10 online resources for Politics students.

We’re studying in unprecedented times right now and when completing upcoming assignments, you may need to look beyond your reading list to explore quality resources available online. Here are some of our suggestions to help you find the information you need.

1. Library Search for ebooks and articles

When working off campus, you can still access the full collection of ebooks, electronic journals and professional magazines, newspapers, conferences and more, from Library Search.

Additional ebook titles are being added to the collection every day while we are all working remotely. Search by author, title or keyword to find books to help you with your essay topic.

We’ve put together a page of tips and help videos all about Library Search on our finding information skills guide .

To find academic journal articles from across our collection that match your topic keywords, use the everything search option and filter your results on the left to peer-reviewed journals.

Watch our introduction to the main Library Search features.

2. Your Subject Guide

The Subject Guide for Politics draws together in one place, the resources available from the library to help you with your academic work. Use the Journals and Database page to access subject databases such as Social Sciences Premium Collection and JSTOR.

The Social Sciences Premium Collection is a brilliant place to start if you would like to refine your results to politics and the social sciences, while still searching broadly across different information types.

Find out more about the Social Sciences Premium Collection, how to search it successfully and use the advanced features. It is a brilliant resource for politics.

You can contact the Liaison Team for one-to-one support or send your questions to Library Help, where there are staff logged into our live chat service, 24/7.

Between Library Search and your Subject Guide, you will be able to find excellent information to use in your academic essays, but there are many other resources you may want to try.

3. JSTOR

JSTOR is a full-text collection, giving you online access to scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

4. Scopus

Scopus is a large, multidisciplinary database, which indexes peer reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings and trade publications.

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  

You can also set up citation alerts so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically. Other useful tools include citation overviews, author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools (if you are interested in publishing work).

Watch this video from Scopus about how to expand your search from a known article reference.

5. Government publications

Government publications provide information in a variety of subjects. Statistics, White Papers, Parliamentary Bills and a whole range of Official Legislation published by the Government provide a good, reliable, source of accurate statistics, and can give support to your argument in essay topics.

We have put together a resource guide for government publications that will give you quick access to the United Kingdom gov.uk publications search and the Office For National Statistics, European and international official publications.

6. OECD iLibrary for statistics and global reports.

OECD iLibrary is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and gives you access to booksanalytical reports and statistics, covering a broad range of topics relevant for studies in politics.

  • Agriculture and food
  • Development
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Energy and nuclear energy
  • Environment
  • Finance and investment, taxation and trade
  • Industry and services
  • Science and technology
  • Social Issues / Migration / Health
  • Transport
  • Urban, Rural and Regional Development

OECD iLibrary is certainly worth searching to provide reputable supporting information for your academic work.

7. Statista for easy statistics and global outlook

Statista is an extensive statistics platform covering over 1.5 million data sets. It includes reports, statistics and forecasts on a range of topics. So if you want to know which social media platforms are most popular across the globe, compare homelessness statistics, explore industry trends or how many people play video games, Statista is a brilliant place to start.

Statistics and reports can be exported in a range of formats including images and PowerPoint, giving you flexibility to include the visuals in your assignments. The statistics source is included, giving you the information that you need to cite it successfully.

Find out more about Statista with this brief introduction.

You will find a similar sources on our Statistics and Market Research resource guides.

8. Current newspapers with LexisLibrary

Newspapers are an excellent resource to explore, to provide a range of perspectives on a topic. You can find opinion pieces, social commentary and identify trends in public opinion.

We have a range of newspaper resources available from the Library, and LexisLibrary is an excellent place to start. It provides access to UK national and regional newspapers, from the 1990s to today. It includes the copy text without the images or formating and all of the details you need to create a citation are on the article page.

Once you have followed the Library Search link to access Lexis, make sure you click on News at the top of the page for full text access to all UK publications.

As so many articles are published every day, you will need to refine your searching using date ranges, combined keywords or by selecting specific newspapers or publication type (i.e. broadsheet or tabloid).

Remember to use your critical skills when using newspapers however, and watch out for Fake News. They are so biased sources and are best used in balance with other sources. You can find our tips on our Evaluating Information skills guide.

