Resource on trial: The Map as History

The Library has trial access to The Map as History until 14th February 2020.

This multimedia resource gives access to 230 animated maps, covering world history from Ancient Greece to the 20th century. Each map is presented as a short narrated video with a transcript. There are also timelines to help contextualise each topic.

You can browse the maps by topic (e.g. First World War or decolonisation after 1945.)

As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.

If you are off-campus, please login to RAS first of all, and then access The Map as History from a browser within RAS.

Mintel – new interface

If you’re looking for market research related information then we’ve got a range of information sources for you. One of which is called Mintel, within our subscription we have access to trends, statistics, information on brands and companies and demographic data on a range of UK Sectors.

Mintel has recently went through some platforms changes so if you’ve used this source before you’ll see a different search screen when you access the website.

You’ll now see a search box when you can enter the word of the product, brand or sector e.g. Biscuits. Mintel tries to help you out and suggests topics for you. It also suggests names of reports which your keyword might fall into.

Within your results list, you’ll see the search banner where you can change the drop down. So you might want to only search “reports” instead of all content types. Instead of displaying your results by relevance you might want to re-sort to display the most recent results first.

On the search toolbar you can also browse in different ways :

  1. Category ; Select from pre-defined categories e.g. food, drink, retail. So this is good if you’re starting off broad or not sure which topic you’re looking. You can narrow down using the category suggestions.
  2. Trend Drivers : These are 7 different categories ranging from technology, wellbeing and experiences. These are key themes which might be important in the next 10 years. These tags feature are reports and you can search them thematically.
  3. Demographics; This section is being added to but the main ones are there e.g. gender and age.

Once you’ve located and accessed a report, you’ll find the same familiar layout. So use the drop down or content map to navigate to sections of the report.

Look out for the symbols which allow you to export sections of the report and then download them in different ways e.g. zip files.

Look out for “star” symbols so you can favourite reports to your own profile (if you’ve set one up which we recommend you do)

In the next few weeks as new help materials are released from Mintel we will update our own help pages to reflect the changes to the interface. If you’re logged into the platform click on the question mark symbol and there is a basic help PDF already available from Mintel.

Reading Lists for Semester 2

An image of the Library's Reading List service with a wise owl.

Are you teaching in semester 2? Then it’s time to start thinking about the reading you will be recommending to your students to support their learning.

Use the Library’s Reading Lists to create, manage and update your own lists online. Or, you can send your reading list or module handout as an attachment to your Library’s Reading List team using our submission form.

Why use this service? Well, your lists will help the Library to order the correct number of copies of the titles you want to recommend, to decide on the appropriate loan periods of those printed books and enable access to electronic resources for your students. CLA scans (digitised book chapters and articles) are also easily be requested through Reading Lists too. Simply tag each item on your list as essential, recommended or background reading and we will do the rest.

Reading Lists are embedded into Blackboard so you can use your Overview page to navigate to the list, or simply add the option to your module’s menu.

An image of Blackboard's Overview page with a link to Reading Lists in the module menu and the Add Tool Link function.

So, Reading Lists are a great way to let your students know what they need to read, and to keep the Library informed too; they are the wise choice.

You can find information about creating and managing your Reading Lists, and making resources available to your students here. And if you have any questions about this service, please do contact us at readinglists@ncl.ac.uk.

ASME Digital Collection

Are you studying or teaching mechanical engineering and looking for digital resources? If so, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Digital Collection may be just what you need.

Freely and easily accessible via Library Search, the ASME Digital Collection provides unparalleled depth, breadth, and quality of peer-reviewed content. This includes access to ASME’s Journals from 1959 – present; ASME’s Conference Proceedings from 2000 – present (with select proceedings back to 1955); and ASME’s ebooks from 1993 – present (with select titles back to 1944).

With powerful search and advanced filtering tools you can use keywords, topics, citations and date ranges to retrieve content simultaneously from different digital resources. This gives you the chance to apply Boolean operators to clearly refine your searches and therefore access more results that are directly relevant to your research.

ASME Digital Collection integrates well with other digital platforms and it can link to Crossref, Google Scholar, and Web of Science to discover citing articles. There are also tools for exporting citations to your preferred reference management software and you can share your links via email and social media. Just like a lot of digital databases it’s easy to set up email alerts to notify you about saved searches and newly published content.

