PC availability app

InfoLinks

Did you know you that there is a web app with live updates that you can check in order to locate a free PC on campus?

You can also get to this webpage through the Classroom PCs folder within the Toolkit or, via this path:

  • Go to the
    For Students webpage (Students’ Infohub: www.abdn.ac.uk/infohub/)
  • Choose the
    Find a free PC link under the Quick Links list on the right-hand side

EleniPapadakou, e.papadakou@abdn.ac.uk

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Remote access to Library resources and personal filespace

Accessing Library Resources when off-campus

Did you know that if you are off campus you are still able to read all of the Library’s online books, journals and other resources, so that wherever you are in the world you can be studying this rich, varied and growing part of our collections?

To ensure that you can always access these materials when not on campus you need to be aware of the correct way to do so, as there are two different ways to read these electronic materials, depending on where they are located online. Read below to learn how to tell which online route you need to take.

The two routes to Library Resources when off-campus

Shibboleth/Institutional Login

The vast majority of our digital collections are accessed in the same way, whether or not you are sitting in one of our campuses or anywhere else in the world. This route is called Shibboleth, or sometimes Institutional Login. The only thing you need to take this route is your University of Aberdeen computer username and password.

Upon accessing the website of a digital collection you may be asked to use this information to show that you have permission to read the materials. If you are not asked, have a look for the Shibboleth or Institutional Login option somewhere on the page.

When you take this route you are normally asked three very simple questions:

  1. In which country is the University you are studying at located?
  2. At which University in that country are you a student?
  3. What is your computer username and password at that University?

shib steps img (002)

Having answered these questions you will be able to read any of the materials that the university has subscribed to on that site. Unfortunately, though, we do not have access to everything on the sites that you will visit, so even though you have taken the correct route it may still not be possible to read something you have located.

Access via IP Address – Using the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure

Some digital collections do not use the Shibboleth route and only permit access according to the physical location of the computer being used to read the material. These can often be niche and well-focused digital collections that have chosen not to use the Shibboleth route mentioned above. The University of Aberdeen has no control over whether a website chooses to not use the Shibboleth route.

These digital collections only give access to computers that are located on one of our campuses and the website can tell if you are on campus by viewing the IP Address of the machine. But there is a way of legitimately “fooling” them into thinking you are on campus when in fact you can be anywhere in the world that has access to the internet. This route is called the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. (VDI). Further details on using the VDI are given below.

How to tell which route to take?

If you know the name of the site on which you are trying to read some online materials you can use Primo to determine the correct route to take when off campus. Follow the steps below to learn how.

  1. Within Primo select the Find Databases option near the top of the page.
  2. To locate connection details about that collection you can search by name or browse through an alphabetical list
  3. Click on Show Info for that collection
  4. Locate Authentication Route details:
    • If it states “Shibboleth/UK Federation and IP” you will only need your computer username and password to access it
    • If it states “IP” you will need to use the VDI option when off campus

Guides to using each of these routes when off campus

Shibboleth/Institutional Login

Consult the Library Guide Accessing Electronic Information

Using the VDI

Consult the guidance available on the IT Service Toolkit:

Video briefly explaining the operation of the VDI

Online Guide detailing the steps needed to use the VDI

Once you have set up VDI access you will be able to navigate to Primo from within it and then conduct your searching and linking to digital materials as if you are on campus.

If you have located resources when using the VDI that you want to save for use later you will need to save them to your own personal file space on the servers at University of Aberdeen, your H Drive. The VDI restricts you to saving materials there. So, if you want to access them later from off campus you will need to use another route which is very simple to operate, the University’s Virtual Private Network (VPN). Read on below to learn and about using the VPN.


Access your personal network filespace from off-campus – Remote the VPN

The H: drive is your personal area of file storage on the University network. It provides you with 10GB of secure filespace and is the most secure location to store your course work and files. It appears as HOME on any classroom PC you sign into and is backed up by IT services on a daily basis.  

To access your saved work, simply sign into any networked PC and click on the desktop icon This PC, then select HOME.  

But did you know that Remote VPN provides you with remote access to your H: drive? It also provides access to web-based resources via your personal device, whether on campus, at home or in a wireless hotspot. All you need is an internet connection and a valid University of Aberdeen username and password. 

How do I access it? 

Read on, to find out how to access important files saved to your H: drive, when working from home.  

