Edinburgh Napier University

Month: April 2024

Exams and Wellbeing

Exams and Wellbeing

The first day of exams is today. We will be looking at the important dynamic between exams and wellbeing.

Study Skills

To ensure success in exams, it is important to develop good study skills. These include organisation, time management, prioritising, and self-discipline.

Set aside time for studying. Create a revision timetable where you can have specific blocks of time to focus on particular topics. Set goals for what you want to achieve during each study session. Prioritising your studies will ensure that you get the most out of each session.

Do not make your study sessions too long. It is better to study for short periods. For example, three one-hour sessions with breaks in between will be more productive than one long three-hour study session.

Use flashcards to remember key information, phrases or concepts on a subject and use these to test your knowledge. This helps you to not only retain the information but to be able to retrieve it quickly.

Regular revision will help you build and retain knowledge. It will also help to keep you focused and avoid panicking.

Relax/Take a break

Exams can be stressful, so it is important to look after yourself. Healthy eating, drinking water and sleeping well are essential to support your learning and memory as well as helping to keep you focused and motivated.

Having regular breaks can help to ease the pressure so be sure to make time to relax and do something you enjoy.

Reward yourself for your progress by doing some kind of activity e.g., walking, running, swimming, cycling, etc. Of course, it does not need to be a form of exercise – just any kind of activity that allows your brain to relax. Meet friends, watch TV or a movie, read, do something creative – anything that allows your brain time to process what you have been studying while doing something you enjoy. You will then be better prepared for your next study session by being more focused and maintaining motivation.

Don’t Stress!

Please do not panic or become overly stressed about your exams. A small amount of stress can be good for us but not when we are overwhelmed by it.

There are several services available to support you if you feel you need help.

Find out more about our support services here: Counselling & Mental Wellbeing

Also, you can check out our Wellbeing Collection for additional resources which offer further support.

Remember – always be kind to yourself.

Good luck!

by Sharon McMichael

Read our previous posts about exams 

World Copyright Day 2024

World Copyright Day

Today, 23rd of April, is a big day in the world of words. Massive. Not only is it Shakespeare’s birthday (460 years young and still going strong), but three world-famous writers all died on this day in the same year: Shakespeare again (rotten luck, Will!), Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes (he of Don Quixote fame), and Peruvian historian and chronicler Inca Garcilaso de la Vega. Phew. That’s a lot going on right there.

So, it’s no wonder that UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) chose this day to be recognised as World Copyright Day.

What is copyright?

Copyright is a way of protecting the integrity of a work of creation, be it a poem, a textbook, a film, a novel, a piece of music, a painting. Even blogs, websites and podcasts are covered by copyright, which legally defines the owner of the work (of course ownership can and does change). In this case, what you own is called intellectual property. And this is important because it protects the owner from theft, rip-off, or misappropriation of their work, and ensures that they are properly paid for the work they produce.

What does this mean for you? Well, in essence it means that you are responsible for knowing how much of another person’s material you can use in your studies. This covers, for example, how much you photocopy or scan, who or what you film, whose images you use, and how much you quote from books and articles. You need to know how much you can use, how to credit it, and what purposes it can be used for.

Now, we know that you’d never intentionally misuse someone else’s work, but we have plenty of resources in the library to keep you on the right side of copyright law. The best place to start is with our copyright LibGuides: Copyright – staying legal – Copyright guidance – LibGuides at Edinburgh Napier University

As the birthday boy himself said: “No legacy is so rich as honesty.” (All’s Well that Ends Well, Act 3, Scene 5)

by Lesley McRobb

Read about our open-access research 

Stress Awareness Month 2024: Distress and how to De-Stress

Stress Awareness Month 2024: Distress and How to De-stress

It is Stress Awareness Month, learn about distress and how to destress. First emerged in April 1992 in response to a heightening crisis where chronic and severe stress was spreading on a societal scale. Established to encourage open conversations and discussions about how stress can affect us individually. As well as a collective society as well as helping to reduce the stigma surrounding stress.

Stress and its Causes: Internal and External Factors…

As exam and deadline season commences, stress levels will be at an all-time high amongst our student and staff community. Coursework, exams, and looming deadlines may be the main source of stress for much of our student community. However, for some, there may be other external stressors and factors such as family, relationships, work, and financial problems. Some relevant examples could also include ongoing conflict, job loss, unemployment, and much more.

Stress can also be caused by internal factors such as feelings of uncertainty, failure, and low self-esteem. Or dealing with chronic health issues and illness. Internal and external stressors often go hand in hand. And sometimes, the nature of the stressor may be even more unique or complex as well.

An acute level of stress can serve both a useful and essential evolutionary purpose in some circumstances. Experiencing high levels of stress for a long period can have a negative and sometimes even severe impact on an individual’s physical, emotional, and psychological health and well-being.

