Three Steps to Getting the Most from EndNote

Someone walking up metal staircase

If you’re writing a detailed essay, dissertation or thesis, reference management software such as EndNote can save you a lot of time and effort but only so long as you put in some time and effort to learn how it works first.

So let us help you get a head start with these three steps:

Step 1: Getting set up & practising the basics

Use our online workbook to get off on the right foot with EndNote; it will guide you through setting up your EndNote Library, adding references and using EndNote with Word.

You can watch this handy video from Clarivate for a visual demonstration too:

Step 2: Organisation from chaos

You’ve probably got a lot of records in your Library now so it’s time to get organised!  Take a look at these short guides and build up your EndNote expertise:

These tools will help you keep all your information together and make it easily accessible for step three…

Step 3: Now for the real magic

Now you’ve collected and organised your references, it’s time to put them to work for you using Cite While You Write in Word.  Watch this video from Clarivate to see how it’s done:

Some EndNote Extras

Keen to learn even more? Take a look at the EndNote Extras section of our EndNote Guide to find out how to merge documents and reference lists, how to share your Library with colleagues or how to find the full text PDF of an article from your EndNote Library.

Outside the Box

While the University has a subscription to EndNote and the Library offer some support to help you use it, there are other reference management software tools available.  Take a look at this FAQ to see some comparison charts that can help you decide which tool might be best for you!

Managing Information: Referencing

Referencing is an important part of academic writing – you’ll usually find it included in the marking criteria for your assignments and projects, with marks being awarded for correctly formatted citations and reference lists.

Why is referencing important?

  • It acknowledges the ideas and contributions of others that you have drawn upon in your work, ensuring that you avoid plagiarism
  • It highlights the range of reading you’ve done for your assignment and makes your own contribution clear, showing how you’ve taken ideas from others and built upon them
  • It enables the person reading your work to follow up on your references so they can learn more about the ideas you’ve discussed in your work or check any facts and figures.

How does referencing work?

Are there any tools that can help?

Yes!  There are lots of referencing tools that can help you manage and format your citations and references correctly.  Here are some examples:

A very useful online tool that lists all the information you need to include in a reference and provides examples of how a reference will look as an in-text citation and in a reference list.  See our ‘Level Up Your Referencing: Cite Them Right’ blog for more information.

  • Citation Buttons
Citation button consisting of a speech mark "

Keep an eye out for this symbol on Library Search and Google Scholar.  Clicking the button will provide the option for you to copy a reference in a particular style and paste it directly into your reference list.  You might need to tidy it up a little bit but it will save you time over writing them manually.

Reference building tools help you to create a bibliography using the correct referencing style.  You can input information manually or use import functions to pull information through from other webpages or documents.  As with the citation button above, reference building tools can save you time but you may still need to check the references are accurate.

  • Reference Management Software: e.g. EndNote

If you’re writing a detailed essay, dissertation or thesis, you may like to use a reference management tool such as EndNote, Mendeley or Zotero to help keep all of your references organised.  This software allows you to manually add references or import them from Library Search, Google Scholar or Subject Databases; sort references into groups; attach pdf documents or add notes.  You can then use the reference management software while you write to add in-text citations and format your reference list.

The University has a subscription for EndNote which is available in all University clusters and can be downloaded to your own personal device. You’ll find information about how to get started with EndNote on our EndNote Guide.

Remember: whatever tool you use, it’s always a good idea to get to know the conventions of the referencing style your school or lecturer would like you to use so that you can spot mistakes or missing information.

You can find out more about referencing and plagiarism by following this tutorial from Cite Them Right.

Mobile Apps & Resources Guide

Collage of mobile app icons

Our mobile devices are great for helping us to stay in touch with friends and family, keeping us up-to-date with the latest trends and news on social media and, of course, for sharing cat videos.

However, your mobile device can also be a great tool for learning and study, if you’ve got the right apps!