  • Open your browser and navigate to https://sma.abdn.ac.uk/  
  • You will be asked to read and accept the security guidelines outline in the VPN disclaimer – click Accept  
  • Log in using your username and password (if you are presented with a security warning click ‘Allow’) 

Using the VPN 

  • Staff will see a Home button and a User Apps button, providing links to network shared drives and also a link to their Home filespace (H: drive). Students will see a link to their Home filespace (H: drive) 
  • Click on the Home filespace button. A new window will open, displaying your Home filespace and file structure 
  • Click on a folder in the pane on the left of the window to view its contents. It is recommended that you copy any files from your H: drive, to your computer before editing them.  
  • Select a file and click Download from the top menu bar. Depending on the browser, the file may automatically download to your Downloads folder or, a pop-up may appear with the option to save the file where you want, in which case navigate to the area on your local hard drive (in your computer) that you want to save your file to. 
  • Work on the document as normal.  
  • When you are done, save your changes, close the file and return to the VPN to upload the document there. You can do this by dragging and dropping the file from your computer’s local drive onto VPN’s DROP FILES HERE area or by selecting Upload from the top menu bar. 

Remember to log out of the Home filespace and the VPN home page itself.  

Note: Before you begin, make sure you have an up-to-date antivirus software and that your Windows or Mac updates are current. 

For more information and help, contact the IT service desk by emailing servicedesk@abdn.ac.uk, phoning 01224 273636 or dropping in at The Sir Duncan Rice Library (Floor 1).  

Eleni Borompoka, eleni.boro@abdn.ac.uk

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

24 hour opening in The Sir Duncan Rice Library before and during Exams

In the lead up to the fast approaching exam period The Sir Duncan Rice Library will be extending its opening hours to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are just a few days until this happens and we want to let you know just now so that you can properly plan your revision.

The Sir Duncan Rice Library will open at 11.00 on Sunday April 21, and stay open continuously until 22.00 on Friday May 17, 2019.

Over this period it is important that you are aware of the following:

  • Swipe access only after 22.00 – please ensure you have your ID card, as access will not be permitted without it.
  • The PCs require a nightly shutdown (lasting about ten minutes) and reboot for essential maintenance. This will happen at 04.00, and you will be given an option to delay this for 2 hours.
  • Essential cleaning of the building will be carried out overnight between 02.00 and 06.00, which may result in some disruption.
  • Look after yourselves and your belongings – take breaks, but do not leave your personal belongings unattended.
  • Take care if leaving the Library in the early hours – travel with friends if possible.

Please respect the building and your fellow library users:

  1. Hot and cold drinks in covered containers can be consumed in the Library.
  2. Cold food (preferably not with a strong smell or noisy!) can be consumed anywhere in the library except for the silent study rooms, co-labs, bookable group study spaces and the Special Collections Centre.  Remember – no hot food allowed.
  3. Tidy up after yourself – use the bins which are available on each of the floors.
  4. Keep talk to the group study areas to allow others to study.

Please report any problems to security staff on duty – in person (Information Centre,
Floor 1, TSDRL) or by phone (01224 273330).

Also check out the opening hours for our other two Library sites, as Taylor and Medical will not be open 24/7 during these dates.

If you have any feedback or suggestions, contact us at library@abdn.ac.uk.

Posted on behalf of Marion Blacklaw, Circulation Manager

Lexis Library: News & International collections unavailable

Lexis Library’s News and International Materials collections have been moved to a new platform. Unfortunately at the moment we are unable to access this content. If you require a specific document held in either of these collections, please email the Library at library@abdn.ac.uk. Please include details of the item(s) you require and your contact details.

The Library is in contact with Lexis Library and we hope to regain access to this content soon. Please note that all other collections within Lexis Library are unaffected.

SCONUL Access Scheme

Did you know you may be eligible to borrow material from other UK University libraries? Our University is a member of the SCONUL Access reciprocal scheme. SCONUL Access grants borrowing privileges to various types of library users working or studying at participating higher education libraries in the UK and Ireland.

Who’s eligible?

SCONUL Access provides borrowing privileges for most:

  • academic staff
  • postgraduate research students registered for a PhD, MPhil or similar qualification
  • part-time, distance learning and placement students
  • full-time postgraduates

SCONUL Access also provides for a reference only service for most full-time undergraduate students and staff of a few higher education libraries not participating in the reciprocal borrowing arrangements.

Borrowing entitlements – e.g. number of loans, loan period and types of material may vary among institutions.

Please note that access to IT facilities and electronic resources are not normally included in the scheme. You may however be able to access the wireless network on your personal device while visiting other university libraries if they use the same Eduroam wireless network as ourselves. See the university’s guide to Eduroam to learn more.

Click here to find out a bit more about the scheme and how to apply!

Eleni Papadakou, e.papadakou@abdn.ac.uk

PC availability app

Did you know you that there is a web app with live updates that you can check in order to locate a free PC on campus?

You can also get to this webpage through the Classroom PCs folder within the Toolkit or, via this path:

  • Go to the For Students webpage (Students’ Infohub: www.abdn.ac.uk/infohub/)
  • Choose the Find a free PC link under the Quick Links list on the right-hand side

Eleni Papadakou, e.papadakou@abdn.ac.uk

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.

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