Dissertation prep: resources for writing dissertations

Did you know the library has a list of resources that can help you get started with big research projects such as dissertations? You may feel a bit overwhelmed about how to begin, but the library team have helpfully compiled a Resource List of books, guidance and articles that we think will ensure you feel more confident:

Law Dissertation (UG) 

Law Dissertation (PG)

Resource Lists are clickable pages of bookmarks that link directly to items in our library catalogue, many of which you can access online. Most courses will have prescribed Resource Lists that indicate the reading for your modules, and students tell us they find them helpful and easy to use. PG Students will also find this list linked in the Learn pages for PG dissertation students.

If this is your first time conducting a large research project, you may find the session we run each semester for PhD students in Law to be of interest. You can watch a recording of this session on our Media Hopper channel here:

Screengrab of first slide of Sources, Materials and Bibliographies recording.

Finally if you’re struggling to get to grips with literature searching then you can arrange a one-to-one appointment with us, your Law Librarian team. Visit the MyEd Events Booking system and look for ‘literature search clinic’ and select the option relating to Law. We offer appointments most weeks, and if you can’t see a bookable slot that suits you please email us on law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

Academic writing help: Royal Literary Fund Fellow

Are you a student who is struggling with academic writing? Are you a staff member who knows of a student who isn’t quite getting the hang of writing at University level?

Perhaps you need to book an appointment with our Royal Literary Fund Fellow. Mary Paulson-Ellis is a well-respected expert in the field of writing, and has been a writing mentor, workshop leader, tutor and writer-in-residence for many organisations including the National Centre for Writing, the National Galleries of Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival. She is also a committee member for the Society of Authors in Scotland, and student feedback from her first semester working at Edinburgh has been enthusiastically positive. She specialises in helping students in any discipline hone their writing skills and she does this by arranging one-to-one appointments with students in the Main Library.

The service is free, confidential and individual to each student’s needs. To find out more about the service you can visit our RLFF page, or to book an appointment please email Mary directly. 

Library Tours for Staff 2024

Are you a new or existing staff member who would like to find out more about the University’s libraries?

Join an Academic Support Librarian on a 20 to 30-minute in-person tour of one of our ten Library sites. Find out about key library services including EdHelp, borrowing, printing, and study spaces. Discover the general print collections at the Library and explore the subjects covered. These tours are suitable for staff in all roles across the university and staff can visit as many of our libraries as they wish.

The currently scheduled dates are listed below. To book a tour, visit Event Booking.

Schedule of library tours:

Main Library

22 January @ 09:30, 6 February @ 10:30, 6 March @ 14:00, 2 April @ 10:30, 8 May @ 14:00, 12 June @ 14:00 (additional tours to be confirmed)

Art and Architecture Library

5 March @ 09:15

 

Edinburgh College of Art Library

6 February @ 09:15, 9 April @ 09:15, 7 May @ 09:15, 11 June @ 09:15

 

Law Library

12 February @ 10:00, 21 March @ 11:00 (additional tours to be confirmed, or email law.librarian@ed.ac.uk for more info).

 

Moray House Library

25 Jan @ 11:00, 22 Feb @ 11:00, 21 Mar @ 11:00, 25 Apr @ 11:00, 23 May @ 11:00, 20 June @ 11:00

 

Noreen and Kenneth Murray Library

14 Feb @ 15:00 (additional tours to be confirmed)

 

New College Library

30 Jan @ 16:00, 27 Feb @ 16:00, 26 Mar @ 16:00 (additional tours to be confirmed)

 

Royal Infirmary Library

26 Jan @ 10:00, 7 Feb @ 10:00, 26 March @ 09:30 (additional tours to be confirmed)

 

The Lady Smith of Kelvin Veterinary Library

24 Jan @ 14:00 (additional tours to be confirmed)

 

Western General Hospital Library

25 Jan @ 10:00, 19 Mar @ 12:30, 22 May @ 13:00

Did you know…? Study Space Traffic Lights

We’ve recently heard from students and staff that they would love for some kind of indicator of how busy the Law Library is when it comes to finding a study space. But did you know we’ve already got this information on our website?

