New Open Access Publisher Agreements available

The Scholarly Communications team are pleased to announce that we have added Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press to our publisher open access agreements. Corresponding authors at the University of Aberdeen can publish research and review articles open access in participating journals at no cost. Please see our webpages or contact openaccess@abdn.ac.uk for more information.

Celebrating Neurodiversity: Resources Available in the Library

As part of the University of Aberdeen’s support for Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 15-21), the Library would like to highlight materials from our collection that contain a wealth of resources and research on neurodiversity and its impact.

Neurodiversity Celebration Week Graphic

Neurodiversity describes the many different ways that our brains can work and how we interpret information and see the world around us.You may also have friends and family who have conditions that come under this umbrella term. These include:

  • Autism
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia
  • ADHD

You may already be aware of the challenges that these conditions can pose, and unfortunately, the misconceptions that society has regarding them. However, they can also be a source of several strengths for individuals and collectively produce new and innovative products, services and research.

Neurodiversity

There are several perspectives on how different sectors of society work with neurodiversity and neurodiverse groups. In education, the following authors seek to empower and equip students and staff:

Neurodiversity in the Classroom: Strength-Based Strategies to help Students with Special Needs succeed in School and Life by Thomas Armstrong: This book takes an in-depth look at all aspects of neurodiversity, examining the conditions and highlighting the unique strengths that individuals can have, particularly spotlighting notable people who have achieved lasting recognition.

The Adolescent and Adult Neuro-diversity Handbook: Asperger’s Syndrome, ADHD, Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and Related Conditions by S Hendrickx: Aimed at young people and adults who may not have been formally diagnosed, but wish to know more about the range of conditions,their implications and get some advice regarding coping strategies.

Current Issues in Developmental Disorders by Chloe Marshall: Covering a range of conditions both on the neurodiversity spectrum and ‘syndromic conditions’ like Down’s syndrome, Marshall explores contemporary research in developmental psychology across all these conditions, seeking to understand the neurological bases of neurodivergence.

Ethics and Neurodiversity by C.D Herrera: In strongly challenging the view that neurodivergent individuals are not eligible for civil rights, Herrera’s work fully examines the moral and legal framework of society and where and how it needs to change.

Neurodiverse be the Policymakers! A Study Exploring News Text Informed Potential for Anxiety-Enhanced Policymaking and Guiding the Progressive Reporting of Mental Diversity by Damian Mellifont: This article explores the possibilities for a truly creative approach to Australia’s national mental-health policy and solving the social issues surrounding it-involving neurodiverse people in generating ideas for policy through harnessing their experiences and the grass-roots campaigning they’re largely involved in, as well as providing a framework for progressive journalism around the subject.

Autism & ADHD

Autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) are common conditions: with approximately 4% of people having ADHD and 2% diagnosed with Autism. (Source: Neurodiversity Celebration Week.)

People with autism and ADHD are widely considered to be highly logical, extremely detail-oriented, energetic and focused.

Autism in the Workplace: Creating Positive Employment and Career Outcomes for Generation A by Amy Hurley-Hanson: Focusing on the needs of those with ‘Autism Spectrum Disorders’ (ASD) in employment, this book strives to provide a detailed practical framework for employers, employees and educational institutions to ensure successful work experiences and careers.

Autistic Community and the Neurodiversity Movement: An overview of the history of autism rights campaigning, which critically examines the developments in perceptions of autism, the successes of particular advocacy work, and how individuals have influenced the neurodiversity movement.

The Dysregulated Adult Integrated Treatment Approaches by Georgia DeGangi: Focusing on a wide range of conditions, this item is a strong overview of diagnostic tools and checklists, including for autism and ADHD, that focuses on the medical side of treatments and managing the conditions.

Human Behaviour, Learning and the Developing Brain: Atypical Development by Donna Coch et al: Looking at some of the psychological and behavioural developments that underpin and define the various conditions, this gives an understanding into different medical theories on the subject.

Dyslexia & Dyspraxia

10% of the population are dyslexic, meaning that they are creative, dynamic problem solvers & storytellers. Similarly, 6% are dyspraxic, and thus are highly likely to be determined and strategic. (Source: Neurodiversity Celebration Week)

Living with Dyspraxia: A Guide for Adults with Developmental Dyspraxia by Mary Colley et al: Written with the insight of someone with dyspraxia who campaigns for support and inclusion, this gives a good grounding into the challenges faced by people with dyspraxia in daily life.

Dyslexia Included: A Whole School Approach by Michael Thomson: Based on the experiences of educators at a specialist school, this volume offers a range of tried and tested strategies and a wealth of advice for teachers in order to best help students.

