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University Library

Information for new researchers and research students

Jon Purcell, University Librarian

Jon Purcell, University Librarian

“It is my very great pleasure as University Librarian to welcome you to the University Library and to Durham. I hope that you will have a very enjoyable and purposeful time with us and that the University Libraries can help with your research, provide access to a wide range of print and electronic resources and a broad range of materials ranging from our modern collections in the Bill Bryson Library to our special collections and archives held in Palace Green Library and our museums.

Our libraries are research hubs, also places for study, reflection and discourse so, with the help of my colleagues and the services outlined in this booklet, we hope that the Library is as much a part of your lives as it is ours.”



Introduction and Library Guides

The guides below are available to view online or print off and provide contact details, information about borrowing, reserving and renewing books, as well as links to and information about key services and resources provided by the Library to meet your research needs.

If you ever need any further information or guidance, or would like to discuss any concerns you have or how we might be able to support your research further, contact James Bisset , the Academic Liaison Librarian for Research Support, or the Academic Liaison Librarian for your department.


Academic Liaison Librarians

Academic Liaison Librarians provide the link between departments and the library. They can help identify relevant stock and resources for your research and provide guidance and training on locating information for your subject.

Your Academic Liaison Librarian, and your departmental library rep, can be found on our subject pages.


Durham e-Theses

Durham e-Theses contains the full-text of Durham University Higher Degree theses passed after 1 October 2009. Durham University Library is in the process of digitising its extensive collection of PhD, MPhil and Research Masters dissertations from 1899 onwards. The full text of these dissertations is made freely available for anyone to read via the Durham University's e-theses service.

The Durham repository exists in the context of the development of the national Electronic Theses Online System (EThOS) based at the British Library, which is supported by repositories at many competitor institutions. The Durham e-Theses repository will increase the visibility of research produced by the institution while promoting the work of the individual scholar.

As electronic theses are much more widely available than was previously the case, it is particularly important that candidates take reasonable care not to infringe third party copyright. In line with good academic practice, candidates should obtain the permission of rights-holders for re-use of anything other than short extracts. Copyright legislation covers a wide range of materials including images, maps, diagrams, tables and musical works.

When depositing, you can choose from a range of licences and copyright statements to deposit the work under.

Further information can be found at:


Researcher Development Programme

Whatever your chosen field you will require research skills and a clear understanding of your discipline, but you will also need to develop a wider range of personal transferable skills. The Researcher Development Programme, which offers around 2,000 places each year, is aimed at setting you off to a good start in developing these skills.

The Programme is open to all full and part-time students registered for higher degrees by thesis. The courses provide training which is relevant for the professional development of all postgraduates, irrespective of their particular area of study, and is intended to complement the training offered by departments, which is normally discipline specific. The skills you will acquire are intended to help your research at Durham and also to enhance your life skills and employability.

The Library delivers a range of training sessions as part of the Researcher Development Programme, including sessions on bibliometrics, open access, research data management, finding and managing information, keeping up to date and critical reading. These are mapped against Vitae's Information Literacy Lens for their Researcher Development Framework.

For further information, links to resources for previously run courses and access to the training booking system, follow the links below:


Academic Liaison Librarian for Research Support

Research Support Statement

"In a rapidly evolving research and information environment the library aims to support research in all disciplines across the research life cycle, from securing funding awards, to the dissemination and evaluation of your research and its impact.

This covers a broad range of activities, from the training and support provided through the Researcher Development and Leading Research Programmes, to enabling researchers to meet the open access and research data management requirements set by funders and the management and maintenance of our institutional repository Durham Research Online.

We are heavily involved in supporting the university's REF submissions, and can provide additional advice and services on bibliometrics and citation analysis."