Level up your academic study skills

Time to get your game face on and level up your academic skills!

Cartoon students thinking about academic skills and becoming graduates

Throughout your time at University, you are required to develop a whole range of important academic skills, from knowing where to find information to critical thinking to reference management.  These skills are not only important for completing your degree successfully but they can also be transferred to the work you do once you leave the University, making them invaluable for your future career.

Developing some of these skills may seem daunting but the Library is here to support you at every level of study with our range of online tools, videos and guides as well as one-to-one support from your Subject Liaison team and staff at the Writing and Development Centre.

This month we’re inviting you on a study quest to explore our guides and tools and gain some serious Study XP (experience points).

To get started take a look at your Subject guide for advice on finding information in your area or see our Employability guide to explore how these skills can help in your future career.

From 11 – 24 March 2019 visit our display in the Library to chat to our helpful staff, pick up postcards, guides and fun freebies, and if you feel up for a challenge, take on our exciting mini escape room game (more details to follow)!

Ready, Player One?

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

Recipe for Referencing: 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 Scopus, Web of Science, IEEE 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 Mendeley, Zotero, RefWorks or another piece of bibliographic management software. That’s fine, whatever makes your referencing lives easier. Go on, give them a try.

Referencing with the Harvard cook book

Harvard at Newcastle is the most frequently used referencing style and if your school does not have a preferred style, it is the the one that we would recommend. This is because there is the most comprehensive guidance available for Harvard and it is a style that can manage referencing all types of information. Whether you are referencing a book, news article, Instagram or market research, the Harvard at Newcastle style has got you covered.

There are many variations of Harvard but the one used at Newcastle can be found in Cite Them Right. Harvard uses an in-text citation (Millican, 2018, p.12) inserted in the text, coupled with a reference list at the end of the document, which provides the key. Cite Them Right  is available as a published book to borrow from the library and Cite Them Right Online provides the same comprehensive guidance in a searchable interface that can be accessed anywhere online. It includes guidance about how to reference just about every type of information you can think of, including the more tricky online sources such as social media.

You will find the Harvard at Newcastle style in EndNote on campus PCs and through the RAS, and are able to download the style from our EndNote guide if you are using it locally on your own device. We’ve also included some useful tips and advice about getting to grips with Harvard on our referencing guide.

Referencing Styles

There are lots of different styles – which one will you choose?

Once you start creating citations and references, you need to consider referencing styles. There are hundreds of them out there and each has a slightly different set of rules about how citations and reference lists should appear in your text.

Most Newcastle University students use the Harvard at Newcastle style, but there is also Vancouver, IEEE, OSCOLA and many, many more. Your lecturers will expect you to use one specific type and all your citations and references should match that style accurately and consistently; same punctuation, same capitalisation, same everything. 

We have lots of help about using some of the popular referencing styles in our Managing Information guide:  https://libguides.ncl.ac.uk/managing/referencing_styles

 

 

Referencing top tips: the ingredients

Learn the basic ingredients of a reference, and you can mix them up into any style you need.

Referencing: why bother?

When you are writing a piece of work and you use someone else’s thoughts, words or ideas, you must reference them. But why do we talk about referencing so much at University, and why is it so important? Why should you bother spending time on ensuring that your references are consistent, accurate and correct?

It all comes down to why we reference in the first place.

  • To make your contribution clear by showing which words and ideas are yours, and which have come from your reading.
  • To acknowledge the work of others and how you have built on the knowledge you’ve gained from your reading.
  • To ensure that the reader can follow up on your references for themselves.
  • To avoid being wrongly accused of plagiarism.

Watch our short video to find out a little more about why we should bother with referencing.

Find out more on our Managing Information skills guide.

 

 

Recipe for Referencing

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What are the key ingredients to a successful recipe for referencing? Of all the enquiries we get in the Library, referencing is the most common.

Referencing is the acknowledgement of the sources that you use in your work. You must reference all sources that you use in your assignment, project or dissertation, including words and ideas, facts, images, videos, audio, websites, statistics, diagrams and data.

Over the next two weeks weeks we’re focusing on referencing, giving you the recipe for success. As a novice referencing baker, you might need a little help to understand the ingredients and methods for your referencing style.

We’ll tell you where to get advice and help

Understand why we reference and how

How to avoid plagiarism

How to manage your information to make your life easier and assignments less stressful, giving you the recipe for success.

Business: explore the best resources for your subject

As we are a few weeks into the start of term, it’s time to think about doing some wider reading for your assignments or perhaps making a start on your research project or dissertation. Library Search is a great place to start when you’re looking for information. In one simple search you will find books, Ebooks, journal articles and more.

However, there are times when you want to narrow down your search by limiting yourself to a subject specific database, such as Business Source Complete which covers management, economics, finance and accounting. Perhaps you are looking for a particular type of information like company turnover so using FAME or Amadeus, and for market sector trends Mintel Marketing Intelligence would be helpful.

That’s where your library Subject Guide can help. We have put together your Subject Guide so that you are able to find the best resources and advice for your programme, all in one place.

We have grouped together the most relevant journal collections, databases, eBook collections and specialist resources we have, so that you don’t need to know go hunting for the right database from the 300+ available at Newcastle University.

You will find links to Support for your studies too. These quick links will take you to resources to help you develop your own academic skills, including tools to help you plan a search, quizzes to test your knowledge and advice on how to find, evaluate and reference the best information for your academic work.

There is a link to your Subject Guide within all of your Blackboard modules or you can explore them all from Subject Support on the Library website.

 

Welcome from the SAgE Library Team

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Welcome from the SAgE Library Team

Need specific subject help?

The SAgE Library Team provide support for students and staff from the Faculty of Science, Agriculture and Engineering. Julia Robinson is the Liaison Librarian for the Schools of Natural & Environmental Sciences and Mathematics, Statistics & Physics. Lorna Smith is the Liaison Librarian for the Schools of Computing and Engineering. The rest of the team work for the whole SAgE Faculty: Catherine Dale is Assistant Liaison Librarian and Yvonne Davison, Susan Millican and Christina Taylor are Liaison Assistants.

So what can we help you with? We can:

  • Direct you to quality information
  • Help with study and research skills
  • Advise on how to evaluate information sources
  • Help you to navigate databases

… and much more!

We’re here to help you get the best from the Library’s services and resources so feel free to contact us at any time. Come and find us on level 4 of the Philip Robinson Library, email us at lib-sage@ncl.ac.uk, book a one-to-one appointment, or follow us on Twitter @ncllibsage.

For more information, check out the Subject Guides.

We look forward to meeting you!