Distance Learning Support - Books, eBooks, Journals, Articles & Databases
Books and eBooks
Search our catalogue to find out which books (print and electronic) we have in the Library.
You can also use the catalogue to:
- Find a book, and to see where it is and how many copies there are.
- See if a book is on loan or available for borrowing.
- Find books on a particular subject.
- Reserve a book which is out on loan, or to cancel an existing reservation.
- Check your loans and reservations, renew your loans, and check if you have any books awaiting collection.
- See if the library has a particular journal in stock.
We have a growing collection of electronic books (eBooks) which allow you to access the full-text from off-campus. You will be prompted to login to access our electronic books. Login using your Heriot-Watt ID (the username and password you use for Heriot-Watt email or for Vision). For more information on logging in see our blog post.
You will be able to consult or borrow print books in the Library only if you visit the University - we regret that we are unable to offer a postal loan service. However, for students on some courses, we can provide a photocopy of a single chapter of a book in our collection, or the contents page of a book. See the section on Requesting Photocopies/scans for details of how to request a copy.
You can also search the catalogues of other libraries.
You may be able to use an academic library near where you live to consult or borrow books for your course. See the page on Using Libraries Near You for more information.
Borrowing books from the Library
If you are able to visit the library you can borrow books.
Please note that -
You must have your ID card with you whenever you want to borrow
Only borrow Week Loan and 3 Hour Loan books if you live close enough to return them on time
If phoning or emailing please give -
a) The subject line "Renewal request - distance learning" (email only)
b) Your barcode number - on your ID card
c) The barcode number of the item(s) which you wish to renew - found at the top of the page above the date label.
Articles in academic journals are among the most important sources of information for your studies. We subscribe to over 10,000 electronic journals, covering all the subjects taught and researched by the University. These give you access to the full text of the articles within them.
You will be prompted to login to access electronic journals. Login using your Heriot-Watt ID (the username and password you use for Heriot-Watt email or for Vision). For more information on logging in see our blog post.
Most of the journals have online help facilities but if you need more help in searching, contact your Subject Librarian.
Although most journals are available electronically, we still have a number of titles only available in print format; these are either journals which are not yet available electronically or older volumes which have not been digitised. You will be able to consult or borrow print journals in the Library only if you visit the University. We regret that we are unable to offer a postal loan service. However, for students on some courses, we can provide a photocopy of an article or the contents page from a journal. See the section on Requesting Photocopies for details of how to request a copy.
Databases and Discovery single search service
If you want to know what's been published on your topic, a database is a good place to start. The Library provides access to over 200 databases, covering all subjects taught & researched by the University. You can search these to find articles, conference papers and much more on your topic.
You can access these through our databases pages. From this list of databases, you can use a drop-down menu to select your broad subject area. You can also follow links to the "Find Information on your Subject" guides written by your Subject Librarian to assist you in your research. These guides include details of your Subject Librarian's recommendations for the most useful databases in each subject.
You can also cross-search the majority of the Library's databases using our Discovery service. You can access Discovery on the Library homepage.
You will be prompted to login to access databases and Discovery. Login using your Heriot-Watt ID (the username and password you use for Heriot-Watt email or for Vision). For more information on logging in see our blog post.
Most of the databases have online help facilities; if you need more help in searching, contact your Subject Librarian.
Do you need to read an article, conference paper, chapter from a book... which you can't easily obtain from our electronic resources or from a library near you? Much of the information you require will be available from the electronic journals we subscribe to; however there may be some material only available in print and sometimes you may need something which we don't have in either our print or electronic collections. We can often help you in these cases by making a copy from our own stock of printed material, or by getting a copy from another Library and sending it to you. Several courses have asked us to provide this service to their Distance Learning students; if your course is included, then you can obtain copies free of charge - with your School covering any costs..
You can request an article, a conference paper, a single chapter from a book or the contents page of a book or journal. Simply select your course from the list below, complete the request form, and send it to us. We will then make or obtain a copy and send it to you. We regret that if your course is not listed below, then we cannot provide you with copies.
MSc/Diploma courses in the School of the Built Environment
MSc/Diploma courses in Brewing & Distilling
MSc/Diploma courses in Food Science
MSc/Diploma courses in Energy
MSc/Diploma courses in Petroleum Engineering