Essential Network Printing Maintenance (Edinburgh Campus) – 1st & 2nd July

1st July from 5:30 pm

Staff service

Network printing will be unavailable in Engineering & Physical Sciences, George Heriot Wing, School of Management & Languages, School of Life Sciences and the James Watt Centre

2nd July from 5:30 pm

Student service

Network printing will be unavailable on student printers (see

Staff service

Engineering & Physical Sciences – colour printing only will be available

Academic staff – call for reading lists…

Stack of Library BooksReading lists for items for the start of semester 1 should be received by 7th July.  This will allow time for us to check stock and order additional or new titles as required.

Books on reading lists

Send your reading lists to with the following information:

  • Title of course
  • Details of the items needed (e.g. author, title, ISBN, publisher, year, edition)
  • Number of expected students
  • If an item is a key or core text
  • Item(s) to be placed on the 3 hour loan system
  • If there is a reason to provide a print rather than an eBook copy as we will be checking all requests for eBook availability

Items on reading lists can also be requested using the Book request form at Suggest a book (the form may need to be opened in a new window depending on the browser used). Select yes from the drop down menu at the first question Is this book on a reading list?

Items to support wider reading

To request items to support student’s wider reading for research, dissertations, theses, projects etc again use the Book request form at Suggest a book and select no from the drop down menu at the first question Is this book on a reading list?. These items are automatically forwarded to your Library Representative for approval and will not be purchased until he or she has approved them.

Requests for items required for the start of semester should be received by 7th July – requests received after this date cannot be guaranteed for the start of semester.

If you have any questions please contact Ellen Peacock, Aquisitions & Metadata Manager ( Ext 3573)


Microsoft Office 2013 upgrade

Student desktops

Information Services are upgrading the Student Desktops to Microsoft Office 2013 during the summer. The rollout of the upgrade on the Edinburgh campus will start on 1st July 2015 and it will affect all student labs listed on our PC Lab Availability page.

Staff desktops

From 1st July we will also be offering an optional upgrade to staff and postgraduates on IS managed desktops and laptops*.   If you wish to upgrade your PC or laptop please email the IT HelpDesk ( stating: –

  • your UserID
  • your computer name**
  • that you wish your computer to be upgraded to Microsoft Office 2013

The upgrade will run overnight and we will let you know when your upgrade will take place.

Please note that the upgrade will remove Microsoft Office 2010 completely.

If you have any queries regarding the either of these upgrades please contact the IT Helpdesk.

* Managed desktops and laptops are:

  • All staff desktops and laptops in Professional Services
  • All staff/postgraduate desktops in SML
  • Windows 7 desktops and laptops in SLS where users log on with their HWU UserID and password
  • Windows 7 desktops and laptops in EPS where users log on with their HWU UserID and password

** Yoaboutmypcu can find your PC/laptop name in About My PC   on your desktop.
It has the following format –  HWPC**** or HWLAP****


Free access to educational videos in essential genetics and cell biology from JoVe


Until 31 December 2015 students and staff have free access to 30 short instructional videos covering the Essentials of Genetics and the Essentials of Cell Biology from JoVe (Journal of Visualized Experiments). The videos typically are around 10 minutes each.

Use the Essentials of Genetics videos highlighted below for information on who the key players were in the history of genetics, key questions being asked by geneticists and how to do a tetrad analysis with 12 more videos on different topics available.

jove1 jove2 jove3

Use the Essentials of Cell Biology videos highlighted below for information on who first described glycolysis, what a trypan blue assay and who first studied necrosis at a cellular level with 12 more videos on different topics available.

jove4 jove5 jove7

Essentials of Genetics and Essentials of Cell Biology also link to a further 75 peer-reviewed video articles each, showing how the methods in the short educational videos are being applied in research at leading academic institutions.