With recommendations from students in SNES, (who have been using tablets on their course for the past year) our updated Mobile Apps and Resources Guide provides a host of freely available apps and mobile friendly resources that can help you get the most from your device. It includes apps for study and productivity, creativity and design, history, languages, business, science and more.

Screenshot of the Mobile Apps Guide page

So whether you’re just getting set up with your tablet or an old hand looking for something new to help keep you organised with your work or up-to-date in your subject area, our guide has something to help.

Some highlights include:

Microsoft Office Lens – this app helps you make documents or pictures of whiteboards screen readable. You can also use Office Lens to convert images to PDF, Word and PowerPoint files.

Pocket – allows you to save articles, videos and stories from any publication, page or app to read at a later time.

Trello  – a useful tool that helps you to organize and prioritize your projects using boards, lists and cards.

BrowZine –  a tool that allows you to access and keep up to date with key journal titles that the Library subscribes to in your subject area.

If you have any further suggestions for useful apps that we could add to the guide, let us know at: lib-sage@ncl.ac.uk

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.

Dippy the Dinosaur and Climate Change Heroes

Dippy the Dinosaur ExhibitionThe Liaison team visited the wonderful Dippy the Dinosaur at the Great North Museum: Hancock this week.

First put on display over 100 years ago, Dippy is a cast of a Diplodocus dinosaur and measures a massive 21.3 metres long –  he was an incredible sight to see!

Dippy, who belongs to the Natural History museum, is currently touring the country and will be in Newcastle for this special exhibition until Sunday 6 October 2019.  You can find out more about Dippy and book tickets here.

Dippy the Dinosaur exhibition showing timeline

Alongside the brilliant Dippy, the exhibition at the Great North Museum also features a spectacular visual timeline that emphasises the significance of climate change.  Beginning in the time of the dinosaurs and highlighting the climate change brought about by the meteor that killed the species, it continues up through the industrial revolution to the climate emergency of today.

The display spotlights academics and teams from Newcastle University who are researching important climate change related issues.  You can find out more about the work of these researchers below:

Dippy’s ‘Climate Change Heroes’ Reading List:

Dippy the Dinosaur exhibition display showing research on climate change

 

Professor Mark Whittingham (Professor of Applied Ecology)

Franks, J.R., Emery, S.B., Whittingham, M.J. and McKenzie, A.J. (2016) ‘Farmer attitudes to cross-holding agri-environment schemes and their implications for Countryside Stewardship.’ International Journal of Agricultural Management, 5(4). pp.78-95

Dunn, J.C., Buchanan, G.M., Stein, R.W., Whittingham, M.J. and McGowan, P.J.K. (2016) ‘Optimising different types of biodiversity coverage of protected areas with a case study using Himalayan Galliformes.’ Biological Conservation, 196, pp. 22-30

Hiron, M., Part, T., Siriwardena, G.M. and Whittingham, M.J. (2018) ‘Species contributions to single biodiversity values under-estimate community contribution to a wider range of values to society.’ Scientific Reports, 8, pp.1-7

Find more of Professor Whittingham’s work via his Newcastle University’s ePrints page.

 

Dr Elizabeth Gibson (Reader in Energy Materials)

Summers, G.H. and Gibson, E.A. (2018) ‘Bay Annulated Indigo as a New Chromophore for p-type Dye-Sensitized Solar Cells.’ ChemPhotoChem, 2(6), pp.498-506

Summers, G.H., Lefebvre, J.F., Black, F.A., Davies, E.S., Gibson, E.A., Pullerits, T., Wood, C. and Zidek, K. (2016) ‘Design and characterisation of bodipy sensitizers for dye-sensitized NiO solar cells.’ Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 18(2), pp.1059-1070

ElMoll, H., Black, F.A., Wood, C.J., AlYasari, A., ReddyMarri, A., Sazanovich, I.V., Gibson, E.A. and Fielden, J. (2017) ‘Increasing p-type dye sensitised solar cell photovoltages using polyoxometalates.’ Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 19, pp.18831-18835

Find more of Dr Gibson’s work via her Newcastle University’s ePrints page.

