Dawsonera eBooks – no access from Friday 31st July

Please note that we will have no access to Dawsonera eBooks from Friday 31st July 2020.
We will be switching the titles to another platform where possible but there may be a temporary loss of access to the titles while this happens.
Any notes etc. that you’ve made on the Dawsonera platform won’t be accessible.
Please download and save any notes that you have made before Friday 31st July. [HW Discovery Update]

A Guide to Library and IT support for Remote Learning and Research

The Guide to Library and IT support for Remote Learning and Research includes information for learning and accessing resources while off-campus.

There are some very useful video screencasts of how to to use Discovery for accessing ebooks, ejournals and databases.

You can also sign up for Power Hours webinars and contact Liaison Librarians for help and support


New look to the Fame database

The Fame database of company information has a new look. From 8 October 2018 links from the Information Services Databases A-Z and online guides to Fame will go direct to the new look Fame (as screenshot below).

fame screenshot

To enable personalisation features, a new sign-in method (Shibboleth or institutional sign-in) will also be in place from that date.  As before, login will be with your Heriot-Watt University username and password.  The only differences will be you’ll be asked to login from both on-campus and off-campus via a slightly different login screen (shown below).

Shibboleth sign-in

Our current sign-in method doesn’t facilitate saving searches in Fame. However, if you happen to have any saved searches in the current version , the advice is to keep a note of these to rebuild them manually in the new version.  These won’t be transferred over automatically. 

fame videos

Video tutorials and guides on the new version of Fame are available in the ‘Help’ area once logged in.





1000s of FREE downloadable ebooks, audiobooks, magazines & newspapers #edincampuslib

Did you know that you could borrow eBooks, eAudiobooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers for free from Edinburgh Public Libraries?

Their electronic services librarians will be in Heriot Watt Edinburgh Campus Library on Thursday 22nd September from 11am-3pm to hand out free library membership cards which give you instant online access to:

OverDrive – thousands of fiction and non-fiction ebooks and audiobooks from fantastic authors such as George RR Martin; Bill Bryson; Lee Child; Bryan Cox; Hilary Mantel; Stuart MacBride and Stephen Hawking.

Zinio – over a hundred popular magazines to download and keep. Includes New Scientist; Popular Science; Apple Magazine; PC Format; Forbes; Newsweek; Total Film; Men’s Fitness; HELLO!; BBC Good Food; Esquire; Cosmopolitan etc.

OneClickdigital & BorrowBox – hundreds of quality audiobooks to download.

PressDisplay – over 4000 worldwide newspapers and magazines to read online before they’ve even hit the newsagents! Over 70 UK local and national newspapers available including the Scotsman and over 100 UK magazines.

Stop by and pick up a membership card and instruction leaflets on how you can use these services on your computer, tablet or phone.


Nexis: Global news and business research service

Nexis: Global news and business research service

We have a new subscription to Nexis (replacing the previous subscription to Factiva). nexis screenshot

Nexis is Ideal for lecturers and students specialising in: Business, Management, Politics, Linguistics, Languages, Social Sciences and more. It provides full text access to UK and international newspapers and trade press, with foreign language news sources in over 26 languages and also:

  • Full text access to The Financial Times (30 day embargo)
    • Company and industry information from Extel Cards, Hoover’s profiles, ICC Financial Analysis Reports and Worldscope.
    • Company Dossier
    • Economic and political profiles for countries.
    • Biographical information including Debrett’s People of Today and Who’s Who

Nexis is available from the A-Z list of databases.

Two Decades of the Information Revolution at Heriot-Watt

We are told that we are living through the Information Revolution, a step-change in human history likely to be ranked with the Industrial and Agricultural revolutions of earlier times. Like the generations who witnessed those periods of change, we find it impossible to see what’s over the next horizon, but a glance in the rear-view mirror can often reveal how far we’ve travelled.

Comparing our most complete annual figures with those of 1993-94, (2 years after the World Wide Web was launched) reveals enormous growth in both the range of information resources we offer and the numbers supplied. This growth has been made possible by the information technologies of 21st century scholarship, which have untethered scholarly information from buildings and shelves, enabling us to deliver it to Heriot-Watt’s students and academics world-wide, 24×365.

