Where could maps take you?

So when does an Animal Science student need to use EDINA Digimap and GIS software?  The answer is not all do, but you never know where your dissertation project may take you, and what software may help your research or your presentation or visualisation of results.

Grace’s dissertation took her to Sunderland to road test the country’s first gas sniffer dog.  Collaborating with an Earth Science student to help her use the mapping products and with training from the geosciences team in using GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) accurate to 2cm, she plotted the gas leaks and successful finds by her faithful four legged co-worker.  The team demonstrated that a dog’s nose is as good conventional gas detection equipment, and could be very helpful with difficult to trace gas leaks.

Sniffer dog in high vis finds gas leak
Sniffer dog, image used with permission from Dr Catherine Douglas, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.
Digimap illustrating gas leaks detected
Map created by student using EDINA Digimap https://digimap.edina.ac.uk/ and used with permission by Dr Catherine Douglas, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

With many thanks to Dr Catherine Douglas, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, for providing this content.

See what is available to you on the Maps Guide and take up opportunities to collaborate or share good practice with other disciplines. You never know where it might lead!

Please note: EDINA Digimap requires registration before use.

Literature Online upgrade

The literary research database, Literature Online (LION) has had an exciting new upgrade.

LION, which enables you to research international literature of all genres in books and journals, together with 350,000 works of poetry, prose and drama from the 8th century to the present, is now hosted on Proquest’s main platform. It also has good coverage of related areas such as linguistics, philosophy, classics and film studies.

The new site includes the following improvements:

  • new content will be available more quickly
  • clearer search options to help you focus your search
  • improved author pages
  • you can now cross-search LION along with other Proquest databases, such as Early English Books Online, The Guardian/Observer/New York Times newspaper archives, plus thousands of journal articles in other subject areas.

Not quite ready to switch? The old LION platform will still be available until August 2019, but we would encourage you to try the new LION sooner rather than later!

Government Publications: Questions in the House!


Surely all MPs are giving us the correct facts?

Take a look at our links to resources for Legislation, Statistics and Official Publications to make sure!

Government publications provide primary information in a variety of subjects. Statistics, White Papers, Parliamentary Bills and a whole range of Official Legislation.

These are a good reliable source of accurate statistics, and can give support to your argument in essay topics across all subjects.

Many government publications are now available online; our Library Guide highlights the useful websites.

Interested in Student Loans or the legal details of part time Employment Contracts?

Details of all UK legal processes can be found at the government website Gov.uk which provides lots of useful information about government services, with an A-Z of departments, agencies and local councils.

Meaningful Vote mean anything to you?

Keep up with the debate and Prime Ministers Questions at this website.






Follow the Brexit shenanigans as it happens!

Democracy Live is the BBC’s new website which offers live and on demand video coverage of the UK’s national political institutions and the European Parliament.

Who stole 40 llbs of butter from Mr Wadsworths wagon in 1778?

You can find out here in The Proceedings of Old Bailey which contains accounts of over 100,000 criminal trial held at London’s criminal court.



So, for more information about finding your way around all aspects of Government Publications please take a look at our helpful video.



Trial : Gender: Identity and Social Change

This platform uncovers three centuries of primary source material documenting developments in gender role and relations.

You can explore records from men’s and women’s organisations, advice literature and etiquette books. Gain insight into changing societal expectations about gender roles through personal diaries and correspondence.

You can explore the life and career of key figures in gender history. Or view an interactive timeline of feminist history.

The papers of Arthur J. Munby (1828-1910), from Trinity College, Cambridge are included with enhanced with Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR). Munby’s fascination with the lives of working-class women are recorded through his collection of observations, interviews, diaries, photo albums and sketches, gathered from the streets of Victorian Britain. Read more about HTR or watch our demonstration video.

