Changes to Silent Study rooms during exams

It’s that time again when The Sir Duncan Rice Library is really busy. We know that everyone has their own favourite way to study, and for many of you this means using a laptop or tablet.

During this busy exam period, starting from revision week Monday 25th April electronic devices may be used in all except one of the Strictly Silent areas. If you prefer a “no electronic device” area then head for Room 624 on Floor 6 (south west corner of the building).

Some of you may remember our pilot run of using the silent study rooms for extra study space with electronic devices in December last year. It was very successful with a high amount of students using the rooms. We would like to offer this again for the busy exam period.

Please speak with library staff on the floors if there are any difficulties. Good luck with your exams…

Alison & Vivien (Subject & Enquiry team)

Browse the Sir Duncan Rice Library new books webpages

New books are always being added to the collections here in The Sir Duncan Rice Library and to keep up to date with the titles which are arriving we encourage you to take a look at our New Acquisitions webpages.

These pages are updated at the end of each month, and include title information and links to their entries in Primo, the portal to details of all our Library materials.

Selected highlights, amongst many others from the past month include:

Bookmark this page on the Library website or sign up to this blog on the right of this page to receive announcements every month of the new material we are continually adding to what is already over 15 miles of shelving in this library alone.

And, of course, the Taylor Library and the Medical Library also maintain similar pages detailing the new book stock which they receive each month, so that whatever subject you are studying, teaching, or researching you are always aware of the new material available to you through the University of Aberdeen Libraries.


Come for a Library Tour between January 15 and 22

New student? Current student who has just realised that it would be useful to find out more about library and information services? Get your new programme off to the best start, or kick-start your ongoing studies, by discovering what is available to you from The Sir Duncan Rice Library and beyond….

WHO: New (or not so new!) students of any level (undergraduate, postgraduate). New members of staff are also welcome

WHEN: Friday 15 January and Monday 18 January – Friday 22 January, 10:00 or 14:00. There will be no tours at the weekend.

WHERE: Welcome Desk on the ground floor of The Sir Duncan Rice Library

WHAT: 30-40 minute tour of the building and services/facilities. Discover where your subject books are held, how to borrow them and where to get help. Stay on for an optional 15-20 minute demonstration on how to use Primo to search for and find items on your reading list. The tour will be subject-tailored to those who attend

No booking necessary – just come along on the day and time slot that suits you best. Invest a little time now to find out what is available to support your research and study activities – you will be glad that you did!

For more detailed help with research resources for assignments and dissertations you can book onto our lunchtime Find it Fast! workshops (undergraduate and taught postgraduate students) which start on 19 January.

Workshops for research postgraduate students are provided in the Researcher Development programme and can also be booked online. Log in to for further details, or speak with library staff.

Free Information Skills Workshops to help you Find it Fast!

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At the Library we believe you should be spending the majority of your time reading materials and not looking for them, so we have a range of free workshops to help you learn how to get your hands on the best books, articles, reports and other information in the shortest time possible.

These are our Find it Fast! Information Skills Workshops, and they will be running between January 19 and February 4 to help all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students navigate the library landscape, which can at times seem filled with so much choice.

They are held over lunch time in The Sir Duncan Rice Library and are a great introduction to the services and resources we provide and the best ways in which you can make use of them. They cover:

  • Using Primo, our online resource discovery tool for locating physical and electronic resources.
  • How to search for the hundreds of thousands of electronic books which we have access to.
  • Using the many online databases which we subscribe to. They contain important resources which you just cannot find by searching in Google!
  • Using Google cleverly to get you to the information you need more quickly.
  • How to manage your references correctly when writing assignments to ensure that you do not fall into the trap of plagiarism.

Invest one hour of your time over lunch to learn tips and techniques that will repay you with time saved when searching for the materials you need for assignments and exams.


  • The ‘RefWorks – Managing References and Creating Bibliographies’ workshops are offered in two parts so you must complete part 1 before attending part 2.
  • Unfortunately, these referencing workshops are not suitable for Law students as the software taught does not support the legal referencing style, OSCOLA.

