Maths drop-in sessions for exam preparation in The Sir Duncan Rice Library

Dr Morgiane Richard of the University’s Student Learning Service (SLS) will be holding Maths drop-in sessions in The Sir Duncan Rice Library next week, to provide the support you may need while you are preparing for your exams.

You will be able to find her on Floor 5 of the library, room 506. There is no need to book, just drop in with your questions. Please note that the whole of Floor 5 is designated as a silent area until the end of the exam period so we ask that you observe the rules while making your way to the room.

Dr Richard will be available at the following times:

  • Tuesday 29 November: 12.00-14.00
  • Wednesday 30 November: 12.00-14.00
  • Thursday 1 December: 12.00-14.00
  • Friday 2 December: 12.00-14.00

Please contact Dr Morgiane Richard if you have any further questions: m.richard@abdn.ac.uk

24 Hour Opening in The Sir Duncan Rice Library

In the lead up to the fast-approaching exam period, The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be extending its opening hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are only a few days until this goes into effect, and we want to let you know just now so that you can properly plan your revision.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will open at 11.00 on Sunday 20 November and stay open continuously until 22.00 on Friday 16 December, 2022.

Over this period, it is important that you are aware of the following:

  • Swipe access only after 22.00 – please ensure you have your ID card as access after 22.00 will not be permitted without it.
  • The PCs require a nightly shutdown (lasting about ten minutes) and reboot for essential maintenance. You will be given an option to delay this for two hours.
  • Essential cleaning of the building will be carried out overnight between 02.00 and 06.00, which may result in some disruption.
  • Look after yourselves and your belongings – take breaks, but do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
  • Take care if leaving the Library in the early hours – travel with friends if possible.

Please respect the building and your fellow library users:

  1. Hot and cold drinks in covered containers can be consumed in the library.
  2. Hot food is only allowed in the café area on the ground floor.
  3. Only cold food can be consumed on the upper floors – please no noisy food or food with a strong smell.
  4. Tidy up after yourself – use the bins and sanitary wipes which are available on each of the floors.
  5. Keep talk to the group study areas to allow others to study.

Please report any problems to security staff on duty – in person (Information Centre,
Floor 1, TSDRL) or by phone (01224 273330).

Please remember to check the opening hours for our other two Library sites, as Taylor and Medical will not be open 24/7 during these dates.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk.

A reminder that Floor 5 in the Sir Duncan Rice Library will operate as a “silent” floor between Monday 21 November and Friday 16 December. For more information please see our previous blog post.

Silent Study: Floor 5 of The Sir Duncan Rice Library 21 November-16 December

Our returning students may recall that pre-pandemic, the Library responded to feedback for more quiet study space in the lead-up to and during exams by designating the whole of Floor 5 in The Sir Duncan Rice Library a Silent Study Space. 

During the 2022 exam period, Floor 5 of the Sir Duncan Rice Library will once again operate as a “silent” floor, from Monday 21 November until Friday 16 December 2022.

We ask that users observe the following rules on Floor 5:

  • No discussions, conversations or group study
  • No phone calls
  • Go to the stairwells to make or take phone calls, or hold conversations

We realise that noise travels through the building, so we will also provide free earplugs to anyone who wants them. These will be available for collection from the Welcome Desk, on the Ground Floor of the Library.

In addition to the Floor 5 Silent Study Space, our designated Silent Study rooms on Floors 3, 4, 5 and 6 on the south side of the building will operate as normal. Note that laptops are not allowed in the Silent Study room on Floor 6 (Room 624) – the only Silent Study Room where devices are not allowed.

Elsewhere in the building, we encourage all users to keep noise and conversations to a minimum. Library staff will be readily available throughout the Library to promote an environment conducive to study. Feedback and comments on the Floor 5 Silent Study Space will be very welcome.

If you require space for group discussion and collaborative working, have you considered booking a space across our different Libraries? See our website for further details.

Please note that cleaning and vacuuming will take place through the night on all floors, including Floor 5, and that we are unable to control the noise caused by our hand driers.

Information skills workshops for PhD students

The Library is here to help all postgraduate researchers with a series of information skills workshops which will take place on the 7th, 8th & 9th of November. 

