Did you know…? – Working on your thesis? Help is available

Here’s an outline of what help is available from the Library and IT Services for those of you working on your thesis.

Library help

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 below
  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.

University of Aberdeen theses are also available in the Digital Collections section of Primo. There are both Research and Taught Course theses.

Information Skills

Our Find it Fast! Wiki is packed with material to help with your information skills, from planning your search to referencing. There are specific sections for Taught Postgraduates and Postgraduate Researchers

Live Q&A sessions for PGR students

Library staff will be running live Q&A sessions for PGR students next week on 21 & 24 June. Please do come along and our team will be happy to provide guidance and short demonstrations based on your needs. Sign up on the Course Booking site.

Remember we are here to support you throughout your studies, so please do get in touch (library@abdn.ac.uk) if you would like some help. 

IT help

The IT Services Team have created the Working with Long Documents section on Toolkit, which has plenty of handy videos and guides to help you with creating and manipulating long documents in MS Word.

The IT Services Training and Documentation team are also running sessions on 16 June:

  • Part 1: Adding Style to Your Thesis, 11am-12pm
  • Part 2: The Power of Section Breaks, 2pm-3pm

You can sign up on the Course Booking pages. Even if the session is full, it is worth getting on the waiting list as you may still be able to attend.

Best of luck to all those of you working on your thesis!

Did you know…? – Off-campus access to OnePetro

OnePetro logo

In a previous post, we told you about accessing e-resources off-campus. In this post, we would like to draw your attention to OnePetro, an important database of technical literature for the oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) industry.

The Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), who own the OnePetro database, have an authentication (login) system based on the IP address of the user’s PC. Signing in is very straightforward when users are on-campus using University networked PCs. However, it is a 2-step process when off-campus, as users are required to come into the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) first so that their personal device will look as if it is campus-based.

Please follow the guidance on the Remote Access section of Toolkit – select the Remote VDI link in the ‘Guides’ section. Once you have logged in to the VDI, navigate to ‘Library Resources’, and from there to Primo.

Library staff have created a very useful guide on accessing and using OnePetro.

Please note that via the VDI you can also access classroom software associated with your login details and your H: drive.

Susan McCourt, Elaine Fitzgerald, Lena Papadakou

Search our digital collections using ‘Find Databases’ on Primo

Primo will tell you about the hundreds of thousands of digital resources available through the University and will link you to one of over 200 different online academic databases to let you read the material that you’re interested in.

Did you know, though, that if you go straight to the website of specific academic databases you can perform even more powerful searches, often looking across every word contained in every item within that collection? A simple search in Primo is the best place to start a piece of research but using the Find Databases option is the next step, improving the quality of any academic research that you do.

These databases often focus on specific subject areas, meaning that your searching becomes more focused and efficient, saving you time looking and giving you more time to read and write. See below for details of how to use the Find Databases feature in Primo to link straight to digital collections best suited to your area of study.

find-dbs-screen-2

Use the Find Databases option at the top of Primo. Please remember to log in with your username and password.

find-dbs-screen-1

You can search for specific databases or you can filter by subject area. It is also possible to browse an alphabetical listing of all databases available.

Once you have identified an academic database that you wish to search, simply click on its name to link out to it. You may be asked to log in again.

Please note that it is not possible to search across multiple databases at once using the Find Databases option. You must link out to each database that you are interested in and search them individually. This method will allow you to perform the most powerful searches available to you.

For further guidance on using Primo please see our short videos on its various features. For guidance on accessing online resources, particularly when off campus, please see our Library Guide on Accessing Electronic Information and the Toolkit’s section on Remote Access.

Ewan Grant, e.grant@abdn.ac.uk

Information Skills workshops for PhD researchers: places still available

The Library is here to help all postgraduate researchers as they begin, or continue their in-depth research, with a short series of Information Skills workshops designed to their needs.

The workshops will take place on the 11th, 12th and 13th of June and will 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.

UL_library_workshops_Janet1psd

There are three workshops on offer, each lasting three hours:

  • Literature searching – Part 1: Getting started
  • Literature searching – Part 2: Using databases
  • Literature searching – Part 3: Managing your references using RefWorks*

Across the three workshops we will look at:

  • Planning your search
  • Looking for books: using Primo and e-books
  • Databases of academic literature
  • Getting the best out of Google
  • Managing your references with RefWorks
  • Formatting Word documents with in-text citations and bibliographies

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The workshop focusing on the management of references
(Part 3) is not suitable for research postgraduates in the School of Law, as the software used does not support the OSCOLA referencing style required for legal theses.

To find out more, and to book onto the different workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Library Information Skills classes.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshops!

Library workshops for taught postgraduates

Once the exams are over, many taught postgraduate students will be turning their attention to their dissertations or projects and the Library is here to help you with a series of workshops that cover the research process from choosing where and how to search for high quality sources to ensuring that your referencing is as good as it can be.

UL_library_workshops_Janet1psd

There are three workshops on offer and they will be taking place from the 20th to the 22nd of May. We call them Information Skills Refreshers as they aim to remind you of the best ways to use our resources and services as you embark on such a large piece of work. The three workshops are:

  • 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. Also introduces RefWorks, a software to help you manage your references and write your dissertation or project.
  • Part 3 – Managing your dissertation research. Carries on from Part 2, going into more detail on referencing and using RefWorks, as well as touching on how best to avoid possible accusations of plagiarism.

PLEASE NOTE: RefWorks is of limited use to those using Footnote referencing styles, such as OSCOLA.  Subject specialists from the library will be on hand to give support and advice.

To find out more about the workshops and to book a place please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Library Information Skills. Be sure to read the important information about each course before booking.

 

Information Skills workshops for PhD researchers : places still available

The Library is here to help all postgraduate researchers as they begin, or continue their in-depth research, with a short series of Information Skills workshops designed to their needs. With so much academic literature available through the University of Aberdeen, these workshops will give you the confidence and skills to locate and manage the materials you need.

The workshops will take place on the 5th, 6th and 7th of February and will 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.

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 your references using RefWorks*

Across the three workshops we will look at:

  • Planning your search
  • Looking for books: using Primo and e-books
  • Databases of academic literature
  • Getting the best out of Google
  • Managing your references with RefWorks
  • Formatting Word documents with in-text citations and bibliographies

*IMPORTANT NOTE: The workshop focusing on the management of references

(Part 3) is not suitable for research postgraduates in the School of Law, as the software used does not support the OSCOLA referencing style required for legal theses.

To find out more, and to book onto the different workshops please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for Library Information Skills classes.

We look forward to seeing you at the workshops!

Exporting to RefWorks – difficulties

Many users are experiencing difficulties today (Tuesday 2 February) exporting records into RefWorks from a range of databases. This is occurring at universities across the UK and the problem is under investigation by RefWorks. If at all possible we would suggest saving your search strategy or results by other means e.g. save to list, so that you can export to RefWorks later, once the difficulty has been resolved.

Susan McCourt, s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk

REMINDER:: Service Alert – Sunday 17 January – RefWorks and ProQuest databases

Access to RefWorks and ProQuest research databases including ABI/INFORM, EconLit, GeoRef, IBSS and LION will not be available 03:00 – 11:00 on Sunday 17 January due to upgrade work on the ProQuest platform. Users will be re-directed to a webpage explaining the scheduled maintenance.

Apologies in advance for any inconvenience that may be caused.

Susan McCourt, s.mccourt@abdn.ac.uk