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:

New resources: Elgar 2021 ebooks

You may be interested in some of the exciting new ebook packages we’ve purchased recently for use by students and staff in the School.

Edward Elgar Publishing are a well-respected publisher who produce excellent books, textbooks and journals in many subject areas. We often purchase their annual Law ebook package, and this year is no different. Some highlights include:

Book cover for EU Copyright LawBook cover for Comparative Tort LawBook cover for Poverty and Human Rights

For more information about the books included in the Law 2021 package, visit the Elgar Online website, or search DiscoverEd for ‘Edward Elgar’.

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. 

Supplier Help and Training

The university subscribes to hundreds of databases. It can be confusing how to navigate individual databases and resources, and although many can be searched in a similar way they all have unique differences and functionality.

Most resources have help and training pages available to guide you and the Law Library Subject Guide (https://edinburgh-uk.libguides.com/Law) links out to some of the most frequently used including Westlaw, LexisLibrary and HeinOnline. We recently added investorstatelawguide help links – as this platform has recently undergone a refresh.

Screengrab of the home page of InvestorStateLawGuide. At the top of the page 'Welcome back, University of Glasgow' is written, with links to video tutorials below. On the left side of the page there is a navigation pane with a menu which links to different functions of the site.

The help pages on supplier sites are useful as a first port of call – just in case they can answer your query quickly. They also give you access to other materials such as PDF guides, recorded videos, live webinars and online help.

Suppliers encourage users to attend training sessions so if you feel you would benefit then sign up!

Event: House of Commons Library and Briefing Paper Research

If you are interested in legal information and the research that goes into official publications, you may find this upcoming event hosted by the Scottish Law Librarians’ Group to be of interest.

The Scottish Law Librarians’ Group Presents, in association with the Advocates’ Library, Edinburgh:

The House of Commons Library and Briefing Paper Research

Thursday 1st July 2021. 7pm-8.30pm

The SLLG Committee and Advocates’ Library are delighted to introduce the inaugural event in our new online lecture series which we hope will be of great interest to law librarians, legal professionals, law students and anyone with an interested in professional legal research.

David Torrance is an experienced researcher at the House of Commons Library and has worked on briefing papers relating to both Scottish Independence and current events in Northern Ireland.

In this talk he will introduce the work of the House of Commons Library, explaining the resources available, how research is conducted, and how briefing papers contribute to the work of the House. We will look at some of the briefing papers David has authored, specifically with reference to issues of relevance for legal professionals in Scotland such as the legality of an independence referendum. The event will also include time for questions after David’s presentation.

This is an online event which will be hosted on Zoom. A link to the event will be sent out to registered attendees two days prior to the talk. The event will be recorded and a link will be circulated to attendees along with additional resources relating to David’s work following the event.

Register on Eventbrite

Library of Congress Law Library

Whilst searching for material you sometimes find a resource that you want to tell other people about! On this occasion it is the Library of Congress  Law Library.

It is based on a print book collection, which is not accessible to us. However as with most libraries today they are digitising their collection. Access may be limited but it still offers alot of interesting material for students of this topic.

One of the sections of most interest was the Indigenous Law Portal, which allowed PDF downloads of some of the materials. This included maps, Constitutions and by-laws, Corporate charters of native villages and Laws.

All in all a treasure trove of material.

If you find any resources you’d like us to share on the blog, please let us know by emailing law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

You made it! End of AY 2020-2021

Three snails are in a line, and look like they are crawling across concrete strewn with leaves. At the fore of the image there is a banner indicating the finish line, though the text is partially out of shot and out of focus.

It’s felt like a sluggish crawl to the finish line, but we made it! (Image by Jarmoluk via Pixabay)

Monday 24th May 2021 marks the beginning of the summer vacation, meaning that for the majority of students teaching has finished for the year and exams are over. Everybody who has completed a period of study during this confusing, stressful, and difficult year deserves recognition of the incredible effort they’ve put in. We want to acknowledge the great flexibility and adaptability our students in the School of Law (and across the University) have shown by managing to work on, submit assignments and complete courses of study. We’re proud to have played a part in keeping your education on track.

