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!

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

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.

New UKRI Open Access Policy

UK Research and Innovation logo

UKRI will implement a new open access policy in 2022 that will allow more opportunity for the findings of publicly funded research to be accessed, shared and reused. There are some significant changes so it is important that you are aware of this. The new policy will apply to peer reviewed research and review articles and conference papers submitted for publication from 1st April 2022 to publications with an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and will be extended to include monographs from 1st January 2024. UKRI will provide increased funding to support compliance with this policy for both research articles and in-scope longform publications with further information on the block grant due in December 2021.

Authors can publish their output in the journal or platform they consider most appropriate for their research, provided UKRI’s open access requirements are met via one of two open access routes.

Gold Open Access – the final published article is published immediately open access on the publisher website, free to read, download and reuse under licence, usually requires payment to publish.

  • publish in an open access publication or platform where the version of record (VoR) is made immediately open access on publication
  • apply a CC BY licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder
  • may require payment of an Article Processing Charge (APC); see here for information on the block grant
  • the University has signed up to a number of transitional open access publisher agreements where you can publish your research gold open access at no cost to you
  • use of the block grant for publishing in an ‘hybrid’ journal that is not part of a transitional agreement will no longer be permitted

Green Open Access – a version of the article, usually the unformatted manuscript as accepted for publication after peer-review, is deposited in an institutional or subject repository. Free to publish but requires a subscription to read the VoR.

  • deposit the author accepted manuscript (AAM) in a subject or institutional repository immediately on first online publication. The AAM is the author’s final draft including corrections resulting from peer review but before the publisher formatting has been applied
  • apply a CC BY Creative Commons licence or where an article is subject to Crown Copyright, An Open Government Licence (OGL)
  • CC BY-ND licence allowed by exception agreed with funder (UKRI will outline process in November 2021)
  • embargoes on making the manuscript publicly available are no longer permitted
  • submissions taking the green route must include a statement in the funding acknowledgement section of the manuscript and any cover letter/note accompanying the submission stating that a specific licence (e.g. CC BY,  OGL, CC BY ND) will apply to any Author Accepted Manuscript version arising

For either open access route, biomedical research articles that acknowledge MRC or BBSRC funding are required to be archived in Europe PubMed Central, in accordance with MRC’s Additional Terms and Conditions and BBSRC’s Safeguarding Good Research Policy.

Published outputs must include a statement to specify how the underlying research data can be accessed.

From 1st January 2024 the open access policy will apply to in-scope monographs, book chapters and edited collections. See the UKRI open access policy for further information on whether your output is in-scope.

  • the VoR or AAM must be free to view and download via an online publication platform, publishers’ website, or institutional or subject repository no later than 12 months after publication
  • a Creative Commons licence must be applied, a CC BY licence is preferred but other Creative Commons licences will be permitted (or OGL where required) which allow the reader to search for and reuse content, subject to proper attribution
  • the open access version should include, where possible, any images, illustrations, tables and other supporting content but where copyright for these is held by a third party and require a more restrictive licence the policy does not apply
  • where an Author’s Accepted Manuscript is deposited, it should be clear that this is not the final published version

The Scholarly Communications Team in the Library are here to help you ensure that your research outputs comply with the UKRI open access policy. We will provide communications to our researchers as more information is made available by UKRI. Key resources for community engagement are to be made available by UKRI in January 2021.

You should continue to send details of newly accepted papers to paperaccepted@abdn.ac.uk to ensure deposit in Pure/AURA in compliance with funder and current REF policy. See our webpages or contact us for more information.

The University Librarian would be also pleased to attend relevant School meetings to listen to views and answer questions.



Your library staff recommend…Scotland, Africa and Slavery in the Caribbean: books on a North East story

The University of Aberdeen’s Museums and Special Collections Team have a number of online exhibitions, on a variety of topics. This blog post focuses on the Scotland, Africa and Slavery in the Caribbean exhibition currently available online.

After the Union of Scotland and England in 1707, North East Scots eagerly claimed a share of the riches generated by slavery, especially in the Caribbean. The exhibition which was originally created to mark the 200th anniversary of Britain’s abolition of the African slave trade in 1807, presents research into violence against enslaved people in labour camps and the financial profits from slavery.

Library staff have selected a range of books in our collections that showcase the many different aspects of both the slave trade and the anti-slavery movement.

Recommended by Lucy Drysdale: A Monograph being a Contribution towards the History of the Abolition of the Slave Trade & Slavery by James Eames: Addressed to the Earl of Shaftsbury and published in 1854, this book is a blistering condemnation of slavery; and invites the Earl to follow the abolitionist’s example in the form of a detailed examination of Clarkson’s work as a “wise, zealous and untiring advocate for the rights and privileges of mankind…” Exploring his adult life from the point of winning prizes for his anti-slavery dissertation at Cambridge to working with luminaries such as William Wilberforce and Granville Sharp, and their final successes in Parliament, the narrative combines moral and philosophical arguments against the slave trade with historical biography and insight into the writings and thoughts of Clarkson and his fellow abolitionists.

