Welcome to the law library


Taylor Library and the European Documentation Centre (EDC) welcomes all new students who start postgraduate studies at the University of Aberdeen in January 2018.

Janet MacKay, Information Consultant for Law, will provide you with an induction talk in the Old Senate Room on Friday 12 January, between 10 – 11 am. On the same day, after the talk, there will be two library tours in the Taylor Library. The first tour starts from 11 am, and the second runs from 11.30 am. Please check your university emails to find out your group allocation.

As a modern academic library, the Taylor Library can offer paper collections as well as e-resources and access to legal databases. The following links take you to specific information pages on library services and facilities. If you have any problems using electronic resources, please read our library guides or contact the dedicated Help Desk in the Taylor Library.

We are looking forward to seeing many of you in the library soon, and wishing you all the best of luck for your postgraduate studies.

Taylor Library Staff



Taylor Library Comments and Suggestions Box

COMSUGWith exam time upon us the library is naturally very busy.  We strive to maintain as effective a study environment as possible in Taylor so if you have any issues please speak to a member of staff at the issue desk. We also provide a comments and suggestions box, which is located beside the MFDs, opposite the issue desk. When using this facility please provide your name and email address so that we can respond as effectively as possible.

Happy studying and good luck!

Taylor Library

Tip of the Day: finding e-books via Westlaw UK

1) List of books on Westlaw UK

To access books on the legal database Westlaw, go to the Library home page at www.abdn.ac.uk/library/ and type ‘Westlaw UK’ into the Search Our Collections box. Follow the link to Westlaw UK from the results screen on Primo and you will be prompted to log in with your University computer username and password through the Shibboleth authentication route.

There are 8 different tabs on the Westlaw UK website; go to Books. Westlaw will present you with a list of text books that we have access to in full text. Significant titles in the collection include:

  • Anton’s Private International Law 3rd edn.
  • Archbold Criminal Pleading Evidence and Practice 2018 edn.
  • Davidson: Arbitration 2nd edn.
  • Macphail’s Sheriff Court Practice 3rd edn. 
  • Palmer’s Company Law
  • Redfern & Hunter: Law and Practice of International Commercial Arbitration 6th edn.
  • Renton and Brown Criminal Procedure 6th edn.
  • The Law of Contract in Scotland 3rd edn.

Westlaw e-books



Click on a title and you will be given the choice to use the Free Text search box to a keyword search within the book, or to browse its contents through Mainwork.

2) If you come across an e-book while searching Primo…

Often a book can be available in different editions and different formats. These books are identified in Primo with the notation ‘multiple versions found’.

To understand this option, try the following search:

  1. Go to Primo and enter the following keywords into the search box under the Books+ tab:
    law contract Scotland McBryde
  2. Primo will find 2 records containing those words. The record for: The Law of Contract in Scotland by William McBryde appears to include multiple versions. View 4 versions
  3. Open the View 4 versions link.
  4. The results are ranked chronologically with the newest edition at the top.
  5. Underneath the top entry you will see the words: Online Access. This means that the book is available electronically. To access and read it, click on either the View Online tab or the book title. You may be asked to log in with your University computer username and password. Clicking on the title will take you to the Browse and Search screens within the book. 

multiple versions

Note: To obtain this book in paper format click on Availability. This will give you information about the location and availability of the item.

If you have any problems using Westlaw UK, please speak to a member of our team or email us at lawlib@abdn.ac.uk.

Taylor Library is open 9:00-22:00 most days. For more details see our opening times page.


OSCOLA – citing hard copy journal articles


OSCOLA final

If the article is available in print copy as well as online, cite the hard copy version. There is no need to cite an electronic source for such a publication.

The elements of citation are as follows:

  • Cite the author’s name first (followed by a coma)
  • Give the ‘title of the article’ (within single quotation marks)
  • Year of publication [in square brackets if it identifies the volume] or (in round brackets if there is a separate volume number)
  • The volume number if there is one
  • The name of the journal (in full or abbreviated form – with no full stops)
  • And the first page of the article.


