Where could maps take you?

So when does an Animal Science student need to use EDINA Digimap and GIS software?  The answer is not all do, but you never know where your dissertation project may take you, and what software may help your research or your presentation or visualisation of results.

Grace’s dissertation took her to Sunderland to road test the country’s first gas sniffer dog.  Collaborating with an Earth Science student to help her use the mapping products and with training from the geosciences team in using GNSS (Global Navigation Satellite System) accurate to 2cm, she plotted the gas leaks and successful finds by her faithful four legged co-worker.  The team demonstrated that a dog’s nose is as good conventional gas detection equipment, and could be very helpful with difficult to trace gas leaks.

Sniffer dog in high vis finds gas leak
Sniffer dog, image used with permission from Dr Catherine Douglas, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.
Digimap illustrating gas leaks detected
Map created by student using EDINA Digimap https://digimap.edina.ac.uk/ and used with permission by Dr Catherine Douglas, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences.

With many thanks to Dr Catherine Douglas, School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, for providing this content.

See what is available to you on the Maps Guide and take up opportunities to collaborate or share good practice with other disciplines. You never know where it might lead!

Please note: EDINA Digimap requires registration before use.

Literature Online upgrade

The literary research database, Literature Online (LION) has had an exciting new upgrade.

LION, which enables you to research international literature of all genres in books and journals, together with 350,000 works of poetry, prose and drama from the 8th century to the present, is now hosted on Proquest’s main platform. It also has good coverage of related areas such as linguistics, philosophy, classics and film studies.

The new site includes the following improvements:

  • new content will be available more quickly
  • clearer search options to help you focus your search
  • improved author pages
  • you can now cross-search LION along with other Proquest databases, such as Early English Books Online, The Guardian/Observer/New York Times newspaper archives, plus thousands of journal articles in other subject areas.

Not quite ready to switch? The old LION platform will still be available until August 2019, but we would encourage you to try the new LION sooner rather than later!

Government Publications: Questions in the House!

GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS

Surely all MPs are giving us the correct facts?

Take a look at our links to resources for Legislation, Statistics and Official Publications to make sure!

Government publications provide primary information in a variety of subjects. Statistics, White Papers, Parliamentary Bills and a whole range of Official Legislation.

These are a good reliable source of accurate statistics, and can give support to your argument in essay topics across all subjects.

Many government publications are now available online; our Library Guide highlights the useful websites.

Interested in Student Loans or the legal details of part time Employment Contracts?

Details of all UK legal processes can be found at the government website Gov.uk which provides lots of useful information about government services, with an A-Z of departments, agencies and local councils.

Meaningful Vote mean anything to you?

Keep up with the debate and Prime Ministers Questions at this website.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the Brexit shenanigans as it happens!

Democracy Live is the BBC’s new website which offers live and on demand video coverage of the UK’s national political institutions and the European Parliament.

Who stole 40 llbs of butter from Mr Wadsworths wagon in 1778?

You can find out here in The Proceedings of Old Bailey which contains accounts of over 100,000 criminal trial held at London’s criminal court.

 

 

So, for more information about finding your way around all aspects of Government Publications please take a look at our helpful video.

 

 

Get ahead of the game!

A game of chess

Phew, the exams are behind you and you can breathe a sigh of relief! One semester is done and dusted and the next is around the corner. But before you say, “I don’t want to think about that yet”, why not use this simple checklist to ensure that you start semester 2 ahead of the game?

  1. Find your reading lists for your semester 2 modules and start to read the items now. You’re upcoming lectures and seminars will make much more sense in light of this and enable you to use your time more efficiently as a result. If it seems overwhelming, why not just start with the items your academic has marked as ‘essential’ on the list?
  2. Look at your upcoming module handbooks on Blackboard and check out the assignment details. Are you going to have to produce a type of assignment you have never done before? Or do you need to develop your assignment writing skills? The Writing Development Centre are here to help.
  3. Get familiar with your subject specific guide and explore the databases and resources that are recommended for you.  It will make finding high quality information for assignments much easier and will help you access those top marks.
  4. Hone your referencing skills by checking out our referencing guide and the fantastic referencing tool which is Cite them Right. Getting to grips with your referencing style will not only help you to avoid plagiarism, but will get you some easy marks.
  5. And if all of this seems overwhelming and you need some help with managing your time, check out the ASK website for some advice.

