We Are Here All Summer!

 

Stefan Schweihoter
pixabay

 

The University libraries will be open throughout the Summer vacation, you a can find the opening hours for each library here.   Please note that during self-service times, access to the building will be by Newcastle University Smartcard only.

However, there will be building work in progress during library opening times and there may be some noisy periods in some areas.  Free disposable earplugs will be available at the Service Desk.

You will still find the Liaison team on levels 3 and 4 of the Philip Robinson Library – we will be the ones wearing hard hats!

You can come to us for Endnote support and 1-1 sessions. Please book an appointment via Library help.

If you have an urgent question, and we are not physically around you will find 24/7 support via our out-of-hours Live Chat Service provided by a co-operative of academic librarians from around the world.

We hope you have a lovely summer!

 

Identify resources for your research project

A strong research project such as an essay, dissertation or thesis will always be supported by good quality information from a wide range of sources.  There are a huge variety of resources available to you and being able to make appropriate choices when selecting materials to include in your project and explain why you have chosen them, is an important academic skill that demonstrates a good awareness of your subject and an ability to think critically about ideas and research.

Of course, not all information resources will be relevant to your particular research.  You will have to think about the type of information you need then identify the type of resource that will provide that kind information.

For example:

Books will offer an in-depth overview of popular ideas, theories, and opinions in your subject area and are likely to be broader in scope than a journal article or conference paper.

While a conference paper will often discuss ‘work-in-progress’, and therefore can be an ideal way of finding out about up to date research and ideas.

For more information on different resource types, including standards, patents, maps, newspapers and more, take a look at our range of Resource guides.

Your Subject Guide can also help you identify useful sources of information for your research as it contains a carefully curated list of resources that are tailored to your subject area.  Here you’ll  find useful lists of online reference books, eBook collections and recommended databases for finding relevant journal articles and conference papers.  Also, under the Subject Specific Resources tab, you’ll discover a further host of specialised materials relevant to your subject such as audiovisual media, data-sets or professional organisation’s websites.

Screen capture of a Library Subject Guide, showing various tabs and resource links.

Depending on your research topic, you might also want to explore the Special Collections tab to see materials held in our Library archives that are relevant to your subject area specifically.

For more advice on finding and evaluating resources for your research take a look at our Finding Information and Evaluating Information Guides.

Brush up on your search skills

A pot of paint brushes

Searching should be easy, right? We do it all the time in our day to day lives and with Google so ingrained into our existence, we don’t give it much thought. We type some words into the search engine and most of the time we find what we are looking for. Nothing to it!

However, while this approach certainly works for checking out cinema times or booking flights, it lets us down where research is concerned. We have high expectations that information will be quick and easy to come by and that it will be neatly organised in one place, rather than having to search in multiple locations, using different techniques. We imagine that the time consuming part of our research will be the analysing, synthesizing and the writing of it and we often don’t even think about the searching side of things.

The reality though is quite different. Without investing in our searching techniques and the development of a search plan, we can often find ourselves overwhelmed by information and not being able to see the wood from the trees. Our stress levels rise and our frustrations explode. Surely finding information shouldn’t be this hard!

The good news is, is that there is help to be had. Our job as Liaison Librarians is to equip you with the skills you need to create that all important search plan and to encourage you to pause and stop before you dive straight into finding information for your research.We have a fantastic range of online tools for you to do this, not least an interactive search planner that you can keep adding to throughout your search and which you can even email to yourself, supervisor or us as a Liaison team for feedback. And our ‘Finding Information’ academic skills guide has lots of advice on how to start a search, including how to break your concept down into manageable chunks and how to identify keywords and synonyms.

You can also check out this short video to get you started…….

Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog installment of how to find particular resources. See you then!

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

Everyday life and Mass Observation

Mass Observation. Wow, sounds intriguing, doesn’t it? It should!

This resource offers revolutionary access to one of the most important archives for the study of Social History in the modern era. You can log in using your Newcastle University Campus ID and password to explore original manuscript and typescript papers created and collected by the Mass Observation organisation, as well as printed publications, diaries, photographs and interactive features dating from 1937 to 1972.

If you’re interested in learning more about the topics currently influencing our lives, it would do no harm to research the social history topics available within Mass Observation such as anti-Semitism, the economy, austerity, education, women at work, religion, mining, news, the Government, smoking, drinking, sexual behaviour, propaganda, unemployment and writing (to name just a few!).

Mass Observation home page

Mass Observation Diarist maps

If you want to know more about Mass Observation and to see some samples from the collection, then you could take a look at the Mass Observation Twitter feed, or there is a recorded webinar available for you to watch via YouTube in order to get the best out of the resource.