Online Learners

Online Learners

New Students Startup Guide

We know that being a new student can be daunting, particularly when studying at a distance. To help, we collated some handy information about the Library and our services.

In case you want more information, need a bit of help, or you get stuck, please let us know and we will be more than happy to help!

Books and Journals

As an RGU student, you can access our vast collection of materials, both physical and online. This is curated and maintained by the Library and your lecturers. It covers all subjects taught at RGU, so you're sure to find materials relevant to your course!

The Library should always be the starting point in your academic research.

Not just paper copies!

We are always looking at ways of increasing the accessibility to our materials and a lot of our resources are available online through our subscriptions.

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

Finding Stuff

Searching the Library Collections

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. It's easy to access them instantly 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.

You can still borrow items even if we only have it on paper! We can send them to you by post. More information can be found at books by post.


Log in to your library account to see what you have on loan, place a hold, renew items and more!

Using Databases

Your lecturers may refer you to databases to conduct research and find suitable sources for assignments. Databases are just online tools which allow you to search and access academic journals on a variety of topics.

We subscribe to over 200 databases covering all of our courses. Here are a few 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. 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.

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.

The postal loan service has now been extended to all students so please submit your requests in plenty of time. We're expecting a high demand for this service and whilst we will deal with all requests as quickly as possible we can't guarantee a timescale.

 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!

You can quickly submit a request through LibrarySearch. 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.

The Article & Chapter request service has been extended to all students now so please submit your requests in plenty of time. We're expecting a high demand for this service and whilst we will deal with requests as quickly as possible, we can't guarantee a timescale.

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!


If you don't live in Aberdeen but would like to study in the quiet environment of a University Library, then most online learners can join the SCONUL scheme. SCONUL Access is a reciprocal scheme which allows many university library users to access study space and borrow or use books and journals at other libraries which belong to the scheme. The scheme covers most of the university libraries in the UK and Ireland.

For full information, see our SCONUL Scheme page.

Inter-Library Loans

The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) service can source items for you if they are not available from our own print or electronic collections.

Sometimes we may struggle to borrow hard-copy books and journals on your behalf. We may be restricted to items that we can obtain in pdf format only. For more information see our inter-library loans page.

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

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 RGU Harvard, RGU Vancouver, APA and Oscola. The style depends on what your course requirements, but RGU Harvard is the most used.

We know it can be scary at first, especially if you haven't done it before, but don't 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 or email. 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 Instagram and Twitter and we will answer as soon as possible during our office hours:

Library Opening Hours

The Library is currently open Semester 3 hours until Sunday 15th September.

* The Library will be closed for the Public Holiday on Monday 8th July. *

Semester 1 & 2 Opening Hours
Monday - Thursday 08:00 - 22:30
Friday 08:00 - 20:00
Saturday 10:00 - 20:00
Sunday 10:00 - 20:00
Semester 3 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