Information Skills

Information Skills
Online Resources for Information Skills

Having trouble meeting deadlines for assignments?

Taking too long to find information?

No idea how to write a bibliography?

Don't know where or how to start using the library?

If the answer is YES! to any of these questions you might want to investigate the toolkit of resources related to our Find it Fast! Information Skills Workshops which are designed for undergraduates and taught postgraduates.

Our Find it Fast! Wiki is a collection of resources designed to help you overcome problems finding good quality information quickly and using the information ethically, to meet that all important deadline. It contains support materials including slides from workshop presentations, worksheets and various library guides.

Information Skills Workshops

Many of you will have information skills talks and workshops as part of your courses. In addition to these we offer free practical workshops designed to help you find information for your assignments, dissertations and theses more quickly and effectively. Learn how to use important electronic databases such as Ebook Central, Scopus and Web of Knowledge, search Primo, use RefWorks to create a bibliography, and even Google better. Our workshops help you to develop appropriate information skills for your level of study. Materials from previous Find it Fast! workshops are available online in our Find it Fast! Wiki.

Researcher Development workshops are designed for research postgraduate students

 They cover all the essential information retrieval and management skills required at research level, and look in depth at major databases such as Scopus and Web of Knowledge. Each session last between 11/2 to 3 hours.

To view our range of workshops, read course descriptions, and make a booking please go to the course booking web pages and search for Information Skills courses. Book early to avoid disappointment!

Terms and conditions for booking workshops

We respectfully ask you to observe the following rules when booking courses via the course booking web pages:

  • Book each different workshop once only. Workshops are repeated several times over the academic session to allow as many students as possible to attend, so you only need to book once.

  • Cancel your place immediately you find a clash in your timetable which prevents you from attending. It will give a student on the waiting list an opportunity to attend in your place.

  • Failure to attend: The Library Service reserve the right to withdraw you from any other forthcoming courses you have booked onto and further bookings may not be accepted if you consistently do not attend courses that you have booked on, without cancelling your booking and/or sending apologies.

How to cancel a booking

  • Go to

  • Log in using your University computer username and password

  • Click on My Bookings near the top of the screen

  • Your Confirmed Bookings will be listed

  • Select the course you want to cancel

  • Then scroll down and click Cancel Booking in the bottom right-hand corner

  • You will see confirmation of your cancellation at the top of the screen

If need help and advice please contact the Information Consultant for your subject.


See our copyright pages to understand your legal responsibilities when copying and/or downloading library materials. Important information regarding electronic resources below.

Downloading from electronic resources

Copyright regulations apply to electronic material in the same way that they do to printed books and journals. In addition, with electronic journals and databases, our access is based on license agreements with publishers. Copyright restrictions and conditions of use do not make easy reading and misunderstanding of what is and is not permitted can occur. To make it easier to understand your obligations as a user of these services you should follow the guidance below.

What's not permitted

Robots and systematic downloading

Systematic downloading using robots, spiders or manual means is not permitted. Publishers keep track of patterns of use and where they suspect misuse in the form of systematic downloading they will cut off access. There have been instances recently where publishers have withdrawn access to their journals to all University of Aberdeen staff and students. This prevents access by the majority of responsible users to information needed for their research and learning.

Downloading more than one article

Downloading, copying or printing more than one article per issue of a journal (electronic or print), without the permission of the owner, is against copyright law. Downloading the entire contents of an electronic journal to your PC, home file space, writable CD or USB stick is illegal.

What's permitted

Viewing multiple articles from an electronic journal on screen

The operation of your Web browser may result in multiple articles being copied to your computer's hard disk. Where there is no intent to store the copy permanently, any such incidental copying involved in viewing an electronic publication is permitted.

Storing or printing a single article per issue of an electronic journal

You can download and copy on to disk or print a single article per issue of an electronic journal.

Most e-journal web sites include a link to the publisher's terms and conditions where consent to copy 'fairly' from an electronic journal may be given by the publisher's licence. It is your responsibility to ensure that you are acting within both the copyright law and the publisher's licence terms.

Avoiding Plagiarism

Be under no illusion, plagiarism - copying another person's words or ideas without proper acknowledgment - is cheating.

It is regarded by the University as a serious academic offence that can result in disciplinary action.

Here are some practical tips on avoiding plagiarism:

  • Paraphrase in your own writing style your interpretation of the work of others and refer to these sources of information consistently both within your text and in full in your bibliography.

  • Show very clearly, by using "quotation marks", all text that is lifted directly from work belonging to someone else. Direct quotes longer than two or three lines should be inserted as a new paragraph, indented and single-spaced, to show clearly that these are not your own words. They should also be referenced both within your text and fully in your bibliography.

Help and advice

Visit the Student Learning Service site for further advice on how to avoid plagiarism.

Library Guides on Referencing

  • Referencing and citing - an introduction
  • Referencing and citing - Harvard
  • Referencing and citing - Vancouver/Uniform
  • Referencing for Business students
  • Referencing for Education students
  • Referencing for Law students (OSCOLA)
  • Referencing for Music Students