To find out more and to view the full list of Find it Fast! workshops on offer please go to and search for Information Skills courses.

Library Opening Hours around the Winter Holidays

20151201_153247croppedThe winter holidays are nearly upon us, bringing with them the opportunity for a much-needed break from study and research. And before the festivities arrive we would like to let you know about the various opening hours which operate across our different libraries, both before and after the holidays.

Our three different libraries will be moving into holiday opening hours from the end of Friday the 18th of December and all three sites have slightly different hours. Read below to see the hours and to see just when the libraries will be reopening in the New Year.

One thing all three sites have in common are the following dates during which they will NOT be open:

All Libraries Closed from

5pm on Wednesday 23rd December until Tuesday 5th of January 2016

Below are the opening hours for the different sites before and after the winter holidays.


Sir Duncan Rice Library



Fri 18th Dec Close at 22.00
Sat 19th Dec 09.00 – 13.00
Sun 20th Dec Closed
Mon 21st Dec 08.30 – 17.00
Tue 22nd Dec 08.30 – 17.00
Wed 23rd Dec 08.30 – 17.00
Thu 24th Dec – Mon 4th Jan Closed
Tue 5th – Fri 8th Jan 08.30 – 17.00
Sat 9th Jan 09.00 – 13.00
Sun 10th Jan Closed
Mon 11th Jan Term hours resume: 08.00 – 00.00


Medical Library


Fri 18th Dec 09.00 – 20.00
Sat 19th Dec 09.00 – 13.00
Sun 20th Dec Closed
Mon 21st Dec 09.00 – 17.00
Tue 22nd Dec 09.00 – 17.00
Wed 23rd Dec 09.00 – 17.00
Thu 24th Dec – Mon 4th Jan Closed
Tue 5th – Fri 8th Jan 09.00 – 17.00
Sat 9th Jan 09.00 – 13.00
Sun 10th Jan Closed
Mon 11th Jan Term hours: 09.00 – 22.00


Taylor Library


Fri 18th December 09.00 – 20.00
Sat 19th December Closed
Sun 20th December Closed
Mon 21st December 09.00 – 17.00
Tue 22nd December 09.00 – 17.00
Wed 23rd December 09.00 – 17.00
Thu 24th Dec – Mon 4th Jan Closed
Tue 5th – Fri 8th Jan 09.00 – 17.00
Sat 9th Jan Closed
Sun 10th Jan Closed
Mon 11th Jan Term hours: 09.00 – 22.00


Even though all the libraries will be closed during the winter holidays don’t forget you are still able to access a huge number of resources electronically. See links below for further information.

  • You can search for online materials using Primo, our library catalogue
  • Check out or range of library guides for help
  • For help accessing electronic resources while off campus check out this guide
  • Consult our collection of support materials, including slides and worksheets from Information Skills Workshops

The staff here at the Library Service would like to wish all students and staff at the University of Aberdeen a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a restful break over the holidays. We look forward to seeing you all back again in 2016.



Primo – how to find academic databases for your subject

In this post in our short series looking at Primo, our resource discovery tool here at the UoA, we are focusing on how you can select the academic databases which are most appropriate for the subjects you may currently be revising before the exams begin in December.

Academic databases contain high-quality scholarly level resources not freely available on the internet and, to ensure you are reading all the best materials available to you, you will need to make use of these collections, but as there are approximately 200 different academic databases to choose from it can be tough to know which ones to use. Well, read on to find out how you can easily narrow that number down to just those databases most suitable for you.

It is possible to carry out very basic searches across some of these 200 databases directly from in Primo, but definitely not all of them and we do not recommend doing so. Instead, we strongly encourage you to link out to particular databases and perform searches directly on their sites as the searches you can do there will be much more powerful.

1 – To begin go to Primo at 



2 – Once at Primo we would always recommend logging in so that you can link out to electronic materials, including academic databases, and use all of the features available in Primo.



