Finding Journals and Law Reports

A row of leather bound books fills the frame from left to right. The title 'Session Cases' and the year are embossed on the spines. The leather is blonde and each spine has a red and black square.

Session Cases, image courtesy of the Supreme Court Library team, SCTS

Law reports and journal articles become increasingly important as students progress through their studies and research, and finding them can be tricky at times.

The library has access to a plethora of reports and journals but not everything is available online. Although we continually look for online access wherever it is available there is material that we can only receive in print.

The main places to get online access to law reports and journals is through our legal databases – mainly Westlaw, LexisLibrary and HeinOnline.

The Law Subject guide includes a section on Law Reports and access to eBooks. There is also information on the hierarchy of law reports to help students decide which reference to use when citing cases.

What to do if we do not have full online access?

Students often contact us asking why they can only get an abstract to the item they want in the online databases. This is because we do not get full text (full online) access to everything within all the databases. Sometimes we only have access to the bibliographic details such as the reference and abstract. So how can you get a copy of the full item?

Staff and students can use the interlibrary loan service to request items. This service involves us requesting material from partner libraries. There is a limit on how much can be requested and full details are on the interlibrary loan pages:

In Edinburgh staff and students also can get access to the National Library of Scotland who have a great range of resources available from their own collection and also through their relationship with the Faculty of Advocates’ Library.

If you’ve tried all the above avenues and are still struggling to get access to what you need, drop us an email on law.librarian@ed.ac.uk for some help.

 

Media Hopper, aka UoE YouTube!

If you’ve attended any of the induction sessions we’ve run in the past few weeks, you’ll have heard us mention Media Hopper (and specifically the Law Librarian Media Hopper Channel) many times as part of our introductory material.

Okay, but what is it?

Vector graphic image of a computer monitor which has a video play screen visible in the centre-left. Several smaller rectangles are displayed to the right of the main box on-screen, indicating a playlist or videos queued up.

‘Video stream’ image by febrianes86 via Pixabay

Media Hopper is like the University’s own version of Youtube. It’s an online storage repository and player for videos, and it means we can upload videos and recordings that you can watch to find out about more about library services, subscription databases, and many other resources. If you study online you may be used to watching videos or pre-recorded lectures that have been made for you on your course; the great thing about Media Hopper is that it’s not just for your coursework, it can be for other things too!

What does the Library use it for then?

Loads of things! We upload recordings of sessions, promotional videos for our online information skills course, and demonstrations of databases. We can also create playlists which link together useful videos on popular themes. For example, on the Law Librarian channel we have the following:

  • Recordings of the introductory sessions we offer for UG, PG and PhD students
  • Westlaw demonstration (with more databases demos to come)
  • Using Legal Databases training
  • Using news databases
  • Simple search in DiscoverEd
  • Referencing help, including demonstrations of the latest version of Endnote.

Sounds great! But do you have a video for….?

If there’s something you think we should make a video about, why not contact us to let us know. We take requests! Email us on law.librarian@ed.ac.uk with your suggestions. We want the resources we make to be as useful as possible, so all ideas are welcome.

Visit the Law Library… virtually!

students exiting the Law Library building in Old College quad

Law Library exterior, Old College

As the semester gets going you may be keen to visit our beautiful Law Library at Old College to find materials, use a study space, or generally just soak up the atmosphere.

However we know that after the past year some students may be anxious about coming on to campus, and may be worried about what to expect. In order to help with that we’ve prepared a short Sway as a guide to the Law Library. It includes information on what’s in the collections, photos of the library, and links to other helpful resources you may want to use. You can find it here:

Law Library Library Orientation Guide

We’ve made different guides for each of our site libraries which you can find on the Library Orientation Guide page on our website. You’ll also find a guide to Using the Library Online, which we think will be helpful for our online or distance students, or those who are self-isolating or in quarantine.

Other preparations for visiting campus may include looking at maps ahead of time. Did you know we’ve got an interactive campus map? If you visit the Maps page and use the key to select the Layers tab, and then click the eye icon to make Libraries and Study Spaces visible, you can see all our locations across the city! We’ve highlighted the Law Library icon in the image below in pink.

Map of the central part of campus, with buildings highlighted in a variety of colours. Several black circles featuring white book icons are visible on the screen, to indicate the location of libraries.

We look forward to seeing you on campus soon!

Note: The Microsoft Sway platform uses moving images in their templates, and each of the above Sways use one moving image at the top of the page. If you require the information in an alternative format please contact us by email: law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

LibSmart 2 – Taking your information literacy skills to the next level

Last year LibSmart 1 was launched with the aim of helping students develop their information literacy skills. The feedback has led to LibSmart 2!

