Resource in focus: ACM Digital Library

Photo by NASA on Unsplash

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.

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: Historic Digimap

Who doesn’t like maps?

Historic Digimap is an online map and data delivery service, available to all staff and students of Newcastle University. It delivers access to historical Ordnance Survey maps of Great Britain dating from 1846-1996 across various scales, including 1:25,000 and 1:10,650.

If you are a first time user of Digimap then you will need to complete a brief registration form and agree to the license agreements for each collection, but that takes seconds and then you’re ready to go!

Viewing historic maps (3:36 min)

If you want to ‘roam’ through the ages in an area, then you can use the timeline tool to see how the landscape has developed through the years, or view two maps side-by-side to compare and contrast your findings. Imagine looking at the Newcastle University Campus and seeing what used to be on the site before buildings such as the Henry Daysh Building, Stephenson Building and Philip Robinson Library graced us with their facilities!

Once you have your area of interest, the Roam service will allow you to view, annotate and print the map in PDF format. Data Download will allow you to download OS data for use in GIS/CAD (if you wish!).

The full scope of what Historic Digimap (and the other collections available to you including Ordnance Survey, Geology, Marine, Environment, Aerial, Lidar and Improvement Service) are covered in EDINA’s comprehensive Help service:

(Improvement Services is an organisation dedicated to the improvement of local government services in Scotland. This data collection comprises of 37 local authority datasets, such as planning applications, green belts and school catchment areas. A wealth of information, who’d have thought.)

Go on, give it a try! But please do read EDINA’s Digimap FAQs on what you are permitted to do with the data you use, to ensure you comply with the educational use licence.

Advancements to searching Economist and Financial Times archives

Through our subscriptions we have access to the early versions of The Economist and The Financial Times.

The Gale platform these are hosted on have recently implemented some new features.

If you want to search across many historic newspapers at once, we would recommend using Gale Primary Sources.

So for example if you wanted to search both the Economist and the FT Archive you now can. From the Gale Primary Sources simply ensure you have only those two resources selected and then enter your keywords in the search box

You will then see your results page contains results from both resources (if there are matches to your keywords)

There are also some new search tools, including ‘topic finder’ and ‘term frequency’. The last one allows you to track topics over time e.g. for hedge funds you can see this started to become a widely used term from around 1996 onwards.

Resource in focus: Jacoby Online

Brill’s Jacoby Online is an important resource for Classical Studies and Ancient History. It comprises five separate works, based on the original multi-volume work by the German classicist, Felix Jacoby (1876-1959). The ‘Jacoby’ was a critical edition of over 800 Greek historians whose works had been lost, but were preserved incompletely in fragments. Jacoby collected, annotated and commented on the fragments, but was unable to complete the huge project in his lifetime.

The five components of Jacoby Online are:

  • Felix Jacoby’s original multi-volume work, Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker: Parts I-III.
  • Brill’s New Jacoby (BNJ): a revised English edition of the above.
  • Brill’s New Jacoby – Second Edition (BNJ2): a revised and enlarged edition of Brill’s New Jacoby.
  • Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker Part IV: Biography and Antiquarian Literature: a continuation of Felix Jacoby’s work, adding many new historians and texts.
  • Die Fragmente der Griechischen Historiker Part V: Geography (FGrH V), a continuation of Felix Jacoby’s work, adding many new historians and texts.

It includes expert critical commentaries on the texts and fragments, together with brief biographies of all the historians. The project is still ongoing, and Jacoby Online is updated twice a year: the latest updates have added 1.2 million words.

Example entry from Jacoby Online

You can browse each of the five component works by historian name, historian number or publication date, and you can search for words or phrases, or historians. You can search any of the five component works individually, or across all of them at once. Greek original texts and translations are included, and you can search in English or Ancient Greek.

More detailed help is available on the database.

Be Well@ncl and Medicine in Literature collections

Do you need help to understand your mental health and wellbeing?

Are looking to understand your subject from a different point of view?

Then take a look at the collections below. These will get you reading around and outside of your subject and could benefit your health and wellbeing. Both collections can be found in the Quiet Study area of the Walton Library.

Be Well@NCL

Be well@NCL is a collection of books designed to help manage and understand common mental health conditions and wellbeing. Reading a book by someone who understands what you are facing can help you start to feel better. The books within the collection are recommended by professionals and are available to borrow. The Philip Robinson and Walton libraries have the same collection of books.

Content of the collection

The collection offers books that can help with a wide range of issues and concerns. The collection includes titles that offer more healthy ways of thinking, such as practicing mindfulness and challenging unhelpful thought patterns. There are also books about common feelings, experiences, and issues, such as:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety – including health anxiety and social anxiety
  • Bereavement, loss and grief
  • Body image issues and Body Dysmorphic Disorder
  • Caring for someone with a mental health issue
  • Depression – including postnatal depression
  • Eating disorders and eating distress
  • Low self-esteem
  • Mood swings
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Phobias and panic
  • Sleep problems
  • Stress

If you find the book you are reading is not helping, please contact your GP or health professional. If you are a student you can also contact the University’s counselling team.

If the book you want is out on loan then please make a Reservation. If there is high demand for a book this alerts library staff to potentially order more.