Highlights from the collection include:

  • Documents relating to Doris Stevens and Martha Carey Thomas in their fight for suffrage, including letters to Emmeline Pankhurst
  • Papers from the collection of Betty Friedan, a leading figure in the feminist movement
  • A unique collection of newsletters representing the development of the men’s movement from the 1970s onwards
  • Reports and correspondence from organisations and groups such as the Manchester Men’s League for Women’s Suffrage, the Famous Five, the National Women’s Party and the Six Point Group
  • Material highlighting arguments surrounding the body, including sexuality and abortion
  • Late nineteenth-and early-twentieth century periodicals including The British Workman, The British Workwoman andThe Lady’s Realm

The trial ends on 25th of February. Please explore and email us your feedback, or post it as a comment on this blog.


Trial – Bloomsbury Architecture Library

The Bloomsbury Architecture Library contains a variety of material on architecture and other related subjects e.g. landscape, urbanism and interiors.

The platform incorporates the latest edition of Sir Banister Fletcher’s Global History of Architecture together with photographs, drawings and 42 eBooks on architecture, architectural history, theory, design and urbanism.

The Library offers access to fully-searchable text and images covering 6,000 years of architecture.

Check the “how to use” guide by Bloomsbury

Browse Global History of Architecture by Sir Banister Fletcher

Explore the platform by PlacePeriodStyle, or Peoples and Cultures

Browse the ebook titles

Additional coming to the platform this Spring include:

  • Building pages with key information about the world’s most important buildings all in one place
  • A clickable world map linked to building pages and articles, making location-specific research easy
  • An interactive timeline puts architecture history in perspective
  • An essential glossary where students can look up key terms

Promotional video by Bloomsbury available : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nQowTW272g

Downloaded flier highlighting the content available at https://media.bloomsbury.com/rep/files/bal_launch_flyer_85x11.pdf

To access Bloomsbury Architecture Library. click on the link here .

The trial ends on the 14th of March. Please explore and email us your feedback, or post it as a comment on this blog.

Trial : Socialism on Film

Sourced from the British Film Institute (BFI), Socialism on Film documents the communist world, from the Russian Revolution to the end of the Cold War. This unique collection of documentary films, features and newsreels reveals all aspects of life behind the Iron Curtain, as seen by filmmakers from the USSR, Vietnam, Cuba, China, East Germany, Eastern Europe and more. Covering the early twentieth century to the 1980s.

Providing a counterpoint to Western perceptions of communist states and their actions, the films illuminate how socialist countries saw themselves and the world around them during the major political and social events of the twentieth century. The footage was originally sourced from communist states, then versioned into English language for private distribution in Britain and the West.

This is the largest film collection of its kind to survive in Western Europe. The films have been conserved, digitised from the original 16mm and 35mm reels, and are fully transcribed and searchable.


  • Watch first hand the Soviet fears on President Reagan’s Star Wars defence initiative.
  • Operation Teutonic Sword is an East German documentary film examining and exposing figures of authority in the FDR. It was banned from general release in Britain due to its allegations about NATO general Hans Speidel.
  • Lenin and the progress of the Russian Revolution are memorialised in the titles including Lenin is Always With Us.
  • The Vietnamese perspective on the war with the US is shown in titles such as War as We Saw It and the Pilots in Pyjamas series.
  • Science documentaries like Attention Weightlessness discuss Soviet space exploration and cosmonaut training.
  • Second World War documentaries such as Feat of Moscow and feature films like On the Way to Berlin reveal the way in which the Soviets remember their war and its significance to their present.
  • Featuring Latin America, Island Ablaze looks at the Cuban Revolution and its benefits and Compañero: Victor Jara of Chile is a BAFTA nominated film about the folk singer and the aftermath of the Chilean coup of 1973.
  • Chinese cultural endeavours are showcased in documentaries such as Actors in the Making and the Peking Variety Artists.

The trial ends on the 25th of February. Please explore and email us your feedback, or post it as a comment on this blog.

*Please note that PDF download options are not available during trials.

Get ahead of the game!

A game of chess

Phew, the exams are behind you and you can breathe a sigh of relief! One semester is done and dusted and the next is around the corner. But before you say, “I don’t want to think about that yet”, why not use this simple checklist to ensure that you start semester 2 ahead of the game?

