Skip to Main Content
The University of Edinburgh home
Show/hide site search
Information Services

International Development

Welcome to the International Development subject guide - your guide to using the library resources, services and facilities for your subject.

Finding library resources - DiscoverEd


If you need help using DiscoverEd then visit the Library web pages. Useful help pages include:

Don't forget that you can ask the Library Helpdesk staff for advice and assistance. 

The Virtual Private Network (VPN):

The VPN is sometimes needed to access or register to use library resources. It extends the University's network to your PC, making it appear that you are on campus! It is especially useful when you are working off campus.  

Library Bitesize


Academic Support Librarians deliver weekly information literacy sessions during semester time covering a wide range of topics, including:

  • How to use the Library
  • How to reference and avoid plagiarism
  • Ten top tips for finding academic literature
  • Using Google Scholar for finding academic literature
  • Finding historical documents and primary sources online
  • Finding theses 
  • Fake News vs real news: discovering news sources
  • Discovering China information resources

Sessions are held online (normally via Collaborate) and are bookable via MyEd Events (search for Library Bitesize).


Check out our Using Library & University Collections channel on MediaHopper which has a large number of videos on accessing and using library resources. Useful for beginners starting University for the first time all the way to more advanced users working on their dissertations, theses, research projects, systematic reviews, etc. 

Check out our SPS Librarian Resources channel on MediaHopper, which contains videos created by the Academic Support Librarians for the School of Social and Political Science (SPS). Content includes recorded library induction sessions, information skills sessions, short demonstrations and tutorials on using library resources for SPS.

LinkedIn Learning is on an online skills development service offering an extensive library of high-quality video courses in business, creative and technical skills. The University of Edinburgh has a campus-wide licence, offering staff and students unlimited access to the service via the web and mobile apps.

Users have access to over 13,000 courses taught by industry experts, with many new courses added weekly. Courses provide in-depth subject detail and are made up of short videos, so you can learn an entire topic or program from start to finish, or just a specific task. They cater for all levels from beginner to expert. 


EdHelp brings the most frequently used student services together, meaning you can find what you need, all in one place.

It is the first port of call for students when they have a library related question.

Dissertation Support

The Library offers help and resouces to support your dissertation. The below options may all be of use, whether you are an undergraduate or postgraduate.

LibSmart: Your library research starts here

Online course developed with the aim of ensuring that every student is digitally capable in using online library resources for their study and research. Open to all students, you can choose to study all of the course, or just the one or two modules which are most relevant to you, at any point in the academic year. 

LibSmart I

Contains five modules that will take you step by step from starting to use the library to researching a topic for a report or essay.

LibSmart II

Aimed at Honours students and Postgraduates this will help you take the next steps to build the library landscape you need to undertake your dissertation, thesis or project research. You can also learn specialised or advanced digital search techniques and develop the skills to manage your research literature and data effectively.

LibSmart I and II are available on Learn, you can access them by choosing "Essentials" in the left-hand menu in Learn.

Dissertation and Thesis Festival

The library's Dissertation and Thesis Festivals offer a series of online events exploring how the Library can support you to make the most of the dissertation and thesis experience. Normally a Dissertation and Thesis Festival is held in semester one and semester two. You can find recordings from past Festivals and details about forthcoming sessions (when the programme is available) on the Dissertation and Thesis Festival website.

SAGE Research Methods

A good starting point for information on research methods is SAGE Research Methods. 

It contains content on the steps involved in a research project, including a full range of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods for the social and behavioural sciences, as well as many methods commonly used in the hard sciences.

Topics: Key concepts in research, Philosophy of research, Research ethics, Planning research, Research design, Data collection, Data quality and data management, Qualitative data analysis, Quantitative data analysis,  Writing and disseminating research.

SAGE Research Methods also includes a project planner designed to guide you through a research project.

Literature Searching

Useful resources to look at when starting to search for literature or writing a review.

IAD and Digital Skills

Information literacy sessions, such as searching research literature, reference management, etc., are also run through IS Digital Skills and Training and the Institute for Academic Development (IAD)

The Digital Skills and Training team help to develop the digital and information literacy, desktop and IT productivity skills of University staff and students. Their wide range of free courses and workshops are available to all staff and students at the University.

The IAD provide a wide range of free courses and workshops concentrating on academic and study skills. There are courses for all levels of students (undergraduates, taught postgraduates and PhD students) and they have a combination of on-campus and online courses and workshops.