9. Newspaper archives and international news

We have a huge range of newspaper archives, historic newspapers and international sources such as Nexis that can mostly be access online and off campus. Our Newspapers resource guide collates all of our resources and will guide you through how where to look.

If you want to search across a range of newspapers, we suggest you start with Gale Primary Sourcesas this gives access to nearly all our British newspaper archives, except for The Guardian and The Observer.

10. Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts can be used to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource to use to find documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, record new ones, create clips and playlists and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search for other user’s public playlists to help you in your own search. 

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

17 useful online resources for architecture essays.

1. Online resources in Library Search

When working off campus, you can still access the full collection of ebooks, electronic journals and professional magazines, newspapers, conferences and more, from Library Search.

Additional ebook titles are being added to the collection every day while we are all working remotely. Search by author, title or keyword to find books to help you with your essay topic.

We’ve put together a page of tips and help videos all about Library Search on our finding information skills guide

2. Your Subject Guide

The Subject Guide for Architecture, Planning and Landscape draws together in one place, the resources available from the library to help you with your academic and design work. Use the Journals and Database page to access subject databases such as Avery and Building Types Online.

The Subject Specific Resources page gives you a curated list of good quality image and buildings websites which will be great to reference in your essays.

You can contact the Liaison Team for one-to-one support or send your questions to Library Help, where there are staff logged into our live chat service, 24/7.

Between Library Search and your Subject Guide, you will be able to find excellent information to use in your essay, but there are many other resources you may want to try.

Screenshot showing the subject guide homepage.

3. RIBA ebooks

The Library recently purchased 89 ebook titles, available through a partnership between RIBA and Taylor & Francis. You can access the RIBA ebooks in Library Search when books match your keywords, or you can find a full list on our recent blog post.

Screen shot showing RIBA ebook platform for reading online.

4. Building Types Online

Find excellent quality building examples for your academic work. The database includes case studies, articles, essays, building plans and photographs for different building types and construction methods. You can find out more about

5. Avery Index to Architectural

Published by the Getty Research Institute, the index is a comprehensive American guide to the current literature of architecture and design. It surveys more than 2,500 international journals and provides nearly 13,000 citation records for architects’ obituaries. Some of the articles have full-text attached, while others will link using the Find@Newcastle University button to take you back to Library Search to access the full-text if we have it.

You can filter your results to scholarly journals or the wider professional collection.

6. Art and Architecture Archive

A full text, full colour archive of 25 art and architecture magazines from the 19th to 21st centuries. You can search across the whole archive or individual magazines.

7. Architects Journal Buildings Database

The AJ Buildings Library is a digital database that showcases more than 1,900 exemplar projects, most from the last 20 years but including major projects back to 1900.

When accessing the database for the first time, you will need to set up an account using your Newcastle email on the Architects Journal website. Click on Sign In at the top left of the homepage, and then register, to complete the form. You will be able to log in to the Buildings Database.

You can search for projects by age, cost, architect, building type, footprint, location, and a combination of these. Each project featured in this digital database includes full project data (more than 20 items of information) and comprehensive architectural photographs and drawings (plans, elevation, section) – all provided at high resolution.

Drawings can be downloaded and printed out to their original scale. Vector pdfs and CAD files are not available for download and all copyrighted images are protected.

8. Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts can be used to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource to use to find documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, record new ones, create clips and playlists and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search for other user’s public playlists to help you in your own search. 

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

9. JSTOR

JSTOR is a full-text collection, giving you online access to scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage with basic search

10. ArchDaily

ArchDaily is a great resource that provides news and information from around the world on all aspects of architecture. Founded in 2008, is is one of the biggest and most popular architecture websites in the world.

You can keyword search across the website, or use the browse options to find information about hot topics, different types of architectural project. The interviews section is well worth exploring.

11. Internet Archive

Internet Archive is a non-profit library of millions of free books, videos, music, websites, and more. You can do a simple keyword search around your topic area, and refine by the information type. Or search within the ebooks for specific titles.

Screenshot of Internet Archive search results for concrete architecture

12. US Modernist Library

The USModernist Library is the world’s largest open digital collection of major US 20th-century architecture magazines with approximately 2.7 million downloadable pages – all free to access. You can search for a specific modernist house, search by architect, original owner or keyword.