  1. Find your reading lists for your semester 2 modules and start to read the items now. You’re upcoming lectures and seminars will make much more sense in light of this and enable you to use your time more efficiently as a result. If it seems overwhelming, why not just start with the items your academic has marked as ‘essential’ on the list?
  2. Look at your upcoming module handbooks on Blackboard and check out the assignment details. Are you going to have to produce a type of assignment you have never done before? Or do you need to develop your assignment writing skills? The Writing Development Centre are here to help.
  3. Get familiar with your subject specific guide and explore the databases and resources that are recommended for you.  It will make finding high quality information for assignments much easier and will help you access those top marks.
  4. Hone your referencing skills by checking out our referencing guide and the fantastic referencing tool which is Cite them Right. Getting to grips with your referencing style will not only help you to avoid plagiarism, but will get you some easy marks.
  5. And if all of this seems overwhelming and you need some help with managing your time, check out the ASK website for some advice.

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

How to find your way with maps!

What ever your subject area maps, both print and digital, can be a useful source of information.

picture of a map

Print maps are available on level 4 of the Philip Robinson Library.

Digital access is available through Digimap, which offers a number of data collections, including Ordnance Survey, historical, geological, LiDAR and marine maps and spatial data.

If you want to know more about print, digital maps or other freely available mapping services please link to our subject guide below.


Image taken from Pixabay

Are you using the best information to make your point?

With the huge volume of information available and the speed with which you can find something on just about any topic with a simple search, it can be difficult to be sure that you are using the best quality information for your task. Your tutors will often give advice such as recommending that you use academic or peer-reviewed journal articles, and it can be tempting to stick to ‘safe’ types of information such as books.

But depending on your assignment topic, you will need to explore a breadth of different information types, including many that will be online. So how do you know which ones to you?

You will need to consider many issues, including authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency and coverage within an information source. This will help you make decisions about the quality of the information, its reliability and what role it could play within your thinking.

You will evaluate information all the time without thinking about it. It doesn’t need to be a conscious or difficult task. Our Six Questions video will help give you some ideas for the types of questions to keep in mind to make your own judgement.

You may also sometimes decide to include a piece of information, even though it may not be from a credible source or its impartiality is questionable, because it illustrates the point you are trying to make. Being aware of your reservations about a reference allows you to be more confident in your judgment.

Find out more on our Evaluating Information guide …

New resource “Statista” available

We now have access to platform called Statista which is available through a subscription from the Business School.

This is an extensive statistics platform covering over 1.5 million data sets (and adding an additional 500 each day) with revenue forecasts from 2015 to 2020 on over 400 industries.

Data is collected from over 18,000 sources covering over 75,000 different topics.

The platform can broken down into different elements including :

  • Statista‘s Digital Market Outlook offers forecasts, detailed market insights and key performance indicators for the most important areas of the Digital Economy, including various digital goods and services. https://www.statista.com/outlook/digital-markets
  • Statista’s Consumer Market Outlook provides in-depth market insights, key performance indexes and forecasts for the most important consumer markets. https://www.statista.com/outlook/consumer-markets
  • Statista’s industry reports provide the facts needed to understand an industry. The reports are clearly structured, easy to understand and present not only numerical data on areas such as trends in turnover and revenue, but also on industry strengths and weaknesses.  Updated annually, these reports contain the most recent and relevant data. https://www.statista.com/industry-reports
  • Statista’s dossiers are in-house reports which contain the most recent and relevant statistics concerning a single subject. Regular updates and routine additions ensure that Statista’s 4,000 dossiers are always up to date https://www.statista.com/dossiers

This short video from Statista give a nice overview of the different search functionalities – https://vimeo.com/202712374

Access via https://www.statista.com/ or via the record on Library Search.  (If you are accessing on campus, the platform will authenticate using IP address. If you are accessing off campus you will be taken through EzProxy so access should be seamless if you’ve logged in previously using your Campus ID and password).