Photo by Keira Burton on Pexels.com

There are three workshops on offer, each lasting two hours:

  • Literature searching – Part 1: Getting started
  • Literature searching – Part 2: Using databases
  • Literature searching – Part 3:  Managing references using RefWorks

Across the three workshops we will look at: planning a search, looking for books, using databases of academic literature, getting the best out of Google and managing references with RefWorks.

Please note that the session on RefWorks is not suitable for postgraduates in the School of Law. 

For more information and to book a place on these sessions, please visit: www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for ‘Library Information Skills’ classes.

International Open Access Week

International Open Access Week is less than a month away! From the 24th-28th October, please join the University of Aberdeen’s Open Research team in promoting open research and access for all academics, students and researchers alike. The week will kick off with our “Fresh Perspectives” online conversation with 6 academics and advocates leading the discussion on the latest in Open Research.

Blue poster with the University of Aberdeen logo in the top right corner. The text reads, International Open Access Week, 24-28 October 2022. The image has line drawings of The Sir Duncan Rice Library and King's College.

Tuesday will see the re-launch of Aberdeen University Press as a fully online open access publisher and on Wednesday a Roundtable discussion takes place with the 5 Interdisciplinary Centre Directors. These will be followed by a drop-in session for our Postgraduate Students on Thursday, offering the chance for students to chat with experts in many different elements of research and learn how the University can help throughout your entire research project. Finish the week off by attending our online session, “Open Data – the next 10 years”, with a panel of Open Data experts sharing their predictions for what happens next.

The week invites countless opportunities, for newcomers to the topic of Open Access and Research and for those more familiar with it, to engage in discussion and present any questions or ideas to experts in the field.

Now’s your chance! Book your FREE tickets at: https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/university-of-aberdeen-international-open-access-week.

View the full programme of events

Janine Awunyo

Accessing Library resources off-campus

While studying off-campus, you will still be able to access the Library’s databases and resources using your own device. We recommend that you first sign in to Primo, our online portal to e-resources, as this will make the process easier.

Once you have accessed Primo, you will need to use the Find Databases tab to access the e-resources you need for your studies. The majority of these services simply require an Institutional/Shibboleth login. More information and advice on using these resources and Shibboleth access can be found in the Accessing e-resources guide.

A set number of our databases also require an IP Address Authentication when logging in on-campus, and you can find out more information on them in this guide. In order to use these off-campus, you will have to use our Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). Full instructions on accessing this are available from the Remote Access pages on the University Toolkit.

Photo by Mikhail Nilov on Pexels.com

If you require any further information or advice on this matter, then Library staff are happy to help. The Subject & Enquiry Team can be found at the Information Centre on Floor 1 of the Sir Duncan Rice Library, or in their offices on Floors 5 & 6. Alternatively, please email us at library@abdn.ac.uk.

Welcome to the Library

We have been excited to see our new and returning students in the Library. Library staff are here to help you make the most of our resources and services, whether you are based on, or off, campus. Please get in touch with any queries you may have.

For general or subject-related enquiries, contact us on library@abdn.ac.uk, or please do enquire in person: Library staff will be available at set times at the Information Centre on Floor 1, or on Floors 5 & 6 of the Sir Duncan Rice Library.

If you wish to contact the Information Consultant for your discipline, their contact details are available here.

Library Resources

When searching for books on your Reading List, or other resources, please use the Library’s discovery tool, Primo. Primo provides information about our printed resources, and is also the recommended access route to our extensive e-resources, digital collections and databases.

Our comprehensive Library guides offer detailed answers to any questions you may have about our resources. If you haven’t used Primo before, you may find the following guides helpful:

Primo Quick Guide
Primo: How to do a simple search successfully  
Primo: How to do an advanced search successfully
Accessing e-resources 

Please do contact Library staff if you are having trouble accessing or finding your resources. We are happy to help.

IT Issues

If you have any problems with your device or accessing information, please contact the IT Service Desk. Contact information can be found here.

Visiting the Library

Please note that there is now a webpage on our site where you can see the current occupancy of the Sir Duncan Rice library and the Taylor library. Opening hours for all Library sites can be found here.

