Family overload this festive season? The library is here for you this vacation.

Person holding a gift box wrapped in brown paper with candy stripe ribbon.
Photo by Kira auf der Heide on Unsplash

Today we are getting into the festive spirit in the Liaison team and enjoying our last day at work before the Christmas vacation. The team will be back in the office on 2nd January but until then, there is plenty of Library support available.

We are still open!

The Philip Robinson Library will be open throughout the vacation with the exception of Tuesday 25 December 2018 and Tuesday 1 January 2019. Between Saturday 22nd December and Monday 31st December, we are open as self-service and access the building is by Newcastle University Smartcard only.

Find out more on the Library website.

Live chat

If you have an urgent question, you will find 24/7 support via our out-of-hours Live Chat service, provided by a co-operative of academic librarians from around the world. If they can’t answer your query, they will pass it back to our Library staff who will contact you when full service resumes on Wednesday 2 January 2019.

Library Help FAQs

Believe us, there is no such thing as a stupid question and you’ll probably find that your question has been asked many times before! Why not check the Library Help FAQs to see if we have already provided an answer.

Visit your Subject Guide

Working on an assignment or revising, and unsure where to find the information you need? Visit your library Subject Guide for advice and quick links to specialist information resources for your subject.

Image of the subject guides homepage on an ipad screen.

Not in Newcastle? Online resources – any time, anywhere.

You can access all of our e-resources from anywhere in the world, so long as you have an internet connection. We wrote this blog post full of tips last week.

Reading list session for Business School academics

The University Library launched a new reading list system in September 2017. This system is fully embedded within Blackboard, so if you are a module leader you will see a link to the relevant reading list within the module area on Blackboard.

We have also been working on our internal processes, improving how we receive reading lists and manage requests for new books or Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) scans.

You will now find some help pages specifically for reading lists at: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/services/reading-lists/

(image taken from Jesper Sehested)

From August 2018 please use our new central email address readinglists@ncl.ac.uk

If you have a word document or module guide which contains your reading lists you can deposit this with us using this form.

The new system also allows academics to log into their reading list within Blackboard and make amendments directly on the system. This means you no longer need to send us an email asking for a new book to be purchased or to ask for CLA scans. Simply follow the instructions on our how to guide.

You can make amendments and additions at any point during the academic year directly onto the list. You can also export your online list into a word document or other teaching materials.

If you wish to attend some training regarding the system, please book a place via louise.gordon@ncl.ac.uk for one of the sessions we’ve arranged below:

Thursday 17th January 10-11am

Thursday 17th January 11-12pm

Room 3.03, Business School

 

Want something different to read this Christmas? Why not take a look at our Medicine in Literature Collection.

Medical Humanities or Narrative Medicine is a popular academic discipline that explores the crossroads between medicine and the arts.

Our Medicine in Literature collection captures the complexities of what it means to be human through a wide range of literary genres.

These resources range from fiction, non-fiction including medical history, ethics and memoir, graphic novels, poetry and prose or medicine as metaphor, to films. Representations of illness, dis-ease, healing and health are interwoven themes that give voice to a diversity of perspectives and personal experiences of the human condition.

If you’re interested in exploring your subject field from a different viewpoint or simply want to broaden your reading this Christmas, dive right in! The physical stock is located in the Quiet Study area of the Walton Library or you can browse the collection from our Library Guide.

Please email any resource recommendations to lib-medlit@ncl.ac.uk.

See the Top 10 Medicine in Literature books borrowed from the collection this year.

 

 

 

 

Shhhh don’t mention the word exams!

Your final assignment of the term has been handed in, Christmas parties are in full swing and you’re starting to think that you really must buy some presents. It is definitely a time to be winding down. You settle down on the sofa to watch some good old, cheesy Christmas T.V. but then up pops Macaulay Culkin and you suddenly want to scream with him! You have a sudden realisation that despite being lulled into a false sense of security, exams are just around the corner and Semester 1 still hasn’t finished yet…….Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! But don’t panic, your trusty librarians are here to help!

