GUEST POST – OFF THE SHELF

Off the Shelf poster

Hi! I’m Caitlin, a final year law student and law library aide – and by now I’m used to the stress of exams and deadlines.

I tried the ‘poetry-pick me up’ after going into the common room for a revision break.

I stumbled across Sue (@kind_curious) in the Law School Student Common Room, where she asked, ‘do you want a poem?’. Not really knowing what to expect, I had to overcome a bit of social awkwardness! I was surprised by Sue’s passion and love of poetry, which was clear in the way she spoke about how she’d used poetry in the NHS before and it was what she enjoyed most.

I was asked questions about my current stress levels and how I was feeling with exams, and how I dealt with stress. I told her that when I get stressed I talk even more than usual, which for anyone who knows me sounds like I’m going at a million miles an hour, and she suggested something that would relax me.

I laughed as I saw no signs of chocolate or Netflix – my usual go to relaxation strategies.

Instead she said I needed something like a lavender bubble bath – again I saw no sign of a bubble bath in the Law School and I’d yet to find one in the Dungeon.

She picked out two poems that would make me feel like the relaxing in lavender: she suggested ‘Sonnet’ by Elizabeth Bishop and Shennagh Pugh’s ‘What if This Road’.

What if this road reminded me of Robert Frost’s ‘A Road Not Taken’, and was great for me as a an indecisive person. It was matched perfectly to the questions that Sue had asked me, as I read it as a  ‘roll with it’ approach to life, which is definitely needed to cope with exams and deadline stress.

The second poem, Bishop’s ‘Sonnet’, had great visualisation techniques, almost like a meditative poem – which was spot on to turn off the stress and slow everything down!

The experience was a great switch off from deadline stress, and a great use of the 10 minutes which I’d usually scroll through twitter or Instagram. It was something different, and really quite unique and relaxing, which I would definitely recommend to help have a break from any exam and deadline stress!

Early English Books Online update

Early English Books Online (EEBO) has moved to an enhanced platform on Proquest.

The content remains the same, but you should note various improvements to the interface. Key changes include:

  • Additional search and filter options.
  • The new platform adapts fully to all devices, including phones and tablets.
  • Improved viewing of results, with larger thumbnails and images.
  • Text Creation Partnership transcriptions are now included.
  • Improved export and personalisation options.
  • You can now cross-search EEBO with other Proquest content, such as Early European Books.

You will still be able to access the old EEBO platform until mid January 2020, but we would encourage you to familiarise yourselves with the new platform as soon as possible.

Find out more about the new platform, together with further enhancements planned for early 2020, on the Proquest EEBO site or for more detail, visit the EEBO lib guide.

Thinking about using EndNote to manage your OSCOLA references?

EndNote is a useful tool for keeping in-formation with your references, but the OSCOLA_4th_edn style in EndNote does require some manual inputting and amending of references to ensure that footnotes and bibliographies comply with the published guidelines for the OSCOLA referencing style.

Therefore, the first step you must take before you start using EndNote and OSCOLA is to tap into and become very familiar with the OSCOLA 4th referencing style (to find out more go to our referencing library guide). We also strongly advise that you don’t quick-step around it – give yourself enough time to start learning how to use EndNote and that you read the following instructions we’ve prepared for you EndNote X9 and OSCOLA 4th for Newcastle Law School which includes how to input manually different types of law sources into EndNote.

STRICTLY REFERENCING: Getting to know OSCOLA 4th referencing style

What is OSCOLA?

The Oxford University Standard for Citation of Legal Authorities (OSCOLA) is the standard referencing format used by law students and anyone writing in a legal field.  It allows for exact referencing of cases, journals and statutes meaning that sources can be found quickly and accurately.

HELP!!!!!

