British Summer Time and Vision

The clocks in the UK move forward by 1 hour on Sunday 28th March 2021, from GMT to BST (GMT+1). This is how the move to BST will affect Vision.


Blackboard Collaborate Ultra
The time is taken from the end user’s computer’s local time zone for session start and end times. So the times should not be affected by the change to BST.


Turnitin Assignments
Turnitin will move to GMT+1 when the UK moves to BST so deadlines set in Turnitin in the UK should not be affected. Colleagues in Dubai and Malaysia may wish to check as Turnitin Assignments will use GMT+1 instead of GMT after Sunday.


Vision (Blackboard) Assignments, Tests, Adaptive Release
Vision is set to GMT and remains so for the whole year, even when the UK moves to BST. This will affect Tests, Standard Vision (not Turnitin Assignments), and Adaptive Release settings. Therefore an assignment, test or adaptive release rule set for say 10:00am (BST) should be set on Vision for 9:00am (GMT).


Please remind students of the change to UK time from Sunday. If they are outwith the UK, their country of residence may not practice Daylight Saving Time (or the dates may vary from the UK).

Library Study Space – approval for bookings

From Monday March 29th, there will be an extra approval step when booking study spaces.

Study spaces are limited due to the Covid19 restrictions and University and Government guidelines. The maximum number of spaces in the Library is 200 and these are for essential study. It is important that you only book the space for the number of hours that you need it and that you do show up. We have had a number of no shows which disadvantages other students.

The booking system will be same as usual – see information here but your booking will be provisional until you get to the Library and check in at the Service Desk. If you don’t turn up for your booking within an hour of the start time, it will be cancelled so that another student can book it.

Be vigilant for phishing and scam emails

Be vigilant for phishing and scam emails

We regularly receive reports from staff and students of suspicious emails e.g. false vaccination appointments, bogus HMRC tax refunds etc.
These can appear to be very believable and sophisticated and sometimes scammers can take names from university or company websites and then create other email accounts so the sender details look correct.

What to do:
If you think you have received a phishing email to your @hw.ac.uk account
Do not click on any links
Do not open any attachments
Don’t reply to the message

Information Services Help:
To notify Information Services of a phishing email, or you have concerns about whether an email is real or not,  please forward it to phishing@hw.ac.uk  and then delete it.


If you have received a phishing email, accidently clicked the link in it and provided your university credentials (username and password), please send an email to ishelp.hw.ac.uk for assistance.

Accounts that are suspected to be compromised will be blocked automatically for security purposes. 
If your account has been blocked because of this, please send an email to ishelp.hw.ac.uk for assistance.

Information Services are constantly working to make systems including emails as safe and secure as possible.
Planning is underway to implement Multi Factor Authentication for staff and then students to improve staff and student security and their data.

Top tips to help you spot phishing emails

(phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication).

  • Be suspicious of any urgent requests for personal or financial information
  • Be aware: Phishing scams are common at main instalment payment dates or connected to newsworthy events
  • Check that you’re using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information.
  • Prevention: Your email details may have been taken from a social networking site so avoid disclosing your email address or make sure you hide it on your page
  • Look for tell-tale signs of phishing: Check the quality of the communication. Misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often good indicators

Warning regarding Sci-Hub website and phishing attacks

Sci-Hub is an illegal website which poses serious security risks and should be avoided by University students and staff.
Police have warned against using websites, and Sci-Hub, in particular that allow users to illegally access scientific research papers. 

The Sci-Hub website will be blocked for accessing on campus but it is important that students and staff do not access the site from home or off campus.

Sci-Hub obtains the papers through a variety of malicious means, such as the use of phishing emails to trick university staff and students into divulging their login credentials. 
Sci Hub then use this to compromise the university’s network and download the research papers” 
The City of London Police’s Intellectual Property Crime Unit (PIPCU) press release

Edinburgh Campus Library – Opening Hours – Easter Break

The Edinburgh Campus Library will be open the following days and hours over the Easter Break, 1st April to 7th April.

