We will be trialling all three Women’s Magazine Archives from Monday 27th February. This collection includes classic 19th and 20th century titles such as Good Housekeeping, Ladies Home Journal and Parents. For those more mature students and colleagues you can enjoy a trip down memory lane to look at Cosmopolitan, Flare, Seventeen and Essence magazines. The collections cover a range of 29 to 123 years and will be useful for those researching a range of topics such as social history, gender studies, media history and more.
Each magazine in the collection is scanned cover to cover in high resolution to give a good level of detail for each page.
To access the collection follow the link here If you are off campus follow the link and you may be asked to authenticate using your Newcastle University computer ID and password.
The trial ends on 29th March 2023 To help us evaluate it, please email us your feedback, or leave a reply on this blog.
The Passport Euromonitor database is a key resource for international market research data. We recently upgraded our subscription to Passport Pro which gives researchers to additional market surveys covering a wide range of topics:
The database gives researchers access to consumer lifestyle reports, future demographics, country profiles, updates on consumer and industry trends, company information, market sizes and economic indicators. Passport covers more than 200 countries and regions, with a global outlook.
Passport has just had a refresh to include more content on travel industry research including “In-Destination Spending” and “Booking” to help identify current and future trends. It has also a new ‘Price Tracker’ feature to compare shifts in price over time within specific sectors. For a quick demo see this video from Passport Euromonitor.
We’re pleased to announce that we have now added the latest 2000s module to the very popular Mass Observation Online resource. We already had access to the 1980s and 1990s modules.
About Mass Observation
Mass Observation is a pioneering project which documents the social history of Britain by recruiting volunteers (‘observers’) to write about their lives, experiences and opinions. Still growing, it is one of the most important sources available for qualitative social data in the UK. This latest instalment is a great resource for anyone researching aspects of the early 21st century. It complements our existing access to the original Mass Observation project archive, which covers 1937-1967.
This module has a strong emphasis on technological advancements and the changing means of communication that came with the new Millennium. Highlights include the Millennium Diaries, the events of September 11th and environmental concerns, as well as detailing the everyday lives, thoughts, and opinions of respondents.
Searching and browsing
You can browse or search Mass Observation in various ways.
Browse by directive: browse the different directives (surveys), which are arranged chronologically and by topic.
Browse all documents: browse all the individual documents, and then further filter your search as required.
You can also use the Advanced search box at the top of the screen to search for specific topics.
We’d recommend you start by reading through the Introduction (top menu) which explains more about the project and the different document types. If you’re looking for ideas about how to make use of it, take a look at the Research Tools, which includes essays, videos, exhibitions and chronological timelines.
Note that as over half the materials in these collections (mainly the pre-2000s modules) are handwritten, the database enables Handwritten Text Recognition (HTR) to help you search. We would recommend you read about how HTR works, to help you get the best out of the database, in the Introduction section.
When it comes to research methods or research methodologies, there can be a lot of unfamiliar terms and concepts to get to grips with. One question we’re often asked by masters business students is how to find empirical and methodological research articles. It’s a good question as it can be quite tricky to locate articles on these topics, so here’s some advice on how you can go about searching for them in Library Search and the databases that we subscribe to.
What is the difference between empirical and methodological research?
Let’s start by defining our key terms, so we know what to look out for:
Empirical research is based on observed and measured phenomena and derives knowledge from actual experience rather than from theory or belief.
How do you know if a study is empirical? Read the subheadings within the article, book, or report and look for a description of the research methodology. Ask yourself: Could I recreate this study and test these results?
Key characteristics to look for:
Specific research questions to be answered
Definition of the population, behaviour, or phenomena being studied
Description of the process used to study this population or phenomena, including selection criteria, controls, and testing instruments (such as surveys)
Another hint: some scholarly journals use a specific layout, called the “IMRaD” format, to communicate empirical research findings. Such articles typically have 4 components:
Introduction: sometimes called “literature review” — what is currently known about the topic — usually includes a theoretical framework and/or discussion of previous studies
Methodology: sometimes called “research design” — how to recreate the study — usually describes the population, research process, and analytical tools
Results: sometimes called “findings” — what was learned through the study — usually appears as statistical data or as substantial quotations from research participants
Discussion: sometimes called “conclusion” or “implications” — why the study is important — usually describes how the research results influence professional practices or future studies
According to Mbaugbaw et al., a methodological study will:
“…evaluate the design, analysis or reporting of other research-related reports […] They help to highlight issues in the conduct of research with the aim of improving […] research methodology, and ultimately reducing research waste (2020, p.1).