Photo by Suzy Hazelwood on Pexels.com

Recommended by Louise Faustino: The Reaper’s Garden: Death and Power in the World of Atlantic Slavery by Vincent Brown: This book is multidisciplinary, part social history and part anthropology. It is themed around the “extravagant death rate” in Jamaica during the era of slavery, amongst all sectors of the population whether enslaved or free, white, or black. It outlines the horrifying violence that was a continual method of creating and maintaining slavery throughout the world. Further it examines how “mortuary politics”, that is, practices around death, were central in creating culture and giving communities opportunity for change, particularly in the abolitionist movement. Jamaica and its story are used to explain the racial culture of the making of the United States and the world of Britain too.

Recommended by Sarah Todd: The Interesting Narrative by Olaudah Equiano: A contemporary autobiography, Equiano tells his tale of life in southern Nigeria, enduring the brutality of plantation slavery, winning his freedom, and his subsequent life as a pre-eminent abolitionist, businessman, public speaker and author. With deliberation, piercing insight and deep humanity, he outlines the physical, mental and spiritual journeys his life contained, and how he developed his strong faith and speaking and writing abilities. Finally, the book lays the seeds of his legacy as a pioneering abolitionist.

Photo of Olaudah Equiano. Source: Wikimedia Commons (Project Gutenberg)

Other books held in the Library’s collections give evidence on historical debates around abolition, highlight the differences in international law and attitudes, and explore the consequences of abolitionism in contemporary Scottish politics and society. Joseph Knight by James Robertson is a novel based on the landmark court case between Knight, an enslaved African brought back to Scotland from Jamaica, and his master John Wedderburn, a wealthy sugar-plantation owner. Taking place in 1778, this momentous legal trial ended with the ruling that the slave laws of Jamaica did not apply in Scotland, making Joseph a free man. Robertson’s “gift for witty re-imagining” and his “canny understanding of the novelistic and its conduits to the world we live in now” is evident as the story moves to Knight’s life following his emancipation; exploring the concepts of slavery and freedom with “cunning and great assurance.”

Zachary Macaulay via Wikimedia Commons

The Joseph Knight case came during a period of history where individuals all over the world were strongly challenging slavery and the political and commercial organisations that kept this brutal practice alive. Many of them, such as Clarkson and Equiano, are justly famous, but figures such as Zachary Macaulay are less well known. Born in Inverary and beginning his adult life as a plantation overseer, Macaulay soon discovered that slavery was a “foul stain upon this nation”, and embarked on a 40 year career of research, campaigning and writing for the cause in the UK and Sierra Leone. Iain Whyte’s Zachary Macaulay 1768-1838: The Steadfast Scot in the British Anti-Slavery Movement follows his subject’s efforts to balance his passion for this work with his personal shyness and desire for anonymity. Catherine Hall is another author who examines Macaulay closely; this time through looking at his legacy and the impact he made on his son Thomas: her work Macaulay and Son: Architects of Imperial Britain examines the deep contrasts between them: the “evangelical humanitarianism” of the abolitionist and reformer against the “liberal imperialism” of the Victorian historian.

Elsewhere in our collection, we see strong friendships forming, and an international dimension to the anti-slavery movement. An example of this can be seen in “Geographies of Early Anti-Racist Protests in Britain: Ida B Wells 1893 Anti-Lynching Tour in Scotland” (Chapter 6 in the “Activists, Visionaries and Artists” section of Africa in Scotland, Scotland in Africa: Historical Legacies and Contemporary Hybridities.) The chapter details Wells’ life in America and her pioneering struggles as a teacher, journalist and activist in the USA; and her work on both sides of the Atlantic, working with like-minded British women such as Aberdeen-based Isabella Fyvie Mayo, in whose home Wells stayed while in Scotland in 1893; and Catherine Impey, founder of “Anti-Caste”, possibly the first British journal against racism. It explores how these three women met and worked together with other like-minded souls throughout the 1890s to consistently “keep plugging away at the evils they were fighting.” From the first speech Wells gave in the Music Hall in Aberdeen, the chapter provides a deep insight into the tour, the formation of ‘The Society of the Recognition of the Brotherhood of Man (SRBM)’ alongside it, and the strong public response to Wells and her speeches and writings across Scotland and England.