Please remember to book a study space in advance via the student portal

Face coverings are mandatory at all times

Thursday 1st April – CLOSED

Friday 2nd April – CLOSED

Saturday 3rd April – 10:00am to 4:00pm

Sunday 4th April – 10:00am to 4:00pm

Monday 5th April – 10:00am to 4:00pm

Tuesday 6th April – 10:00am to 4:00pm

Wednesday 7th April – 10:00am to 4:00pm

Edinburgh Campus Library Opening hours March 2021

The Edinburgh Campus Library will be open the following hours until the end of March.
Occasionally, we have to change the opening hours at short notice due to staff availability so please check the website for any changes and also twitter HWU_IS

Monday 22nd March        8:30am – 6:00pm

Tuesday 23rd March        8:30am – 6:00pm

Wednesday 24th March 8:30am – 6:00pm

Thursday 25th March      8:30am – 8:30pm

Friday 26th March             8:30am – 8:30pm

Saturday 27th March       10:00am – 4:00pm

Sunday 28th March          10:00am – 4:00pm

Monday 29th March        8:30am – 6:00pm

Tuesday 30th March        8:30am – 6:00pm

Wednesday 31st March  8:30am – 5:00pm

Click & Collect service resuming

We are pleased to be able to reinstate click & collect services for print books at the Edinburgh and Scottish Borders Campuses. We know that this service is very helpful for students this year and apologise for any inconvenience caused while the review of its safety was carried out by the University. This week we are working through the backlog of requests received and revising our service in  the libraries. Further information of the full reinstatement and new process will be communicated early next week.

Phishing emails “vaccination appointments”

Please be aware that there are reports of several phishing emails being sent to HWU staff and student accounts.  Some of these emails claim to be from the NHS about vaccination appointments e.g. “important Book an appointment using the NHS e-Referral Service NHSVaccination” with links to book an appointment. 

If you think you have received a phishing email, do not click on any links, and do not open any attachments. 

If you are unsure if an email is real or not please forward it or screenshot the email content and send it to ishelp@hw.ac.uk 
If you have received a phishing email, accidently clicked the link in it and provided your university credentials (username and password), please contact the IS Helpdesk for assistance. 

Accounts that are suspected to be compromised will be blocked automatically.
If your account has been blocked because of this, please send an email to ishelp.hw.ac.uk for further assistance.

Top tips to help you spot phishing emails

(phishing is the attempt to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords, and credit card details (and sometimes, indirectly, money) by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication).

  • Be suspicious of any urgent requests for personal or financial information
  • Be aware: Phishing scams are common at main instalment payment dates or connected to newsworthy events
  • Check that you’re using a secure website when submitting credit card or other sensitive information.
  • Prevention: Your email details may have been taken from a social networking site so avoid disclosing your email address or make sure you hide it on your page
  • Look for tell-tale signs of phishing: Check the quality of the communication. Misspelling, poor punctuation and bad grammar are often good indicators

Digital copying services

The Digital Copies Service from Information Services will enable you to provide Copyright compliant scans of book chapters or articles via the Copyright Licensing Agency’s content store.


The service will provide teaching staff with scans of book chapters or articles for use in Vision. There is a requirement on all staff to ensure that scans are enabled within the limits of the University’s licence with the Copyright Licensing Agency (which applies to all UK campuses).


For more information about the service and how to request a scan, please visit this webpage
Digital copies service – Heriot-Watt University (hw.ac.uk)

Library Building Occupancy tile on the portal – Edinburgh Campus

We have introduced a great new feature to the student and staff portal to show Library Building Occupancy at our Edinburgh Campus Library. 

The tile shows, in real time, how many study spaces are being used in the Library.
This means that you can tell how busy it is and if spaces are available for you to book before you come to campus.

Due to the current restrictions, and to comply with university and government guidelines, it is mandatory to book a space in advance.  Instructions for booking a study space

We currently have up to 250 spaces available, all for individual, physically distanced study.

Please remember that you need your student ID card to access the Library and face coverings must be worn at all times. 

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