 

Dr Niki Rust (Research Associate)

Braczkowski, A., Holden, M., O’Bryan, C., Choi, C., Gan, X., Beesley, N., Gao, Y., Allan, J., Tyrrell, P., Stiles, D., Brehony, P., Meney, R., Brink, H., Takashina, N., Lin, M., Lin, H., Rust, N., Salmo, S., Watson, J., Kahumbu, P., Maron, M., Possingham, H. and Biggs, D. (2018) ‘Reach and messages of the world’s largest ivory burn.’ Conservation Biology, 32 (4), pp.765-773

Rust, N, and Kehoe, L. (2017) ‘A call for conservation scientists to empirically study the effects of human population policies on biodiversity loss.’ Journal of Population & Sustainability, 1(2), pp. 53-66

Rust, N. and Taylor, N. (2016) ‘Carnivores, Colonization, and Conflict: A Qualitative Case Study on the Intersectional Persecution of Predators and People in Namibia.’ Anthrozoos, 29 (4), pp. 653-667

Find more of Dr Rust’s work via her Newcastle University’s ePrints page.

 

Urban Observatory

Newcastle University’s Urban Observatory collects real-time urban data from across the Tyne and Wear area. With over 50 data types available, including air quality, traffic, sewage and noise levels, it provides the largest set of publicly available real time urban data in the UK.

 

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

Beyond the Library

Will you be working on a dissertation or project this summer or next year? Worried that the Library might not have access to the specialist books and other resources which you need? Wondering how you can find out about resources relating to your research topic which are held in other libraries?

Wonder no more! There are three main ways you can find and access books and other resources held elsewhere:

1. Search

You can search the catalogues of over 100 UK and Irish academic libraries, national libraries and other major research libraries via COPAC. For a more in-depth and up to date search, you can also search individual academic library catalogues online. Need to look further afield? Search library catalogues internationally via WorldCat.

2. Visit

We have more information about how you can visit other libraries, locally and nationally, here. The SCONUL Access Scheme enables students to use other academic libraries around the country, but you need to register online first (and be sure to check the access arrangements for any library you are planning to visit, as they may alter during the year).

3. Obtain

If we haven’t got the book you want, you can ask us to consider buying or borrowing it, via our Books on Time service. If you need a copy of a journal article to which we don’t have access, please apply via our inter library loan service.

Image by andreas160578 from Pixabay. 

New resource now available: Kanopy film streaming

We’re pleased to announce that following a successful trial, we now have access to the Kanopy on-demand film-streaming platform.

Kanopy provides access to over 30,000 films, including contemporary and classic feature films from around the world, and documentaries across a range of topics in arts, social sciences, science, technology and medicine. New films are added each month, and you can watch them on your preferred device.

Kanopy is very easy to use: simply search for a film by title, or browse by category. All the films are also individually catalogued on Library Search too, so you can find and access them that way as well.

You’ll find lots of useful features, including creating clips and playlists, viewing the transcript, and rating or adding comments.

Please note, as Kanopy is a ‘pay as you go’ service, we will assess demand during an initial pilot phase. If you’ve got any feedback about Kanopy, we’d be interested to receive it: just drop us an email or post it as a comment on this blog.

Bubbles and echos: are you surrounding yourself with fake news?

Librarians have been warning people about ‘Fake News’ for many, many, many, many years – how to find and select reliable, authoritative, quality resources is at the heart of any good library teaching session.  In a way we librarians have to thank Mr Trump for making Fake News a popular term; he has made everyone aware that there are fake stories out there and that there has been for centuries (see our historical time-line of Fake News).

2019 is NU Library’s third year of promoting awareness of Fake News, and by looking at the large number of visits to our Fake News Guide over these three years (4,672 visits in total), and again thanks to Mr Trump, it’s not something that’s going away anytime soon.  So we Librarians will continue our quest of highlighting all information that is fake for the greater good.