Carmen Draghici, ‘Immigration Tribunal fees as a barrier to access to justice and substantive human rights protection for children’ [2017] PL 1

John Gardner, ‘The Negligence Standard: Political not Methaphysical’ (2017) 80 MLR 1

Tip! Put a coma after the first page of the article if there is a pinpoint:

JAG Griffith, ‘The Common Law and the Political Constitution’ (2001) 117 LQR 42, 64.

For more information, please see page 37 in the OSCOLA user guide or visit us in the Taylor Library & EDC.

Taylor Library Team



Useful information to you for your first assignment – Library Exercise required by Legal System (LS1025) course

As a first year law student, you will be required to complete a mandatory Library Exercise in the Legal System course in late September. In this exercise, students have to come to the Taylor Library, and find answers to around 30 questions set by the School of Law. This activity introduces two very basic collections to you: the Law Report Series and Official Publications collections. It helps you navigate through legal cases and primary legislation, and it shapes your knowledge on legal terminology.

This is the very first assignment you have to face, and students are often overwhelmed by the challenge. To make the completion of the Library Exercise easier, and more successful, we put together the following list of instructions.


  1. Read the questions carefully! You will find questions related to court cases. To find the right answers, you need to know what the case citation means in a particular case.
  2. Decoding citation is not always straightforward, especially if you have never done this before. Please follow the hyperlink to get help with understanding case citation.
  3. In the Taylor Library, there are posters everywhere which can explain what the different abbreviations stand for. Look for posters like this at the end of the shelves.Abbreviation posters
  4. Once you know the meaning of the abbreviation, you are on the right track to find the resource you need. For example, if the abbreviation is SC, and you have figured out that this stands for Session Cases, then the next step is to locate this law report series in the library.
  5. Law reports are stored on the right hand side of the lower level in Block C and Block D, and they are arranged in alphabetical order.


  1. Around half of the questions concern legislation. And, just as with legal cases, legislation also has its own citation regime. Please follow the link to learn more about citing legislation.
  2.  The Official Publications collection which contains the resources you need is found at the back of  lower Block D, on the right hand side. Block D downstairs
  3. In order to answer the questions, you will need these publications:Statutes
  4. There are always a few questions concerning the Current Law Statutes Annotated collection which can be found on the lower level in Block C, opposite the Help Desk.


  • This is an individual assignment and not group work. Please work alone, and ask the library staff, and not your fellow students, if you need help.
  • Certain resources are stored downstairs in Block D. We would like to remind you that it is a Silent Study Zone, so talking is not allowed there.
  • And finally, this is a paper exercise. You are expected to find the answers in the library and not online. Please try to avoid using electronic legal databases.

We hope that this exercise will be a pleasant and rewarding experience. Do not worry if you cannot find the answers right away, you still know where you can find us. Please, come to the Help Desk or to the Issue Desk in the Taylor Library, and do not be afraid to ask for help.

Good luck with your Library Exercise!

Taylor Library Team

Hello from Janet, your Information Consultant


Hi! I’m Janet MacKay, the Information Consultant for Law. I’m here to support the students and staff in the School of Law. I qualified as a librarian in 2003, and have been a member of the Teaching, Liaison & Consultancy team in the University of Aberdeen’s library since 2011.

The best way to contact me is by email as I am often teaching or at meetings. My email address is j.i.mackay@abdn.ac.uk. I work in The Sir Duncan Rice Library (SDRL) for part of the week as I am also the Information Consultant for the Business School – my office in SDRL is on Floor 4. If you have any questions, please get in touch. If I’m in my office in Taylor Library, just knock! It’s the room with the ‘Librarian’s Office’ notice on the door.

If you are a new student, we’ll be meeting in workshops where I’ll be teaching you how to find the literature to support your studies and beyond.

See you soon!