Research Data Management (RDM) Surgery!

We all know that Research Data Management (RDM) is one of the essential areas of responsible conduct of research don’t we!

We also know that it provides a framework that supports researchers and their data throughout the course of their research and beyond. Right?

But did you know that the University recently launched a suite of services to support Edinburgh researchers with research data management tasks?  See:

Research Data Management logo

The launch of the IS-led RDM Services is the culmination of work detailed in the RDM Roadmap which began in earnest in August 2012 following approval of the RDM Policy by the University Court in May 2011.

RDM programme staff will be in the Pop-up library space on the first floor of the  Main Library on Monday 29 September (2pm-4pm) to answer any questions you may have about our services including:

For further information please also visit:

So please pop by and pay us a visit and let us answer your Research Data Management queries.

Stuart Macdonald
RDM Service Coordinator

Cataloguing Norman Dott’s neurosurgical case notes with LHSA

This project is one of two Wellcome Trust funded projects currently underway at Lothian Health Services Archive (LHSA). It involves the detailed cataloguing of over 26,500 individual patient case notes relating to the pioneering Edinburgh neurosurgeon Professor Norman Dott, who established the first Department of Surgical Neurology in Scotland in Ward 20 of the Royal Infirmary and was also Professor of Neurological Surgery at the University of Edinburgh. This project, which has been underway since September 2012, aims to make a large body of records more accessible to researchers that would otherwise be somewhat hard to access due to barriers such as volume of material, specialised medical terminology and issues surrounding patient confidentiality. These barriers have been tackled and overcome by the development of a methodology to catalogue these valuable records to item level, which includes a high level of indexing to enable detailed searches to be carried out while ensuring the protection of confidential patient information. This project is without known precedent in UK archives and it is hoped that the cataloguing methodology will be applied to other large collections of patient case notes in the future.PR1-682


Four collections of case notes are being catalogued as part the project and span 40 years of Dott’s career between 1920 and 1960. They cover his early work in private practice, the establishment and development of the Department of Surgical Neurology at the Royal Infirmary and his work during the Second World War at the Brain Injuries Unit at Bangour General Hospital. The case notes contain a wealth a material that give a unique insight into the development of the specialism of surgical neurology in Scotland by Dott and his team and into the lives of his patients. While the project was set up and led by the Project Archivist and is being continued at present by the Project Cataloguing Archivist, it has also benefited greatly from contributions from volunteers and interns, both in terms of aiding the cataloguing process and dissemination of the methodology.

PR3.706 case file

Come along to our pop up session tomorrow, Tuesday 23rd September between 10 am and 12 pm to hear more about this innovative cataloguing project.

Cataloguing the HIV/Aids Collections held in LHSA

Our story begins in 2011, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic related records held by Lothian Health Services Archive were awarded an inscription on the UNESCO UK Memory of the World Register (the only LHSA collection so far to have the honour). This inscription recognised historical significance and future research potential of the record; which was again recognised by the Welcome Trust in 2012, when they awarded a cataloguing and conservation grant to preserve and make available all 12 collections listed on the inscription.The Project Conservator began in January 2014 and the Archivist came on board in May of the same year.


Some of our promotional post cards

Some of our promotional post cards


Our pop up session not only highlights the conservation and cataloguing work which has taken place so far, but also showcases the innovative ways in which the project has been managed and expanded beyond it’s original aims and objectives. The records have huge educational potential and this has been tapped into in a range of ways including an established social media programme and plans for an interactive website filled with educational resources to be used in schools across Scotland.

Throughout the project we have also been working in close collaboration with Waverley Care, an HIV/AIDS awareness group working across Edinburgh and the Lothian. It is hoped the two Organisations can work together to put the collections to good use and work to spread the messages contained within the records.

untitled (2)Library-Pop-Bottle_White_bl small

Come down between ten and twelve on the 24th September to hear about our project and see some of the records we hold, including our unrivalled condom collection!


Centre for Research Collections – an introduction


The Centre for Research Collection is the main space for anyone wanting to access Edinburgh University’s incredibly varied heritage collections, which encompass everything from archives, rare books and manuscripts, to historical musical instruments, art works and even some of the mould from which Alexander Fleming derived penicillin!

On Tuesday the 16th September we will be holding a pop-up session where you can see some of these great treasures and talk to members of staff about how you can access the collection.

We will be showcasing a 500 year old illuminated Book of Hours, early editions of works by Shakespeare and Tolkien, as well as a “pamphlet battle” from the 1930’s.

Hobbit 2

Join us from 10am to 12pm on Tuesday 16th September to get a taste of the fantastic items held by the University!

