Does the summer and your first year of uni seem like a distant memory? Are you starting to feel like the work has cranked up and that you need some extra help?
As we’ve been out on campus teaching and chatting to you lovely second years, you have been telling us that it’s got very serious all of a sudden and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. But never fear, the library has some great new academic skills guides to help you find, evaluate and manage your information in order to help you get those top marks for your assignments. These are transferable skills that will underpin all your work here at NU and which will ultimately help you get you that job you have always wanted.
So what are you waiting for? Save yourself some time and stress by getting your information skills up to scratch now. And remember, your friendly Library Liaison team is always here to help!
The Student Text Collection (or otherwise known as the STC) is the Library’s collection of high-use/popular texts, located on level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library…just on the left as you come in the main entrance:
These texts are normally titles that are popular, core readings, recommended by academics or they are rare texts that we only have one copy of in the whole library. Either way, there should be one copy in the STC for you to consult or borrow (if not, contact your Liaison Librarian).
Student Text 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 re 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 after 6pm (Monday to Thursday), after 5pm(Friday) or after 4pm (Saturday & Sunday).
At the weekends Walton STC overnight loans start at 5pm. Walton STC items cannot be booked.
Remember, if the only copy left in the library is the STC copy, look to see if an eBook version is available, or an older edition (there is normally very little difference between editions), or maybe a similar text.
Why book an item in the Student Texts Collection (Philip Robinson Library only)?
Booking an item allows you to reserve it for 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 LibrarySearch first):
There is an immediate overdue charge of £1 plus £1 per hour or part hour after that.
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).
In the past week you have probably been presented with module guides for everything you’re studying, with a list of references to things you are being told to read. Sometimes these will all be in the same referencing style and formatted in a way that you can understand easily what type of information it is. But sometimes, it might be more tricky to work out what exactly it is you are looking for. You can find yourself searching for a journal article, only to discover that it’s a book chapter, and you’ll never find it in a journal database.
If you are feeling a bit confused by your reading list, don’t worry. It’s a common problem and decoding references does get easier as you become more familiar with the referencing conventions of your subject.
There are some easy things to look out for in your references that will help you identify what type of information it is, and the key details, such as the author and title, that you would need to use in order to find it successfully. Take a look at the examples in the gallery to see what to watch out for.
Your reading list is also linked from your module spaces on Blackboard. Individual items on your reading list will link through to Library Search, showing you print book availability and linking to ebook and ejournal full text wherever possible. This means you wont need to do a separate search.
You will find a lot of help and support available in the library, whether you have a question about how to find books on the shelves, access your reading list or where you can work with your course mates. Staff at the information points and roving on the floors are always available to help you.
But you also have a dedicated Liaison team for your subject, who can help you with more subject specific enquiries. You’ve probably already met one of the team in a Library Welcome lecture or workshop as part of your induction timetable and you can find out more about your Liaison team on your library Subject Guide.
You will find the Liaison team on levels 3 and 4 of the Philip Robinson library, as well as in the Walton library.
The Liaison team are here to help with a range of activities, including:-
We’re pleased to report that we’ve invested in several exciting new online resources for the new academic year. Whatever your subject interest, you’re bound to find something of interest. Keep an eye on our blog for more in-depth features on these new resources over the next few weeks.
Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and North Carolina, this collection presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, photographs, correspondence, official records and in-depth oral histories.
Collection of primary source material covering Civil Rights in the USA from 1943-1970. Content includes photographs, correspondence, audio recordings, data and case studies, together with contextual features to help with interpreting the material.
The Stationers’ Company Archive is one of the most important resources for understanding the workings of the early book trade, the printing and publishing community, the establishment of legal requirements for copyright provisions, and the history of bookbinding. Explore extremely rare documents dating from 1554 to the 21st century in this invaluable resource of research material.
The largest database of online music journalism, providing access to thousands of interviews, reviews and articles about artists of all genres, from Aaliyah to ZZ Top. Coverage dates back 50 years, and also includes 500 audio interviews.
This comprises the text of over 2,000 international plays, from ancient Greek drama to contemporary works; film and audio recordings of productions, and contextual resources relating to drama theory and practice. This summer, we have just enhanced our Drama Online portfolio with the Nick Hern Books collection (400 plays) plus the 2017/18 core update (117 plays).