Now, we are not suggesting for one moment that you shouldn’t be taking some time out for some ‘r and r’ (you definitely should), but when you’re ready to get back into study mode, just remember that:-

  1. Our library buildings are still open if you want to come in and get away from all the Christmas madness.  Check out our opening times here.
  2. If you’re away from Newcastle this Christmas or just want to hibernate at home in your favourite pyjamas (I mean who doesn’t want to at this time of year?!), then you can make use of all our online resources. Check out Library Search and your specific subject guide for access to books, eBooks, journal articles and more.
  3. We have exam and revision advice. Why not explore the ASK website  or take a look at some relevant resources in the ‘study skills’ sections of our libraries?
  4. And last but not least, remember that we are here to help! You can contact us 24/7 via Library Help or alternatively browse the hundreds of frequently asked questions, which you can access anytime, anywhere.

So, enjoy Christmas, put your feet up and then when you’re ready, remember you don’t need to be home alone! We are here to help!

 

Going home for the holidays? Top tips for accessing resources off campus.

The Library subscribes to over 300 specialist subject databases, 26,000 ejournals and has access to over 6 million ebooks. When you are on campus or use a computer connected to the University network, ebook and ejournal providers will recognise you as a member of the University and allow you access to the resource. You will see the University logo on the page and if you are on things like Google Scholar, you will be given the option to “Find at Newcastle University”. This works because it recognises the IP address of the University.

It all works like magic and it is easy to think that it is all freely available. However, when you’re off campus, working from home or perhaps in a different library, you won’t be automatically recognised. This can cause you some difficulty accessing resources and you’ll probably find that you are locked out of the full-text and asked to pay large amounts for articles.

If you are working off campus, follow our tips to make sure that you are able to access all of the resources that you are entitled to as a member of Newcastle University.

#1 Access the resource from Library Search

If you perform a search in Library Search, you will be automatically prompted to log in to online resources with your University username and password, even when you are off campus. But did you know you can also search it to access whole journal titles and databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science? Access the database through Library Search and you will be prompted to login, to easily perform your search and download the full-text.

Library search filtered by database

#2 Access the resource from your Subject Guide

As we have access to so many databases and specialist resources, we’ve drawn together the best ones for your discipline on your Subject Guide. Clicking on the links in the Subject Guide will take you through a route that will prompt you to log in with your University username and password.

Subject guides journals and databases tab

#3 Access the ejournal in Browzine

Have you created your own journal shelf or downloaded the Browzine app? Browzine is a way of accessing ejournal titles for your subject, and to read the most recent articles, just like flicking through a magazine. As you set up your personal account using your University email address, Browzine will always recognise you as a member of the University and give you access to the full-text.

Browzine app and desktop homescreen

#4 Use RAS

Logging into RAS when you are off campus allows you to work within the University network. This will enable journal and database providers to automatically recognise you as a member of the University, just as it would work on campus.

#5 Check the screen for the University logo

We get a lot of enquiries from staff and students who aren’t sure if we have a subscription to a journal or an electronic version of a book. This is sometimes because they are not logged in or have found a reference through a search engine such as Google Scholar. If you are on the website of a journal or a database, the quickest way to check if you are logged in, is to look around the screen to see if you can spot the University logo or name. This is often at the top right or below the search boxes on the homepage of a database or journal/ ebook platform.

A screen shot showing the log in section of Scopus and Web of Science

Still not working …

There are times when you’ll have done everything right and you are still not recognised as being able to access the resource. In this case, it is always worth trying to log in again within the platform. Look to the top right of the screen for a link that says institutional log in, sign in via your University or it might mention something called Shibboleth. This will allow you to log in with your University username and password.

If you’re in any doubt, you can always chat with us online 24/7 or send us an enquiry via Library Help. We’ll probably ask you to send us a picture of what you can see on screen, as this will help us spot any problems.

You will find more tips for working with Library resources when you away from Newcastle on our distance learners library guide.