This new resource consists of subject specific modules and allows you to pick and choose the most relevant modules to your research.

  • Business information
  • Data mindfulness: finding and managing data for your dissertation
  • Digital news sources
  • Digital primary sources and digital scholarship
  • Finding and using digital images
  • Health literature
  • Information resources for government and policy research
  • Legal information
  • Special Collections Fundamentals
  • Literature searching for systematic reviews

Full detail of both courses is available at:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/help-consultancy/rm-and-consultancy/academic-support-librarians/libsmart 

Resources Lists- what are they and where do I find them?

At the start of a new semester it is always a priority to find your course reading material.

Many of the Law School courses use Resource Lists to detail the course readings, and the links to these lists are in your Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Learn. Look out for the link to Library Resources or Resource List on your course pages.

Not every course uses this type of list for their readings but an increasing number of  courses do. Whatever way your course uses to tell you about course readings if you have an issues about accessing library resources then don’t forget you can always get in touch with your Academic Support Librarians (Law.Librarian@ed.ac.uk).

To see the full details of what you can do with Resources Lists and how to get the best from them (using personalisation features) then go over to the Resources Lists pages at:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/research-teaching-staff/resource-lists 

Training: Welcome to the Library!

A pair of converse trainers stand on wooden boards, in front of a door mat which says 'welcome on board'. There are silver coloured bolts on the floor next to the mat which imply that this person is standing on a dock.

Image from PXfuel, licensed for re-use

It’s almost the start of the new academic year which means it’s one of the busiest times of year for Academic Support Librarians. We offer a range of introductory training sessions for students joining the university, and we have some bespoke sessions arranged for each level of study in the School of Law.

14th September: Postgraduate (online) – Using the University Library

22nd September: Undergraduate: Using the University Library

23rd September: Postgraduate (all) – Using the University Library

29th September: PhD – Sources, Materials & Bibliographies

These training events will all be run online using the Collaborate platform, and are often very popular. To find out more and register please use the MyEd Events Booking system and enter the titles above in the search box. Alternatively watch out for direct booking links being circulated via the UG, PG or PhD offices. We will also record these sessions and upload them to our Media Hopper Channel after the event.

When the semester begins we’ll offer one-to-one appointments which you can use to get additional advice to support your studies. These are also available to book via the MyEd Events Booking system, just search for “Literature search clinic” and select the Law specific event, or search for “Law” and select provider group “IS Library and University Collections” to find all our Law related training.

If you have any questions about these or any other training you’d like, please contact us by email: law.librarian@ed.ac.uk. We look forward to welcoming you (or welcoming you back) soon!

New resources: The Law and Practice of International Finance

You may be interested in some of the recent items we’ve purchased for use by students and staff in the School.

Photograph of Philip R Wood, author of the series. He is an elderly white man wearing a black suit with white shirt and yellow tie. The background is white.

Philip R Wood QC. Author of Law and Practice of International Finance series.

The Law and Practice of International Finance series is your definitive guide to international finance. It considers the full range of topics across nine volumes, setting out the law and practice of trading assets on the international markets. This essential work, by one of the leading finance specialists of a generation, provides a simple, unified and distilled account of the whole topic. It sets out complex products in simple terms, alongside providing practical guidance on the structuring of deals and agreements, negotiating points and sample precedents. Over 321 jurisdictions are surveyed, providing the broadest possible perspective on the international financial markets.

While we have previously had access to some editions of these individual titles, we now hold the complete series with the most up to date editions of each text in both print and ebook:

  • Volume 1: Principles of International Insolvency (3rd edn)
  • Volume 2: International Insolvency: Jurisdictions of the World 
  • Volume 3: Comparative Law of Security Interests and Title Finance (3rd edn) 
  • Volume 4: Security Interests and Title Finance: Jurisdictions of the World 
  • Volume 5: International Loans, Bonds, Guarantees and Legal Opinions (3rd edn) 
  • Volume 6: Set-off and Netting, Derivatives and Clearing Systems (3rd edn) 
  • Volume 7: Project finance, Securitisations and Subordinated Debt (3rd edn) 
  • Volume 8: Conflict of Laws and International Finance (2nd edn)
  • Volume 9: Regulation of International Finance (2nd edn) 

For access to the print copies of these texts, please visit DiscoverEd to find out more about their location in the Law Library. These titles are also available as ebooks on Westlaw Books, which you can access via Westlaw UK.