Digimap is an online map and data delivery service, comprising various collections, including Ordnance Survey and Historic. We now also have access to Digimap Aerial. You’ll need to agree to the new licence before using them: please see our separate blogpost for more details.
We have just updated our access to these archives to cover the Financial Times from 2011-2016, and the Sunday Times from 2007-2017 (our ‘page by page’ online archives already go back to the very first editions of these papers in the 19th century). For very recent coverage of the Sunday Times to the present day (text-only content) please visit Lexis. For current coverage of the Financial Times, please visit this page.
New eBook collections
And there’s more! We have also bought access to thousands of new eBooks across many subject areas. Read all about it!
We’ve bought five new eBook collections from Bloomsbury, comprising over 150 titles across a wide range of subjects. The new collections are: Education 2018; Film and Media 2017; Linguistics 2018; Literary Studies 2018.
All the new titles are individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can access a full listing of collection contents on this page.
We have added eleven new volumes to this major series, covering Ireland, Communism, modernism and slavery, which means we now have access to over 350 Cambridge Histories online.
We have access to De Gruyter’s entire eBook collection until June 2019 (after which point, we will buy access to the most well-used titles). This collection of almost 27,000 titles covers a wide range of subjects, including linguistics, literary studies, law, philosophy, history, music, classical studies and many more. All titles are individually catalogued on Library Search.
Full text literary works, including editorial annotations, enabling you to track variations between editions. We have now bought the Romantics Poetry collection, to add to the Prose and Drama collections, bringing the total to over 350 titles.
We now have access to thousands more Springer eBooks, bringing the total to over 84,000 titles. These cover a wide range of subject areas, including history, law and criminology, literature, media and culture, language and linguistics, and many fields of social sciences. All titles are individually catalogued on Library Search or you can search/browse on Springerlink.
And there’s more! We’ve also invested in lots of specialist new e-resources for humanities. Read all about it!
As a University student it is imperative that you arm yourself against the barrage of fake news that can be found in today’s media. To produce academically sound assignments and research, you need to be able identify and evaluate information quickly and with authority.
Here are 10 tips on how you can be a Fake News Ninja:
Be aware: just simply knowing that not all information is created equal is the first step.
Check the source: Where did the information come from? This can be tricky, especially on social media.
Read more: don’t just rely on the piece of information that’s in front of you… go an find another reliable source and see if the facts are the same.
Check the author: Do a bit of Google stalking to see if the author is credible.
Check the references: does the item have references? What sources have they used? Are they credible?
Check the date: watch out for re-posts old news items.
Check your biases: You own beliefs and prejudices can have an affect on how you accept information.
Is it a joke?: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Ask a Librarian: Librarians are the original Fake News Ninjas. Come and ask us about any reference that you aren’t too sure about and we can help you make an authoritative decision on the information you use for your research.
Knowledge is power: Read more about Fake News and how you can win the fight. Everything you need to know is in our Fake News Guide.
A scan of some of our “Fake or Fact?” stories this week might raise a few smiles, but as we’ve seen increasingly over the past couple of years, Fake News can have far-reaching consequences.
Hands up, who’s had the awkwardness of friends or family members reposting dubious material on Facebook? If so, you’re not alone. Apparently, according to a MIT study published this year, based on three years’ worth of Twitter meta-analysis, fake news travels up to six times faster than genuine stories. False stories were up to 70% more likely to receive a retweet – often due the novelty or shock factor.
In the sphere of politics, this can have worrying consequences. The U.S. election in late 2016 coined the term for us and is a particularly rich source of Fake news and political spin. Business Insider lists some of the most influential fake news stories to surface during this time; from false claims that WikiLeaks had proof of Clinton arms deals with ISIS, to a fictional Papal endorsement of Trump, said to have received nearly a million hits on Facebook. Only this month, the Jakarta Post reported on concerns of Fake News polluting the build-up to the Indonesian Presidential Elections next year as Facebook groups flood the country’s web spaces with doctored videos; something that has previous lead to protests in the streets of the capital.