 

Guest post: Creative Writing Society ‘Write-ins’

Sitting down to write for twelve hours might seem like an impossible task, but Newcastle University’s Creative Writing society didn’t back down. On November 3rd and 24th, the Philip Robinson Library was host to our two annual ‘Write-ins’.

The Write-ins are organised to coincide with National Novel Writing Month (or ‘NaNoWriMo’) in which participants are challenged to write 50,000 words in a single month. The challenge is just as daunting as it might sound — to achieve that goal, you would have to write 1,667 words a day on average!

On the nights themselves, we were at the library from 7.00 a.m. until 7.00 p.m. Copious amounts of drinks and snacks were needed to support ourselves through the nights and make sure we had the energy to keep going. Library staff had been kind enough to decorate Your Space with posters and banners. We even had our own whiteboard that we used to keep track of everyone’s word counts.

By the end of the second night, one of our writers even managed to break the 50,000 word total! In total, we spent twenty four hours together, not just working on our own projects, but also sharing ideas and having a good time. The great company (and even greater snacks) made our task seem a little bit less difficult.

Throughout the night, we also took over the Library’s arts liaison team’s Twitter account (@ncllibarts) to share our exploits. You can find all the tweets from the night here (https://twitter.com/i/moments/1065265041694486529) with most of them getting progressively stranger as we grew more and more tired.

We’d just like to say a massive thank you to everyone involved in making this event happen, from members of committee to the library staff. The society can’t wait for our next annual Write-ins, even if we always need a lot of sleep the next day to catch up on the zzz’s!

Lucy Elliott, Newcastle University Creative Writing Society’s President

Managing your References: EndNote and OSCOLA

Recipe for referencing: Newcastle University Library

“Should I use EndNote as a way to manage my references?” is often a question we get asked. We wish that there was a simple answer to that question, but there isn’t! It all depends on how many references you have, how you like to work and if you are willing to make time to learn how to use EndNote properly. You see, while EndNote is tool that can make your academic life easier (for example, it can help you build a collection of references, insert references into your work and create bibliographies), it will only save you time, if you invest time NOW.

So if you’re using the OSCOLA referencing style and weighing up whether to use EndNote or not, then you might want to consider the following:

  • You need to have a good grasp of the OSCOLA fundamentals before you even start with EndNote. If you need a refresher on OSCOLA, then check out the OSCOLA referencing guide first before even looking at EndNote.
  • EndNote will not do EVERYTHING for you. You will still need to manually input and amend your references to ensure your footnotes and bibliography comply with OSCOLA.
  • Have you got the time to invest in EndNote before using it? We strongly recommend that you make a start using EndNote from the beginning, rather than in the middle or at the end, of your research.
  • How do you want to use EndNote? Some people decide to use it simply as a storage place for their references and PDFs and leave it at that. Others use it both as a storage place, as well as a tool to help them cite.

Still not sure? Watch the video below to see how to use OSCOLA style and the Cite While You Write feature in Word. Then take a look at the OSCOLA and EndNote guide and see if it’s something you’d like to start using.

Any questions? Have a look at our Frequently Asked Questions to see if it’s been asked before. If not, then do get in touch via Library Help

 

Cook up your references more quickly by managing your information.

Banner image for referencing promition

The amount of information we gather and read on a daily basis can be really overwhelming. If you are reading for seminars, essays and dissertations, you can quickly lose track of the websites you visited, articles you downloaded and books you’ve read. But there are some quick and easy ways to manage the information you find, to be a little more organised and helping you reference it further down the line.

1. Pin your favourites in Library Search 

Click on the pin icon for the records of any items that interest you as you go, and add all of the books, ebooks and articles you use for your work to your Library Search favourites. You can tag items with a label for the theme you are researching or even a module code or assignment, to help you group them together and find them when you come to do your referencing.

Images showing the option to pin items and searches to your favourites

2. Use the cite button

In Library Search and subject databases such as EBSCO and ProQuest, as well as Google Scholar, you will find the option to copy or download a simple reference. This can then be copied and pasted into a work document to form the start of your reference list. With a little tidying up, you will have the basic information you need to compile a reference and save yourself the time of recording the full details manually.