HWU (UK Campuses) Library Collection Statistics 1993-1994 2013-2014 % Change
Printed Books 107,926 159,812 +48%
Electronic Books 0 74,711
Total Books 107926 234,523 +117%
Printed Periodicals 1,550 3,000 +94%
Electronic Periodicals 0 44,845
Total Periodicals 1,550 47,845 +2987%
Book Loans 127,284 52,458 -59%
E-Book Section Requests 0 431,325  
Periodical Article Downloads 0  1,085,251  
Total Resource Requests 127,284 1,569,034 +1133%
FTE Academic Staff 496 752 +52%
FTE Students 4,445 8,379 +89%
Total FTE Users 4,941 9,131 +85%
Book loans per FTE Student 29 6 -78%
Periodical Article Downloads per FTE Student 0 130  
E-Book Section Requests per FTE Student 0 51  
Total Resource Requests per FTE Student 29 187 554%
of which Book Loans comprised 100% 3%

Heriot-Watt Information Services Leads Scottish Library Systems Procurement

Heriot-Watt University Information Services participates actively in relevant professional groups in Scotland and across the UK. The Scottish Confederation of University & Research Libraries (SCURL) has collaboratively procured electronic journals and books for many years, bringing negotiating expertise and economies of scale when dealing with publishers. This has enabled Scottish HEIs like Heriot-Watt to develop much richer online collections than any could afford individually.

Traditional library management systems such as Ex-Libris Voyager, currently used by HWU in Scotland and Malaysia, were designed primarily to manage the acquisition, cataloguing and circulation of physical books. In 2013-14 Information Services made 7 book loans per FTE student, compared with 130 online journal article downloads and 51 E-book section requests. Like other Scottish universities, we require a modern Library Management Platform which brings together all our resources on a single system, making them more manageable and accessible for all. Following investigatory work in 2013-2014, led by the Directors of IS at Stirling and HWU, SCURL is now working with the Scottish universities’ purchasing agency, APUC, to procure a common Library Management Platform for our sector.

Iain Young, Head of Resource & Facility Services in IS, chairs the SCURL working group managing this procurement and HWU is the primary vanguard institution. The tender process has begun and a ranked framework of selected products will be in place by December 2015. HWU will adopt the most suitable Library Management Platform from the framework and bring this into worldwide service for A/Y 2016-17. The new system will allow us to change the way in which many of our services are delivered and an internal project has begun to pave the way for this. We’ll update you on progress with this key enhancement throughout the coming year.

Off-campus access to British Standards Online (BSOL)

We have an ongoing issue with off-campus access to British Standards Online (BSOL), which we are trying to resolve.

In the meantime, we have come up with a work around, which ensures that you can still get off-campus access to this resource.  Please follow the instructions below:

If you are having any problems with this, please get in touch with libhelp@hw.ac.uk.

Known problem with DISCOVERY

** This problem has now been resolved **

There is a current problem with DISCOVERY where search results are being returned very slowly.  We have reported this to Ebsco (the resource provider) and have been told the issue is occurring across Europe and they are therefore looking into this as a critical priority.

We will update you when access has been restored.


Edinburgh Libraries eBook & emagazine stall in HWU Edinburgh Campus Library


On Wednesday 11th March between 10.30am -2pm there will be an information stall set up in our Edinburgh Campus Library.

It will be hosted by Edinburgh Public Libraries and will be available for students and staff to visit.

It will be an opportunity to find out how you can access thousands of popular magazines, ebooks and audiobooks for free. You can pick up leaflets on how to access the Edinburgh Public Libraries free services on your tablet, phone or computer. You’ll even be able to pick up library cards so you can download straight away.

Edinburgh Libraries Library2go services offer over 100 magazine titles to borrow and keep from New Scientist to Amateur Photographer and Vogue to BBC Food. Access thousands of bestselling fiction and non-fiction books too from authors such as Lee Child, Philippa Gregory, Peter May, Kate Atkinson, Stephen Hawking and Alexander McCall Smith.

And the brilliant thing is that anyone can join Edinburgh Libraries whether you live in Edinburgh or not.

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