Put Your Skills to the Test: Escape Room Mini Game

Time to put your skills to the test!

As part of our ‘Level Up Your Academic Skills’ event we will be running an exciting ‘Escape Room’ mini challenge across three different locations this week.

In teams of 2-3 people you’ll be tasked with solving a series of puzzles against the clock, with the fastest team set to win a prize!

To take part, drop by our Academic Skills displays at the following times:

Walton Library – Tuesday 19 March from 13:00-14:30

Philip Robinson Library – Wednesday 20 March from 10:00 – 12:00

Marjorie Robinson Library – Friday 22 March from 10:30-12:00

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

Build your bag of tricks and special skills

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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.

Spotlight on …….. Bridgeman Education

This database provides access to over 1.2 million images, including paintings, posters, artefacts and photographs, from galleries and collections worldwide. All images are copyright-cleared for educational use, and cover a wide range of themes.  Here are just a few reasons why you’ll love using Bridgeman……

No matter what subject area you’re studying – from science to fashion, from history to Chinese art, from Prehistoric times to contemporary works, you’ll probably  be able to find an image on Bridgeman to illustrate your work:

Bridgeman Education provides a platform to search over 8,000 locations covering the world’s major museums, art collections and historical sites:

You can download the images and create a slideshow of them for your presentations:

You can zoom in to see every little detail of each image and you’ll be able to see two, three or four images side by side for comparison.  You can add notes and captions to the images before they are added to your presentation

Join the mailing list to receive regular news bulletins and details of events direct to your in-box and, if you can’t find what you want, just get in touch with the team at Bridgeman Education.

Why not have a look and become really creative!

Bridgeman Education is available via your Subject Guide or directly from Library Search.

(Images: Bridgeman Education)

Trial: Society Digimap

Society Digimap is free on trial until 31st July 2019.  Adding to our existing EDINA collection, Society Digimap includes census and socio-economic data which can be layered across the map software to provide a picture and give an insight of society in a given area.

To access this resource, click on the link to the Digimap collection via Library Search or our Maps library guide, log in with your university account and click on the Society tab to access the data.  You will need to accept the license agreement the first time you use it.

Please explore and email us your feedback, or post it as a comment on this blog.

Government Publications: Questions in the House!

GOVERNMENT PUBLICATIONS

Surely all MPs are giving us the correct facts?

Take a look at our links to resources for Legislation, Statistics and Official Publications to make sure!

Government publications provide primary information in a variety of subjects. Statistics, White Papers, Parliamentary Bills and a whole range of Official Legislation.

These are a good reliable source of accurate statistics, and can give support to your argument in essay topics across all subjects.

Many government publications are now available online; our Library Guide highlights the useful websites.

Interested in Student Loans or the legal details of part time Employment Contracts?

Details of all UK legal processes can be found at the government website Gov.uk which provides lots of useful information about government services, with an A-Z of departments, agencies and local councils.

Meaningful Vote mean anything to you?

Keep up with the debate and Prime Ministers Questions at this website.

 

 

 

 

 

Follow the Brexit shenanigans as it happens!

Democracy Live is the BBC’s new website which offers live and on demand video coverage of the UK’s national political institutions and the European Parliament.

Who stole 40 llbs of butter from Mr Wadsworths wagon in 1778?

You can find out here in The Proceedings of Old Bailey which contains accounts of over 100,000 criminal trial held at London’s criminal court.

 

 

So, for more information about finding your way around all aspects of Government Publications please take a look at our helpful video.

 

 

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

Study Well@NCL – What we’re doing in the Walton Library.

As you may have already seen Study Well@NCL advocates a responsible approach to studying and encourages positive behaviours in study spaces because we know it can be stressful especially at certain times of the year.

Extended Opening Hours

Here in the Walton Library from 7th-25th January 2019 we’ll be extending our opening hours opening from 8:30 until midnight, seven days a week. You can check our extended opening times on the library website.

Noise Alert Service

We’ll also be monitoring our Noise Alert phone very closely during this time. Wherever you are in the Walton, you can text us at 07891 484764 and we’ll investigate the source of the noise issue as soon as possible.

Housekeeping

During busy periods staff will be checking to see:

  • where seats are available.
  • that bins are emptied.
  • that bathrooms are clean.
  • that walkways are kept clear.

How you can help

  • Choose a study space suited to your preferred choice of study, we have silent, quiet and collaborative spaces to chose from.
  • Do be mindful of the food and drink policy within your chosen study area.
  • We might not always know straightaway if there’s a shortage of towels in the bathroom or if a bin in a group study room needs emptying. Just give us a quick heads up if you notice something that needs our attention and we’ll be right on it.