Making Dyslexia Work for You by Vicki Goodwin: In a more user-focused approach, this book encourages the reader to put together their own ‘support package’: ideas, strategies and coping mechanisms that work for them in managing dyslexia.

More Information and Support

The University of Aberdeen is committed to providing a welcoming, secure and inclusive environment to all students, staff and visitors. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Team offer a plethora of information, training resources and links to support, student organisations and both staff and student networks across diversity and equality issues. More information and contact details for EDI are available from the University website .

Lucy Drysdale

Live Q&A sessions: Library resources and services

Issues or difficulties when looking for material to support your research? If the answer is yes, come along to one of our online Q&A sessions starting this week. You will be able to ask us any questions you may have and we’ll do our best to answer them. All levels of student are welcome.

The sessions will be delivered via Collaborate. To find out more and to book a place, please visit: abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

Please contact us if you have any queries
eleni.boro@abdn.ac.uk
s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk

04 February: Time to Talk Day

Today is Time to Talk Day – a day when everyone is encouraged to have a conversation about mental health. This year’s focus is on the power of small. However you have a conversation about mental health, whether it’s a quick message to a colleague, a virtual coffee morning, or a socially distanced walk and talk, it’s the small gestures that have the power to make a big difference.

See Me Scotland’s interactive bingo is full of ideas on how to start a mental health conversation. Click here to access it and share with your colleagues. How many can you tick off?

We want everyone at the University to feel they can be open about their mental health and ask for support if they need it. For information about the student counselling service and other support available for students please click here. For information about Care First and other support available for staff please click here.

Library service update

View of The Sir Duncan Rice Library from Elphinstone Road

We’ve made some important changes in response to new Covid-19 restrictions in mainland Scotland. Please take some time to review the changes before you visit.

  • The Sir Duncan Rice Library (TSDRL) will be open 10:00 – 17:00 Monday to Friday from Monday 11 January. The Medical and Taylor libraries will open at a later date when it is safe to do so.
  • There will be access to a limited number of study spaces in TSDRL however we ask that you use these spaces only if you have no other suitable study space available to you.
  • Books are only available on our Click and Collect Service and cannot be accessed freely on the shelves. (This is a Scottish Government requirement)
Please wear your face covering at all times. Please display your lanyard or show your exemption card if you are unable to wear a face covering.

We recognise the enormous value of the Library to our students and are working extremely hard to offer you Library services during this challenging time. Please help us by taking care to understand the rules and only visiting in person if you have an essential need. Please check the updated FAQ later on Monday 11 January, and email library@abdn.ac.uk if you cannot find answers to your questions.

If you have queries or comments specifically about our COVID-19 measures, please get in touch with coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Reading for Pleasure: Christmas 2020 Reading Adventures

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Coming to the end of this year, we are sure many of you have plans for a relaxing break. These past twelve months may also have left you in a reflective and inquiring mood. Whether you want to escape into a fictional world; or continue exploring ideas from your studies, we hope that this blog post will give you some inspiration.

Philosophy deals with the largest, most complex questions and problems facing humanity. Movies, television and culture explore stories based on these questions and give an opportunity for scholars to debate and discuss what the stories mean. They can also give rise to creative and exciting new worlds. Here at the library, several e-books in our collections have explored various queries and theories with reference to some of our greatest literary works:

Lord of the Rings and Philosophy by Gregory Bassham and Eric Bronson: A fantastic primer on Tolkien’s famous trilogy, bringing together international academics to debate whether or not superhuman power can be used for good, or do humans always become addicted and corrupt?

How to Live Forever: Science Fiction and Philosophy by Stephen Clarke broadens the questions that science fiction can explore. Sections here discuss technology and its ability to influence and assist humanity; and the world of medicine and its attendant concerns with immortality.

Photo by Ehud Neuhaus on Unsplash

A wealth of relevant fictional tales are available online from Aberdeen City Libraries using the ‘Borrow Box’ service. More information can be found here. Some examples of the items available include:

The Last Human by Lee Bacon: A story set in a dystopian world where humanity is (supposedly) extinct and Earth is run by machines. Everything seems perfect and in order without war, pollution, crime or poverty. What happens then, when a robot meets a 12-year old? Join XR-935 on this extremely unlikely friendship, and follow their poignant, funny adventure together as they work out what it really means to be human.

The Ghost Network: Activate by I.I Davidson: John, Slack, Akone and Salome are all passionate about computer coding, gaming and hacking; and are thrilled to be at ‘Wolf’s Den’, a specialist academy, with other technologically adept souls from around the world. Then they discover Project 31, a secret study run by the school’s leaders using the pupils themselves as guinea pigs, and two shocking facts: they are all legally dead, and John’s scientist father planted A.I inside him before mysteriously vanishing. In order to find answers and escape their enemies, the four of them must flee across the tundra.