In simple terms, it’s research on research!
Key characteristics to look for:
Will have the term ‘methodological research’ or ‘methodological study’ in the title or abstract.
Has more of a focus on the method(s) employed to do the research (e.g. interviews, questionnaires) rather than the findings of the research.
Evaluates how research was done and how the methodology could be improved.
How to find empirical and methodological research articles in Library Search and databases
Finding these research articles isn’t always easy, but it can be done! While they are indexed in most databases, it can sometimes be tricky to find them because of the wide variety of names used for these type of studies (methodological research can also be known as research-on-research, meta-research, meta-epidemiological studies etc.). Here’s our top tips for finding empirical and methodological research articles:
Searching via journal titles
The easiest way to find these journal articles is to target journals that are focused on research methods, then search or browse within those titles.
Here’s some examples of such journal titles to help you find methodological studies:
You then need to search within these journal titles, ideally within the abstract, for keywords relating to the research design / method ( i.e. how the researcher collected their empirical research) So you might search for terms such as interview*, survey*, questionnaire*, “focus group*” or “mixed method*” :
Searching via keyword in Library Search and databases
If you aren’t finding enough when searching within journal titles, broaden your search by looking within Library Search and other suitable databases.
The Advanced Search within Library Search is a good place to start. Again, try to search for keywords such as “methodological study”, or by method, e.g., interview*, survey*, questionnaire*, “focus group*” or “mixed method*”, along with your subject topic. Remember to use the filters if you need to find research within a particular time frame, such as the last 10 years and to change the drop down to search “everything”.
If you are looking within Scopus or subject specialist databases, such as Business Source Complete, the process is exactly the same. If your search isn’t working, try different keywords, but persevere as the research is there, it just might be hiding:
Searching with controlled vocabulary / subject headings
Some of our databases use controlled vocabulary (a thesaurus), this allows you to identify the preferred terms used in a particular database for your topic of interest, making it easier to find relevant articles. Here is a worked example using controlled vocabulary in Business Source Complete:
I tried a search for “empirical research”, and found it is a preferred term within this database:
Clicking on this preferred term allows you to explore any related or narrower terms, which you can choose to add to your search to improve the quality of your results:
I decided to add Empirical research and the related term Quantitative research to my search, clicking add to include them in my search string:
I can then add subject related terms to my search:
Many of the social sciences databases have a thesaurus that you can search within.
SAGE Research Methods
For further help on topic of research methods and methodologies, check out SAGE Research Methods. This is a database containing thousands of resources, dedicated to the subject area of Research Methods. It supports all stages of the research process including: writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing the best research methods, analysing data, to writing up your results and thinking about publication. It contains information suited to all levels of researchers, from undergraduates starting your first project to research associates. Within the resource, you can access dictionary and encyclopaedia entries, book chapters, full books, journal articles, case studies, some datasets and video. There are many uses for the resources you will find in SAGE Research Methods:
get a quick explanation of a term or concept in a dictionary or encyclopaedia entry
access a full overview of a qualitative and quantitative methods, theory or approach in a specialist book
use an e-book chapter that covers a specific method in more detail for your methodology chapter or when choosing how to approach your research
access a journal article that illustrates the real world application of the methods in research
visit the the journals and databases section of your Subject Guide
I hope you have found this useful. I’m sorry there isn’t an easy way for finding such articles, however, a thorough and systematic search within journal titles, Library Search and databases will allow you to find some relevant and good quality articles that you can use in your research.
If you need further help with this topic or something similar, please make an appointment with your Liaison Librarian.
Mbuagbaw, L., Lawson, D. O., Puljak, L., Allison, D. B. and Thabane, L. (2020) ‘A tutorial on methodological studies: the what, when, how and why’, BMC Medical Research Methodology, 20(1). Available at: https://bmcmedresmethodol.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12874-020-01107-7 (Accessed: 15 June 2022).
