PubMed: Becoming familiar with controlled vocabularies


Are your literature searches run mainly in keyword-based platforms such as Google Scholar, Scopus or Web of Science?

Have you been told that you need to diversify your search, or maybe use a new database such as PubMed? Did someone mention that MeSH terms could improve your search?

If you do not know what those terms mean or where to start, you are in the right place. The following video will explain to you what controlled vocabularies are and why they are a powerful tool for retrieving relevant papers.

Now, let’s put theory into practice and demonstrate how to use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) in PubMed. The video below will do just that.

Let’s have a look at what other controlled vocabulary databases you can use in medical sciences or if your Social Sciences student whose work crosses over with medical sciences. You can find all the databases mentioned below and others in Library Search:

Since the previous videos focus on PubMed, you might wonder what other databases you should be using. If you are unsure how to find the most relevant databases for your course, you can watch a video that will show you how to identify them.

Is Medline the database for you, but you need some help with the basics? Watch our:

Finally, please remember that this is general advice and it might not cover your particular area of interest. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on Library Help, where you can email us or speak to us through the Live Chat feature.

Ovid Medline: Becoming familiar with controlled vocabularies

Are your literature searches run mainly in keyword-based platforms such as Google Scholar, Scopus or Web of Science?

Have you been told that you need to diversify your search, or maybe use a new database such as Medline, Embase or PsycInfo through the Ovid searching platform? Did someone mention that Medline’s MeSH terms could improve your search?

If you do not know what those terms mean or where to start, you are in the right place.

The following video will explain to you what controlled vocabularies are, why they are a powerful tool for retrieving relevant papers and it will demonstrate how to use Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) in Medline via Ovid.

Since the previous video focuses on Medline, you might wonder what other databases you should be using. If you are unsure how to find the most relevant databases for your course, you can watch a video that will show you how to identify them.

Is Medline the database for you, but you need some help with the basics? Watch our “Getting started with Ovid Medline” video for the basics. For a more detailed explanation on how to combine searches, watch the Combining Searches in Medline and other Ovid Databases.

Finally, please remember that this is general advice and it might not cover your particular area of interest. If you have any specific questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on Library Help, where you can email us or speak to us through the Live Chat feature.

Snowball your way to success by using 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 ScopusWeb of ScienceIEEE 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.

Teach Yourself EndNote

Intrigued? You should be. Enrol on our Teach Yourself EndNote module on Canvas to become proficient in using EndNote. It might make your life easier down the line.

You can also 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 MendeleyZoteroRefWorks or another piece of bibliographic management software. That’s fine, whatever makes your referencing lives easier. Go on, give them a try.

Referencing top tips: the basic elements

Decorating a Christmas Tree is serious business and so is putting together a reference. You do not simply decorate it with colourful flourishes. Each bauble, candy cane and string of tinsel has a rightful place and you need to know what that is in order to obtain the correct result.

For referencing, you need to know the basic elements and then you will be able to mix them up into any style that you need.

Reading Lists: Make the most of your Library’s Resources

Are you at the beginning of your student journey? Do you maybe not know where to start reading for an elaborate assignment?

Or maybe you have been studying for a while? Did you get used to browsing our shelves and now things are changing? Do you need to go back to the basics?

Either way, you may think that you could use some guidance on how best to use your module Reading List and even go beyond these recommendations and explore the wider resource that the Library provides.

Seek no further! Please have a look at the Thinglink we have put together for this exact purpose!

Meet the Walton Library Team

Hello and a warm welcome from all of us here at the Walton Library!

With the beginning of the year in mind (and what a year this is looking to be!) we wanted to make sure you are familiar with at least some of our faces.

Aimee, our Deputy Medical Sciences Librarian will begin by welcoming you all and talking a little bit about her role and the role of the Walton Library Liaison Team.

Compared to previous years, we won’t get to see as many of you as we would like, but we want to assure you that we are real and still very keen to help. So, let’s hear from Helen, one of our Library Aides, who ensures that physical resources are tidy and readily available, but is also here to welcome you when you come to the library, help you find your study space and your books.

