Developing Law PORT on the SAS Postgraduate Online Research Training platform

Law PORT logo

1 May 2015 marked the launch of the Law PORT project, an initiative of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS), funded by the School of Advanced Study (SAS). The 12 month project will see the creation of a suite of free online training resources designed to improve the legal research and information literacy skills of postgraduate researchers in law.

At the end of the project the new training resources will be hosted on the School’s postgraduate online research training platform, PORT, where they will be freely available. Thereafter they will be maintained and updated by IALS Library staff to ensure they remain a national resource for law.

User Needs Survey for Law PORT

IALS Library and the School of Advanced Study are engaged in a project to create free online resources for their new learning platform, Postgraduate Online Research Training (known simply as PORT). From July through to October, the IALS Library Academic Services team set about compiling the opinions of postgraduate law research students as part of the project to create online resources to support their research. The purpose of this survey was to collect data on the kinds of resources they felt were lacking in their institution and online. The compiled data and analysis has been written up as a report and we are making this available for you to download and read. Below is a short summary of the findings:

  • The survey results indicate a need for interactive resources for UK postgraduate researchers. IALS Library therefore has an opportunity to be one of the first to offer open training courses on various law topics and thesis writing support.
  • The survey results have reinforced our decision to create training modules on sources of public international law and OSCOLA.
  • Postgraduate research students country-wide highlighted a lack of courses on research methods, legal subscription database searching, writing and communication skills, and keeping up-to-date with changes in the law.

These conclusions have been used to shape how the rest of the project is undertaken. We hope to meet most, if not all, of the requirements highlighted by the postgraduate research students surveyed.

Follow Law PORT on Twitter @LawPortTeam and keep up-to-date with the development process. Get involved in Twitter discussions about LawPORT by using the hashtags #LawPORT and #PhDStudents. Thank you for your help in creating what we hope will be a very useful resource for PhD students in law.

The Law PORT project will be overseen by David Gee, IALS Deputy Librarian, and was managed in 2015 by James Parker, Learning Technologist, with the assistance of Lisa Davies, Access Librarian and Matt Phillpott, SAS Digital Projects Officer.

The project team welcomes your comments and suggestions. Any interested parties should contact Lisa Davies ( on 0207 862 5821.

Page last updated: 12th December 2016