Beyond the Library

Will you be working on a dissertation or project this summer or next year? Worried that the Library might not have access to the specialist books and other resources which you need? Wondering how you can find out about resources relating to your research topic which are held in other libraries?

Wonder no more! There are three main ways you can find and access books and other resources held elsewhere:

1. Search

You can search the catalogues of over 100 UK and Irish academic libraries, national libraries and other major research libraries via COPAC. 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.

2. Visit

We have more information about how you can visit other libraries, locally and nationally, here. The SCONUL Access Scheme enables students to use other academic libraries around the country, but you need to register online first (and be sure to check the access arrangements for any library you are planning to visit, as they may alter during the year).

3. Obtain

If we haven’t got the book you want, you can ask us to consider buying or borrowing it, via our Books on Time service. If you need a copy of a journal article to which we don’t have access, please apply via our inter library loan service.

Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay. 

Top tips to get you started with revision

Hoping to get some revision done during the Easter Vacation?

Here are some tips to get you started:

1. Have a look at our MCQ collection in the Quiet study area of the Walton Library. This collection has books with MCQs, EMQs, SBAs, OSCEs and other self  assessment and answer questions on many different subjects including;  anatomy, medicine, physiology, surgery and more. Look out for the green stickers on the spines of the books.

2. Check out the the Exams and Revision Section on the ASK (Academic Skills Kit) webpages for more help.

3. Remember to take regular breaks.

4. Stay well hydrated, eat properly and get some exercise.

5. Remember to check the date, time and place of your exam well in advance of  the day, make sure you know where you are going.

Have a good Easter Vacation. Happy revising and Good Luck in the exams when you get back.

Image by Shurriken from Pixabay

From all the staff in the Walton Library.

Level Up Your Referencing: Cite Them Right

A person writing at a deskYou already know that referencing is important – it not only gives credit to the original creator of a work you have used but also helps to highlight your skills as a researcher; showing that you have read around your topic, found relevant information, applied it to your arguments and used it to develop your own ideas.

However, when it comes to referencing, all of those punctuation rules, different styles and the vast array of document formats can seem overwhelming. Happily, we’ve got a great resource to help you work out your references in three easy steps!

Cite Them Right:

‘Cite Them Right’ is a fantastic referencing guide that provides clear instructions and examples for how to reference a wide range of documents including books, journals, websites and audio-visual materials.  Available as both a physical textbook and an online tool, ‘Cite Them Right’ helps you to format your references correctly using Harvard, American Psychological Association (APA), Modern Humanities Research Association (MHRA), Modern Languages Association (MLA), Oxford Standard for the Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA), Vancouver or Chicago referencing styles.

(Remember to always use the referencing style recommended by your school.)

Three steps to an accurate reference:
  1. Search for the type of document you want to reference on Cite Them Right online using the search box at the top right of the screen or by browsing the drop down menus at the top of the page.
  2. Select the referencing style you need from the drop down menu at the top of the page.  This defaults to Harvard (author-date).
  3. Follow the example references given, copying the format to create your own reference in the ‘You Try’ box.

Why not have a go and create a reference for this blog post!

If you need some more advice on how to reference, take a look at our video from the Library’s Managing Information guide:

 

 

Taking you to the next skills level

Have you heard about ASK? It’s the University’s one-stop-shop for academic skills.

Are you concerned about being accused of plagiarism? Having some difficulty with statistical analysis? Struggling to write a persuasive argument in your essay? Feeling like you’re not able to manage your lecture, seminar and assignment workload? Or perhaps you are a master procrastinator who needs to just crack on with some work. The ASK (Academic Skills Kit) can help!

Signposting you to the services, resources and support available across Newcastle University, it will help you identify where to go for advice and support to improve your study habits and develop skills that are invaluable for University and what comes after.

ASK directs you to the correct place for support and includes online resources such as quizzes and videos, to help you better understand where you may need to grow.

Why not start with the myth busting quiz developed by the Writing Development Centre for some quick tips on how to study well?
Image of study myths quiz

How to use flashcards for effective revision

Build your bag of tricks and special skills

Image of pixel people student with subject support url

We’re probably all familiar with the fact that the library is where you find the books, but this month, why not explore all of the other types of information that can add to your academic skills bag of tricks. The library’s Resource Guides draw together the best resources available, organised by the type of information rather than subject area.