If you’re working on a dissertation, thesis or project right now, or will be doing so next academic year, what can you do if the Library doesn’t have access to all the specialist books and other information resources you need? How can you find out about resources relating to your research topic which are held elsewhere? Can you visit other libraries and archives if you’re away from Newcastle over the vacation?
Read on to find out how you can expand your search beyond our library….
You can search across the catalogues of over 170 UK and Irish academic and national libraries, together with other specialist and research libraries, via Library Hub Discover (formerly COPAC). The range of libraries included in Library Hub Discover is expanding all the time, and includes all UK universities, as well as the libraries of such diverse organisations as Durham Cathedral, the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the Royal Horticultural Society.
In response to Covid restrictions, Library Hub Discover has also made it easier for you to find Open Access resources via its catalogue: it has recently incorporated the HathiTrust Digital Library, as well as the Directories of Open Access Books and Journals to its searchable database.
For a more in-depth and up-to-date search, you can also search individual academic library catalogues online. Need to look further afield? Search library catalogues internationally via WorldCat.
If we haven’t got the book you want, you can ask us to consider buying or borrowing it via our Recommend a book service.
If you need a copy of a journal article to which we don’t have access, you can apply for it via our inter library loan service, which is currently free.
You can search UK doctoral theses via the national EThOS service. This has records for over 500,000 theses, dating back to the year 1800, of which over half are freely available online (do note you have to register with EThOS before being able to download: it’s a separate login process to your usual University login).
The SCONUL Access Scheme enables students to visit most other academic libraries around the country, and in some cases, borrow from them. This service has recently resumed since its suspension during the Covid pandemic, but please note that not all academic libraries are currently participating in the scheme, so do check carefully before you visit, and read the latest information on the SCONUL Access site.
You will need to register with SCONUL Access before you can visit another Library, so do allow time for your registration to be processed.
If you want to consult archives or special collections elsewhere, you’ll need to check with the organisation in question beforehand (you’ll usually need to request to consult items in advance of your visit). If you can’t visit in person, archives services may still be able to answer queries, provide access to selected digitised items, or even operate a Virtual Reading Room, so it may well be worth enquiring.
You might have been given an academic article to read by a module leader or found one on a reading list but what happens if you need to locate some for yourself.
On our subject guide we have a whole list of core journal platforms and databases but which ones are best if you’ve got a topic and you’re just looking for academic articles related to it.
Don’t panic, we’ve created this short video to highlight which resources to use (Avery and Art and Architecture Archive in case you’re wondering). If you want to search more widely within Social Sciences journals then you might want to consider a more generic database like Proquest.
Have you met BoB? Box of Broadcasts is a fantastic resource for all subject areas: an archive of over two million radio and television broadcasts from over 75 free-to-air channels, including all BBC channels, ITV and Channel 4, plus some international channels. New programmes are added to BoB as they are broadcast each day.
We know it’s a very popular resource, but are you getting the best out of it? Here are some quick tips for newbies and experienced users alike!
BoB is a huge database, so searching by keyword may retrieve a lot of irrelevant results, especially as the default search looks for your keyword in all programme transcripts (i.e. every word spoken in a programme). Click on the Search options link just under the search bar to see various ways of making your search more precise, including searching in the programme titles only, or limiting by date. This help video gives more detail:
Playlists and clips
You can create your own playlists: really helpful if you’re researching for an assignment, or preparing to teach a module. You can also search public playlists curated by other BoB users around the UK: just select Public playlists underneath the search bar, or explore this showcase of playlists for more inspiration.
If you’re a user of a database called Construction Industry Service (CIS) then you might notice that our access to the platform is slightly different.
IHS Markit have recently moved this particular sub database to a new hosting site which has a slightly different way to access it. You will now need to set up a free account and password before you can search the platform. Hopefully this is obvious from the note we’ve added to record on our catalogue, Library Search.
We’ve also made a short video which shows you how to set up an account.
The new platform/layout has options along the top and on the left to browse by subject or publishers, there are A-Z lists to navigate through or quick links straight into Eurocodes, regulations and other handbooks.