Library Services has been working incredibly hard behind the scenes to make swift transitions as seamless as possible, and while we know it hasn’t been an entirely smooth ride we appreciate the patience and grace shown to us by staff and students while we managed the changes as best we could.

Although the pandemic isn’t over yet we hope that when the next academic year begins in September we’ll be looking at a very different landscape, with a robust vaccination programme, more freedom and therefore a much anticipated return to normal opening for our beautiful and well-used libraries.

We recognise that many staff and students will be continuing to research throughout the summer and would like to highlight that we’re available to support your work all year round, not just in term time! If you require support or have questions about resources during the summer months please use our email address (law.librarian@ed.ac.uk) to contact us.

~ Donna and SarahLouise

Training and dissertation support

We know it’s that time of year where dissertation research is many students’ top priority so we have scheduled some events that we hope will help you prepare for the project ahead. These are all happening over the next few months and are released for booking about three weeks ahead of the event date. The first two are now live and the others will be coming onto the system over the next few weeks.

Wednesday 5th May 12.00 to 13.00– Dissertation support: Referencing for Law (bespoke for School, 50 minute session.)

This session is designed to help students learn to reference into larger research projects such as dissertations. We discuss specific referencing systems such as OSCOLA and Edinburgh Law Review, and highlight key issues which students at the School of Law will need to be familiar with. Booking open at

https://www.events.ed.ac.uk/index.cfm?event=book&scheduleID=46811 Now Live!

Wednesday 19th May 12.30 to 13.00 – Using Law Databases (Library Bitesize, 30 minute session open to all)

This session covers selecting the appropriate database for your needs, locating sources of full text information for legislation, case law and commentary and tips and tricks for how to record and revisit searches.

This session will focus on the use of Westlaw, Lexis UK and HeinOnline.

https://edin.ac/2FXpv1q Now Live!


Thursday 3rd June 09.00-09.30– How to Reference and Avoid Plagiarism (Library Bitesize, 30 minute session open to all)

This session covers the basics of referencing and why it is important, tools to help you : Cite it Right, EndNote Online

[Please note : this is a short introductory session. For detailed help on this topic, see Managing Bibliographies with EndNote, Using EndNote Online to Manage your References Sessions]

Link will be at https://edin.ac/2FXpv1q (Not yet live on events booking)

Wednesday 16th June 12.30-13.00 – Choosing a reference manager (Library Bitesize, 30 minute session open to all)

This session covers the differences between reference management products, using with MS Word and how to create references using the software.

Link will be at https://edin.ac/2FXpv1q (Not yet live on events booking)


We also continue to offer individual research support clinic appointments which are available to book via events bookings (http://edin.ac/3bvd78B). Our next available appointment is on the 20th May, and once a fortnight thereafter.

Alternatively if you have questions or would like for us to schedule an appointment for a different day, please get in touch by emailing law.librarian@ed.ac.uk.

Re-Opening of the Law Library

As many of you know the rules on lockdown have begun to change. From the 26th April 2021 this means that library services can offer more access to premises – including the Law Library.

It is not a return to business as usual!

Staff and students will be able to access the premises and collections, with self-issue machines being available so that self-service borrowing can resume.

All users will need to adhere to the rules relating to Covid-19 restrictions including physical distancing, wearing a face covering (unless exempt) and the booking of study spaces before coming to the library. Full details on study spaces and how to book is available on the Study Spaces pages.

The opening hours are available at the Law Library pages.

As access to the library starts the Click & Collect service will come to an end, but any requests made before the 19th of April will still be processed.

For students who have not had the opportunity to visit the Law Library this short presentation will give you an idea of what is available during usual service: Law Library Tour

The Library staff look forward to seeing you again!