Recognising Symptoms and Signs of Stress…

Physically, stress can significantly deplete your immunity levels if you experience profound levels of it over a long-term period. This can make you more vulnerable to catching frequent colds, flu, and viruses. Also making you more susceptible to skin complaints, indigestion, high blood pressure and heart problems. Emotionally, stress can also leave you feeling more irritable, anxious, frustrated, and cynical. Cognitive issues such as indecision, forgetfulness and inattention can also arise. Individuals experiencing profound and severe levels of stress may also develop unhealthy behavioural habits such as sleeping too much or too little, becoming isolated and withdrawn, procrastination and an increased intake of alcohol, cigarettes, and caffeine. These often emerge as coping mechanisms for individuals looking to curb or distract themselves from the stress they are experiencing, but these habits often only end up exacerbating and worsening their stress and circumstances.

The #LittleByLittle Campaign…

The Stress Management Society reported this year that 79% of adults experience stress at least once within a month and that annually 74% have felt unable to cope with the stress they are experiencing or extremely overwhelmed. This year, they have launched the #LittleByLittle campaign which promotes the significance of making small and feasible changes within our daily routines and lives to effectively reduce the negative effects of stress. Stress often primarily emerges from feelings of powerlessness over one’s circumstances. Developing healthy and effective, manageable habits and making small positive changes may not completely erase the stress an individual is experiencing, but it can help them to feel more in control and develop a stronger sense of resilience and optimism in difficult times.

Some of the small habits the Stress Management Society recommend adapting to combat stress as part of their #LittleByLittle campaign are…

  • Connecting with others.
  • Making sleep a priority.
  • Movement and exercise.
  • Spending time outdoors and in nature.
  • Breathing techniques.
  • Practicing mindfulness.

It may not always seem feasible to incorporate these small actions into your daily routine, especially if your schedule is particularly hectic. Around exam and deadline season, this is likely the case as well! Nevertheless, it is worthwhile thinking about where you could slot in at least a few of these small but effective habits. For example, if it is a particularly sunny day, you could take a walk to your university campus or place of work instead of driving or using public transport. This effectively helps to incorporate some exercise and movement into your day as well. If this is not a feasible or realistic option, however, why not take the time to study out in the fresh air and sunshine when the opportunity arises, or even take your lunch break outside?

Destress at the library

The importance of eating for wellbeing, staying connected with others and taking regular breaks also cannot be over-emphasised as well. All three of our campus libraries have a wide range of facilities and resources available to aid with stress and well-being and support students in developing these effective habits, particularly during exam season. We currently have physical Exam Support Displays set up in each campus library with books displayed from both our research collection and wellbeing collection, as well as links and QR codes directing individuals to our useful webpages for study skills, exam support and our Libguide page. Each display also has bowls of free fruit available – do come along and help yourself!

You can also find more of the resources we have available in our wellbeing collection on our Libguide webpage through the following link: Wellbeing Collection – LibGuides at Edinburgh Napier University.

Alongside our wellbeing book stands, we also have relaxation spaces with couches, board games and pages for colouring. An opportunity to take some time away from their revision to relax and recharge.

Some of the books we have available to take out on loan or as an ebook from our Wellbeing Collection which promote and aid with developing effective habits to combat stress can be found below.

By Rachel Downie

Read about our article on beating exam stress.

Exams and Study

Exams and Study

We know we’ve been here before, echoing exams are upcoming. But it’s that time of year. And we can’t stress enough that the library is here to help and we have a wide range of resources for support.

We are running a book display at each campus library highlighting the support and help available. Here you will find books on study skills, exam guidance and how to take time out for yourself to unwind. As well as directions to online guides to subjects and wellbeing collections.

The displays will be there for the entire exam period, for you to have a chance to look at.

We also have everything online, if you don’t have time or the chance to make it to the library.

Exams and Study Skills

Feel free to browse the books on display and please note that all books are loanable. You can borrow them.  We have created a reading list for exam support, here you will find more books to manage exams. Some are physical items and some are online. Additionally, this reading list includes books on study skills and mindfulness during the exam period.

Our online tools for study skills include our training and event calendar which will direct you to sessions from Academic Skills advisors and subject librarians. There is a wide range of what it is offered and remember, you can also book 1.1 appointments.

Our subject guides cover all courses. These are designed by the subject librarians. Here you can find useful and more relevant resources for your course like databases.  There are also guides to Google Scholar and referencing and much more.

Wellbeing and Relaxation:

The exam period can be stressful. So it is important not to get burnt out.  Our displays feature books on mindfulness and well-being. At each library,  there is a well-being collection which is dedicated to navigating life at university. And a relaxation area where you take time to unwind with some jigsaws or light reading. If you can’t make it into the library, the wellbeing collection is available online and we have a virtual relaxation space on the blog.

Keep your eyes out for an upcoming article on the Wellbeing Collection. A deeper dive into what the Wellbeing Collections offers.

Good luck with your exams.




Where does the time go? And why do holidays always feel so short? Those are the questions that are no doubt on your mind as you return from a very welcome break. Wherever you were, we hope you enjoyed some sunshine.

But it’s back to business as usual now: grey skies, rain (very wet), and lots of work to catch up on. In case you’d forgotten, those pesky exams are looming. If this is causing you some alarm, fear not – we’ve got you covered.