For more information about the titles included in this series, visit the Sweet & Maxwell publisher website, which provides a synopsis of the contents of each volume.

If you have suggestions for books you’d like us to purchase for the library, students can use the Student Request A Book (RAB) service. Staff members can follow the procedure on the Library Support intranet page. 

Access to Lexis PSL modules

Over the last few weeks the library have been working with the tutors on the Diploma course to set up access to four modules from Lexis PSL.

Aimed at diploma level students it offers practice notes, precedents, forms and current awareness alerts.

Access is provided to four specific modules within this database –

  • Banking & Finance,
  • Commercial,
  • Private Client
  • Property.

Specific Scots Law content is available within these modules which is why they were chosen to compliment the current resources that are available to students undertaking this course.

You can access it from the Law databases page at:

https://www.ed.ac.uk/information-services/library-museum-gallery/finding-resources/library-databases/databases-subject-a-z/database-law

When you get logged in, you will automatically arrive in the Property module. To switch to other modules, use the dropdown arrow next to the word ‘Property’ in the top navigational bar. The modules we have access to will have a tick next to the titles.

Screenshot taken from the LexisPSL website demonstrating the dropdown arrow on the top navigational bar, and showing the resultant module options displayed in a grey box below the bar.

If you wish to move over to LexisLibrary without returning to the Law Databases page, you can do that using the dropdown arrow next to the Lexis PSL page title.

If you have any problems with this or any of our other databases, please get in touch by emailing law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

BIALL Conference 2021

Although we intend this blog to provide an update to news and services offered by the University which are related to the work of the Law Library, we also would like to let you know what we get up to in our work across the law library sector. Earlier in the summer I attended the British and Irish Association for Law Libraries (BIALL) conference. I was delighted to be awarded a bursary which meant I could attend with a funded place, and so I wrote up a short piece about my experience and the sessions I attended.

Poster for the BIALL 2021 conference. The top half of the image consists of the BIALL logo in white writing on a dark blue background. Under the logo there are the event date and details, and the tagline: Bodies in the library: sleuthing, plotting and making the case. The lower half of the image shows three small figures reading an oversized book, placing a book back into a bookshelf on a computer screen, and a third small figure is sitting on a pile of oversized books. The books and people are colourful and are set on a white background.

BIALL 2021 conference poster

I was delighted to be able to attend the BIALL conference this year with the backing of the GlobalX bursary. As a massive Agatha Christie fan I loved the theme of Bodies in the Library and the event really lived up to my expectations! I enjoyed the parallel sessions on running online escape rooms – which has inspired us to create just such an event with our own library later this year – the courtroom presentation of online vs print resources, and the speakers from Parliamentary libraries. However my favourite speaker was definitely Greg Bennett of Goldsmiths, University of London, whose session ‘A new body, a new library’ spoke to both my interests and experience of working in the Sheriff Courts library service, and my time at the University of Edinburgh.

Greg told us how he’d built a legal library from scratch with a limited budget. He’d had to make tough decisions about which publications and resources were essential, and begged or borrowed withdrawn and duplicate items from other libraries. I recognised many of his struggles and viscerally felt the pain of some of the decisions he’d had to make as in my former role at the Sheriff Courts I was responsible for managing a collection across 37 library sites which had never been managed before! Greg was candid while reflecting on some of the difficulties of justifying his decisions to stakeholders who had only limited understanding of the massive task he undertook. He concluded with some realistic considerations of what will come next for his collection. I think everyone in attendance was astounded by how much he’d done with so little – as fellow law library professionals we could appreciate that his budget for the entire collection barely scratched the surface! I also found it cheering that I could so closely relate to colleagues from different parts of the world with different roles – the usual benefits of networking in-person reached me even in this entirely online event.

Overall I had a really positive experience at this year’s conference and I feel that the organising committee pulled out all the stops presenting a varied programme using an relatively new platform – EventsAir – which I know the University of Edinburgh has also been using for it’s Open Days. It was interesting to use it as an attendee rather than a staff member. I am grateful to have been able to take part in this online conference experience and look forward to my next BIALL event.

 – SarahLouise

Keeping up to date with Library news

The University Library Services throughout the pandemic have had to work within the limits set by the Scottish Government and the wider University. This at times has been frustrating for staff and students as access to resources has been limited.

As government guidance changes in response to the pandemic then the library services have also had to change and adapt.

But it can be difficult to keep up to date with the changes- and that is where the Library Updates pages come in! These pages are the place to go to find out the latest news including re-opening of services, links to more information, help and advice.

As things continue to develop in the run up to the next semester then keep an eye on this page: