Dissertations: Home

A guide for final year Undergraduate Students, and Postgraduate students about the resources and services the Library offers when doing a dissertation or thesis.

Chat with us

You can chat online with a member of Library staff, this service is available:

  • Monday - Friday 9am-5pm

One-to-one support and enquiries

You can email Library@st-andrews.ac.uk with any enquiry you have.  

We offer one-to-one enquiries via Teams for students doing dissertations, and we can help with a wide range of things, including:

  • Helping you identify the keyword and phrases for your topic, and advising on the search techniques to ensure your searching is efficient and effective in finding the best resources for your dissertation.
  • Ensuring you can make use of all the online and specialist resources for you subject, advising on the best databases for your dissertation, and how to make use of these.
  • Getting access to resources beyond the Library's collections.
  • Using reference management software.

Email Library@st-andrews.ac.uk to request an appointment with one of the Academic Liaison Librarians:

A photograph of Vicki, Hilda and Sharon outside the Main Library.

Vicki Cormie, Hilda McNae and Sharon Nangle 

See below for details of subjects covered by each of the Academic Liaison Librarians

Vicki Cormie:

  • Art History; Biology; Chemistry; Computer Science; Divinity; History; Mathematics and Statistics; Medicine; Modern Languages; and Physics and Astronomy.

Hilda McNae :

  • Classics; Economics and Finance; English; Geography and Sustainable Development; International Relations; Management; Philosophy, Social Anthropology & Film Studies; and Psychology and Neuroscience.

Sharon Nangle:

  • International Education Institute.
  • Any questions about referencing styles.

Accessing resources for your dissertation

This guide provides information on the range of resources, services and support the Library provides for students undertaking dissertations.  During this period of lockdown the Library recognises that students will need help getting access to resources, and may need additional support to find alternative sources when access cannot be provided to some resources.

Where possible students are advised to ensure they make full use of the online resources the Library already has, as well as online resources which are freely available.

Alongside support offered via email and the Library Chat service, the Library also provides a one-to-one enquiry service, where students can arrange to speak to a Librarian who can provide training on the use of subject databases to help students uncover and use a range of other academic materials.  Library staff recognise that finding information can be a challenge, please don't hesitate to ask for help, even with searching the Library catalogue.

Library resources and services

What's already available:

  • Check if what you need is available online.  Search using the title in the search box on the Library homepage.  You can apply the "online" or "ebook" option to limit your search to find online resources. 
  • Search archive.org to see if a scan of a book is freely available.

Request a scan

Use the Request a scan option if you need a chapter from a book in the library, or an article from a print journal.

Table of contents are useful in helping to decide what chapter you would like a scan.  There are a range of places to check for a table of contents.

Morebooks service

You can use the Morebooks service to ask the Library to purchase books and ebooks the Library doesn't have.

Article Reach and Inter-Library Loan

If you need a journal article or a chapter from a book which the Library doesn't have (online or in print), you can request a scan using the Inter-Library Loans and ArticleReach Service.

If you need a book which the Library doesn't have you can apply for an Inter-Library Loan and we will try to obtain a loan of a book from another Library.  You'll find information here about any limits on the number of requests you can make.

Subject Guides

To help you find the databases and online resources recommended for your subject we have created Subject Guides.  Your Subject Guide will include:

  • The contact details for the Librarian for your subject.  You can contact the Librarian for advise on which resources are likely to be best in your case, and for support using these, one-to-one training can be provided using Teams for anything you need help with using in your Subject Guide
  • Details of the databases available within your subject, with links to access them.
  • Information about resources used within your subject, such as primary sources, data and statistical sources, newspapers, etc.