Until I went to Librarian’s Fake News conference last year, I hadn’t heard of the terms ‘Filter Bubble’ and ‘Echo Chambers’ in relation to Fake News.  However, once explained hopefully it will make you more aware of what information/news stories you read via the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter, and how they could potentially be fake.  So here is the low-down on what these terms mean and how you can avoid falling into their traps; we’ve also offered the alternative view that they’re a load of old nonsense so you can decide for yourselves…

What is a ‘Filter Bubble’?

A Filter Bubble is when you are in a virtual bubble on social media – you only encounter information and opinions that agree with or reinforce your own beliefs.  Your ‘personalised’ online experience is the result of algorithms that work away in the background and dictate what you see/read online. Google, Facebook, Pinterest, Netflix, YouTube and many more all do this.

These Filter Bubbles in turn create Echo Chambers…

What are ‘Echo Chambers’?

When information within a closed system online is only giving you (‘echoing’) back your opinion and beliefs and establishing confirmation bias (only accepting information that confirm your own opinion and beliefs).

What are the dangers?

As much as I enjoy Facebook fuelling my love of funny dog videos by suggesting similar videos and articles, being aware of why and how Facebook is doing this helps when it comes to more serious topics such as the news, social issues and politics.

Regarding Fake News, confirmation bias is particularly worrying as you will start believing fake news stories that confirms your opinions and beliefs. I know I have done this, which is really scary to realise.

Watch this short TedTalks video from Eli Pariser on the dangers of Filter Bubbles:

You could argue that this type of ‘personalisation’ is editing the web – only showing you one half of the story.  So what can you do to pop the bubble?

What can you do to stop the bubbles and echoes?

There are a few simple things you can do to stop this and open yourselves up to a wider web:

  • Read news sites, websites and blogs that offer a wide range of perspectives, such as the BBC.
  • Use Incognito browsing, delete search histories and try and resist the temptation of logging into your accounts every time you go online.
  • Deleting or blocking browser cookies – these cookies hold the algorithms that determine what we see.
  • Turn off your curated feed in Facebook.
  • Click ‘Like’ on everything! – This will tell the AI that you are into everything – all politics, all news etc.
  • Don’t clink on links, especially politics and social issues – will stop fuelling the algorithms.
  • Tell everyone else to turn off their curated feed!

Is it all a myth?

Below are a few articles that claim Filter Bubbles and Echo Chambers are myths and that it’s not the technology at fault, but rather the user. I’ll let you decide:

Dubois, E. and Blank, G. (2018) The myth of the echo chamber. Available at: https://theconversation.com/the-myth-of-the-echo-chamber-92544. (Accessed: 27 March 2019).

Robson, D. (2018) The myth of the online echo chamber. Available at: http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20180416-the-myth-of-the-online-echo-chamber. (Accessed: 27 March 2019).

Schwab, P. (2017) Academic research debunks the myth of filter bubbles. Available at: https://www.intotheminds.com/blog/en/academic-research-debunks-the-myth-of-filter-bubbles/. (Accessed: 27 March 2019).

Don’t burst my bubble!

Or maybe you like being in your own little bubble? The safety and comfort in knowing what information you are going to be presented with – nothing that offends or upsets your online world. I know I will carry on being fed humorous dog videos.

There are some interesting thoughts and opinions on the Social Network Bubble – the pros and cons – on this Radio 4 programme:

BBC Radio 4 (2017) Bursting the social network bubble. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b083p4lw. (Accessed: 27 March 2019).

References:

BBC Radio 4 (2017) Fave ways to burst your social media bubble. Available at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/3n9yf0D5WxRZJGclBMtFGwK/five-ways-to-burst-your-social-media-bubble. (Accessed: 27 March 2019).

Farnam Street (2017) How filter bubbles distort reality: everything you need to know. Available at: https://fs.blog/2017/07/filter-bubbles/. (Accessed: 27 March 2019).

Grimes, D. (2017) Echo chambers are dangerous – we must try to break free of our online bubbles. Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2017/dec/04/echo-chambers-are-dangerous-we-must-try-to-break-free-of-our-online-bubbles. (Accessed: 27 March 2019).