We’d like to invite you to a supportive space where you can bring your own resources and get some work done.

Come along to Merchiston library on Wednesdays, from 10th April. Join us in study room 7 at 2pm. We’ll spend a couple of hours working together in a friendly, peaceful, quiet space. This is for you if want to beat procrastination, get motivated, work on individual goals and increase time efficiency.

Maybe you struggle to get your head down. Or maybe you don’t have a private, quiet space in which to study. Maybe your notes are all over the place and you need to sit down and pull them all together. Maybe you just like working with others and feeding off the group’s energy.

Whatever your needs, you’re welcome to join our new Co-Working Collective.

There is no need to book, but we would ask you to arrive promptly by 2pm. Just bring yourself, your own study/work resources and a commitment to work and reflect for the next couple of hours.

We look forward to seeing you. If you have any questions or comments, please email library@napier.ac.uk

By Lesley McRobb

Find out more about what D&I do

Read about the library and study skills

Library Support: Assessments, Exams and Dissertations

Library Support: Assessments, Exams and Dissertations

Exams are upon us, final assessments are upon us and dissertations are upon us. It’s that time of the year again. But the final stretch to the summer break. Don’t fret, the library is here to support and here to help.

How can the library support?

Over on our training and events calendar, you will find a wide range of training sessions, particularly with your subject librarian. Meaning you get more of a tailored session. You can find help with reference management, library 101, and literature reviews. Some are online and you will find out how to register for a place there. Some are in-person and again, you can find all the information on where and what over on our training and events calendar. And don’t forget you can always email for a 1.1 chat with your subject librarian. Not sure who they are, you can find them here on the myNapier.

Additionally, we have a study skills webpage that covers essay and dissertation writing and more, including reports. It even has evaluating information and grammar guides. We have libguides which cover subject guides and research guides. Our subject guides are designed to help you find information on a specific subject including journal articles and databases. Our research guides are to help you develop your research and digital information skills including critical thinking and data collection and analysis.

Support from the university:

Over on the myNapier webpages, under the tab Your Studies. You will find a wide range of support from the university. And you can find out more about the wonderful academic skills team. You can read more about them on their very own blog and on myNapier.


You can read more on our blog including about wellbeing during exam time.

Good luck, you’ve got this.


British Library Cyber Attack

 British Library Cyber Attack

If you’ve ever used our inter-library loan service, the chances are your book or article was supplied by the British Library (BL). On the last weekend in October BL was subject to a cyber-attack. The ransomware group Rhysida claimed to be behind the attack. Access to the catalogue, website, ordering process and research services was lost.

Cyber Attack: Why does it matter?

With one of the largest book collections in the world, The EThOs doctoral theses collection and access to millions of journal articles, maps and music scores it is a huge loss to those who are studying or doing research.

Our inter-library loan service used BL to supply journal articles directly to the requestor. The online self-service BL On Demand was used to renew books quickly and easily for users.

BL had service standards regarding the delivery of items-articles were usually supplied on the same day or the next day after being requested. Books usually arrive within a week.

How are we sourcing requested items now?

We are now relying on partners, such as other universities and institutes to supply books and articles. In order to find out which partners have requested items we use JISC Library Hub Discover. This allows us to see who has the book or journal which the requested article is from. In the case of journals, holdings are displayed so we are able to see if an institution has the journal for the year the article was published.

The timeframe for partners supplying can be much slower than BL’s. This is because we are using other universities and institutions whose services are dependent on the availability of staff who will also be dealing with their own students and staff. They will prioritise their own members so if their own libraries are busy with students needing assistance, satisfying inter-library loan requests will not be prioritised.

Books will not be supplied by a partner if they are on a reading list or currently on loan. This may mean we have to try more than one partner to try to get a book supplied. We are dependent on our partners following up on our requests, which will take longer at certain times such as the start of the new semester.

How are we coping?

We have coped very well. There has not been very many requests which could not be supplied. We are receiving requests from partners for books and articles available at Edinburgh Napier and our interlending team are supplying to them. This generates an income stream as we make a small charge for each item we supply.

Slow progress

BL have recently partially re-instated their catalogue, but not all materials are currently searchable. BL’s Reading Rooms in London and Yorkshire are open, but access to the collection and online resources is limited. BL anticipate restoring more services in the next few weeks, but disruption to certain services is expected to last for several months.


If you had created your own BL account…….

Edinburgh Napier has a BL account to request and renew articles and books. You may have your own account so there are some things to be aware of. The attackers released some of BL data onto the dark web including some personal user information. It is recommended that if you use the same password for non-BL services as you use for your BL account. Then you change this password for the other services. BL intend to alert anyone whose data has been compromised and they are collaborating with the Metropolitan Police. BL’s data protection officer can be contacted at data.governance@bl.uk if you have any queries.


If you have any questions or concerns regarding the BL cyber attack you can  contact the library or talk to staff at any of the library helpdesks and we will try to assist.

Photo Source Andrea De Santis

By Vivienne Hamiliton

Unfamiliar with Inter Library Loans, you can read here 

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