Library Guides available to help with your dissertation or project

As taught postgraduate students here at the University of Aberdeen are currently working on their dissertations or projects we would like to remind them that there are a wide range of Library Guides available on our website to help them better understand and use the high quality resources, across all subject areas, available from the Library Service.

Some guides focus on specific resources, such as Ebook Central, an ebook collection of over 180,000 titles across all disciplines, while others provide an understanding of the Library resources available in a subject area. We have guides that can help you with referencing your dissertation or project correctly; others that show you the best way to use Primo to find the information you need, and further guides that will demonstrate how to track down that vital piece of legislation in the legal database, Westlaw .

The Library Guides are all available on our website and you can browse them either in an A-Z listing or by broader subject areas, so please do have a look to see if they can assist you.

In addition to these online resources please remember that Library staff are also here to help you locate any materials that you may need, so please do come and find us in any of our three libraries.

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Need help with Referencing? The Library is here to help

Once you have researched and begun writing your dissertation or project you must remember to correctly acknowledge the sources of any information which you refer to, as this allows readers to trace the original material while also ensuring that you avoid potentially committing plagiarism.

To help you with your referencing, Library staff have prepared several online guides with useful examples. We have a generic guide on Referencing and Citing as well as others focused on specific referencing systems or subject areas:

Please be sure, though, to also refer to any specific referencing guidance which you may have been provided by your department. You can also see advice on avoiding plagiarism on the Student Learning Service’s website.

If you are looking for a tool to help you organise your references and also produce your bibliography, then why not create a free account with RefWorks, an online reference management tool that the University of Aberdeen subscribes to. For more information and instructions on how to create an account please check our quick library guide to RefWorks.

If you need any help with referencing your dissertation or project please do contact Library staff.

Eleni Papadakou & Ewan Grant

Printing & binding dissertations: information for Taught Postgraduate students

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We know that printing your dissertation and getting it bound can be stressful. Here are some tips to help you.

Printing:

Before you send your document to print, make sure you’ve checked your course handbook, as that’s where you will usually find all the instructions you will need to follow, such as font size, spacing, etc.

When you send your document to print, make sure you choose the correct Printer.

  • For printing in Black & White please select option BW-pull-pcl on class-print.uoa.abdn.ac.uk as the Printer.
  • For printing in Colour please select option COLOUR-pull-pcl on class-print.uoa.abdn.ac.uk as the Printer. If you only wish to print certain pages in colour, please make sure you specify the range in the Settings. Please remember to retrieve the job from a Colour printer.

Colour Printers in the libraries

The colour printers in The Sir Duncan Rice Library are on Floors 1, 2, 6 and 7. There are also colour printers in the Taylor (Law) and Medical libraries – The Medical Library has a colour printing facility in both A4 & A3 size.

It can take quite a long time for the printer to receive a large document. To reduce your waiting time, you can send your document in sections, e.g. pages 1-50 and then pages 51-100.

More detailed information on printing is available on the Toolkit

Binding:

Once you have finished printing your dissertation, you can have it bound at the University’s Print Shop.

There are currently two options when it comes to soft binding:

  • Comb & Ring style: plastic rings with acetate paper covers.
  • Metal style: metal spine thermal glued with acetate paper covers.

For pricing and service times, please check here.

The Print Shop operates on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

If you choose to have your dissertation both printed and bound at the Print shop, then please make sure you:

  • Use the default MSWord margins either for single or double sided (set up mirror imaging layout) printing of your dissertation.
  • Send your PDF by email preferably 3-4 days before your deadline.

Tip: During hand-in/deadline days, it’s best if you have your dissertation already printed and just visit the Print Shop well in advance to have it bound as the completion time for Comb & Ring and Metal style may be longer than the usual 30 minutes.

Remember – Library and IT staff are always happy to help!

 

Elaine Fitzgerald e.fitzgerald@abdn.ac.uk –                                                                Eleni Papadakou e.papadakou@abdn.ac.uk

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.

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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.

 

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

Library Skills workshops to help you Find it Fast!

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We believe that you should be spending the majority of your time reading materials and not looking for them, so we have a range of 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! workshops, and they will be running between January 22 and February 6 to help all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students navigate the library landscape, which can at times seem filled with so much choice.

The workshops are held over lunch time in The Sir Duncan Rice Library and are a great introduction to the resources we provide, and the ways in which you can make best 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 Google cleverly to get you to the information you need more quickly
  • using the many online databases which we subscribe to. They contain important resources which you just cannot find by searching in Google!
  • 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.

To find out more and to view the full list of Find it Fast! workshops on offer please go to www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and search for Library Information Skills courses.

Taught Postgraduates – courses to help with your dissertations and projects: places still available!

There are still places available on the following workshops:

IT Services – May 28 & 29
Working with Long Documents (Word 2013)

This workshop will look at: defining and using an appropriate template, modifying inbuilt styles, inserting section breaks and page numbers, applying multi-level numbering, using captions for images, creating cross-references and creating tables of contents and tables of figures. To sign up to attend one of these workshops please visit: www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking and look for courses on MS Office.

Student Learning Service – June 4 & 5
Writing a Literature Review

Student Learning Service – June 6 & 8
Writing your Dissertation/Project: Spelling, Paragraph Structure and Constructing an Argument

This interactive workshop will stress the importance of writing with a reader in mind. To engage the reader, writing should be logical, coherent and clearly argued.  Through practical exercises, we will examine the significance of accurate spelling, paragraph structure and construction of an argument.

To find out more and sign up for these useful workshops please visit:
www.abdn.ac.uk/coursebooking

If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch. Our contact details can be found at:
www.abdn.ac.uk/library/support/contacts-106.php#panel162

 

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