OSCOLA can be a bit daunting at first, especially if you are unused to referencing, but don’t worry, we have a lot of help available.   Here are some top tips for getting to grips with OSCOLA from scratch or if you just need a refresher:

  1. Start by going to our library guide, where you will find tips and resources to build your knowledge up.
  2. Have a look at our OSCOLA and referencing slideshow to understand the importance of referencing and to get a brief overview of OSCOLA.
  3. Set some time aside and work through the Citing the Law Tutorial from Cardiff University. This will show you how to cite cases, legislation and secondary sources, as well as how to identify authors and quote.
  4. For quick “how do I”? questions, check out the OSCOLA quick help guide (physical copies also available in the Law Library) or Cite the Law’s A-Z referencing examples.
  5. And if you are trying to use OSCOLA and EndNote, don’t forget we have a handy guide for you. More on this next time!

And lastly, if you are in doubt, remember we are always here to help! Contact us via library help or ask in the Law Library.

Hip-hop your way around the Harvard style

Harvard at Newcastle is the most frequently used referencing style and if your school does not have a preferred style, it is 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.

Routine for Referencing

What are the key steps to a successful routine 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 routine for success. As a novice, you might need a little help to understand the steps and techniques 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 routine for success.

Walton Library: Reading Lists and the STC

Hopefully you are feeling settled at the Walton Library and finding your way around.  During your induction session you may have heard Library staff mention reading lists and STC books. This blog post breaks these terms down to help you get the most out of the Library.

What are reading lists?

When it comes to reading lists, the clue is in the name. They are materials your lecturer(s) have selected to help you understand your subject – and are not necessarily books! Reading lists can contain journal articles, websites and other media, such as podcasts and videos. The material on your reading list is broken down into essential, recommended or background reading for your convenience.

Not all reading lists look the same. Some lists are divided into the above categories, and some are divided into weekly or even daily reading. Speak to your lecturer if you have a query about the content on your module’s reading list.

Where are they?

There’s more than one way to access your reading list. If you use the Medical Learning Environment (MLE), you can access your reading list from the “Reading” tab on the “Learning Materials” window. These are embedded in each Case. See below for reference:

A reading list on the Medical Learning Environment (MLE).

You can click on the items within the reading list and it’ll take you directly to Library Search, where you will be able to see the item’s location and availability.

If you use Blackboard, once you’ve logged in, you will see that the “Reading Lists” link is on the “Overview” page for each module you’re registered on. See below for reference:

The location of a module’s reading list on Blackboard.

You can also access your reading lists from the Library homepage. Follow this link and click the green “More information for students” button.

If you’re having a technical problem when using your reading list, email: med-reading-lists@ncl.ac.uk and we’ll investigate the problem for you.

What is the STC?

The Student Texts Collection (STC) at the Walton Library.

If you’ve been to the Walton’s service desk asking for a stapler, you may have heard the staff directing you to the STC. STC or Student Texts Collection is a separate room, located next to the printers and the self-issue machine, which contains our high demand texts. Many of these will be essential on your reading lists. These books are available for short loan only – four hours during the day, unless you take them out four hours before the Library closes, when you can loan them overnight (providing you return them before 9:30AM the next weekday and 10:30AM on weekends!)

These short loan books are perfect if you’re on the go. You can issue one before a lecture and then return it just after! They’re also ideal if you only need to use a short section of a book: you can copy up to one chapter or 10% of a book (whatever is greater) using the photocopier.

How does it work?

Just like long loan items, STC books are on Library Search. However they can’t be reserved if all the copies are out on loan. STC books need to be checked out and returned from your account using the self-issue machine in the STC room.

STC books are listed separately on Library Search.

If you have any further queries about the STC, you might want to check out our Library FAQs here. Desk staff at the Walton can also be called upon to lend a hand if you’re stuck.

Library Search: top search tips

Library Search is a powerful tool that can help you find good quality, relevant information quickly.  Using Library Search is pretty intuitive but there are some useful search tips that can help you improve and get the most out of your searches:

Keywords and Subject Terms

When you’re searching for information it’s important to use a range of related keywords to ensure you find everything relevant to your topic.  For example, if you’re searching for information on ‘Climate Change’ you might also want to search for ‘Greenhouse Effect’ or ‘Global Warming’ too.  Thinking of related keywords can sometimes be difficult but Library Search can help!