So if you are trying to find historic newspapers, company financial data, market research, standards or images you will find a resource guide for all of that!

Market research resource guide homepage

The guides are updated all the time as we add new subscriptions to our collection or identify online resources that we think will be useful for teaching and research. You’ll find the Resource Guides on the library website and as quick links on every Subject Guide.

Resource guide quick links from the subject guides

We’ve also highlighted the Resource Guides that are most commonly used for your subject area in the Specialist Resources section.

Specialist resources quick links image

So next time you need to find a newspaper article, a government paper or some statistics to analyse, visit the Resource Guides to help you identify where to look.

Level up your searching skills

Pick up more tips and tricks for searching on our skills guides.

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?

GUEST POST: OSCOLA… Are you really getting the help you need?

Law ReportsLaura-Jayne Beattie, third year Law School student and Law Library Student Aide, has some top tips to help you find help with OSCOLA.


Need help with OSCOLA? Hate hearing this word? Then look no further than here and fear no more, as below I’ve summed up the best places for help with the bane of most Newcastle Law Student’s lives!

Listed below are resources available to help you master the OSCOLA referencing system. Some you may never have heard of, but all are there to ease you through the tricky issues you may face with referencing.

Law Library Staff

With super friendly staff available weekdays, and Stage 3 Student Aides on shift every evening and weekend, what more could you want? Please don’t feel afraid of coming to speak to us, we’re really not that scary (even though we may look it)!

Guides

The guides below are your first point-of-call (click on the links). However, there are sometimes particularly awkward sources. So, if the guides are confusing you or you can’t find the type of source you’re trying to reference within them, we’ll help you use them effectively to find what you need. Just show us what you’re wanting to reference, and we’ll try our very best to help you cite it right!

The Library’s guide on Managing Resources: OSCOLAThis is a good starting point for all things OSCOLA. Here you’ll find tips and links to guides and tutorials.

A-Z guideA hidden gem of library resources, listing many types primary and secondary sources in alphabetical order. Each type is hyperlinked, and when you click on it a general overview of how to cite that source and a few examples appear.

OSCOLA (4th edition) resources full guideA very detailed 55-page document, listing all types of sources (except for most international ones) and giving examples of how to cite sources throughout.

Quick Reference guideAn A4 document of how to cite the most common types of sources. A good document to print out and keep somewhere safe so you can always refer back to it!

OSCOLA 2006: Citing International Law guideThis is a separate guide, specifically for citing international law sources. From international treaties, to UN documents, it has it all!

Hopefully this has all helped in some way. But just remember if you’re struggling to cite something, don’t cite it wrongly or remove it from your essay and pretend it never existed! Get help from the super easy resources above!

Get ahead of the game!

A game of chess

Phew, the exams are behind you and you can breathe a sigh of relief! One semester is done and dusted and the next is around the corner. But before you say, “I don’t want to think about that yet”, why not use this simple checklist to ensure that you start semester 2 ahead of the game?

  1. Find your reading lists for your semester 2 modules and start to read the items now. You’re upcoming lectures and seminars will make much more sense in light of this and enable you to use your time more efficiently as a result. If it seems overwhelming, why not just start with the items your academic has marked as ‘essential’ on the list?
  2. Look at your upcoming module handbooks on Blackboard and check out the assignment details. Are you going to have to produce a type of assignment you have never done before? Or do you need to develop your assignment writing skills? The Writing Development Centre are here to help.
  3. Get familiar with your subject specific guide and explore the databases and resources that are recommended for you.  It will make finding high quality information for assignments much easier and will help you access those top marks.
  4. Hone your referencing skills by checking out our referencing guide and the fantastic referencing tool which is Cite them Right. Getting to grips with your referencing style will not only help you to avoid plagiarism, but will get you some easy marks.
  5. And if all of this seems overwhelming and you need some help with managing your time, check out the ASK website for some advice.

Photo by Chase Clark on Unsplash