Looking after yourself

We encourage all Library users to take regular study breaks. Taking the time to get a drink of water or some fresh air can make all the difference to your study session.[1] However, to be fair to all Library users, we’re asking that breaks away from your study space are no more than 30 minutes.

Colour your Campus

On a much lighter note, we’ll be providing pens, pencils and special medical-themed colouring sheets for you to relax and unwind with. Studies have shown that colouring can reduce anxiety and depressive symptoms in adults.[2] So while you’re taking a study break, why not pause and Colour Your Campus? Even better, hand your completed sheet in to a member of Library staff with your name or Twitter handle on the back and we’ll enter it into a draw to win some fabulous Library prizes.

We hope that Study Well@NCL provides you with a peaceful and productive study environment and allows you to achieve maximum studying satisfaction. We welcome feedback on how we can change or improve Study Well@NCL. You can Tell Us What You Think’ online or get a form in the Walton Library.

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, please contact the University Student Wellbeing Team or NUSU Student Welfare. They’re there to help.

We wish you every success with your exams – Study well.

References

[1] Flett, J., Lie, C., Riordan, B., Thompson, L., Conner, T. and Hayne, H. (2017). Sharpen Your Pencils: Preliminary Evidence that Adult Coloring Reduces Depressive Symptoms and Anxiety. Creativity Research Journal, 29(4), pp.409-416.

[2] Selig, M. (2019). How Do Work Breaks Help Your Brain? 5 Surprising Answers. [online] Psychology Today. Available at: https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/changepower/201704/how-do-work-breaks-help-your-brain-5-surprising-answers [Accessed 2 Jan. 2019].

 

 

Cook up your references more quickly by managing your information.

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The amount of information we gather and read on a daily basis can be really overwhelming. If you are reading for seminars, essays and dissertations, you can quickly lose track of the websites you visited, articles you downloaded and books you’ve read. But there are some quick and easy ways to manage the information you find, to be a little more organised and helping you reference it further down the line.

1. Pin your favourites in Library Search 

Click on the pin icon for the records of any items that interest you as you go, and add all of the books, ebooks and articles you use for your work to your Library Search favourites. You can tag items with a label for the theme you are researching or even a module code or assignment, to help you group them together and find them when you come to do your referencing.

Images showing the option to pin items and searches to your favourites

2. Use the cite button

In Library Search and subject databases such as EBSCO and ProQuest, as well as Google Scholar, you will find the option to copy or download a simple reference. This can then be copied and pasted into a work document to form the start of your reference list. With a little tidying up, you will have the basic information you need to compile a reference and save yourself the time of recording the full details manually.

But be warned – these references are never perfect! They often include information that you don’t need or have missing punctuation and formatting, so you will need to give them a quick tidy up. Use referencing guidance such as Cite Them Right to help you spot any errors.

Image showing the citation button in Lbrary Search

3. Use your search history and save searches

How often have you found the perfect article, clicked onto a different page or moved onto a different task, only to forget what it was called. Or found a load of useful articles but then forgotten how you filtered your results to find them?

This is where your search history an be really useful. If you log into Library Search, you can view your search history and save any useful searches by clicking on the save query pin icon.

You will find the option to save your searches in most of the subject databases too. To do this, you will often need to register for a personal account on the platform. Once you have saved your search, you can also do more advanced things, such as set up an alert that emails you whenever new articles are added to the database that match your search criteria.

4. Use a reference management tool 

Reference management tools allow you to build and maintain your own library of references. You can enter reference information manually or you can import them directly from Library Search, Google Scholar and subject databases. You can also upload the full-text pdfs, images or notes to the reference, so that everything is kept safely in one place. When you begin to write, the software will allow you to “cite while you write”, adding your in-text citation and building your reference list for you.

The University has a subscription for EndNote which is available in all University clusters, via RAS and as EndNote Online. You’ll find information about how to get started with EndNote on our EndNote library guide. 

Watch our short video to find out more …

Ultimate guide to finding the right study space for you.

Did you know that across all four of our libraries we currently have 3,200 study spaces that’s loads to choose from!

Why not try our study spaces and see which one suits your learning style, or your particular needs at the time. Go on take a look for yourself:

https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/about/study.php

So just like Goldilocks in the fairy tale, Goldilocks and the three bears, you could try as many spaces as you like in order to find the perfect one!

person sitting on top of a petrol pump