Euromonitor Passport: Spring 2018 update

Euromonitor have released a video announcing updates to Passport.  Find out what has changed in their video:


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Maths Cafe returns in September (but help is still available over the summer)

Maths Cafe returns in September 2018The Maths Café is done for this academic year but they will be back as usual from 17th September 2018.

In the meantime, if you have any mathematical or statistical quandries:

  • the Library offers a huge range of textbooks and monographs in the library, including many ebooks available online
  • Learning Support Tutors in your faculty may be able to help – the Technology Faculty has a Maths tutor available over the summer and the Science Faculty offers a tutor who can help with Statistics
  • the Maths Cafe Moodle site offers plenty of online resources and courses
  • you can still email throughout the summer months
  • if you are a postgraduate student you can also contact the Graduate School

Failing all of that, you can always approach your dissertation/research supervisor and ask who else might be able to assist you.

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Happy Global Accessibility Awareness Day! 

The doorway to resourcesGlobal Accessibility Awareness Day celebrates all the improvements made to make resources and services available and useful to as many people as possible.  All the advances we make in Making resources available in more formats and supporting different ways of working and learning allows people with physical and cognitive challenges that prevent them from working effectively with printed materials.

There is really no distinction between tools that make resources accessible and those that help people personalise their learning and make resources work in better ways for them.  No two people are the same, and designing to support diversity means that everyone benefits from a wider choice in how they learn.

Read more ›

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Introducing RNIB Bookshare: electronic resources for widening accessibility

The University has been a member of Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB) Bookshare scheme for many years, including in its previous incarnation as Load2Learn.  The support of the RNIB is invaluable in providing students and staff with many of the accessible formats they need. Upon declaring a disability to the Library, we meet with individual students to discuss their needs, and those who qualify and wish to take advantage of accessible formats are signed up with RNIB Bookshare.  We try to purchase accessible e-books (which you can find in the Library catalogue) whenever they are available, so the sooner we know what units are being studied the sooner we can obtain resources. If the particular title needed cannot be purchased as an e-book, we then check RNIB’s list of publisher partners. If the publisher is working with RNIB, we can request the book through the Bookshare website.  

Many titles have already been requested for previous students both here and at other participating universities, so sometimes the results are instant!  Copyright restrictions mean we can only request electronic copies of titles we hold ourselves but these don’t restrict students from using their membership to make direct requests.  Anyone requesting an electronic version directly should be aware that publishers often send only a plain PDF file, while the Library would usually add navigation to the document before passing it on to students.  That said, some publishers provide their books in multiple formats, including DAISY, HTML, MP3 and EPUB, which offers students a fantastic choice. Bookshare even provide free software to play these formats, available to download from their website, as well as test apps and extensions for many common devices.

So who can use RNIB Bookshare?

This definition is taken from section 31F (2) of the Copyright and Rights in Performances (Disability) Regulations 2014.

“Disabled person” means a person who has a physical or mental impairment which prevents the person from enjoying a copyright work to the same degree as a person who does not have that impairment, and “disability” is to be construed accordingly.

Any individual who falls under the above definition may be eligible to access downloaded items from UK education collection.  This definition is broader in scope than the previous legislation and includes, but is not limited to:

  • Blind and partially sighted: persons who are blind or have a visual impairment that cannot be improved by corrective lenses.
  • Learning disability: persons who are unable to effectively read print due to dyslexia or other cognitive learning disabilities such as Autism or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD).
  • Physical disability-sons who are unable, through physical disability, to hold or manipulate a book, or who are unable to focus or move their eyes to the extent that would normally be acceptable for reading.

Non-qualifying disabilities

English as an additional language and low literacy levels are not classed as print-disabilities. These learners would need to have a print-disability as outlined above, to be able to benefit from the accessible resources on UK education collection.

If you think you have a qualifying disability and want to find out more about our alternative formats service or are currently registered with us and need your username and password to make individual requests via Bookshare, please email us at  Please don’t provide sensitive information at this stage.

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E-books are for everyone

Three people sat on a bench looking at a gallery of diverse human facesIt is important to us to make our resources equally easy to use for all our clients who might want them.  To this end, we have made sure that wherever possible our e-books are screen reader friendly so they can be searched and read aloud as plain text documents on request.

Accessibility on Ebook Central

All the ebooks on Ebook Central, our largest e-book platform, are in accessible formats.  If you have screen reader software installed, you should be prompted to switch on this function when you open any ProQuest e-book.  If you need the accessible format but have no screen reader software installed, please get in touch and we can arrange for it to be made available for you.

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Put your PhD on another open access pedestal


Polishing off your PhD?  As well as submitting your thesis to the University’s open access Research Portal and the British Library’s digitisation scheme EThOS, you can now archive your thesis online at the Thesis Commons, providing yet another platform indexed by Google Scholar and other services.  The visibility and ease of discovery of your work is important to encourage the citation of your work that will support your career in research.

For more help and advice on getting your work published and noticed visit our Research Support pages .

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Reading for Pleasure – Happy days are here again!

Southsea Beach anyone? Photo by aftab.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and at this time of year students and staff are particularly under strain busily preparing for exams, completing dissertations and finishing off final submissions. Our brains are crammed with ‘useful’ information, our bodies in tight knots from sitting hunched over our desks, we are reading the same boring piece of information over and over again….What we need is some down time and what better way to relax but with a book. I know.. I hear you, you’ve done nothing but read for the past few months but wait, I’m talking about putting the Civil Engineering texts away in a nice neat stable stack, artfully displaying the Architecture artefacts, and ensuring the medical books are not in any danger of tumbling and getting hurt and escaping away from here with a good book. Read more ›

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Have you been emailed an opportunity to win £1000?

Coins stacked and scattered with a clock in the backgroundAre you a postgraduate student?  Check your email inbox to see if you are one of the lucky people who have been invited to complete a survey on your experiences at Portsmouth by the Higher Education Academy.  If you fill in the survey, you could win £1,000!  You only have until 15 June to fill out the survey and enter the prize draw, so please don’t put it off, in case you forget.

We really appreciate that you might sometimes tire of what feels like yet another survey but your feedback is really valuable because it gives us really important insights into your student experience and how we can make life better for future students.

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Realms of Gold – Exploring Our Rare and Special Collections.

Habitat catalogue from 1975 – only 30p back then, but priceless enough to be part of our special collection now…

Have you ever spotted on the catalogue that some of our books are kept in the Rare Books Collection? Did you wonder why?  Or imagine what else is in there?

Here at the library, staff treat all our books with tender loving care (of course!) and we know that you do too. We have some pretty amazing books out on the shelves for you to use, but we also have Special Collections which need that little bit more care and attention and so these are kept in a special climate controlled room. The Rare Books are among these. Read more ›

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Feeling stressed? STOPP!

STOPP cardsThis week (14-21 May) is Mental Health Awareness Week.  You can pick up business card sized reminders from the shelves beneath our Community Noticeboard near the Library Café.

  • Stop!
  • Take a breath (become aware of your breathing).
  • Observe (be present, sink the mind into the body, become aware of your thoughts, feelings and sensations without judgement or trying to control any of them).
  • Pull back and get some perspective (notice that you are worrying about something that dwindles in significance when considering the bigger picture – ask yourself, is this really as important as you imagine or if it just looks that way because you are so close to it?
  • Proceed/practice what works – ask what will work/be the most effective thing to do next?  Then do that

Want more advice?  Download the STOPP app or visit

Remember that the University Wellbeing and UPSU Advice services are always here, and you can always visit your GP.

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