Several of the themes here also work well in festive tales, where characters can build new lives and find new strengths. The following item is also available electronically from City Libraries:

The Clockwork Crow by Catherine Fisher: A Victorian mystery where orphaned Seren has to work out what a mysterious package contains, with the help of the strange ‘Christmas Crow’, a supernatural being who will lead her to ‘Tom’. Who is he? Can Seren trust him? And why must she find him before the owner of the parcel finds her? A fascinating adventure story exploring themes of family and belonging.

Another philosophical book that you can find on Primo is inspired by Tolkien’s contemporary and friend C. S Lewis:

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Worldview by Gregory Bassham & Jerry Walls: A great primer based on Lewis’ fantastic tales of adventures, magic and coming of age. It also covers the adult topics of morality, gender, free will and the implications of our choices.

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

It could be paired with a number of modern day adventure stories that explore growing up, and the questions that come with facing difficult experiences and decisions. Examples of stories in this vein available from Aberdeen City libraries include:

The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman: Sally Lockhart must track down her father’s killer. She’s perfectly equipped to do it, having had an unconventional upbringing for a Victorian lady: being a brilliant accountant who can ride like a Cossack, shoot like a demon and speak fluent Hindustani. Following the trail of the titular jewel, the first in this series is a masterful adventure story that completely transports you to historic London, India and China.

A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket: This series follows the Baudelaire children as they navigate the world of their eccentric extended family, outwitting and defeating their malevolent Uncle Olaf at every turn. Witty, absurd and extremely memorable. (Please note that the first of this series is available in audiobook format here, and you must be logged into the City Libraries online catalogue for this link to work. More information on how to join them can be found later in this post.)

The Storm Leopards by Holly Webb: A magical tale of family bonds and discovering new passions. When Isabelle and her family visit their local zoo, she comes across a beautiful snow leopard, and is entranced. Determined to help them, she soon finds out about conservation efforts in Mongolia centred on a mother leopard and her cubs.

Photo by Andreea Radu on Unsplash

Before you go, here are a further few suggestions for festive reading:

The Lost Casebooks of Sherlock Holmes by Donald Thomas: The game is afoot! Join Holmes and Watson for sixteen tales of intellectual derring-do that see them contend with ‘supernatural curses’, find lost treasures, assist Winston Churchill at Sydney Street and foil a German invasion.

Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle: If Thomas has whetted your appetite Aberdeen City Libraries have the original mysteries available in print and online, including audiobooks read by Stephen Fry.

Access to e-resources

To find out more about the City Libraries, their collections and services, please do visit their website here. Membership of Aberdeen City Libraries is available to people who work, live or study in Aberdeen City or Shire. If you are not already a member, you can join online now and start using the online services immediately. Sign up for free here.

To access our e-books remember to sign in to Primo; then in the ‘View Online’ section in Primo click on the name of the provider (e.g. Ebook Central) to link to the full-text of an e-book. If the e-book provider presents you with a Shibboleth authentication screen, enter your University username and password again.

Our Christmas Vacation hours can be found here.

On behalf of all library staff here at the University, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. And happy reading!

Lucy Drysdale

Podcast Series: A New History of the University of Aberdeen

To celebrate the University’s 525th Anniversary a new podcast series has been developed that will present a new history of the University of Aberdeen; one that accounts for the University’s activities in the transnational and global transmission of ideas since its foundation.

Listen now at: http://ow.ly/KsDY50CBncZ

Please find out more on the University’s event page: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/16216/

Jisc Survey on Open Access Book Publishing – Have your say!

Jisc’s Open research team is carrying out a survey to gather the views and opinions of academics regarding the open access publishing of books (including book chapters and edited collections). We’re keen to find out about:

  • Your publishing habits and motivations
  • How you regard open access book publishing considering the benefits and any concerns you foresee

The survey will take around 10-15 minutes to complete. If you would like to participate, please visit: https://bit.ly/33Bf5jk

Please contact Joanna Adams, Scholarly Communications Officer, with any questions you may have.

Leaving early for Christmas?Return your books before you go!

Library loans can be requested by other users up to and including Friday 11 December, so remember to return your books if you’re going away and will not be able to access them. Make sure you check your e-mail to avoid starting the New Year with fines! 

Please also remember that returned items go into quarantine for 72 hrs before you can collect them. Our libraries will close at 17:00 on Friday 18 December 2020 and will open at 09:00 on Wednesday 6 January 2021.

Recalls will be suspended for the Christmas Vacation period.

Please contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk with any questions you may have.