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Online Learners

New Students Startup Guide

We know that being a new student can be daunting, particularly when studying at a distance. To help with this, we have put together some handy information about the Library, hoping it will help you to get off to a good start with using the Library and our services.

We tried to keep the information as concise as possible, but have added additional links if you want to know more! And in case you do want more information, need a bit of help, or if you just get stuck, please let us know and we will be more than happy to help!

Books and Journals

As an RGU student, you will benefit from a vast collection of materials curated and maintained by the Library in collaboration with your lecturers. So, the Library is the starting point in your academic research, whether you have to write an essay, report, dissertation, or just want to further your reading.

Our collection covers all the subjects taught at RGU, so you're sure to find materials relevant to your course.

Not just paper copies!

We are always looking at ways of increasing the accessibility to our materials, so a lot of our resources are available online through our subscriptions. So you don't have to worry about getting a paper book, you can access our e-books and e-journals in just a few clicks from the comfort of your home.

In fact, whenever we acquire a new resource, we aim to prioritise purchasing the electronic version over paper.

Here is just a quick glimpse of what you can access:

Finding Stuff

Searching the Library Collections

So you want to find a book or a journal? The first place to go is LibrarySearch!

Remember to sign in to your Library Account, as it will allow a more complete list of results.

Using the friendly interface, you can look specifically for electronic resources, and it's easy to access them straight away by following the links and signing in with your RGU username and password.


 Reading Lists!

Remember, you can also access library content through your module reading lists, which contain essential and recommended reading for your modules.

Step 1 - Search for an item

You can use the search box to find materials on various topics. Check out the filters on the left hand side, they will help you narrow down and get more focused results.

Step 2 - Extract the electronic items

To see just the electronic materials, select the Available Online filter. Once you find a book that you are interested in, click on the title.

Step 3 - View online

Look for the button labeled View Online, or just click on the green Available Online link. They will both take you to the same place.

When you get to the Full text availability section, click on the available link.

Step 4 - Log in

To access our electronic materials, subscriptions and databases, you will usually need to log in using your RGU username and password. These details are the same ones that you use to log in to all other RGU services, such as email, CampusMoodle, RGyoU, etc.

Step 5 - Final step

You are in!

You can easily access the book or chapters now just by clicking Read Online. You may be able to download parts of the book, but you will be informed of copyright regulations and how much/for how long you can access the offline version.

Do not worry if you found a useful item in our collection which is only available on paper, you can still borrow it! We can send the items to you by post. More information can be found at books by post.


LibrarySearch is not only about finding stuff, you can also log in to your library account to see what items you have on loan, place a hold on something you really need but is already borrowed, renew items and more!

Using Databases

You will hear us speak about searching databases, or your lecturers will refer you to databases to conduct your information gathering for assignments. Databases are just online tools which allow you to search and access academic journals on a variety of topics. They are provided by different suppliers, which the Library subscribes to.

We subscribe to numerous databases, covering all of our courses. Here are only some of them, you will find a full list of suitable databases on our subject databases pages.

Business Source Complete Business, Management, Accounting, Finance, Communication, Tourism & Hospitality and more
CINAHL with Full Text Nursing, Midwifery, Nutrition, Biomedical Studies, Pharmacy, Public Health, Social Work etc.
IEEE Xplore Computing and Engineering
Westlaw Law, Construction Law, Employment Law, Forensic Science, Journalism and more
ScienceDirect All courses
Web of Science All courses

Related Links

Books by Post

As an online learner, you can easily request physical books to be sent to you by recorded delivery! In fact, you may borrow up to 15 books at a time, and thanks to automatic renewals, you may keep the books as long as you need them, as long as they aren't being recalled by other library members.

The process is very easy, full details can be found at our books by post help page.

Library Search The time in which the books will reach you depends on where you are, and whether the book is on our shelves ready to go, or we need to recall it from someone else. If everything is good to go, they should get to you within 2-3 working days.

 Keep in mind...

We can post books to you provided your address is in the UK, including the Isle of Man, Channel Islands or British Forces addresses overseas. Unfortunately we are unable to send books to other locations.

Step 1

Find a paper book which you would like to request, click on the title and an overlay window will open, containing various details about the book.

Step 2

Under the section labeled Find in Library look for the Place Hold option and click on it.