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash

How to find your way with maps!

What ever your subject area maps, both print and digital, can be a useful source of information.

picture of a map

Print maps are available on level 4 of the Philip Robinson Library.

Digital access is available through Digimap, which offers a number of data collections, including Ordnance Survey, historical, geological, LiDAR and marine maps and spatial data.

If you want to know more about print, digital maps or other freely available mapping services please link to our subject guide below.

https://libguides.ncl.ac.uk/maps

Image taken from Pixabay

Are you using the best information to make your point?

With the huge volume of information available and the speed with which you can find something on just about any topic with a simple search, it can be difficult to be sure that you are using the best quality information for your task. Your tutors will often give advice such as recommending that you use academic or peer-reviewed journal articles, and it can be tempting to stick to ‘safe’ types of information such as books.

But depending on your assignment topic, you will need to explore a breadth of different information types, including many that will be online. So how do you know which ones to you?

You will need to consider many issues, including authority, accuracy, objectivity, currency and coverage within an information source. This will help you make decisions about the quality of the information, its reliability and what role it could play within your thinking.

You will evaluate information all the time without thinking about it. It doesn’t need to be a conscious or difficult task. Our Six Questions video will help give you some ideas for the types of questions to keep in mind to make your own judgement.

You may also sometimes decide to include a piece of information, even though it may not be from a credible source or its impartiality is questionable, because it illustrates the point you are trying to make. Being aware of your reservations about a reference allows you to be more confident in your judgment.

Find out more on our Evaluating Information guide …

New resource “Statista” available

We now have access to platform called Statista which is available through a subscription from the Business School.

This is an extensive statistics platform covering over 1.5 million data sets (and adding an additional 500 each day) with revenue forecasts from 2015 to 2020 on over 400 industries.

Data is collected from over 18,000 sources covering over 75,000 different topics.

The platform can broken down into different elements including :

  • Statista‘s Digital Market Outlook offers forecasts, detailed market insights and key performance indicators for the most important areas of the Digital Economy, including various digital goods and services. https://www.statista.com/outlook/digital-markets
  • Statista’s Consumer Market Outlook provides in-depth market insights, key performance indexes and forecasts for the most important consumer markets. https://www.statista.com/outlook/consumer-markets
  • Statista’s industry reports provide the facts needed to understand an industry. The reports are clearly structured, easy to understand and present not only numerical data on areas such as trends in turnover and revenue, but also on industry strengths and weaknesses.  Updated annually, these reports contain the most recent and relevant data. https://www.statista.com/industry-reports
  • Statista’s dossiers are in-house reports which contain the most recent and relevant statistics concerning a single subject. Regular updates and routine additions ensure that Statista’s 4,000 dossiers are always up to date https://www.statista.com/dossiers

This short video from Statista give a nice overview of the different search functionalities – https://vimeo.com/202712374

Access via https://www.statista.com/ or via the record on Library Search.  (If you are accessing on campus, the platform will authenticate using IP address. If you are accessing off campus you will be taken through EzProxy so access should be seamless if you’ve logged in previously using your Campus ID and password).