A lot of work is put in ensuring that the academic resources required for your course are available. This extends from liaising with your lecturers and putting together reading lists of essential and recommended material, to ensuring that you can access these resources, to delivering session that will help you make the most out of them, as Marian, the Assistant Librarian in the Liaison team will explain.

Our Library assistants have a huge role in the reading list process as they check, double check and triple check… and then they check again that things work well. Elizabeth has a role in all of this, but she will also explain what she does when we receive new books and they need to be sorted and catalogued.

While we do have a lot of online resources on the website that will help you teach yourself a variety of academic skills, it can be quite daunting sometimes to find your way to the correct link, on the correct page, for the correct resource. That is why we are also happy to give you one-to-one guidance and point you in the right direction and if you ever get stuck, do our best to answer your questions. Bogdan will tell you in a few words how much he enjoys this element of interacting with you all.

Remember, you can always ask for assistance via Library Help.

Make the most out of your library’s resources

Image link to the library's Academic Skills page.
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/resources-and-study-support/subject-guides/

Key resources

Do you have an assignment or research question and don’t know where to start? Search no further, your subject-specific LibGuide is only a few clicks away.

Follow the link above and then choose the Faculty and relevant School. Once you are there you will see the key resources that are provided for you:

Image of the navigation menu displayed in subject guides. It contains a home page, books and e-books, resources for online learning, journals and databases, subject specific resources, special collections and archives, subject help and news.

Navigate to the ‘Journals and Databases’ tab. This will display the databases where you can search for the journal articles that you need. Don’t know how to use this avalanche of links? We have instructions:

Image displaying the contents of the middle tab in the Journals and Databases section. It contains a list of PDF workbooks with instructions to databases.

From the Databases tab, click on the next tab along, in the centre of the screen that reads ‘Journals and Database Help’.

One-to-one help

Is the information too vast and you feel like you’ve hit a wall? You can ask your liaison librarian team for help. From the same navigation menu on the left side of the screen, click on ‘Subject Help and News’. There, you can find the team’s contact details and further down the page, you can request to book a one-to-one consultation with a member of the team.

Academic skills

Do you feel that your academic skills need to be polished a little? Don’t hesitate to look at our Academic Skills page from the Subject Support page:

Image link to the Subject support page displaying the links to guides for the three faculties and Academic Skills.

You will find more guides on this page relating to how to find academic information, reference it, using EndNote, distinguishing between real information and fake news and many more.

Academic Writing

You can also get one-to-one help from the Writing Development Centre if you are struggling with study skills or academic writing.

Library Help

Do you have any specific questions? Please contact us via Library Help where we monitor your live chats and emails or have a look through our FAQs.

Referencing top tips: the basic steps

Learn the basic steps of a reference, and you can hit the rhythm with any style you need.

Freshers’ Guide to the Walton Library

Wishing a Warm Walton Welcome to all new and continuing students in the new academic year!

Just as you are settling into life at University we thought that you might benefit from this list of tips of how to make the most out of your time in the Walton Library.

Opening hours

The Library opening hours change throughout the year, but during term time, we are open normally until 22:00.

Resources

Use your Reading Lists as a great starting point for finding academic material. They can be accessed via your VLE (Virtual Learning Environment), which is either Blackboard or the MLE, depending on the course you are studying.

All academic resources that we purchase will be available via Library Search. It is the most prominent element on our colourful website and it will show you books, articles, journals in both physical or electronic format, databases and others.

The library website can be found here: www.ncl.ac.uk/library/
The library website can be found here: www.ncl.ac.uk/library/

Use keywords to find the titles that you need and Library Search will tell you whether we have them or not, whether they are available on the shelves, in which library and part of which collection they are. If a book we have in stock is NOT currently available on the shelves, the best thing you can do is to log in with your student ID and password and place a reservation:

Reserving is in your best interest because this is what will prompt a current reader of the book to bring it back so that you can use it. So remember: Shy bairns get nowt.

Specialist help

There are subject-specific guides that give you information directly relevant to your course. You can find them by selecting your course in Subject Support, on the Library website.

Want to ask us a question?

Library Help is the place you seek. You can browse our FAQ database by topic or search it by using keywords. You can also send us an email or chat with us. Library Chat is monitored 24/7, so as long as you have access to the internet, wherever you are in this great, big world, you can contact us.