Please follow us on our social media channels to keep up with news from the Library. Once again, we would like to extend a warm welcome to all our students and wish you all a happy start to the new academic year.

Did you know: Working on your thesis? Help is available in the Library

Here’s an outline of what help is available from the Library and IT Services for those of you working on your thesis.

Searching for theses in your subject area

You can access three large databases of theses through Primo:

  1. Sign in to Primo
  2. Click on the Find Databases tab
  3. From the left-hand menu, click on the arrow next to All General Resources
  4. Select Theses from the options shown
  5. Then click on each database for more information and to link out and search for relevant theses.

For further information and more theses databases, please see this guidance document created by Library staff.

A selection of University of Aberdeen theses are also available in the Digital Collections section of Primo. There are both Research and Taught Course theses covering a range of programmes, but it doesn’t contain all theses and dissertations submitted at the University of Aberdeen. For Research Theses:

  1. Sign in to Primo
  2. Click on the Digital Collections tab
  3. Select Research theses
  4. The theses are arranged in Subject Collections

Information Skills

Our Find it Fast! Wiki is packed with material to help with your information skills, from planning your search to referencing. There is a specific section for Postgraduate Researchers. There are also runs regular online sessions about pertinent topics such as literature searching. More information and details of how to book can be found in Online Information Skills Workshops for PhD students: now open for booking.

Our Toolkit also provides a wealth of information on IT and Academic Skills to assist in organising and managing your time and information. The IT Services Team have also created the Working with Long Documents section, which has plenty of handy videos and guides to help you with creating and manipulating long documents in MS Word.

Remember, we are here to support you through your studies, so if you require further help and advice, please do contact us via informationconsultants@abdn.ac.uk.

Best of luck to all those of you working on your thesis!

Online Information Skills workshops for PhD researchers: now open for booking

As you begin, or continue your PhD, it is important that you feel confident that you are locating and managing all the literature and information you require to achieve your research aims.

The Library Service is here to support your research so we will be running a series of three Online Information Skills Workshops starting at the end of June 2022. The workshops’ aim is to help you understand the resources available to you as researchers here at the University of Aberdeen, and how to get the best out of them. Read on for further information on the workshops.

28 June
Literature searching: Part 1 – Planning a search, resources, access and support

  • Planning your search, using Boolean operators and applying search rules
  • Using Primo to identify possible resources to support your research
  • Accessing resources (authentication – Shibboleth and other routes)
  • Library help and support

28 June
Literature searching: Part 2 – Primo, ebooks and Google

  • How to get the best out of Primo (the library catalogue and discovery tool)
  • Ebook collections
  • Streamlining your searches in Google, Google Scholar and other search engines

29 June
Literature searching: Part 3 – Scopus and Web of Science databases

Overview of the features and options within the two largest and broadest databases that we have access to. The training slot is one hour, however, there is an option to re-join the session later in the morning to ask questions once you have had the chance to try things out for yourself.

Feedback from those who have previously attended these sessions has been positive and highlights how after attending, students felt better equipped to find and manage the materials they need for research. One quote from a previous attendee nicely sums up what we are aiming for with these sessions:

“I will definitely be searching smarter than before”

Our aim is that after you attend, you will also leave feeling this way.

To find out more, and to book onto the different workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Information Skills classes.

Did you know…? – help with referencing

It’s not too early to start thinking about your referencing. Once you have researched and begun writing your dissertation or project you must remember to correctly acknowledge the sources of any information which you refer to. This allows readers to trace the original material while also ensuring that you avoid potentially committing plagiarism.  

To help you with your referencing, Library staff have prepared several online guides with useful examples. We have a generic guide on Referencing and Citing as well as others focused on specific referencing systems or subject areas:  

Please be sure to read any specific referencing guidance which you may have been provided by your department. You can also see advice on avoiding plagiarism on the Student Learning Service’s website and PGT students can check in MyAberdeen for materials on academic writing and avoiding plagiarism. 

We also have access to a really useful book by Colin Neville called Complete guide to referencing and avoiding plagiarism which goes over topics from why you need to reference, where, the different referencing styles, plagiarism and how to express your own ideas in an assignment. 

If you need any help with referencing your dissertation or project please feel free to contact Library staff with any questions you may have.