Even in a ‘normal year’, exam time is always a tricky period. You will often be juggling different exams, trying to revise, as well as meeting other deadlines. This year, it’s made even harder by Covid-19 and the need to take online assessments, rather than traditional exams. This may come in the form of a 24 hour take home exam or you may need to produce coursework under time constraints. Whatever you are facing in the next few weeks, we want you to know that you aren’t alone and we are here to help you through.
But how exactly can we help? Sadly, we can’t do the exam with you, or magically freeze time to give you more hours in the day, but we have a list of resources that will hopefully help you tackle the next few weeks with more of a sense of calm.
Online Assessment guidance– put together by the Writing Development team, these pages will take you through how to revise for a 24 hour take home exam, what to do before hand, as well as running you through exam technique and how to tackle coursework under time restraints.
Library Help – whether you have a question about an essential text or access to a database, Library Help is the place to go when you have a question. Contact us via chat, email, text, twitter, Facebook or alternatively search our Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) database.
Subject guides – these guides, put together by your Liaison Librarians, are designed to save you time and energy by drawing together the main resources for your subject. They are a great starting point for your research and will help you access high quality information that’s needed for you to get those top marks.
Skills guides– similar to the subject guides, our skills guides focus on how to find, evaluate and manage information. These are all essential skills which you will need during this assessment period, as well as throughout your degree.
Book a one to one – both the Writing Development Team and the Liaison Librarians are available for an online one to one appointment. These appointments work best if you come with a specific issue to address. This will ensure that you get the most our of your time with us. You will need to book in advance.
Additional support – it really is ok to ask for help. The pressures are real and can feel completely overwhelming. Do contact your module leader or supervisor if your struggling. You can also seek additional support from your NUSU, Student Wellbeing Service, Nightline and the University chaplaincy.
So good luck. Remember……pace yourself, access the help you need and believe that you can do this!
The University may be closed for the Christmas period but if you are studying, writing assignments or revising, library resources and help are always available. We may not be in the building, but the library team can help you with your semester 2 preparation.
Use your Library Subject Guide
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.
Visit the Library over the vacation
The Philip Robinson Library building will be open during the Winter break (Saturday 19th December 2020 – Sunday 3rd January 2021) and all other library buildings will be closed. If you need access to books and journals, or a quiet place to study, all you will need is to book your study space online and your University smartcard and. Visit the website for the Library vacation opening hours.
If you need help or have a question, use Library Help to get in touch with us. You can live chat with a librarian outside of the University to get immediate answers, or send us a message and we will get back to you when the University reopens.
So remember, you can access all of our online resources, journals and e-books from the Library website and we will be back in the Library on 4th January 2020. Enjoy the festive season!
The Library has lots of great collections and resources, so when it comes to finding wider reading for your topic or beginning research for your assignment or dissertation it might all seem a bit overwhelming. Library Search can be a great place to start looking for information but there are many other resources you might want to try. To help you get the best out of our resources we’ve put together this list of some of the most useful online databases and collections for Archaeology.
Let’s dive in!
Scopus is a large, interdisciplinary database of peer-reviewed literature, providing an index of articles, book chapters, conference papers 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.
Scopus includes other smart tools that can help you track and visualise the research in your area, including author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools. You’ll find tutorials and advice on using these features in the Scopus support centre and on their YouTube Channel.
JSTOR provides access to full-text materials including 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.
Archaeology Data Service Library (ADS)
ADS is a database which brings together material from the British and Irish Archaeological Bibliography (BIAB), the ADS library of unpublished fieldwork reports, as well as documents from the ADS archives and publishers such as Oxbow.
There are three ways to search ADS:
Archsearch – for searching for short records about a monument or historic environment event from the UK.
ADS Library – for a report, book or article about the historic environment of Britain and Ireland.
Find out how to search ADS for a known article in this video guide:
The information on PastScape is derived from the National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE) which holds records on the architectural and archaeological heritage of England. The NRHE contains over 420,000 records of archaeological sites and buildings in England and its territorial waters. The record is very broad in scope and contains information on sites dating from prehistoric times to the modern period, from finds of early stone tools to contemporary architecture, from Roman roads to disused railways and 19th century shipwrecks.
