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.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Library Closures 2-5 June

Her Majesty The Queen is the first British Monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service.

To celebrate The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, the University of Aberdeen, including all library sites, will be closed from Thursday 2 June to Sunday 5 June, inclusive.

Our libraries will reopen on Monday 6 June. Please check our Library Opening Hours here.

Information on The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee events can be found here :

HM Government website

The Royal Family’s Platinum Jubilee website

Aberdeen City Council website

Did you know…? – Taking library books abroad

Did you know how to seek permission to take library books abroad?

You may need to take library books out of the country so that you can continue reading during your vacation. For items from The Sir Duncan Rice Library, please speak to a member of the Subject & Enquiry team. Staff can be found in the offices on floors 4-6.

It is best to go to the office closest to where the book is from – for example, for books on arts & humanities go to the Floor 4 office, for sciences go to the Floor 5 office, for social sciences & divinity go to the Floor 6 office. For books from Taylor (Law) or Medical libraries, please visit the branch and talk to staff on the issue desk.

You will be asked to fill out a short request form. The staff member will check that the books are suitable for taking abroad and finish filling out the form with you.

Please note that items are still subject to recall even when out of the country. If a book is recalled from you while abroad, you will need to post the book back to us. Make sure you check your University email regularly to avoid any fines.

It’s as simple as that! Please do get in contact if you have any further questions.

How do I return books?

Did you know the quickest and easiest way to return library books is at the Returns Room through the self-return machines? You will find the Returns Room on the Ground Floor of the Sir Duncan Rice Library.  

Photo by Library Staff

It’s as simple as placing the books through the slot one by one. As soon as they have passed through they are removed from your borrowing record. You don’t even need to use your ID card to return books this way.

You will also find an external slot on the right-hand side of the entrance to the Library. This is only available when the library is closed so you don’t need to wait for us to open to return your books! You will need your ID card to be able to use this.

Don’t forget to take your receipt as proof of your returned items.  

Heavy Demand books can be returned in the Heavy Demand Area on Floor 1 (using the self-issue/returns machine), or at the Returns Room.  

  

Summer Opening Hours at our Libraries

From Saturday 21 May our libraries will be moving to their Summer opening hours.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library

At The Sir Duncan Rice Library our 24-hour opening will end at 22:00 on Friday 20 May and we will move into our Summer hours from Saturday:

Monday08.30-20.00
Tuesday08.30-20.00
Wednesday08.30-20.00
Thursday08.30-20.00
Friday*08.30-20.00
Saturday 09.00-17.00
Sunday13.00-17.00

Please note: On Friday 10 June, The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be closing at 17:00 for a University event. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Taylor Library

The Taylor Library also moves into Summer hours beginning Saturday 21 May:

Monday09.00-17.00
Tuesday09.00-17.00
Wednesday09.00-17.00
Thursday09.00-17.00
Friday09.00-17.00
Saturday Closed
SundayClosed

You can see the current occupancy of both TSDRL and Taylor on our website.

Medical Library

Our Medical Library continues with their usual opening hours throughout Summer, here’s a reminder of the current hours:

Monday09.00-22.00
Tuesday09.00-22.00
Wednesday09.00-22.00
Thursday09.00-22.00
Friday09.00-20.00
Saturday 09.00-22:00
Sunday13.00-22.00

Stay up to date with our opening hours across all of our libraries on our website.

Live online sessions for PGT students on literature searching – May 25 & 26

As many taught postgraduate students begin work on their dissertations or projects, the Library is running a series of online sessions to help you find papers on your dissertation topic, access e-resources, or understand how to get the best out of Google.

The three-part series takes place next week, on Wednesday May 25 and Thursday May 26, and will be delivered online via Collaborate. They are open to all PGT students.

The three parts cover the following:

  • Part 1 – Planning a search, resources, access and support
  • Part 2 – Primo, ebooks and Google
  • Part 3 – Scopus and Web of Science databases

To find out more and to book a place, please visit abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking – just change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.

You may also find materials in our Refresher series of interest. The recordings in our Refresher series present techniques, tips and resources to help you find scholarly information and reliable support materials. The issues of plagiarism, referencing, planning a dissertation and writing a Literature Review are also covered.

Please do get in touch if you have any questions. e.grant@abdn.ac.uk

Mental Health Awareness Week at The Sir Duncan Rice Library

It’s Mental Health Awareness Week at The Sir Duncan Rice Library and we have multiple events throughout the week on the Ground Floor of the library. Make sure to take a break from studying and check out these events!

  • AUSA will be in the library all week with some information boards and interactive boards to help promote their Mental Health Awareness Week campaign.
  • Make sure to take some time out from studying and pledge to read for just six minutes on Wednesday 11th May in Scotland’s Reading Moment initiative to ‘Keep the heid and read!’ Make your pledge and read more information about the initiative here – https://www.keeptheheid.scot/#pledge
Keep the heid and read campaign poster. Take a mood boosting read on Wedesdnay 11th May - reading for just six minutes every day improves mental health and wellbeing. Pledge here at www.keeptheheid.scot/pledge #keeptheheid
  • We also have our last Therapets session of the semester on Wednesday 11th May 2-3pm. Pop along to see Nevis and Fonzie and take a well-deserved break from your studying.
  • In collaboration with our friends at the Aberdeen City Libraries and our very own Old Aberdeen Library. Ewan Scott, the Health and Wellbeing Librarian for Aberdeen City Libraries is coming in to engage with students, staff and visitors on Wednesday from 2-3pm. Pop along and say hello!

We look forward to seeing you all and remember to take regular breaks from studying!

Therapet dogs in the Library

Last Wednesday afternoon, students and staff in the Sir Duncan Rice Library had a visit from Canine Concern Scotland Trust’s Therapet dogs. The dogs are back in the Library today, and we will be having weekly visits from the Therapets until 10th May – please see below for details. Therapets also attended the University’s recent Live on the Lawn event, where they were a very popular attraction!

Canine Concern Scotland Trust (CCST) is a charitable organisation where owners and their pets can volunteer to visit various groups of people. Dogs must undergo an assessment to ensure they are well-suited to meeting lots of different people, including in schools and universities, care homes, and hospitals. Therapets have been shown to reduce stress and promote wellbeing in students, as detailed in this pilot project, and this article.

Ground floor of the library showing dogs being doted on my students and staff.

We met Leo, Nevis, and Zela with their owners. Leo, a rough collie, was very relaxed and reclined on the floor to receive his adoring public. Nevis, a flat-coated retriever, was really excited to meet everyone! Her tail got a good work-out from wagging so much. Zela, a miniature poodle, was a very attentive listener, her head tilted as she watched people fuss over her. For our future sessions, Nevis and Zela will be present.

We will be having further visits from our canine friends every Wednesday until 10th May, the dates and times of these sessions are below:

  • 6 April, 2-3pm
  • 13 April, 11am-12pm
  • 20 April, 2-3pm
  • 27 April, 2-3pm
  • 4 May, 11am-12pm
  • 11 May, 2-3pm

They will be situated towards the back of the ground floor of the Sir Duncan Rice Library. No booking is required but these sessions may be busy, so please be aware that you will only get a limited time with the dogs.