If you visit the Law Library Location & Contact page you will find a traffic light panel that will tell you exactly how busy the library is at any time, and this information refreshes every 5 minutes! This is based on anonymised data taken from the swipe entry gates to the library, so while it doesn’t give us a seat-by-seat count of which spaces are available it’s a pretty good indicator of busy periods.

Screenshot of the traffic light occupancy bar which is displayed on the Law Library Locations webpage.

You’ll see above the colour coded lights that the bold text tells us that at 12.15 today the library is NOT BUSY. If you use your cursor to hover over the bar on the website a pop up text box will appear, which currently says “Library is at 20% of occupancy. You will find a choice of spaces in the library.”

If the library is full when you’re trying to visit you can check out the Study Spaces website for suggestions of where else you can go on central campus. You should also be aware that during the lead up to exams we make the MacLaren Stuart and Quad Teaching Rooms open for study. When these are available there will be large signs posted at the entrance to the library directing students to the available rooms.

NOTE: The traffic light sign is usually also displayed on the plasma screens next to the Helpdesk when you visit the Law Library, near the entrance to the Reserve section. At present this is not working properly but we are in the midst of getting it fixed, and will update when it is available again.

New trial: Jus Mundi Academic Research

Recently we have arranged access to the Jus Mundi Academic Research database, which we have until 17th November.

Jus Mundi Academic Research is a comprehensive, multilingual, user-friendly and intelligent search engine for international law and arbitration. It covers over 72,000 international law and arbitration documents, including investment arbitration, commercial arbitration, public international law, law of the sea, and international trade-law. Jus Mundi has international cases from more than 100 institutions globally, namely, WTO, ICSID, ICC, ICJ, CAS, PCA, ICDR, IUSCT, ITLOS, SCC, LCIA, ICAC, RAC, SIAC, HKIAC, Mixed Claims Commissions, and ad hoc arbitration tribunals established under the UNCITRAL rules. Commercial arbitration documents including arbitral awards are made available through Jus Mundi thanks to their partnerships with the IBA, ICC, RAC, VIAC, CEA, UAA, ICDR, CBMA, HKIAC, SHIAC, SCCA, THAC and more.

Image indicates coverage of Jus Mundi: 35k+ Decisions From global arbitration institutions and national courts 10k + Full awards and procedural orders 15k+ Supporting case documents Including dissenting opinions, expert opinions, pleadings, witness statements and more 4.5k+ Treaties Plus thousands of related cases ≈ 300 Wiki Notes On key concepts in ISDS

Jus Mundi is a provider who also hosts the ICC Dispute Resolution Channel, so you may already be familiar with their platform. This means we now have access not only to ICC DRL but also to Jus Mundi’s search engine + Documents on Treaties, Cases and Rules of Arbitration, and Wiki notes.

Students and staff may be interested to know there is a dedicated help center for useful information:


To access Jus Mundi please visit the EResources trials page for links and usernames. Don’t forget to complete the feedback form so we know what you think!

Westlaw update: unused accounts removed

Westlaw have recently let us know that they are engaging in some housekeeping activities to ensure the University’s records are being kept up-to-date. What this means is that any University of Edinburgh users who have not accessed their accounts for more than 15 months will have their account closed. The benefits to this are that we can keep an accurate log of how many users are actively using the database and that we do not exceed the student numbers we’ve quoted to the provider.

If this happens to your account and you are still a current student or staff member who needs access, you can simply re-register your university email address on Westlaw and continue to use the platform as before. However, your preferences and saved documents or favourites will no longer be stored, so you will need to add them back into your bookmarks when you log in. To avoid losing this data simply ensure you log in to Westlaw using your account at least once per semester.

We don’t anticipate this causing any major issues for our staff or students but if you do encounter problems with Westlaw or any of our other databases, please do let us know by email.

Welcome to Week One!