Although PastScape is no longer being updated, it is still a useful resource for finding descriptions of sites or buildings, surveys and excavation information and other useful links.
Encyclopedia of Ancient History
The Encyclopedia of Ancient History is a reference work containing a comprehensive collection of 21st century scholarship on the ancient Mediterranean world. Entries span the bronze age through to 10th century Byzantium and extend to all Mediterranean civilisations including the Near East and Egypt. Materials include articles, images and maps of the ancient world.
Our video guide below demonstrates how to browse and search for information using the Encyclopedia:
Abstracts of International Conservation Literature (AATA)
AATA Online is a comprehensive database containing over 150,000 abstracts of journals and conference proceedings related to the preservation and conservation of material cultural heritage, including archaeological sites and materials.
You can browse the database by topic or use the search tab to do a quick keyword search, a more detailed search in particular fields or a text search for a more detailed keyword search.
The results tab allows you to sort items by date, author or title, and export record details to a reference management tool such as EndNote.
Historical Abstracts provides bibliographic records for thousands of journals and books, including several key archaeology journals such as Historical Archaeology, International Journal of Historical Archaeology, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology and World Archaeology. Content covers the history of the world (excluding the United States and Canada) from 1450 to the present, including world history, military history, women’s history, history of education, and more.
This video explains how to search effectively in EBSCOHost databases such as this one:
l’Année philologique is a bibliographic database, indexing journal articles and book chapters about the classical world, going back to 1924. It’s an excellent resource for researching topics related to Greek and Latin literature and linguistics, Greek and Roman history, art, archaeology, philosophy, religion and more.
Box of Broadcasts allows you 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 for finding documentaries or critical opinions.
You can view archived programmes, create clips and playlists, and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search other user’s public playlists to see curated lists around topics similar to your own. There are lots of helpful tutorial videos on the BoB website.
Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.
Archaeology Subject Guide
This list was just a taster of all the great resources available for your subject area, to access these and to find out more visit your Subject Guide and explore the journals, databases and subject specific resources we’ve curated for Archaeology students.
The Library subscribes to over 300 specialist subject databases, 50,000 journals and has access to over half a million e-books. When you are on campus or use a computer connected to the University network, e-book and e-journal providers will recognise you as a member of the University and allow you access to the resource. You will see the University logo on the page and if you are on things like Google Scholar, you will be given the option to “Find at Newcastle University”. This works because it recognises the IP address of the University.
It all works like magic and it is easy to think that it is all freely available. However, when you’re off campus, working from home or perhaps in a different library, you won’t be automatically recognised. This can cause you some difficulty accessing resources and you’ll probably find that you are locked out of the full-text and asked to pay large amounts for articles.
If you are working off campus, follow our tips to make sure that you are able to access all of the resources that you are entitled to as a member of Newcastle University.
#1 Access the resource from Library Search
If you perform a search in Library Search, you will be automatically prompted to log in to online resources with your University username and password, even when you are off campus. But did you know you can also search it to access whole journal titles and databases, such as Scopus and Web of Science? Access the database through Library Search and you will be prompted to login, to easily perform your search and download the full-text.
#2 Access the resource from your Subject Guide
As we have access to so many databases and specialist resources, we’ve drawn together the best ones for your discipline on your Subject Guide. Clicking on the links in the Subject Guide will take you through a route that will prompt you to log in with your University username and password.
#3 Access the e-journal in Browzine
Have you created your own journal shelf or downloaded the Browzine app? Browzine is a way of accessing e-journal titles for your subject, and to read the most recent articles, just like flicking through a magazine. As you set up your personal account using your University email address, Browzine will always recognise you as a member of the University and give you access to the full-text.
#4 Use Windows Virtual Desktop
Logging into WVD when you are off campus allows you to work within the University network. This may enable journal and database providers to automatically recognise you as a member of the University, just as it would work on campus.