So all that’s left to do is to search for ASME Digital Collection on Library Search, login as a Newcastle University user with Shibboleth, and browse the resources. You’re bound to find something useful!

Sustainability

We are rather proud of our new Sustainability Guide, created in collaboration with one of our quite brilliant SAgE PhD students, Georgios Pexas – actually he did all the hard work by providing all of the content!

This guide looks at Sustainability regarding the key resources available from the Library around the three main pillars of sustainability: Environment, Economy and Society. We particularly like Georgios’ opening paragraph for our guide explaining what sustainability is and its relation to these three pillars:

“As defined by the “Brundtland Commission” in 1987, sustainability is the ability to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In other words, it describes living within the limits of available natural, physical and social resources and in ways that allow our environment to thrive in perpetuity; a concept that can be summarised as: “enough, for all, forever”. Sustainability approaches the issue of resource depletion holistically, unifying Environmental, Economical and Social concerns.”

The Guide also points to researchers on campus that are focusing on sustainability. It has a useful RSS feed of ‘sustainability’ in the news and invaluable links regarding careers and development in sustainability: professional associations, funding opportunities, where to look for jobs, and some upcoming events.

You will find the Sustainability Guide in the SAgE section of the Subject Guides, as it focuses on natural sciences and engineering side of sustainability, however we would love to have a section on how we as individuals can be more sustainable. We are trying to keep this Guide concise, yet useful, yet we welcome any new ideas for this guide, so please contact lorna.smith@ncl.ac.uk if you think of anything worth adding.

Resource in focus: ACM Digital Library

ACM Digital Library is a full-text, online collection of all publications by the Association of Computing Machinary, including journals, conference proceedings, technical magazines, newsletters and books. Publications run from 1936 to present day, with 2,807,672 publications and 576,689 of these available for download.

Top topics include:

  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Computer Vision, Natural language processing.
  • Networks and Communications.
  • Society and the Computing Profession
  • Human Computer Interaction.
  • Data science.
  • Applied computing.
  • Security and Privacy.
  • Hardware, Power and Energy.
  • …plus much more.

Though the topics are primarily computing, it would definetly be a collection worth having a look at if you are in Electrical Engineering or studying/researching an interdiciplinary topic which contained elements of computer science.

ACM have just recently updated it’s interface and search function (thanks goodness!), making it much easier to search and discover a range of invaluable resources.

You can now browse by topic or type (book, journal etc.), search by simple keyword or use its advanced search:

Loving their ‘Search tips’ on the right hand side in Advanced Search – wish all databases had this. Would help us all so much!

So, go and explore ACM – a definite ‘must’ for all Computing students. You can either find the ACM eJournal collection in your Computing Subject Guide (under Journals and Databases/eJournal Collections) or you can search for ‘ACM Digital Library’ in Library Search. Remember, if you find anything that doesn’t have full text, first check Google Scholar, then if still no luck you can request an interlibrary loan. If you need further help with any Computing or Engineering resources, please feel free to make an appointment with your Librarian.

GUEST POST – OFF THE SHELF

Off the Shelf poster

Hi! I’m Caitlin, a final year law student and law library aide – and by now I’m used to the stress of exams and deadlines.

I tried the ‘poetry-pick me up’ after going into the common room for a revision break.

I stumbled across Sue (@kind_curious) in the Law School Student Common Room, where she asked, ‘do you want a poem?’. Not really knowing what to expect, I had to overcome a bit of social awkwardness! I was surprised by Sue’s passion and love of poetry, which was clear in the way she spoke about how she’d used poetry in the NHS before and it was what she enjoyed most.

I was asked questions about my current stress levels and how I was feeling with exams, and how I dealt with stress. I told her that when I get stressed I talk even more than usual, which for anyone who knows me sounds like I’m going at a million miles an hour, and she suggested something that would relax me.

I laughed as I saw no signs of chocolate or Netflix – my usual go to relaxation strategies.

Instead she said I needed something like a lavender bubble bath – again I saw no sign of a bubble bath in the Law School and I’d yet to find one in the Dungeon.

She picked out two poems that would make me feel like the relaxing in lavender: she suggested ‘Sonnet’ by Elizabeth Bishop and Shennagh Pugh’s ‘What if This Road’.

What if this road reminded me of Robert Frost’s ‘A Road Not Taken’, and was great for me as a an indecisive person. It was matched perfectly to the questions that Sue had asked me, as I read it as a  ‘roll with it’ approach to life, which is definitely needed to cope with exams and deadline stress.

