Using the Library remotely – accessing material you need

With many of you currently not in Edinburgh and access to our Library’s print collections severely restricted, knowing the options for accessing material that isn’t available online or that the Library doesn’t have in its collections has become increasingly important.

While the Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the number of options available to you, there are still possibilities existing that you can take advantage of.

Check DiscoverEd
Request a Book (RaB)
Scan & Deliver
Click & Collect
Inter-Library Loans (ILLs)
National Library of Scotland and other libraries
Open Access (free stuff)

Check DiscoverEd

It’s really important that you check if the Library has the item or material you are looking for in its collections, whether online or in print. Searching Google or Google Scholar will not give you this information (even if you have set up Google Scholar for full text access). DiscoverEd will show you what we (the Library) have. Continue reading

Using the Library remotely – DiscoverEd

With many of you currently not in Edinburgh and access to our Library’s print collections severely restricted, being able to access books, journals and other materials online has become even more important.

Knowing how to find and access the e-books and e-journals (and more) available to you at the Library is often where people first go wrong. While Google and Google Scholar are good search tools they are not going to show you what the Library has access to and they often put barriers in your way for accessing material.

DiscoverEd should be your starting point

DiscoverEd ( is the main place to search for and access online material (and print) available to you at the Library. It tells you what e-books, e-journals, e-journal articles, etc., you have access to and provides links to access them. These links are embedded to tell the resource that you are from University of Edinburgh so access in most cases is direct with your University username and password (and you don’t have to enter this again if you are already signed in).

So some hints and tips and things to know when using DiscoverEd.

Sign In
Too many search results?
Don’t ignore information that is there to help
Broadening your search in DiscoverEd
Build a more complex search (or a more specific search)
Going beyond DiscoverEd
What access is there to print items in Library collections or if the Library doesn’t have the item at all? Continue reading

5 recommended library resources for LGBT+ History Month

February has seen the celebration of LGBT+ History Month in the UK and you may have enjoyed one of the many fantastic events put on by the University’s Staff Pride Network or the University’s Students’ Association. LGBT+ History Month may be near the end but I wanted to highlight just some of the library resources available to staff and students of the University that will allow you to study and research LGBT+ history further.

1. Books, journals, articles, etc.

The Main Library is co-hosting a ‘micro-exhibition’ with student groups Project Myopia and LiberatEd with a pop-up book display on the ground floor this week. A LGBT+ History Month Resource List has also been put together to highlight the wide range of LGBT+ books available at the University Library. This is just a selection of titles available at the Library and you can use DiscoverEd to find more.

You can also use DiscoverEd to search for and find a large range of journal articles and journals on LGBT+ related research. Or you can go further in your research by using some of the bibliographic databases the Library has access to that will allow you to search for journal articles, abstracts, book reviews, book chapters, reports and proceedings, etc.

2. What to watch?

You can use some of the Library’s moving image and video streaming databases to search for and view films, documentaries, news programmes, interviews, plays, TV programmes, etc. Continue reading

Top five library questions from SPS PG students

Academic Support Librarians

Welcome from Caroline & Christine

It was great to meet so many SPS postgraduate students in our Welcome Week workshops on Library Resources. We’ve now put the slides from these sessions up on our subject guide web pages.  We asked you to write any questions you still had about the library on your feedback sheets so we could get back to you. Here’s some of the things you asked :

  1. “How do I find out more about using Endnote?”

To learn more about Endnote Online (Web) you canbook on the iSkills course, Using EndNote Online to Manage your References via MyEd. Further details can be found at Alternatively, the course materials are also available online.Training for the desktop version of Endnote that I mentioned is also available (Managing Bibliographies with EndNote X7).

2. “How do I log in/sign in via the University to JSTOR journals?”

If you access JSTOR via the University link at, you will be taken through the University’s authentication which is the EASE username and password log in. This will enable you to be recognised as a University of Edinburgh student and access JSTOR. If you have done this and you get an “authorisation failed” error message, contact the IS Helpline ( , by phone (0131 651 5151) or via the self-service portal (

3. “Are IT services and helpdesk the same? If not where can I find the IT desk?”