#5 Check the screen for the University logo
We get a lot of enquiries from staff and students who aren’t sure if we have a subscription to a journal or an electronic version of a book. This is sometimes because they are not logged in or have found a reference through a search engine such as Google Scholar. If you are on the website of a journal or a database, the quickest way to check if you are logged in, is to look around the screen to see if you can spot the University logo or name. This is often at the top right or below the search boxes on the homepage of a database or journal/ e-book platform.
Still not working …
There are times when you’ll have done everything right and you are still not recognised as being able to access the resource. In this case, it is always worth trying to log in again within the platform. Look to the top right of the screen for a link that says institutional log in, sign in via your University or it might mention something called Shibboleth. This will allow you to log in with your University username and password.
If you’re in any doubt, you can always chat with us online 24/7 or send us an enquiry via Library Help. We’ll probably ask you to send us a picture of what you can see on screen, as this will help us spot any problems.
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas Everywhere you go Take a look at the Christmas watch list, there’s plenty to watch, not miss With Elf, Die Hard, and A Christmas Carol show…
Staff and students of Christmas past have selected some Christmas films to complement the Law in Literature collection. These are films to watch for fun and not with a specific law focus (although Miracle on 34th Street is there for your courtroom drama fix).
I’m not a massive podcast listener, but the ones I do listen to are entertaining, comforting and familiar. The wonderful thing about podcasts is that no matter what you are interested in, I bet there is a podcast out there on it – there is definitely something for everyone. You can also download and listen to them anywhere and anytime on your phone (and most of them are free) – I like to download them and listen whilst walking the dog or play them through the radio on long drives. How do you listen to yours?
So, this Winter holiday, download some new podcasts and get out in the fresh air to awaken all of your senses – you may even learn something along the way!
Here are some Christmassy inspired podcast episodes to get you in the mood:
99% Invisible – For those who love design and architecture, myself and my fellow Librarians can highly recommend this podcast series. 99% Invisible is about all the thought that goes into the things we don’t think about — the unnoticed architecture and design that shape our world. Here’s a couple of Christmassy themed episodes for you to enjoy:
The Truth: Santa’s Nine – The Truth create their own original short stories that are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, and always intriguing. Each episode is only 20-30 minutes long. This episode tells the tale of two best friends that take part in a Christmas Eve heist only to discover their boss isn’t who they thought he would be.
Scienceish: Christmas Special – Haven’t listened to this series before, but looks right up my street! Rick Edwards (presenter) and Dr. Michael Brooks (Editor of the New Scientist), delve into the science behind popular culture. Enjoy last year’s Christmas special from Scienceish where Rick and Michael conclude Season 2 by revisiting their favourite questions – fringe theories, spider goats, and simulated universes.
The Infinite Monkey Cage – Christmas Special: The Science of Magic – The Infinite Monkey Cage is a BBC Radio 4 comedy and popular science series, hosted by physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince. Enjoy last year’s Christmas special that looks at the science behind some of our best loved magic tricks and illusions.
Other top podcasts series to discover for any time of year:
Spark from CBC Radio – This has been one of my favourite podcasts for a few years now. The host Nora Young explores how technology, innovation and design affects our lives.
Happy Place – Fearne Cotton’s Happy Place podcast series builds on the success of the top 10 bestseller HAPPY where Fearne draws on her own experiences and shares advice from experts on how to work through feeling blue to finding joy each and every day. I need this right now!
Desert Island Discs – Another one of my go-to podcast series. Yes you can listen to many a famous celebrity on this, but what I really enjoy is learning about many interesting figures in sciences, arts, education, politics etc. Those who you will have never heard of before, but who have had very interesting lives and done some amazing things in the World.
Made of Human – Comedian Sofie Hagen chats to comedians, authors, actors, musicians, activists, medical professionals, podcasters, influencers and artists about how to do life. (Spoiler alert: no one really knows)
Table Manners with Jessie Ware – Jessie Ware hosts a podcast about food, family, and the beautiful art of having a chat, direct from her very own dinner table. With a little bit of help from her chef extraordinaire mum Lennie, each week guests from the worlds of music, culture and politics drop by for a bite and a bit of a natter. Oversharing guaranteed.
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.
You can also 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 cbioan 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 guide.
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 inCite 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.
Follow our tips and you won’t slip up with Harvard!
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.