13. RIBApix

RIBA’s image library of over 100,000 photographs and drawings
from the RIBA Collections, available to view, buy and download. Many of the images are protected by copyright so will need to be used with caution.

14. Architectural Association photo Library

With over 8,000 images, the slides, negatives and prints of historical and contemporary architecture are all available in low resolution for educational purposes. It also includes photographs of work produced by students at the School of Architecture since the 1880s, as well as a video archive for its lectures, conferences, and seminars.

15. Pathé Newsreel Archive

Access over 85,000 high res videos on the British Pathe Youtube channel. The archive contains films produced from 1910 to 1970, and covers all sorts of subjects relating to architecture. Watch features on the construction of the Empire State BuildingFrank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax BuildingLe Corbusier’s Couvent de la Tourrette, and Montreal’s Expo’ 67 and the construction of Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome.

16. archINFORM

This is the largest online-database about worldwide architects and buildings, including information about more than 81,000 built and unrealised projects. The information varies for each project but includes images, commentary, drawings and links to references to read more about the project.

You can search the database using your topic keywords, or by architect, building name or location.

17. Construction Information Service

CIS is produced jointly with the National Building Specification (NBS) especially for architects, civil and structural engineers, building control officers, building services engineers and other professionals in the construction industry. It provides industry information and legislation, along with full-text access to key professional publications, including Architects Journal.

The full-text documents cover all aspects of the building, engineering, design and construction process.

We are here to help (even when you’re working off campus)

As the University monitors the situation around the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the Library is working to ensure that you have access to the resources and academic skills support you need to continue your studies while off campus. 

The information and links on this page provide guidance on how to engage with our wide range of online materials and how to make the most of our helpful online guides and tools from wherever you choose to study. 

Library Search: your first point of call

Use Library Search to quickly and simply access a wide range of eBooks, eJournals, and databases off campus. Check out our Library Search video on how to get the best out of this resource. 

Subject and Resource Guides

If you are not sure which resources are best to use for your subject or what you can access off-campus, visit your Subject Guide . The guides bring together links and help for the specialist information sources in your discipline. Access our Resource Guides for different types of information you may need in your research. These include guides to business casescompany and market informationgovernment publicationsgrey literaturemapsnewspaperspatentsstandards
statistics,  theses and dissertations, plus much more.  

Develop your skills, at a time that suits you

Use our FindingEvaluating and Managing Information guides to boost your search skills and help you achieve the best results in your assignments whilst working remotely. If you are needing help with academic writing and reading or even numeracy, maths and statistics, then don’t forget their are lots of downloadable resources available at the ASK website.

Dissertation support

If you are in the midst of writing or planning a dissertation then our our Dissertation Guide is a great place to guide you with your literature search.  Not only do we have videos, quizzes and advice, but we also have an interactive Proposal Planner and Search Planner to help you get organised and create a focus for your research.  We can even give you feedback once you’ve filled the planners in. Just send them through when prompted or email them to your supervisor for advice and help.

Have a question? Check the FAQs

We have an extensive database of frequently asked questions available on the Library website. You can search by keyword or browse by topic area and find answers to the most common questions. So whether you want to know how to access newspapers or get help with EndNote, check the FAQs to see if we have already answered your question.

Contact Library Help

If you need help or have a question, use Library Help to get in touch with us. We are still here for you 24/7 and you can chat with us online or email us as normal. You can also keep in touch with us via social media.

So remember, you can access all of our online resources, journals and ebooks from the Library website.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

GUEST POST – LAW EXAM REVISION WEBSITES AND TIPS

Law Reports

Hi I’m Caitlin, and as a final year law student I would say I’m used to exams by now!

I’m going to give you my top  5 resources for exam revision techniques, and top 5 exam resources to get you all set up for May’s exams.

TOP 5 EXAM REVISION TIPS:

  1. Focus on seminars – seminar questions are often set to prepare you for the exam, whether it’s a key case, precedent or the best way to tackle a problem question! It’s definitely worth spending that extra time preparing and doing seminars, so that you can go over these as an exam topic.
  2. Make notes as you go along – you might not always have time but spend an extra hour or so after the lecture making revision notes, and highlighting the key cases/points of law. You’ll thank yourself when it comes to exam time.
  3. Make essay plans – identify the key points of law, and look at past exam papers to see what could be asked.
  4. Identify your weak spots early and go to your tutor/seminarist/lecturer to iron them out now.
  5. Don’t rely on preparing topics – if the exam has 3 questions for you to answer, don’t just learn three topics! Always learn a few more topics than you have to answer.