Pick up a Be well@NCL postcard from the Walton Library desk or find out more here.

Medicine in Literature (MIL)

The Medicine in Literature collection captures the complexities of what it means to be human through a wide range of literary genres. Representations of illness, dis-ease, healing and health are interwoven themes that give voice to a diversity of perspectives and experiences. If you are interested in exploring your subject from a different viewpoint or simply want to broaden your reading, dive right in! The collection includes books and DVDs.

Topics covered include:

  • Alzheimer’s
  • Anxiety
  • Autism
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Brain Disorders
  • Cancer
  • Coma
  • Cystic Fibrosis
  • Dementia
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorders
  • Epilepsy
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Leukaemia
  • Locked-In Syndrome
  • Mental Illness 
  • Motor Neurone Disease
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Parkinson’s
  • Polio
  • Schizophrenia
  • Stroke

Go and have a look at both of these collections in the Quiet Study area of the Walton Library.

Historic newspaper archives upgrade

If you use any of our historic newspaper and periodical archives which are published by Gale, you’ll notice they have recently upgraded their platform.

There is no change to the content, but you should notice a more unified design on the search pages, together with improvements to the display of search results, plus new search tools, including ‘topic finder’ and ‘more like this’. You can also use ‘term frequency’ on all Gale databases to analyse the use of a particular term over time.

The following collections are affected:

British Library Newspapers; Burney Newspapers; Eighteenth Century Collections Online; Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals.

Together with these individual archives:

Picture Post; Punch; The Daily Mail; The Economist; The Financial Times; The Independent; The Listener; The Sunday Times; The Telegraph; The Times; The Times Literary Supplement.

Read more about the improvements.

Where can I find all these resources?

They are all individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can find quick links to them all (plus resources from other publishers) on our historic news guide. If you would like to search across several Gale resources at once, search Gale Primary Sources.

Waltzing with 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.

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

Walton Library – MCQs and Clinical Skills Equipment

These DNA models are part of the Walton’s clinical skills equipment collection. Ask at the desk to loan one today.

While exams may seem a long way away, it’s important to be prepared for them. You can minimise stress and maximise efficiency with a good revision timetable and organised notes.

You can also find helpful material to aid your revision at the Walton Library. Your subject support guide is full of information and resources, tailored to suit your programme of studies. There are boxes of flash cards covering a number of subjects available to borrow from our long loan collection – ask at the service desk if you are interested in loaning a set. You may also find it helpful to broaden your revision from notes and textbooks to include clinical skills equipment and books from our MCQ (Multiple Choice Question) section. This could be the difference between a good and a great exam result! You’ll find more information about both of these collections in this blog post, as well as where to find them and how to loan them.

Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) books

Books in the MCQ collection are located in the quiet study area. You can identify them by the green stickers on the book spines.

There are a variety of topics covered in our Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) section. Within the collection, you’ll find books to on a number of subjects from anaesthesia to surgery. There are also books to aid revision for specific exams – including OSCEs, PACES and MRCS.

If you’d like to browse the MCQ collection, go to Library Search. You’ll need to click the ‘Advanced Search’ link and then change the “Any field” drop down menu to say ‘Collection’. In the text space, enter “MCQs” and you can view the entire collection. You can narrow down your search by adding a subject, author or title if you’re interested in a specific topic.

You can search the entire MCQ collection by changing the search filters to “Collection” and adding MCQs in the text bar.

You can find the MCQ collection in the quiet study area of the Walton Library. They’re easily identifiable by the green stickers on the book’s spine.

The books are long loan – meaning you can have them for up to 20 weeks, providing they’re not requested by another Library user. If the MCQ book is already on loan, follow these instructions to place a request.

If there is a book you think would help your exam revision, use our Books on Time service and recommend it. Find out more about this service here.

Clinical skills equipment

At the Walton Library, there is a wide selection of clinical skills equipment available to loan. There are medical tools, like tendon hammers, sphygmomanometers and otoscopes. Anatomical models, such as skulls and teeth. Plus eye charts, DNA models and even a spine! (A model one, that is.)

You can borrow a skull from the service desk or the STC room at the Walton Library!

The main bulk of clinical skills equipment is located behind the service desk at the Walton Library. Ask a member of staff and they’ll retrieve it for you. You can have up to three clinical skills items on loan at any time. Unfortunately, you can’t place requests on the items if they’re all out on loan.

There are also a small number of skulls available to loan from the Student Texts Collection (STC) room. You can loan them using the self-issue machine in the STC.

You may have also noticed a collection of anatomical models on a table in the collaborative study area. These models are free to use within the Library for as long as you like – but they can’t be taken out of the Library.

Clinical skills equipment items are available as a next day loan. This means that if you borrow a skull at 9AM on a Monday morning, it needs to be returned before the Walton Library closes on Tuesday. Items in the clinical skills equipment collection are non-renewable.   

Beyond the Walton, there is exam and revision assistance available from the wider Library services and the University. You may find it useful to check out the Academic Skills Kit (ASK) to learn more about different revision strategies and exam techniques. You can also use ASK to find out about available counselling and chaplaincy services to help combat exam stress. Follow this link to ASK!

Referencing top tips: the basic steps

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