The second poem, Bishop’s ‘Sonnet’, had great visualisation techniques, almost like a meditative poem – which was spot on to turn off the stress and slow everything down!

The experience was a great switch off from deadline stress, and a great use of the 10 minutes which I’d usually scroll through twitter or Instagram. It was something different, and really quite unique and relaxing, which I would definitely recommend to help have a break from any exam and deadline stress!

Getting the most out of ebooks

We have over 6 million ebooks advertised on our catalogue, Library Search.

These can be a mixture of free available and subscription ebooks (which we’ve paid for).

They can be purchased as they feature on reading lists, or have been recommended by staff and students or we buy them through large bundle deals with specific publishers so we gain access to lots of research titles all at once.

You’ll find these useful as they are available 24×7, off campus and some come with some snazzy features such as keywords searching, links to other relevant information, reading aloud facilities to name but a few.

Since we get ebooks from different platforms and providers you might see a different layout each time you access one of our titles. But the logic is the same you can navigate using a toolbar, you can normally turn pages using little arrows along the top, you can jump to specific chapters and in some case print or download all or some of the ebook.

We often receive comments from students asking why you can’t download and save offline forever a copy of the book. We have subscriptions or licence access to titles but we don’t own the title. There is something called Digital Rights Management where publishers can control the copying, pasting and downloading of their content. This is linked to issues with privacy and Copyright.

So in a nutshell if you’re on campus and using a PC or your own device, simply navigate to Library Search and enter your keywords to look for a book title as usual.

Then choose an ebook which looks relevant e.g. Essentials of Business Research Methods by Hair which we know is popular book for Business students doing dissertations.

Once the ebook has loaded on the screen, hover over the functionality buttons to see what they do. The search will be useful if you’re looking for specific topics, navigate straight to a chapter you’ve been told to read or change the colour of the background to help with your reading.

Not all titles are available in ebook format as an institutional library but if you’d prefer a title in electronic format we can certainly investigate. Just let us know by using the form on via our Books on Time Scheme.

Resource in focus: Frantext

Frantext is a French language corpus, and a useful research tool for French linguistics.

It contains the full text of 5,400 French language texts, mainly published between the 16th and 21st centuries (though there are some earlier works). 90% of the texts are literary (including novels, poetry and memoirs) with the rest being mainly technical in nature. It aims to represent the diversity of written French, and contains 256 million words.

Once you have accessed Frantext, click on Frantext intégral to access the full corpus, or Frantext démonstration to access a selection of 40 texts and explore how it works.

Menu bar
Top level menu

On the top menu, choose Corpus to view different corpora (for example, Old French) or create your own corpus: intégral will search the entire corpus.

Select Recherche to search for a word, or series of words (note the different search options in the sub-menu):

Recherche sub menu

Select Liste de mots to view or create a word list (for example, days of the week).

For more information about recent enhancements to Frantext, choose nouvelles fonctionalités from the home page.

Passport – looking for market research information

One of the major resources we have for students, researchers and staff within the Business School is Passport. This is particularly good if you’re looking for information on Market Research which can be anything from consumer preferences and buying habits, companies and their products and market share.

We’ve got a great Market Research guide which highlights the different products we have access to. There are also different ways to learn more about the platform such as their help guide.

Screenshot of Market Research webpage

The company who provide Passport, Euromonitor have a great YouTube channel where they upload short videos which covers information on sectors, trends and hot topics. These are created by data analysts who work closely with that sector and collate the data which feature in the reports and charts.

We think this is great way to quickly identify developing markets, flourishing segments and areas for predicted growth and trends. So if you have been asked to pick or research a growth area or identify a gap in the market to launch a new and viable product you might to browse through their channel.

If you click to display by videos and ensure you’ve got them displayed by newest first you’ll see some trends videos so for 2020 so you’ll get a good idea of consumer trends, top cities to watch, industry and economic trends.

Euromonitor have also curated their videos under a section on their channel called “playlists” So if you’ve been asked to look at a specific market you might want to browse through playlists and see what videos they have.

They are short, snappy and give you enough insight which might spark an idea or help you decide on a product or market. Watching the consumer trends video I’ve just learnt that in 2020 we will be seeking more reusable packaging, using social media to be directed to buy products, using multifunctional homes and working from home more and using our mobiles more than ever to navigate our lives.