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Information Services

Social Policy

Welcome to the Social Policy 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.  


Welcome to University of Edinburgh Libraries

A short (3.5 min) video highlighting the key services available.

Online Library Resources

A short (3.5 min) video detailing how to get the most out of the Library's online resources, and how to find resources using Google Scholar.

Get the best from the Library for your dissertation (16:16 min)

Do you want to know more about how the Library can help you produce a high quality dissertation? What research materials are available? How to get help with referencing and organising your reading? This is a brief overview of what the Library can help you with for your dissertation.

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. 

Library training and support

LibSmart: Digital Information Literacy Course

This course will provide the digital skills needed to use our library resources for study and research.

Each School has a dedicated Academic Support Librarian:

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
  • Discover the Library's digital primary sources
  • Finding theses 
  • Fake News vs real news: discovering news sources
  • Discovering China information resources

Sessions are held online (normally via Collaborate) or at the Main Library (George Square) or the Murray Library (Kings Buildings) and are bookable via MyEd Events (search for Library Bitesize).

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.

Accessing material not in the library collection

If the library does not have what you want then there are different ways of getting access to the material:

The Inter-Library Loan (ILL) Service

This allows you to request material either held at distant university library sites including the  University Collections Facility, or material not held by the university. 

Request a book image

Book Recommendations: If you are unable to find the book that you need for your studies then use the Student Request a Book (RaB) service to recommend a purchase.

Visit another library: It may be possible (and sometimes quicker) to visit another library to get access to the item you require. Some reciprocal schemes and agreements allow our staff and students access to some other libraries.

LinkedIn Learning

There are free courses available from the Digital Skills and Training team.

The University provides access to LinkedIn Learning- an online skills development service which contains 13,000 high quality courses in creative, technology and business. Courses are available in a range of different languages.