You can also browse our online image collection, or connect with us via Facebook or Twitter.


Full schedule of Pop up Library events published

We do an amazing amount of stuff in the Library and Information Services. The Pop up Library will give you  the chance to ask questions and  find out more about our services and collections and how we can support your learning and research.

Find out about the Library’s new Exam Papers Online service, What do you do if you can’t find a book in the Library? Pop up Library sessions focusing on Resources Plus will tell you what your options are. There will be opportunities to see up close art work and objects from the University’s world class collections. What is Searcher? How can you use it to find stuff on your reading list? Pop up… ask us!!

The full schedule of Pop up Library sessions is now available. There’s two sessions each day at 10-12pm and 2-4pm. Please keep an eye on this page as the schedule may be subject to change.

Pop up… ask us!!

8th September- 7th November
Main Library
1st floor reception desk


Next week at the Pop up Library

Week 1: 15th September

(10-12pm and 2-4pm)
Library Pop Introduction – What’s it all about? Watch the 1968 Library film

AM(10-12pm): Centre for Research Collections

PM (2-4pm): Learn and Mobile Learn

AM (10-12pm):  MyEd Mobile

PM (2-4pm): Smart Searching with Searcher

AM(10-12pm): MyEd Mobile

PM (2-4pm): Special Collections: Referendum special

AM(10-12pm): Learn and Mobile Learn

PM (2-4pm) TBC

Library Pop – Get Library Smart!

Library-Pop-Bottle_White_bl smallCome and meet members of the Library Academic Support team at the Pop up Library at 11am on Tuesday 8 September and find out more about the new Get Library Smart information skills resource. Newly developed from materials written for students by the Library Academic Support Team, this resource aims to help everyone at the University of Edinburgh get the best from the Library.  As well as a toolkit to help you  get your hands on the library materials you need, you’ll find step by step guides through the library experience of searching, discovering and managing  information. What’s more, we’ll regularly be delivering bite-sized chunks in blog form to answer key questions and signpost you to what’s relevant for your subject.

Christine Love-Rodgers, Library Academic Support Team

Pop up Library launches with Library Director and 1968 film

The Pop up Library launched this morning on the 1st floor of the Main Library with John Scally, the Director of Library and University Collections, joining us to help some Freshers on their first day.

JS Pop up 8th Sept Day 1 Session 1

This week we’re showing a film taken when Edinburgh University Main Library opened in 1968. There’s some cool sixties haircuts, a very nice handbag and the poshest BBC-like voiceover ever. Believe it or not, not a great deal has changed. The biggest surprise is that there used to be a smoking room in the building – health and safety ??!!!

1968 video

The film is projecting on to the back wall, and if you have time, sit yourself down on one of  the comfy chairs, plug yourself in and listen to the full commentary.

On Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning, we’re running two sessions of metadata games (complete with retro space invader graphics) where you’ll be able to help the Library by tagging some of the images in our vast image collections.

Pop over to the Main Library 1st floor desk to say, ‘hello’ and find out more about the sessions we’ll be running at the Pop up Library over the next two months.

This week’s Pop up Library schedule

Pop up Library

We’re taking over and making over a currently empty area in the Main Library to create a space which gives teams from across Information Services the chance to engage with Library users to promote their services in a fun and informal way and to gather some feedback.

The Pop up Library will run 8th September- 7th November using the currently vacant Main Library 1st floor reception desk.
This is what it looks like at the moment:
ML reception desk

We are planning to use the space to hold two Pop Up sessions per day: one morning (10-12pm) and one afternoon (2-4pm).

Sessions will focus on a wide range of topics from across the Library and Information services.

Keep an eye on the Pop Up Library blog to find out what’s happening. You don’t need to make an appointment – just pop over and see what’s happening and have a chat or ask a question.

To give you an idea, there will be sessions on existing services such as, Searcher, Learn and Pebblepad.

Other sessions will focus on Special Collections with the chance for library users to see rare objects up close. Others will give you the opportunity to ask about new services such as Resources Plus, which describes the various options available to users when they can’t find what they want in the Library.

Academic Support Librarians will offer specialised consultancy sessions and Library users will also get a chance to address questions and queries to senior management who will be making themselves available at various points throughout the trial period.

Library-Pop-Bottle_White_bl small
We’re using the Pop up Library blog and #librarypop to promote sessions and are encouraging Library users to tweet about sessions and to leave feedback on the feedback wall- which we’ll be putting up next to the desk- soon.

Angela Laurins, Library Learning Services Manager