A broader perspective on this period in history; and how culture and society across the country was influenced by the changing political and social landscape can be found in Scotland and the Caribbean c.1740-1833: Atlantic Archipelagos. Written by former Aberdeen academic Michael Morris, this work fully examines the literature and poetry of the time, and explores and discusses how the imperial vision of the Scottish and British colonists in the Caribbean gave way to the realities of abolition and emancipation across the country, paying particular attention to figures such as Robert Burns, Joseph Knight and the Wedderburn family. Similarly, ‘Send Back the Money!’: the Free Church of Scotland and American Slavery by Iain Whyte is “an exciting investigation” of the growing opposition to slavery, and the various roles the Church played in galvanising support, spreading information and driving the national campaign. Finally, detailed information on local activities can be found in records of the Aberdeen Anti-Slavery Society, which can be accessed via our Special Collections Centre.

These selected items examine the themes, questions and some of the individuals featured in the exhibition from a variety of perspectives. We hope that you will gain a better understanding of this period from these resources, and welcome your comments and suggestions as we continue to develop our collections.


Lucy Drysdale, Louise Faustino & Sarah Todd. Many thanks to the Museums and Special Collections Team.

EBSCO Quick Guide

The EBSCO platform contains databases across many subject areas. Each database contains information on research published in selected journals and conferences. Some of the databases contain information related to books. Here are the databases currently available from EBSCO:  

Anthropology Plus, Art & Architecture Complete, ATLA Religion Database, British Education Index, Child Development & Adolescent Studies, CINAHL, Education Abstracts, Educational Administration Abstracts,  ERIC, European Views of the Americas: 1493 to 1750, GreenFILE, LISTA, MLA International Bibliography with Full Text, RILM Abstracts of Music Literature, SPORTDiscus, Teacher Reference Center.  

Sign in to Primo and search for a title. If the book is available from EBSCO, the following steps will apply:

 Click on the title of the book to be taken to the book details page and navigate to the full text using your University username and password.

Once you are in EBSCO, the book will be displayed like so:

You have the options of Reading the book online (PDF Full Text) or Download the item. If you choose reading online, it will display like this:  

If you choose to download, the following messages will be displayed on your screen. Please note that different books may have different downloading options, depending on the Digital Rights Management (DRM) agreements. For a non-DRM book, the steps to download are as follows:  

The image is showing the prompt that will appear to 'Download Ebook.' There are options to do this as a PDF, or as an 'E-PUB' for mobile devices.
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is down-arrow-2.png

For a book requiring a DRM licence, please note that you will need to set up an EBSCO Personal Account. Advice on how to do so can be found in this section of the support site: How to create and manage an EBSCO Account.

To download, select your preferred ‘Download Format’ like so:  

Once the item is downloaded, the site recommends you open it with Adobe Reader. More information can be found at:  

Searching within EBSCO Books in the eBook Viewer
Adobe Digital Editions: Download

User Features in EBSCO  

Once you have found the book(s) you need in EBSCO, there are a range of options as to how you can use them. This Tools section can be found on the right hand side of the item’s display page as shown:  

If you are reading online, similar icons are displayed across the top of the screen:  

Adding/Saving Items to Folder: EBSCO offers this feature to act as a virtual bookshelf, where you also have options to save, print or email the details, and export them to RefWorks or similar programmes.  

Exporting Bibliographic Details to Ref Works-Option to Export on right hand side of screen. Opens links to Ref Works and other providers, and can directly export. For further help, please see our detailed Library Guides.   

Accessibility-The Help section includes an Accessibility Guide covering navigation of the site, the readers (PDF and EPUB), read aloud software and EBSCO’s commitments.

Help and Support-Extensive Help section on website (top right-hand side of screen). Includes user guides, accessibility pages and tutorials.  

Licences-There are three categories here: ‘Unlimited User Access’; ‘Limited Access (3 Users)’, and ‘Limited Access (1 User)’. If the book is unavailable, the site will give various messages along the lines of ‘Item unable to download. Please Read Online’ or ‘Item unavailable for download, please try again later.’  

If you wish to search a specific database on the EBSCO platform, please follow these steps:  

  1. Go to Primo and sign in at the top right of the screen 
  1.  Select the Find Databases tab 
  1. In the new window that appears enter EBSCO in the box called Database Search and click on search 
  1. A list will be created containing the different databases which we currently have access to through the EBSCO platform  
  1. Click on any one of the databases to link out to the EBSCO platform. Primo will open the database’s details page. In the View Online section click on the name of the database e.g. ERIC (EBSCO). Once on EBSCO you can change the particular database you are actually searching in. If off-campus, you may be asked to sign in via your institution. Select University of Aberdeen and sign in with your username and password. 

For more information see our EBSCO worksheet

Lucy Drysdale and Louise Faustino