IT Service Upgrades – Office 365 and VPN

IT Service upgrades

Changes to IEEE referencing style

IEEE have revised their referencing style.  The updated style can be found on our subject guides at

The key difference is when you use et al.  IEEE uses et al. in reference lists when items have many authors: you should now use et al. if an item has six or more authors (rather than three or more.)

The updated style also includes instructions on how to reference more types of online resources, including eBooks, journal articles and conference proceedings.

Happy New Year 2018!


All our campus libraries are closed today.

See Library opening hours  for details of when each library opens again.

Look forward to seeing you again after the holidays.

Information Services 2017 – in pictures

Vision: Service Downtime Announcement

Our Managed Hosting Company (Blackboard) will be performing essential maintenance at their datacenter in Amsterdam on Tuesday 19th December 2017

This has been scheduled

From Tuesday 19/12/2017 at 22:00 GMT to Wednesday 20/12/2017 at 04:00 GMT

While Blackboard will keep downtime to a minimum, Vision will be unavailable at some time during the maintenance window, and should be considered to be at risk throughout.


See System Status page for updates

If you have any queries regarding this upgrade please contact


Microsoft authentication upgrade: 18th December

Information Services will be upgrading to a new version of Microsoft’s authentication service on Monday 18th December 2017 at 17:15 GMT.

The Office 365 service will be at risk for up to an hour while the upgrade takes place.

Users may be asked to login to Office 365 on their devices (e.g. phones, tablets) following the change.

See System Status Page for updates.

If you have any queries regarding this upgrade please contact

12 Reads of Christmas: Spot the Space Station

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No? Maybe it’s the International Space Station.

Nasa’s Spot the Station website will let you know when you can expect to see the Space Station (ISS) in your area and gives you tips on how to identify it. It also has some beautiful images taken on the ISS which are well worth a look.

Are the skies near you too cloudy to see anything? Stellarium is an open source programme that allows you to see the stars as if there is no interference from clouds, light or even the atmosphere.

12 Reads of Christmas: Scottish History

edinburghcastleAs a university with its roots firmly in Scotland, many staff and students are interested in the history of Heriot-Watt University, the city of Edinburgh (arguably one of the most beautiful capital cities) and the small by spectacularly beautiful country of Scotland.

Heriot-Watt University

If you want to know more about the history of Heriot-Watt University you could start with the 12 Reads of Christmas: Our History and then explore our Heritage and Information Governance web pages


Edinburgh is such a popular tourist destination that you will find lots of books and websites full of information. You could try: –


You’ll also find a quick Google search brings up lots of Scottish history books, but if you are interested in an easy to read overview of the history from start to finish you could try

If you are on the Edinburgh campus, you could check out the events organized by the Chaplaincy – many of these give you the opportunity to see and experience Scottish culture and history.

You might also be interested in: –

12 Reads of Christmas: Scottish Books

A selection of books to read at this time of year that have a Scottish theme, author or publisher.  Exams are nearly done, the semester is almost complete and now is the time to sit back and relax and enjoy reading.

The Existential Detective by Alice Thompson
Set in Portobello, Edinburgh and featuring William Blake, private detective
Recommended by Scottish Book Trust 

The Falling Sky by Pippa Goldschmidt
A black comedy satire – mixture of fiction, mystery and astronomy.

The Long Drop by Denise Mina
Based in Glasgow in the 1950s
Recommended by Crime Fiction Lover 

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
The Saltire Society’s Book of the Year
Published by Canongate Books 
“A poignant exploration of the enduring quality of love across space and time”.
Recommended by Books from Scotland

The Whisky Directory by Iain Hector Ross
Published by Sandstone press
‘A wonderful work of reference that should be on the Christmas list of anyone who has someone in their life who loves whisky.’
Undiscovered Scotland

Winter Tales by George Mackay Brown
A collection of storytelling from Orkney


12 Reads of Christmas: Academic Phrasebank

Do you sometimes struggle to say what you mean in your essay, thesis, report or dissertation? The Academic Phrasebank is full of reusable phrases you can use in your writing. Produced by the University of Manchester, the phrases listed here have been taken from authentic academic sources and arranged by chapter of a report or thesis, with other sections on general language usage for other writing. It is extremely useful for all students, regardless of academic level or confidence with English.

The online guide is free, however a more comprehensive PDF version can also be purchased from their website for £4.99

See also

For more support with academic writing, Skills4StudyCampus has a module on Writing – for more information visit our website or access it from the A-Z Database list

There are lots of excellent guides and resources for academic writing listed on the Information, Research and Study Skills Subject Guide. There are books to help with all kinds of academic writing, including essays, reports and theses.

A Note on Citing and Referencing 

For help citing and referencing using the Harvard author-date system, visit our online resource Cite Them Right Online.

If you use another style, such as IEEE, SIAM or the Royal Society of Chemistry, visit your Subject Guide for help and guidelines.