3 – You will need to enter your UoA username and password.



4 – Once logged in you will see your own name at the top of the screen. Now select Find Databases from the top of the screen.



5 – A new window will open. In this example we will look for those databases most appropriate for those studying or researching Education.

  • Click drop-down arrow next to Category and select Social Sciences
  • Click drop-down arrow next to Sub-category and select Education
  • Click Find Databases
  • A list of 49 possible databases is generated in this example.
  • To find out more about each databases click Show Info

Once you become familiar with which databases you should use you can easily navigate to them alphabetically or search for them by name in this Find Databases window.



6 – Having clicked Show Info you can see:

  • Details of subjects covered in the database
  • Search rules for the particular database
  • Other information about that database

Of the 49 databases in this particular list some will be heavily focused upon Education and others will focus less on the subject while still containing useful material. Using the Show Info option will really help you select the most appropriate databases. You will need to search multiple databases to find suitable resources.



7 – To access a particular database click the name of the database with the right mouse button and select Open link in a new tab. Using the right mouse button means the database will open correctly. You may be asked to log in again to access the e-book collection.


For more details on accessing electronic resources, particularly when off campus, see our library guide.

Further information on using Primo can be found in our online library guide.

To see our full range of library guides click here.

Also, don’t forget that library staff are here to help you locate any materials you may be having trouble locating.

Good luck with your exams

Primo – How to find a particular book you want to read

This is the first in a short series of blog posts looking at common questions which users of our libraries may have about using Primo, our resource discovery tool, when looking for materials for their study or research. Primo is the portal to our paper and electronic resources and can lead you to millions of different materials available here at the University of Aberdeen.

In this post we will show how Primo can help you locate a particular book you wish to read, something you may have been asked to read for a class or maybe a book you have learnt about from your own reading.

1 – To begin your search go to Primo at



2 – Once at Primo we would always recommend logging in so that you can link out to electronic materials and use all of the features available in Primo.



3 – You will need to enter your UoA username and password.



4 – Once logged in you will see your own name at the top of the screen.



5 – In this example we are looking for the following book: Saunders, M., Lewis, P. and Thornhill, A. (2012) Research Methods for Business Students. 6th edn. Harlow: Pearson.

  • Select the Books+ tab to focus the search on books.
  • Enter some details of the book and the family name of the first named author.
  • Then select Search.



6 – Primo returns a list of 3 results and the title we are looking for is at the top of the list. Primo tells us on the right of the screen that there are 5 versions of this book. For more details click on View 5 versions.



7 – All 5 versions are now listed, each a different edition published in different years. We are looking for the 2012 edition and it is at the top of the list. Be sure to read the edition that you have been asked to consult as older editions may contain out-of-date information. To find out if it is possible to currently borrow the book select Availability.



8 – We can now see that there are:

  • Two copies of this book, both currently On Shelf and available to be borrowed from the Heavy Demand collection on floor 1 of the Sir Duncan Rice Library.
  • You are also provided with the Call Number to help you locate it on the shelf.
  • You can book Heavy Demand books up to three weeks in advance so you can get the book when you want it. To do that select Heavy Demand Booking.



9 – Having already logged into Primo makes it easier to book library materials. Select the date you wish to reserve the book for and select Request.



10 – You will get a message indicating that the booking was succesful.

  • You will be able to collect and borrow the book from the Heavy Demand area on floor 1 of the SDRL after 10.30am on the day you have reserved it for.
  • It will be on the shelf at the Call Number given in Primo.
  • The booking only lasts until 3.30pm on the day of the booking
  • The collection of Heavy Demand books operates slightly differently in the Taylor Library, with requested books available for collection from staff at the issue desk in the library.
  • The Medical Library leaves reserved Heavy Demand books on the shelves for collection.
  • Click here for further details on reserving and booking library materials.


Further information on using Primo can be found in our online library guide.

To see our full range of library guides click here.