Step 3

There is a short form where you have to make a couple of decisions. The most important field to check is the Pickup Location. Make sure that you set this to 'Home Address', otherwise, the field will default to University location, which means that we will expect you to come over and pick it up from the Library.

If you want the book to be sent to an alternative address, enter it in the Comment section.

Once you are happy, just hit Place Hold.

Step 4

That's it! Your book request has been sent through, we'll take it from here!

Article & Chapter Requests

Are you interested in a book chapter or a particular article which is only available on paper? You don't need to wait for the book to be posted to you, we can scan it and send it via email!

Our new LibrarySearch tool makes it easy to submit an article & chapter request. Just fill in the quick form and read the terms and conditions carefully. Once your request is processed, it will be scanned and sent to you.

Step 1

Make sure you are logged in and, once you find a book or article which you are interested in, click on the title to open up the item details.

Step 2

Locate the section called Find in Library and you will see there are two request options. You can either place a hold on this item (which means you will come to the Library and pick it up, or can have it posted to you), or request an article or chapter to be scanned and sent to you. Click on the latter option.

Step 3

Fill in the short form with the necessary information. This will tell us what the chapter or article is called and who the author is.

You can request a range of pages, or simply ask for the entire chapter.

If you want to tell us any more about your request, just add a brief comment.

Once you are happy with the details, hit the green Send Request button.

Step 4

Take time to read the terms and conditions regarding copyright restrictions, and once you finish, make sure to select I agree with the terms.

Step 5

Your request has been submitted successfully and we will let you know the outcome soon!


SCONUL Access SCONUL (Society of College, National and University Libraries) Access is a great scheme which enables library users to access and borrow resources from other Libraries which are also part of the scheme.

As RGU Libray is a member of the scheme, it means you can freely access books and journal articles from over 170 UK and Ireland libraries!

All you need to do is to apply for SCONUL access. It will take less than 5 minutes!

Related Links

Inter-Library Loans

There may be times when you really need to consult a book which we don't have in our collections. Luckily, you may still be able to get it through an inter-library loan!

An ILL simply means that we will try to find and borrow books from other libraries' collections and send them over to you! You will receive your requested books by post. You will be responsible for any return postage cost.

Costs for this service must be authorised by your school, so please be aware that this may take some time.

 Please Note

There is a small charge of £5 per book for this service which we will confirm with you via email after we receive your request.

To find out about how to request an inter-library loan, please see our inter-library loans page.

Referencing at RGU

Referencing is a critical aspect of writing any assignment and you will be asked to correctly reference all the sources and materials used in your work.

At RGU we use two main referencing styles, RGU Harvard and RGU Vancouver. The referencing style is depending on what your course requires, but Harvard is the most used.

We know referencing can be scary at first, especially if you haven't done it before, but not to worry! We are here to help with every aspect of referencing and have developed detailed guides for both styles.

Related Links

How The Library Can Help You

Online Support

We are here to help you even when you are away from campus. We can offer support via telephone, email or Facebook Messenger. Please see our contact details below:

Referencing, RefWorks, LibrarySearch, Databases or 01224 263450
All Library queries or 01224 263450

You can also send us messages and queries on Facebook and we will answer as soon as possible during our office hours


If you have any library related questions we are happy to help!

If you are in the Aberdeen area, come and see us if you want to develop your searching and finding information skills, referencing, or just get to grips with accessing e-resources. There is no need to book an appointment, just show up during the available drop-in times.

Where? You will find us in the Learning Centre (Aberdeen Business School, Level 3), usually in the IT Lab (321).

When? Check the workshops and drop-ins timetable

Related Links


Library Opening Hours

*** Important: Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the RGU library building is closed until further notice ***

Semester Opening Hours
Monday - Thursday 08.00 - 22.30
Friday 08.00 - 20.00
Saturday 10.00 - 20.00
Sunday 10.00 - 20.00
Vacation Opening Hours
Monday - Thursday 09.00 - 21.00
Friday 09.00 - 17.00
Saturday 13.00 - 17.00
Sunday 11.00 - 18.00

Find out when the University and support buildings are open each day:

Building Opening Hours

 24 Hour Openings!

At certain times during the year we will be open 24 hours/day, for a limited time. This is usually around exam times and we notify students of this in advance.