TOP 5 REVISION RESOURCES:

  1. Elawresources – good case summaries to break down the points of law in really basic terms.
  2. Learnmore: Expand your legal mind – has everything from preparation to moots, to videos and presentations!
  3. Concentrate Revision Guides – these cost around £5-10 each but really break down key points of law.
  4. BAILII – British and Irish Legal Information Institution.
  5. Lecture revision sessions – most lecturers will put these on, but make the most of them by emailing/preparing in advance what topic/area you’d like to see covered.

Good luck in your exams, they’ll be over before you know it!

Kick-off your information search

Preparing a dissertation or project?

Before you start, take a look at our interactive Search Planner, part of our Dissertations and research projects guide.

This toolkit takes you through all the stages of developing your search strategy. Step by step, the planner helps you take a closer look at your question, to identify important concepts, themes and keywords. You can keep adding, editing and refining this as you go, and even create and download your own personalised search plan and email it to yourself, your tutor or librarian for feedback

The guide contains further advice on a wide range of relevant skills, such as finding, managing and evaluating information. It also directs you to the key information resources for your subject area. So make sure you check it out.

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!

Thinking about study space

During the exam period library study spaces are at a premium and it is important to think in advance about the kind of study space that you need.

Whether you require a silent, quiet, or collaborative study space, a group study room or booth, or an individual accessible study room, there are a variety of open access and bookable study spaces located across our four library buildings (Philip Robinson, Walton, Law, and Marjorie Robinson).

It is possible to check live study space availability online or by using the university app. This will allow you to head straight for the nearest available study space and therefore avoid wasting valuable time searching for a desk.

You can also book a group study room or booth online for a maximum of 120 minutes per day. This will allow you to get together with fellow students to plan and allocate some guaranteed study time prior to your next exam.

Study Well@NCL, which runs throughout the exam period, advocates a responsible approach to studying and encourages positive behaviours in study spaces. Remember, it is key to choose the right environment that meets your study needs, to stay hydrated, and to respect the students and study space around you.

Thinking about study space in advance can help to remove a lot of unwanted stress and thus free up valuable energy that will aid both your revision focus and exam preparation.

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.

Strictly Referencing: When is a website not a website?

A common mistake made in referencing is grouping all sources found online under the category and reference type of a website. Your aim should be to reference the information you have in front of you rather than where it was sourced. Simply grouping items found online as a website would be the equivalent of referencing a book by the publisher details rather than the author and title.

For example, a government publication found online would be referenced like this in Chicago.

United Kingdom. Department for Education. Cloud computing: how schools can move services to the cloud. London: The Stationary Office, 2016. Accessed: November 4, 2019. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/cloud-computing-how-schools-can-move-services-to-the-cloud. 

An electronic journal article might appear like this in APA.

Gillum, J. (2012). Dyscalculia: Issues for practice in education psychology.  Educational Psychology in Practice, 28(3), 287-297. doi:10.1080/02667363.2012.684344

While a video posted on the Tate website would look something like this in Harvard.

TateShots (2016) Grayson Perry: think like an artist. Available at: https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/talk/what-makes-artist-grayson-perry-conversation-sarah-thornton (Accessed: 11 November 2019). 

Identifying the type of information you are using as well as the source, are essential skills of evaluation and developing a critical approach to information. In many cases you will be unconsciously using your judgment to assess the value of information for your purpose. So when you are using any source of information, ask yourself what it is you are looking at, what details are recorded about it and whether it measures up as a quality piece of information. You’ll find more guidance about evaluating information on our Evaluating Information guide.

It’s all a matter of style

There are lots of different referencing styles, but which one is right for you?

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, Chicago, and many more. Your lecturers will expect you to use one specific style and all of your citations and references should conform to 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. The Cite Them Right website is also a valuable online resource that will show you how to hit all of the right steps on your way to mastering an individual referencing style.