Edinburgh Campus Library – improvement works #edincampuslib

As mentioned in a previous post, there are building works taking place at our Edinburgh Campus library and also at the Museum 

The building works in the library are in order to improve the lift at the main entrance.  This area has been boarded off and the rear entrance to the library is blocked off.  The main entrance to the library is open as usual.  The main entrance of the library leads to Floor 1 which is the main entrance floor of the library building and services are operating from here as usual.  The ground floor of the library building, which is downstairs from the main floor, is not accessible at the moment but if you require any journals or dictionaries from the ground floor reading rooms, then please ask at the Service Desk.
So far the building work has not proven to be too noisy but this may change next week so apologies for any inconvenience that this may cause.  We are looking forward to a new, shiny lift in September.

liftboard1 liftboard2

Email Attachments containing .exe .vbs or .scr files

The Heriot-Watt email system will no longer allow the distribution of zipped email attachments containing .exe .vbs or .scr files (attachments will be removed from messages).

These file types are considered high risk as they are often used by spammers and phishers to distribute viruses and malware by email.

This change will come into effect w/c 8th June 2015.

If you have any queries regarding this change please contact the IT Helpdesk (

Edinburgh Campus – Library and Museum building works

Cameron Smail Library, Edinburgh Campus

On 1 June 2015 work will begin to install a new lift at the entrance of the Cameron Smail Library.

The rear entrance to the Library will be blocked off  from this date to accommodate the new lift.
Access to the Library will continue to be available via the main entrance and the Library will be open 9:00am until 5:00pm Monday to Friday throughout the summer.

University Museum and Archive, Edinburgh Campus

The Museum at the Edinburgh Campus will close temporarily from Monday 25 May 2015 to enable work to begin on a new entrance to the museum which will greatly enhance user access and experience of the University’s rich heritage.

There will still be access to the University Archive by appointment where practical during the construction work. The path around the north east side of the Cameron Smail Library will close from 25 May for the duration of the contract.
We apologise for any inconvenience that this essential work may cause.
For more detail please visit the website 

Using google forms for feedback

Using google forms is proving to be a quick and easy way of getting feedback from students who use our Edinburgh campus library.  We have already been using them for recording quick, easily resolvable enquiries at the library service desk so decided to try them out last year for feedback.
The feedback that we wanted to capture was about the purpose of visits to the library and consisted of three questions
What is the purpose of your visit to the library today?
How long do you intend to stay in the library today?
If more facilities could be added to the library, which 3 are the most important?
There were a selection of options to choose from for questions 1 and 3.
The questions were printed out and handed to students to fill in at the library service desk.
We had 513 responses and the feedback helped to inform developments in the library last summer including the  installation of new group study spaces that have proven very popular with students.
Although the forms were printed out the responses were entered by staff into the google form online and this made it very easy to collate the responses and produce a summary.

This year, at the same time of year, we produced an updated form to collect feedback based again on the purpose of visits to the library. The questions were similar in that question 1 and 2 were the same and question 3 was ‘If more study spaces could be added to the library for next semester, which 3 are the most important’?
Respondents could select more than one response.
Copies of the form were printed out and distributed at the Library service desk as before. Also in order to promote the form, a link to it was posted on the Information Services Facebook page and twitter feed.  This resulted in quite a few online responses – of the total 373 responses, 291 paper and 82 electronic.
The responses were input into the google form which automatically populates a spreadsheet of results. The other useful feature of a google form is that it automatically produces a summary of results in an easy to read format.

The results show a preference for individual study spaces which is a reflection of the time of year leading up to revision but also reflects the room usage figures that we collect.
Preferences for future developments show a demand for individual study spaces  and in fact more study spaces of all kinds. Students selected more than one type of study space that they would like to see in the future.


purposepie morestudyfeedback

Network Services Upgrade – Saturday 30th May 09:00 – 17:00

Network Services Upgrade

Due to a necessary network equipment upgrade, the following services will be unavailable or at risk on Saturday 30th May 2015 from 09:00 to 17:00

The services that are affected are HW Shared drives , Student Home directories and SharePoint.

The upgrade will provide an increase in available bandwidth for these services

Get your free copy of SPSS from the webstore

spssStaff and students can download SPSS for home use from the webstore – just sign in using your HWU UserID and password.

For more information on getting your own free copy of SPSS see
Software: SPSS

The Presidion (SPSS) Academic Portal provides training, videos, tutorials, faqs etc to help you get started using SPSS – see Presidion (SPSS) Academic Portal for details.


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