I got very excited today after an email from a colleague letting me know about an offer related to Academic Book Week, being run by Blackwell’s in Edinburgh. This makes a selection of academic related e-books free to read for a period of time, giving you a perfect opportunity to try out a text. This week’s book includes a chapter on using social media in research and I thought would be a great way to see some ideas without having to commit to buying the book.

I got in touch with the shop and had a quick email exchange with the very helpful Jaki, who told me more about the offer and what other books were still available (I’ve included some of the details below, with her permission). I enjoyed the prospect of some “free stuff”, then stopped and reminded myself that I’m part of the University. “Free stuff” abounds. After years of having to annoy my academic friends in order to get access to peer reviewed articles rather than pay £30 a go, I keep forgetting that I can now enjoy the perks of our Library (and much, much more).

So, I had a little dig around the Library site and discovered the appropriately named Discover.Ed. It turns out that this week’s free book from Blackwells is always free if you’re a member of the University. I then did a quick search on a few of the books I’ve bought in recent months and found most of them.  Access is easy and I’ve now downloaded a few chapters to help me plan a couple of programmes in the next week.

If you’re a researcher here at Edinburgh, you may already be a regular reader of free ebooks, but I suspect it’s easy to forget that there’s far more to our library than textbooks and articles. If you are thinking about career and skills development, there are many titles to supplement our training programmes.

And for those of you who aren’t at Edinburgh, below you will find a little more about the Blackwell’s offer that prompted my stroll through the virtual shelves of the Library. As The Case of the Poisonous Socks isn’t available there, I’ll be redeeming my voucher on that…

Happy reading, both virtual and paper based.

Doing Your Research Project – free e-book offer

For any student and/or young researcher, Blackwell Edinburgh are giving away free, time-limited access to digital copies of Judith Bell and Stephen Waters’ Doing Your Research Project, A Guide for First-Time Researchers this week. If you’d like a little more information, the book is here on the Blackwell website in its physical version, or here as digital.

There is absolutely no purchase necessary to obtain the e-book, and it can be read on any internet-accessible device. However, the offer is for a week’s free access rather than perpetual access. Sections can be printed or saved, and after a week you will be offered continuing access to the full text at a reduced rate.

If you would like to take advantage of this offer, individual access codes are available as cards from the Blackwell Bookshop on South Bridge, or via e-mail singly or in bulk for distance learners and others from Academic Manager Jaki Hawker, jaki.hawker@blackwell.co.uk.

This e-book offer is part of Academic Book Week, and Blackwell’s have also offered How to Get a First, SPSS Survival Manual, Academic Writing, The Case of the Poisonous Socks, Galileo’s Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science, and Powerhouse. If you’d like codes for any of these titles, please contact Jaki, who will be glad to help.

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