The IS Helpline are the main contact for  IT and e-learning enquiries. They don’t have a desk that you can visit them in-person, but they do offer a pretty much 24/7 service. You can contact them via email ( , by phone (0131 651 5151) or via the self-service portal ( – if you contact them via this route then you can keep a track of your enquiry).

There are also Mobile Device Clinics that you can book onto via MyEd for one-to-one help with your laptop or tablet :

If you’re  having problems connecting to your email account or using the University’s wireless or VPN services then the Helpline are running drop-in Get Connected sessions in the Main Library, 10am-4pm (until Fri 25 Sept). More information at

4. “Can you tell me more about study spaces beyond the Library (as I’ve heard it gets crowded)?

During peak periods such as undergraduate revision and exam time, extra study space is opened up around the central area and this is advertised through the Library website, library social media accounts e.g. and, and a large map gets put up in the Main Library itself.

Apart from this though, remember that you can use any of the other site libraries around the University, which have study space and often open access computing facilities as well.  Also in George Square the Hugh Robson Building, which is next door to the Chrystal Macmillan Building (CMB), has a 24 hour open access computing lab in it which all students have access to. There are also other open access computing labs available, not based in libraries, around the central area. See for more information.

5. “I want to know more about the possibility of using other academic libraries in the UK”

Have you heard of the SCONUL Access scheme? Most of the Universities in the UK and Ireland are members of this reciprocal scheme which gives students and staff of member universities access to other member university libraries. You have to register with the scheme first of all and you register online with your home library i.e. University of Edinburgh Library. Once registered you will be sent a registration email and it is this email AND your student card that you will need to gain access to other University Libraries in the UK. For more information see :

More information can also be found on the SCONUL Access website

Christine Love-Rodgers & Caroline Stirling, Academic Support Librarians – Social & Political Science

How the Library can help you in Semester Two?

Need help using or discovering Library resources? Need advice on referencing and citing? Not sure where to start with your systematic literature review? Or just want to know how to best use Google in an academic context? 

Main Library Study Area 01The Academic Support Librarian team are running several courses this semester through IS Skills which you can book onto via MyEd. These (mostly) 1 hour sessions allow you to get expert advice and hands-on experience, so whether you are a returning to the University after the winter vacation or are a brand new student at the University why not book on and become an expert yourself?

Continue reading

SPS Librarian Top 5 blog posts 2014 – no. 5

As exams are almost over and semester one nears its end we are reposting our Top 5 blog posts from this year, every day in the final week of semester.

At number 5, oddly enough is another Top 5, this time Top 5 women’s studies library resources.



Caroline Stirling – Academic Support Librarian for Social and Political Science

New books for Social and Political Science: November 2014

Thanks to recommendations from members of staff and requests via RAB from students the Library is continually adding new books to its collections both online and in print. Here are just a small number of the books that have been added to the Library’s collections in November 2014 for Social and Political Science.

Why_we_harm_Nov_14Why we harm by Lois Presser (shelfmark: HV6025 Pre. Also available as e-book).

Toxic aid : economic collapse and recovery in Tanzania by Sebastian Edwards (shelfmark: HC885 Edw. Also available as e-book).

Sounds of the citizens : dancehall and community in Jamaica by Anne M. Galvin (shelfmark: ML3532 Gal.)

Continue reading

Get the Best from the Library Week for SPS

27th-31st October

Drop-in sessions on the 1st floor at Pop-up LibraryIF

Get the Best from the Library Week is all about helping you find out more about how the Library can work for you at the University of Edinburgh.

During the Get the Best from the Library Week you can:

  • Discover the full range of information resources available to you
  • Find out about new resources purchased recently
  • Get one-to-one support from a library specialist in your subject area

All next week the Library Academic Support team are taking over the Pop-up Library desk in the afternoons (1st floor, Main Library, Mon-Fri 2-4pm) so why not pop-up for a chat and find out how you can Get the Best from the Library?

Continue reading

Need help with using the Library? Help is available.

Having problems finding material from your reading list? Not sure how to reference or cite properly in your work? Need to work on a systematic review but not sure where to start? Or just want to know how to use Google and Google Scholar in an academic context?

The Academic Support Librarian team are running several courses this semester through IS Skills which you can book onto via MyEd. These (mostly) 1 hour sessions allow you to get expert advice and hands-on experience. So why not book on and become an expert yourself? Continue reading