And even when we know we might be dealing with dubious information, Fake News can continue to wield influence. Newcastle University’s own Dr. Gavin Stewart, a meta-analysis expert explains “claims with no scientific proof cast doubt over those with overwhelming evidence, leaving us at the best confused and in the worst case making totally the wrong decision.”
A strong example can be found in the now discredited research of Andrew Wakefield. Back in 1998, Wakefield drew unsubstantiated links between the MMR vaccination and childhood autism. Despite the widespread exposure of the fraudulent claims and rebuttals from the medical community, vaccination rates of the MMR vaccine dropped, and last year saw a 400% increase of measles cases across Europe.
So what does this mean for you as a current student?
The National Literacy Trust has been conducting research into pupils’ critical skills, and worryingly, has found that 35% of teachers in the UK taught pupils citing fake news and satire as legitimate sources. A fifth of pupils between 8 and 15 believe that everything found online is trustworthy and true. The antidote to this is building on one of your core graduate attributes and competencies – critical thinking. Always check out stories you’ve found online before using them in your work. Who have they come from, how partisan is that group or author? Is the material satire? What does the author stand to gain? Employers in all industries are looking for graduate with sharp reasoning skills and sound judgement. As students producing work in the current “post-truth” climate, your job is a little tougher, but you can turn this to your advantage by proving you have the skills and the smarts to outwit the Fake News racketeers.
References 1. Vosoughi, Roy and Aral, (2018). “The spread of true and false news online.” Science, 359: 6380, pp. 1146-1151. 2. Roberts (2016) “This is what fake news actually looks like — we ranked 11 election stories that went viral on Facebook.” Business Insider UK. November 17th http://uk.businessinsider.com/fake-presidential-election-news-viral-facebook-trump-clinton-2016-11/#5-hillary-clinton-sold-weapons-to-isis-and-it-was-confirmed-by-wikileaks-7) 3. Pearl (2018). “Indonesia battels fake news as elections looms” Jakarta Post. 15th March http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/03/15/indonesia-battles-fake-news-as-elections-loom.html 4. Newcastle university (2018) “Filtering out Fake News” 7th March. http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/latest/2018/03/fakenews/ 5. Houston, (2018) “Measles back with a vengeance due to fake health news” The Irish Times. Feb 23rd. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/measles-back-with-a-vengeance-due-to-fake-health-news-1.3401960 6. National Literacy Trust (2018). “Commission on Fake News and the Teaching of Critical Literacy Skills in Schools” https://literacytrust.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/all-party-parliamentary-group-literacy/fakenews/
With the introduction of mass news with the invention of the printing press, and the massive up-rise in news being created and fed via social media, the growth of the term ‘Fake News’ and the actual production of Fake News stories has grown exponentially in recent years:
The term ‘Fake News’ is searched for in web browsers 70.8-118 thousand times a month.
#fakenews has over 251.2k mentions on Twitter
In 2017 Donald Trump mentioned the term ‘Fake News’ in public correspondence, 320 times!
Not only has the volume of Fake News grown, but also the speed that it spreads. However, maybe there is a way we can slow it down:
Have you ever found yourself asking any of the questions below?….
Where can I find relevant, high quality information for my research?
How can I track who has cited an article since it’s publication, as well as looking back on the references it used?
How can I follow an academics work?
Who can I collaborate with in my research?
Which journal should I submit my paper to?
Where can I find information to support my research funding application?
…..If you have, then why not take a look at Scopus and use it as your starting point? You can access it through Library Search or through your subject guide in the ‘Journals and Databases’ section.
Whatever subject you are studying, Scopus is one of the databases that you need to get to know. It is a large multi-disciplinary abstract and citation database of peer reviewed literature. It contains over 69 million records, including journal articles (from 22,000 titles), conference papers, books (20,000 new book details added every year) and book chapters. However, it doesn’t just have a list of results for you to wade through, but it has a series of smart tools which help you track and visualise the research as well. You can search for documents, sources, authors and institutions and compare and contrast them using a variety of different tools.
If you are wondering if Scopus is for you, then check out the video below. And if you are already a user of Scopus, then why not listen to one of their webinars to get the best out of the resource or check out the Scopus blog for tips and tricks. Happy exploring!