Also, don’t forget that library staff are here to help you locate any materials you may be having trouble locating.

Good luck with your exams.

Save time – use Scopus to improve your research (and marks?)

Some of the benefits of creating a Scopus account (My Scopus):

  • You’ve performed your searches, why not save them for future reference? You can save up to 50 searches.
  • You’ve found interesting material for your assignment or dissertation, but need to keep up-to-date? Set up an alert – get it by email.
  • You’ve done the hard part, you’ve got your material, now let’s move on to referencing! Using RefWorks? Select it as your preferred export system.

If you think you’ll use the Scopus database regularly, you will definitely benefit from the extra features that an account offers. Get organised and create an account…

How to create your personal account?

Whether you are on or off campus, just follow the instructions in Step 2 of the “Accessing electronic information” library guide:

Then Activate personalization (top right hand corner) and complete the form.  Next time you use Scopus, log in using the Step 2 instructions and Scopus will recognise you (your name will appear in the top right hand corner).

Need more help?

Have you missed our Find it Fast! library workshops? Don’t worry, catch up on our wiki pages at

Prefer to use the help material provided by Scopus? Have a look at their Quick Guide (all 14 pages of it) at

Rather to speak to a person? Come to the Sir Duncan Rice Library and speak to our experts:

  • Susan McCourt (Room 506) and Ewan Grant (Room 306) can advise on simple and advanced search options and features.
  • Eleni Papadakou and Vivien Logan (Room 505) are always happy to help!

Keep up to date with Scopus

Scopus offers more options to improve your Scopus skills, learn more now by clicking on the image below!

How to improve Scopus

Eleni Papadakou and Vivien Logan

Free Microsoft Word workshops to help you produce theses, dissertations or essays

tadColleagues from the IT Service’s Training and Documentation Team will be running workshops at the start of November to help students use Microsoft Word when producing essays, assignments or dissertations. These popular sessions will introduce you to useful time-saving functions in Microsoft Word 2013 to help you create professional looking documents with the minimum of stress.

The two sessions offered are open to all research postgraduates, taught postgraduates and undergraduates, take place in The Sir Duncan Rice Library, and last for 1.5 hours each. Each workshop will be happening twice to ensure as many people as possible can attend.

The first session is entitled Adding Style to your Dissertation and will cover stress free steps to Navigation, Table of Contents, Auto numbering and Modifying Styles

The second session, The Power of Section Breaks, covers Section Breaks, Page Numbering, Orientation to landscape and using Captions.

To find out more and book your place please visit, login with your University of Aberdeen username and password and search for MS Office classes.

Go on, sign up and learn how writing theses, dissertations and essays can be a lot less stressful than you think.

Ewan Grant

Free workshops available to help you with your referencing – sign up now!

Are you confused by referencing? Befuddled by bibliographies? Well, don’t worry because you certainly aren’t the only one. The good news is that by signing up for our Referencing Workshops library staff can show you how to make the whole process of referencing so much easier.

refworks logoHere at the University of Aberdeen all students are entitled to a free account with RefWorks, an online reference management programme. It helps you store all your references and also create beautiful bibliographies for your assignments and dissertations.

fif logoTo find out more about this really useful software come along to free workshops taking place in The Sir Duncan Rice Library over the next two weeks. These two-part workshops, for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students, will introduce you to the software and the ways in which it integrates with Microsoft Word to help you produce your perfectly referenced coursework.

RefWorks is suitable for both Microsoft and Mac computers.

More information on RefWorks is available in some of our online Library Guides.

An important point, however, is that RefWorks will not be suitable for students studying within the School of Law, as the unique OSCOLA referencing style used within the legal field is not supported by RefWorks. RefWorks is also not compatible with many of the legal academic databases used by students and researchers in Law.

To find out more information and book a place on the Find it Fast! Using RefWorks Workshops taking place between October 20th and 29th visit, and search for Reference Management.

We look forward to seeing you there to help you get on top of your referencing.

Ewan Grant