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.

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!

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

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.  

  

Celebrating Neurodiversity: Resources Available in the Library

As part of the University of Aberdeen’s support for Neurodiversity Celebration Week (March 21-27), the Student Experience Team have put together a vibrant social media campaign, focusing on studying with various conditions, and exploring the meaning and implications of being neurodivergent across interconnected blog posts and social media sites, linked together by the Student Channel.

The Library would like to highlight materials from our collection that contain a wealth of resources and research on neurodiversity and its impact. Covering how the human brain can develop and interpret information and stimuli in myriad different ways; and how individuals can interact with the world in several ways, neurodiversity can be seen as an umbrella term for multiple conditions:

  • 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. Due to this, people can try to hide or ‘mask’ these conditions. 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.

ADHD

Approximately1-5% of the global population have Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD.) (Source: Neurodiversity Week). They are likely to be highly logical, energetic and focused.

Smart but stuck: Emotions in Teens and Adults with ADHD by Thomas E Brown: This book starts with the difficulties people with ADHD can have focusing, and how that can effect their academic, employment and social lives. It examines and explores a range of individual stories, and explores how treatment, support and medication can help.

The ADHD Explosion: Myths, Medication and today’s push for performance by Peter Hinshaw: Emphasising the attitude and approaches to treating and managing ADHD in the USA, this book argues for less medical intervention in the form of pills, and more social support from families, doctors, teachers, employers and businesses. It makes a strong case that this will help reduce the costs and controversy surrounding the high diagnosis rate across the country.

Accidental Intolerance: how we stigmatize ADHD and how we can stop by Susan Hawthorne : Similarly to Hinshaw, Hawthorne probes the issues surrounding our treatment of people with ADHD, looking at whether or not they have the same opportunities as their peers; or if they are struggling in a society that is inadvertently discriminating against them with an outdated view of ADHD and how it can affect people.

Dyslexia

10% of the population are dyslexic, meaning that they are creative, dynamic problem solvers & storytellers. (Source: Neurodiversity Week.)

Empowering Students with Hidden Disabilities: A Path to Pride and Success by Margo Verzog-Izzo: This inspiring work takes self-advocacy, mentoring and pride as it’s themes, and is aimed at educators and teachers who want their neurodiverse students to achieve their dreams and thrive. The author blends practical advice and insight with case studies of students who have been successful, and showcases how others can follow her lead.

Inclusive Education: Making Sense of Everyday Practice by Vicky Plows: A comprehensive look at the thirty-year campaign to build a strong, democratic education system that dismantles economic, cultural and physical barriers to learning, it examines a host of problems and issues that arise, including diversity.

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

International Women’s Day

Photo from Google Images

To mark International Women’s Day, from the 8th – 11th March the University of Aberdeen is hosting a series of in-person and online events. These include a panel discussion of female voices in the climate change debate, asking if there is space for women to be heard in the discussion, research and debate around the crucial decisions that need to be made.

We thought that this was a good opportunity to showcase a small selection of the books available in the library that dig deeper into women’s roles and involvement in climate change around the world: both from an academic perspective and through examining specific case studies and the work of countries and communities.

Ursula Oswald Spring: Pioneer on Gender, Peace, Development, Environment, Food and Water by Ursula Oswald Spring (available online)

Research, Action and Policy: Addressing the Gendered Impacts of Climate Change by Margaret Alston & Kerri Whittenbury (Proceedings of the Gender and Climate Change: Women, Research and Action Conference, available online)

Climate Technology, Gender and Justice: The standpoint of the vulnerable by Tina Sikka (available online)

Linking Gender to Climate Change Impacts in the Global South by Roy Sen (available online)

Women and the Energy Revolution in Asia by Reihana Mohideen (available online)

We do hope you enjoy reading and learning from these books. If you have any comments, questions or recommendations, please let us know.

Reading for Pleasure: Walter Scott & Song – Inspiring Stories to read over the Festive Season

Picture via Google Images

In honour of the 250th anniversary of his birth, the University of Aberdeen’s Museums & Special Collections have collaborated with the Walter Scott Research Centre on Walter Scott & Song: Retuning the Harp of the North. Exploring ballads, opera, and theatrical and popular songs, this online exhibition showcases the University of Aberdeen’s Walter Scott collections alongside musical recordings. As a best-selling author, Walter Scott introduced Scottish traditions to audiences across the world. His writings and song collections inspired both his readers in the 1800s, and future generations of musicians. 

Walter Scott (1771-1832) trained as a lawyer and practised in Edinburgh, but his true calling was for storytelling: he was deeply passionate about Scotland’s history and culture, and committed himself to showcasing and creating epic stories such as the Waverley novels and Rob Roy.

Like many others in the late 1700s and early 1800s, Scott had a deep interest in songs and stories that had been passed down by ordinary people over generations. As a young man, he gathered together ballads from the Scottish Borders, and published them in a book called Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border. ‘Battle of Otterbourne’ tells the story of a 1388 battle between a Scottish and an English family. Heavily influenced by the European romantic movement, he would go on to spark the imagination and creativity of generations of readers and writers.


Photo by Johannes Plenio on Pexels.com

Taking as our inspiration the folklore, myths and legends of Scotland and Europe, library staff have collated the following materials available both in the academic collection and from Aberdeen City Libraries. The Ground Floor of the Library hosts the Old Aberdeen branch of Aberdeen City Libraries, and more information can be found here.

On behalf of all Library, Special Collections and Museums staff, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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

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As Christmas approaches, we would like to remind students and staff about the possibility of borrowed items being requested by other users during the upcoming holidays. Library loans can be requested by other users up to and including Thursday 23 December.

Our libraries will close at 17:00 on Thursday 23 December 2021 and will open at 09:00 on Thursday 6 January 2022.

Library loans can continue to be requested by other users over this vacation period, so remember to return your books if you’re going away and will not be able to access them. However, any recalled items will not actually be due back while we are closed over Christmas. Make sure you check your e-mail to avoid starting the New Year with fines! 

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