Once the exams are over, many taught postgraduate students will be turning their attention to their dissertations or projects. Library staff and the IT Service Desk’s Training and Documentation team are here to help you with a series of workshops.
Library There are four Library workshops on offer and they will be taking place from 29 May – 01 June:
Part 1 – Starting your dissertation research. Covers planning, using Primo to find print and electronic books and how to get the best out of search engines such as Google
Part 2 – Going further with your dissertation research. Covers how to identify, access and use the most suitable academic databases to find research level material in your subject.
Part 3 –Academic Integrity and Referencing. Offers an overview of academic integrity and how this relates to your dissertation. General tips and advice on how to avoid plagiarism in terms of correct referencing and citing conventions will also be provided. The session also covers the three common approaches to referencing, ie. Harvard, Vancouver, Oxford.
Part 4 – Managing your dissertation research. Carries on from Part 2, going into more detail on referencing and using ProQuest RefWorks.
PLEASE NOTE: RefWorks is of limited use to those using Footnote referencing styles, such as OSCOLA.
Training and Documentation Team Colleagues in the Training and Documentation Team will be running the following workshops:
Microsoft Word: Working with long documents(24 May & 01 June) By the end of this course you will be able to define and use an appropriate template, understand and modify inbuilt styles, apply multi-level numbering, apply page and section breaks, insert page numbers, images and tables, use captions for images/tables, create cross-references and automatic tables of contents and tables of figures.
Creating Posters using PowerPoint (30 May) During the course you will have the opportunity to create an A0 poster using PowerPoint, insert backgrounds, titles, text, graphics, and charts (images and text will be supplied). After a short presentation, you will work at your own pace from a workbook. A tutor will be on hand to help.
To find out more and sign up to attend one of these popular workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for courses on Library Information skills and MS Office. Do this soon, as places go fast!
Thursday 18th May 2023 is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD)! From their website: “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital access and inclusion, and the more than One Billion people with disabilities/impairments.”
Library staff are committed to offering accessible digital resources to those who need them. When we purchase books and other resources, our preference is to buy electronic versions. However, this isn’t always possible due to licence or publishing restrictions. We have access to some additional free services for qualifying users – please get in touch to discuss how we can help you.
Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, please contact us any time, for any reason. We’re happy to answer any questions: if we can’t help, we’ll find out who can!
RNIB Bookshare is a database of electronic resources offered by the Royal National Institute of the Blind. Their collection includes more than a million books and is completely free to use! All books can be downloaded in various formats and are compatible with screen readers and other assistive software. More information can be found on the RNIB Bookshare website.
To request an account, please ask your disability advisor to contact Library staff – this is so that we can make sure you meet RNIB Bookshare’s eligibility criteria. Library staff will create an account on your behalf then send you an email with the login details. Your account can be used until you leave the University.
Requests to publishers
Library staff can request free accessible materials directly from publishers. To do this, we must meet one of the following criteria:
at least one print copy of the title in stock, or
have electronic access to the title (but for disability-related reasons the student would benefit from a different file type or format), or
the student will own a personal copy and can provide proof of purchase which will be sent to the publisher
This isn’t always successful, or very quick, but we are more than happy to make requests. If you need access to a specific item, please email us at email@example.com with the title, author’s name, year/edition, and the format you require (eg. PDF, EPUB, or even a print copy). All enquiries are strictly confidential: we don’t share your details with publishers, and we’ll never share your personal information without your consent.
If you need access to a work available only in physical format, library staff can scan items on your behalf. These are only for personal use and must not be shared with anyone else. To make requests, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with book/article details. We will get back to you if we have any questions, then email the scan to you.
The library works closely with teaching staff to provide digital reading lists for each course. These are hosted in a web-based software package called Leganto. Leganto is compatible with screen readers and has options to change contrast, font size, and pop-up duration. It is also possible to export your entire reading list into an accessible file.
When essential materials are only available in physical format, teaching staff can request digital scans. These must comply with copyright law, so are usually less than 10% of the total work (more information on copyright can be found on our website). These scans can be accessed directly from Leganto and can be read using Optical Character Recognition (OCR).
Many of our e-resource providers and databases offer features to help with accessibility. For example, VLEBooks offers a Readaloud feature, allowing you to use text-to-speech from any browser. A list of accessibility statements from providers can be found on our website.
Library staff can also offer one to one support, either in-person or as an online session, at a time that suits you. We can help with a wide range of queries; including how best to use our catalogue, Primo, help with referencing, how to find resources for your assignments, or anything else!
We can make referrals to other support services if you want them (such as Assistive Technology).
We can offer a gentle introduction to the library, either for individuals or small groups. We recognise that our users may be neurodiverse, so these can be held at quiet times to minimise distractions. Staff can help with navigating physical spaces and finding an area that works for you, locating and borrowing books, and more. We also offer a book fetching service for our users – let us know if you’d like to access this.
We hope this information is useful. Our email address is email@example.com. Again, please do get in touch with us any time, for any reason. We’re happy to receive feedback and answer any questions: if we don’t immediately have answers, we’ll investigate and get back to you as soon as possible!
If you can’t find what you need in our Library guides, come along to our workshop: ‘Referencing & Managing References with ProQuest RefWorks’ next Thursday, 18 May, 10:00 – 12:00.
This will be a two-hour session designed to help students understand the principles of referencing (including creating correct in-text citations and, lists of references at the end of your written work). In the session we will look at the three common approaches to referencing, ie. Harvard, Vancouver, Oxford. We will also look at using ProQuest RefWorks to help you manage your references.
The workshop will combine instruction and hands on-time to let you practise using ProQuest RefWorks. For more information and to book a place visit https://www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking/ and change the category to ‘Library Information Skills’.
Students at all levels are welcome to attend. Please note that this session is held in-person, in EW F81 (Old Aberdeen Campus).