But be warned – these references are never perfect! They often include information that you don’t need or have missing punctuation and formatting, so you will need to give them a quick tidy up. Use referencing guidance such as Cite Them Right to help you spot any errors.

Image showing the citation button in Lbrary Search

3. Use your search history and save searches

How often have you found the perfect article, clicked onto a different page or moved onto a different task, only to forget what it was called. Or found a load of useful articles but then forgotten how you filtered your results to find them?

This is where your search history an be really useful. If you log into Library Search, you can view your search history and save any useful searches by clicking on the save query pin icon.

You will find the option to save your searches in most of the subject databases too. To do this, you will often need to register for a personal account on the platform. Once you have saved your search, you can also do more advanced things, such as set up an alert that emails you whenever new articles are added to the database that match your search criteria.

4. Use a reference management tool 

Reference management tools allow you to build and maintain your own library of references. You can enter reference information manually or you can import them directly from Library Search, Google Scholar and subject databases. You can also upload the full-text pdfs, images or notes to the reference, so that everything is kept safely in one place. When you begin to write, the software will allow you to “cite while you write”, adding your in-text citation and building your reference list for you.

The University has a subscription for EndNote which is available in all University clusters, via RAS and as EndNote Online. You’ll find information about how to get started with EndNote on our EndNote library guide. 

Watch our short video to find out more …

New resource: Westlaw All Books

We’re pleased to announce that following a successful recent trial, we have now bought access to Westlaw All Books.

This upgrade gives us access to an extra 250 law reference works online, covering over 50 areas of law, including 71 loose-leaf titles. No more worrying about whether the book is on the shelf or not: the information is always at your fingertips!

The new titles are likely to be of interest to students in business, accounting and finance, planning, and engineering, as well as law.

The new titles are individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can access them all by logging into Westlaw, and clicking on Books on the menu across the top of the page.


Thanks to everyone who used the trial and gave us feedback.

Recipe for Referencing: EndNote

What is EndNote?

The official blurb on EndNote is that it is “…the industry standard software tool for publishing and managing bibliographies, citations and references.”

Have you drifted off yet? Don’t – read on!

EndNote takes a little getting used to and we recommend you familiarise yourself with it at the start of your research process. But as Library Staff, we wouldn’t spend a significant amount of time demonstrating and training our academic staff and students on what EndNote is, and how to use it, if we didn’t think it was valuable. It will save you a huge amount of time in terms of writing up your assignments.

Essentially, you can use EndNote to create and organise a personal library of resources relevant to your research. You can import references from Library Search, and a huge range of databases such as Scopus, Web of Science, IEEE Xplore and Business Source Complete. You can ask EndNote to locate the full-text PDFs of the resources you are going to use in your research, and you can annotate them as you wish too. Did you know you can instruct Google Scholar to import references into EndNote? No? Try it. Finally, if you already have materials stored in your home folder (H:\) then you can attach them to a manually-created reference within EndNote, bringing all your research together in one place.

In addition to organising your references (and this is the clever bit) you can then get EndNote to ‘talk’ to your word processing software, e.g. Microsoft Word, and insert the citations into your work for you in your chosen referencing style, e.g. Harvard at Newcastle, Vancouver, APA or MLA. If you don’t want to do that, then EndNote will also allow you to create an independent bibliography of your references, saving you an awful lot of typing.

Using EndNote

Intrigued? You should be. Take a look at our EndNote Guide. It contains all the introductory information you need, step-by-step workbooks to train yourself on the use of EndNote (the Desktop and Online versions), videos, useful FAQs, and contacts for help, should you need it.

Finally, Newcastle University provides support for EndNote but it is not compulsory to use. You may prefer Mendeley, Zotero, RefWorks or another piece of bibliographic management software. That’s fine, whatever makes your referencing lives easier. Go on, give them a try.