search and discovery tool from Oxford University Press, Very Short Introductions can be found directly alongside reference, biography, bibliography, monograph, dictionary, scholarly, and journal content, making them a more integrated and accessible part of digital research journeys than ever before. 

Connect with Very Short Introductions

This resource will be regularly updated with the newest Very Short Introductions – sign up to the RSS feed to keep up-to-date with the latest additions.

Read blog posts from many of our authors on the OUPblog, engage with us through the official Facebook page, and watch author videos.

Obtaining access to Very Short Introductions

If you are a Librarian, you can find out how to subscribe or contact us for a 30-day free trial.

If you are an academic or a student, please recommend Very Short Introductions to your librarian

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Have a question? See if someone else has already asked it in our Frequently Asked Questions, take a tour of the site, or read the extensive help pages.

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