From your search results page, click on the title of a resource to open the resource record and scroll down to the ‘Details’ section.  Here you will find a list of ‘Subjects’, also known as subject terms, used to describe the topics and themes this particular resource discusses.  Take a look at this list and add any relevant words to your search string.

Screen shot of Library Search subject terms for climate change

There are some other useful features in the resource record page that can help with your searches too:

Browse the virtual shelf

At the very bottom of the record you’ll find a virtual bookshelf, a visual list of the books that can be found next to this one if you were looking in the physical library.  As the library is organised by subject some of these titles might be useful for your research too.

Screen shot of virtual shelf on library search

Read the abstract

A quick way to tell if a resource is going to be relevant and useful for your research is to read the abstract, a summary of the contents of the resource.  On the resource record in Library Search, you’ll find this under the heading ‘Description’.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search function in Library search allows you to create a search that will produce more focused results.  It does this by providing a range of search fields and drop down lists that help you build up your search.

Screen shot of advanced search

Select from the options to:

  • Limit your search field to the title, author, subject, collection etc.
  • Apply BOOLEAN operators (AND, OR, NOT) to your keywords
  • Filter by specific material types, languages and dates to focus your search results to the most relevant resources.

Take a look at the Advanced Searching page on our Finding Information Guide for more on how to combine your keywords, create a search string and improve your search results.

All New Student Texts Collection (STC)

The Student Texts Collection

STC 2019
Photograph by J.Dunn

The Student Texts Collection (otherwise known as the STC) is located on level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library…just to the right of the Library Help Desk, as you come in the main entrance:

What is in STC:

    • Essential items on reading lists
    • Items meeting a flurry of high demand (sometimes items are transferred to STC on a temporary basis with the agreement of the Liaison Librarian)
    • Items that are rare, out of print or expensive (arranged with the agreement of the Liaison Librarian)
    • Items recommended by academics for a specific project or task.

If an item meets the criteria above, there should be one copy in the STC for you to consult or borrow (if not, contact your Liaison Librarian).

Loan Periods:

Student Texts Collection (STC) items are usually issued for 4 hours, and you can borrow a maximum of 3 items at any one time. If the item has already been booked (see below regarding booking STC) then it might be issued for less than 4 hours – always check the receipt!

At the Philip Robinson Library, STC items can be borrowed until the following morning

  • Term Time Monday – Friday after 6pm
  • Term Time Saturday – Sunday after 4pm
  • Vacation times may vary

At the weekends Walton STC overnight loans start at 5pm. Walton STC items cannot be booked.

Why book an item in the Student Texts Collection (Philip Robinson Library only)?

Booking an item (you can book 3 STC titles at a time) allows you to reserve so you can collect it at a particular time, then you can borrow it for four hours (or overnight, see above).

To book an item in the STC login to Library Search and follow the Request link next to the item you are looking for (remember to sign in to Library Search first): 

Overdue charges

There is an immediate overdue charge of £1 plus £1 per hour or part hour after that, the maximum overdue charge for an STC item is £15.00

Self-issue/return

Philip Robinson Library has a self-service unit in the STC so you can issue your own books (either STC or General loans).

Walton Library has a self-service unit in the STC room for the loan and return of STC items only.

Please remember to take the receipt from the machine which shows the date and time the book is due back. All STC books should be returned on the unit in the STC area (not on other self-issue/return units in the library).

Help on Student Texts Collection

Check out our FAQs on the STC or contact us via Library Help if you have any further question.

Trial: Bloomsbury Popular Music

The Library has trial access to Bloomsbury Popular Music until 31st December 2019. This wide-ranging resource comprises:

  • All volumes of the landmark reference work, Bloomsbury Encyclopedia of Popular Music of the World.
  • All 130 short books in the 33 1/3 series, focusing on significant LPs from a wide range of genres and eras.
  • A selection of other scholarly ebooks on popular music published by Bloomsbury, including biographies and historical overviews.
  • Interactive features, including a pop music timeline and map.
  • Biographies of hundreds of artists.

You can search or browse it in various ways, such as by artist, genre or location. Watch the short trailer for an overview. As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.

If you are off-campus, please login to RAS first of all, and then access Bloomsbury Popular Music from a browser within RAS.