Opening hours – Edinburgh Campus Library #edincampuslib

The opening hours of our Edinburgh campus Library for December are:

Thursday 14th December – 24/7

Friday 15th December – close 8:30pm

Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th December – closed

Monday 18th – Friday 22nd December – 9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday 23rd December – Tuesday 2nd January – closed

Wednesday 3rd January – Friday 5th January – 9:00am – 5:00pm

Saturday 6th and Sunday 7th January – closed

Monday 8th January – Thursday 17th May – 24/7 

Check our website for further details and other campuses


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.

12 Reads of Christmas: Our History

HWU1821This recommended read takes you on a tour of some of the key dates in Heriot-Watt University’s history.

You may recognize some of the names below as many of the buildings on the Edinburgh campus are named after key people associated with our history.


Key Dates

1821 Edinburgh School of Arts, the world’s first mechanics’ institute, founded by Leonard Horner and Robert Bryson in Niddry Street.

Their names can still be found on buildings at the Edinburgh campus:
Robert Bryson Hall and Leonard Horner Hall student accommodation.

16th October

First lecture in chemistry given at St Cecilia’s concert hall in the Old Town.

1836 First working class representative joined the Board of Governors
1837 Move to Adam Square
1851 Watt Subscription Fund donates funding to School as Edinburgh’s monument to James Watt
1852 School becomes Watt Institution and School of Arts
1854 Watt Club alumni association founded:

Peter Slater’s Watt statue unveiled.

Staff and students celebrate at the Guildford Arms.

1869 Women students admitted – thanks to campaign by Mary Burton
1872 Foundation stone laid for Chambers Street Building
1874 Mary Burton is the first woman to join board of Governors
1885 Merger with George Heriot endowment to create Heriot-Watt College, with 2,000 students, 15% of whom were women.
1887 First Professors appointed in Chemistry, Physics and Mechanics and Engineering
1902 The College becomes a Central Institution, teaching to degree standard
1928 Heriot-Watt College becomes independent from George Heriot Trust.
Students’ Representative Council established.
James Cameron Smail became Principal.
1966 Heriot-Watt gains University status by Royal Charter.
The College Principal, Hugh Nisbet, became the university’s first Vice-Chancellor.
1969 Riccarton estate gifted to the University by Midlothian Council
1971 Research Park opened: first university research park in Europe
1973 First phase of development at Riccarton
1989 Orkney Campus opens in Stromness
1992 Relocation to Edinburgh campus at Riccarton complete
1998 Merger with Scottish College of Textiles to create Scottish Borders Campus
2005 Dubai Campus opens
2014 Malaysia Campus opens
2016 University celebrates 50th anniversary of Royal Charter


See Also

12 Reads of Xmas: Food

Traditional or unusual?

Budget or Luxury?

Eating in or dining out?

Check out these reads about Christmas food

Unusual food for Christmas including pickle mince pies, roast dinner pizza and turkey gin.

Christmas breakfasts  including waffles and pancakes

Celebration food including pineapple trifle and buttered mustard lobster

12 Reads of Christmas: Health and Wellbeing

There’s nothing more important this Winter than taking care of yourself. Today’s topic for recommended reads is all about your Health and Wellbeing.

If you haven’t already, we also recommend reading the University’s Health and Wellbeing pages to see what kinds of help and support you can access. There are lots of books dedicated to the subject, so we recommend reading our Bibliotherapy page. This has a list of useful books and websites on a range of mental and physical health topics, such as overcoming anxiety and eating disorders.

Each campus also has a range of sports facilities you can use and clubs you can get involved with. Visit the links below to find out more.

12 Reads of Christmas: Apps

There are so many apps available that it is difficult to know where to start.
Here are some recommended ones that are worth looking at:

Star Chart – aim your phone at the night sky
and learn more about the universe, space and planets.

Star chart

Memrise – learn a new language – explore new words and phrases and learn how to speak, read and write in a whole host of languages.
Duolingo – a great fun app for language learning


CamScanner – this app is great for scanning documents on the go into clear & sharp images/PDFs, to email, fax, print or save to cloud.  Just take a photo of the page you need and this app will convert it to a searchable file you can edit.


Moment Diary – plan to keep a diary next year? This app is a useful way to collate creative thoughts and ideas.

Moment Diary

There’s lots more apps out there.
Check these websites for more ideas.



HWU Staff desktop: EndNote upgrade to version X8.0.1

ENX8_Logo-RoundThe version of EndNote on the HWU Staff desktop will be upgraded from Version X7.7.1 to Version X8.0.1 on the 16th December 2017.

The upgrade will allow staff to benefit from new features offered on the more recent version of software and standardise on the same version as is on the Student desktop. Some staff have already opted to upgrade – so this upgrade will only affect staff who have not yet upgraded.

Automatic upgrade of EndNote X7.7.1

EndNote X7.7.1 will be uninstalled from all staff desktops on the 16th December 2017.

EndNote X8.0.1 will then be installed automatically (provided EndNote X7.7.1 un-installed successfully).

Install EndNote 8.0.1

Members of staff with no previous version of EndNote installed can install the software at any time.

  1. Go to the Software Centre (type Software Centre into the Search field at the bottom of the Start menu)
  2. Locate and select EndNote X8.0.1
  3. Click Install

First time use

When you first launch EndNote X8.0.1 you will be prompted to accept the license agreement.

Accept the license agreement

  • Select the I accept the license agreement checkbox and click Next

Welcome to EndNote window

Once you have accepted the license agreement the Welcome to EndNote window is displayed.

You can close the Welcome to EndNote window and start working in EndNote straight away, or you can explore the steps in the Welcome to EndNote window and set up your library for syncing and sharing.

The Welcome to EndNote window can be displayed at any time – it’s in the Help menu.

Welcome to EndNote

The Welcome to EndNote window will be displayed once you have accepted the license agreement when you use EndNote X8.0.1 for the first time.

The window provides prompts to help you get started syncing, sharing, learning and connecting with the EndNote community.

Sync to your online library

If you are an existing user, you will have an EndNote online account.  You can set up syncing with your online library from the Welcome to EndNote window


You can close the window and sync with your online library at any time,

  1. Open the Edit menu and choose EndNote Preferences
  2. Select Sync and enter the details for your online library

Share your library

You can set up your library to be shared with colleagues from the Welcome window (click the arrow to the right in the Welcome to EndNote window) to move on to the next step.

You must have your library synced (see above) before you can share.

You can also set up sharing at any time

  1. Open the File menu and choose Share
  2. Enter the email addresses of those you with to share with

See Library Sharing for more info

Learn more

The final step on the Welcome screen links through to the EndNote Guide. You can explore it at any time.

Learning to use EndNote

EndNote for Personal Use

Staff and students can purchase a personal copy of EndNote for home use – see Software for Personal Use for details.