What you can do if the books you want are out on loan

  1. Take a look at your reading lists to see if there are other titles available for you to read instead.
  2. Make a Hold request (reserve a book) using Library Search. Once the item has been returned from loan it will be reserved for you to collect, this also alerts us that the book is in demand and is one of the triggers we use to order additional copies (where possible).
  3. Browse the shelves at same shelfmark location of the book/s you wanted to borrow, as these should relate to the same subject. We have a virtual “Browse the shelf” feature on item records in LibrarySearch, so you can browse the books without even being in the library.
  4. Use LibrarySearch to search for journal articles about your subject of interest, to do this, make sure you choose to search “Everything” in the Search Scope drop down box.
  5. If there is a book that you want to read for your studies that is not in stock in the library, you could recommend we buy itthis can be done through our Books on Time service, where we assess if the book will be purchased for addition to stock. If we don’t buy the book you want, you can always use the Inter Library Loan (ILL) service, however, you will need to pay £1.50 in advance for the ILL request.

Spotlight on….. a-n: The Artist Information Company

a-n: The Artist Information Company provides alternative insights into the visual arts, with fast-paced news, comment, debate.  Here are the first (and there are so many more) 5 things you’ll love about this resource:

  • See the calendar of exhibitions, conferences and other arts related events for the coming year

  • Keep up to date with news of what’s going on in the art world        
  • Read interesting discussions with arts practitioners, curators and others involved in making and showing art #How was it for you..

  • Find out what pieces galleries around the world are acquiring

  • Join in and receive e-alerts, find out what bursaries and job opportunities are available, meet other a-n members, follow a-n on social media and generally get involved!  
  • Available to you via Library Search… go-on, you know you want to a-n!

Study Well@NCL – What we’re doing in the Walton Library.

As you may have already seen Study Well@NCL advocates a responsible approach to studying and encourages positive behaviours in study spaces because we know it can be stressful especially at certain times of the year.

Extended Opening Hours

Here in the Walton Library from 7th-25th January 2019 we’ll be extending our opening hours opening from 8:30 until midnight, seven days a week. You can check our extended opening times on the library website.

Noise Alert Service

We’ll also be monitoring our Noise Alert phone very closely during this time. Wherever you are in the Walton, you can text us at 07891 484764 and we’ll investigate the source of the noise issue as soon as possible.

Housekeeping

During busy periods staff will be checking to see:

  • where seats are available.
  • that bins are emptied.
  • that bathrooms are clean.
  • that walkways are kept clear.

How you can help

  • Choose a study space suited to your preferred choice of study, we have silent, quiet and collaborative spaces to chose from.
  • Do be mindful of the food and drink policy within your chosen study area.
  • We might not always know straightaway if there’s a shortage of towels in the bathroom or if a bin in a group study room needs emptying. Just give us a quick heads up if you notice something that needs our attention and we’ll be right on it.

Looking after yourself

We encourage all Library users to take regular study breaks. Taking the time to get a drink of water or some fresh air can make all the difference to your study session.[1] However, to be fair to all Library users, we’re asking that breaks away from your study space are no more than 30 minutes.

Colour your Campus

On a much lighter note, we’ll be providing pens, pencils and special medical-themed colouring sheets for you to relax and unwind with. Studies have shown that colouring can reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in adults.[2] So while you’re taking a study break, why not pause and Colour Your Campus? Even better, hand your completed sheet in to a member of Library staff with your name or Twitter handle on the back and we’ll enter it into a draw to win some fabulous Library prizes.

We hope that Study Well@NCL provides you with a peaceful and productive study environment and allows you to achieve maximum studying satisfaction. We welcome feedback on how we can change or improve Study Well@NCL. You can Tell Us What You Think’ online or get a form in the Walton Library.

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please contact the University Student Wellbeing Team or NUSU Student Welfare. They’re there to help.

We wish you every success with your exams – Study well.

References

[1] Flett, J., Lie, C., Riordan, B., Thompson, L., Conner, T. and Hayne, H. (2017). Sharpen Your Pencils: Preliminary Evidence that Adult Coloring Reduces Depressive Symptoms and Anxiety. Creativity Research Journal, 29(4), pp.409-416.

[2] Selig, M. (2019). How Do Work Breaks Help Your Brain? 5 Surprising Answers. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019].