Hello, and if you’re a new student joining us for the 2023/24 academic year we look forward to meeting you in the Law Library soon!

We are Anna Richards and SarahLouise McDonald, and we are your Law Librarians. Anna works the first half of the week, SarahLouise the second, and you can reach us both by email on law.librarian@ed.ac.uk at any time.

Photos of Anna and SarahLouise (L-R). The background is formed of a white space with black and blue geometric shapes behind the photos.

You may have already met us at one of the several induction sessions we’ve been running over the past week or two. If you missed them you can find recordings on the Law Librarian Media Hopper Channel:

The slides for each session are added as ‘attachments’ to the videos above. Please note that captions are automatically generated and we’ll endeavour to get them corrected over the coming month.

One session which wasn’t recorded was the Diploma Welcome to the Library session which was delivered face-to-face. If you’re a Diploma student you should already have access to the slides via your Learn pages, but if not you can find them here: Law – Diploma induction 2023.

If you’re looking for information on using the physical library, we recommend you check out the Law Library webpages and take a look at our Virtual Orientation Guide (Microsoft Sway document – other formats are available by request). We hope that you’ll get in touch with either ourselves or our colleagues on the library helpdesk by contacting EdHelp if you have any queries. See you in the library!

New ebooks: Hart Law 2023 collection

Welcome to the Law School to all our new students and welcome back to our returning students! You’ll be glad to know that the library has expanded it’s ebook collection ahead of the new academic year and we now have access to Hart’s 2023 Law collection.

Some highlights include:

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.

New trial: Oxford Encyclopedia of EU Law

Image showing Oxford University press logo. Text reads Introducing the Oxford Encyclopedia of EU Law: new to Oxford University Press.

You may be interested to know about a trial we have currently running for the Oxford Encyclopedia of EU Law. From the publishers’ website:

A year ago, the Oxford Encyclopedia of EU Law (OEEUL) was launched as a new product within the Oxford Public International Law (OPIL) family. Providing high-level analysis of European Union law by specialized distinguished contributors, OEEUL articles define, explain, and analyze EU law’s key legal concepts in an accessible yet profound way. It is a source of great pride for the OEEUL team that in its first year, the encyclopedia has grown from the initial 100 entries to its current 131 articles – with the team dedicated to increasing this content by tenfold in the coming years to eventually cover the entire EU legal order.

This database is offered via the Oxford Public International Law (OPIL) platform, where we also subscribe to the Max Planck Encyclopedias of International Law, and the Oxford Reports on International Law; both key resources for research and study.

The trial for the Oxford Encyclopedia of EU Law runs from 16th August to 16th October 2023, and the databases can be accessed via the E-resources trials page. Please have a look at the content provided and let us know what you think using the Trial feedback form. All comments will help us decide whether to subscribe to this resource going forward.

New Resource: Law Library of Congress Reports (HeinOnline)

 

Image of the Law Library of Congress, exterior. A long white brick building with tall recesses indicating windows is shown on a sunny day. The avenue outside the building is lined with trees.

Recently HeinOnline has added the Law Library of Congress Reports to its online databases offerings. From Hein’s website:

The Law Library of Congress was established in 1832 as a separate department of the Library of Congress. Its mission is to provide authoritative legal research, reference and instruction services, and access to an unrivaled collection of U.S., foreign, comparative, and international law. To accomplish this mission, the Law Library has assembled a staff of experienced foreign and U.S. trained legal specialists and law librarians, and has amassed the world’s largest collection of law books and other legal resources from all countries, now comprising more than 2.9 million items, including one of the world’s best rare law book collections and the most complete collection of foreign legal gazettes in the U.S.

The Law Library produces reports on foreign, comparative, and international law in response to requests from Members of Congress, Congressional staff and committees, the federal courts, executive branch agencies, and others.

This database includes more than 3,500 reports from the Law Library of Congress on foreign, comparative, and international law—all in one easy-to-navigate collection. HeinOnline offer a helpful LibGuide which can help you explore the content further, and you can access the database itself via the Library Databases pages.