Make the most out of your library’s resources

Image link to the library's Academic Skills page.
https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/subject-support/

Key resources

Do you have an assignment or research question and don’t know where to start? Search no further, your subject-specific LibGuide is only a few clicks away.

Follow the link above and then choose the Faculty and relevant School. Once you are there you will see the key resources that are provided for you:

Image of the navigation menu displayed in subject guides. It contains a home page, books and e-books, resources for online learning, journals and databases, subject specific resources, special collections and archives, subject help and news.

Navigate to the ‘Journals and Databases’ tab. This will display the databases where you can search for the journal articles that you need. Don’t know how to use this avalanche of links? We have instructions:

Image displaying the contents of the middle tab in the Journals and Databases section. It contains a list of PDF workbooks with instructions to databases.

From the Databases tab, click on the next tab along, in the centre of the screen that reads ‘Journals and Database Help’.

One-to-one help

Is the information too vast and you feel like you’ve hit a wall? You can ask your liaison librarian team for help. From the same navigation menu on the left side of the screen, click on ‘Subject Help and News’. There, you can find the team’s contact details and further down the page, you can request to book a one-to-one consultation with a member of the team.

Academic skills

Do you feel that your academic skills need to be polished a little? Don’t hesitate to look at our Academic Skills page from the Subject Support page:

Image link to the Subject support page displaying the links to guides for the three faculties and Academic Skills.

You will find more guides on this page relating to how to find academic information, reference it, using EndNote, distinguishing between real information and fake news and many more: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/subject-support/faculty.php/?f=other.

Academic Writing

You can also get one-to-one help from the Writing Development Centre if you are struggling with study skills or academic writing.

Library Help

Do you have any specific questions? Please contact us via Library Help where we monitor your live chats and emails or have a look through our FAQs: https://libhelp.ncl.ac.uk/.

Exam revision: tips and support

A wooden desk with a Mac laptop, cup of black coffee, notepad and pen and mobile phone.
Photo by Andrew Neel on Unsplash

This time of year is normally one of the busiest for the Libraries on campus. Instead, the Libraries are currently physically closed and both revision and exams are taking place at homes across the country (and possibly further afield!). While this ‘new normal’ might seem overwhelming at first, in many ways, it’s business as usual. Read on to find out how we can all work together to ensure you have the best possible revision and exam experience.

How the Library can help

First and foremost, Library services haven’t stopped while the University is closed, they’re simply operating differently right now. You’re still able to organize an online one-to-one appointment with your Liaison librarian or request that the Library purchase an e-book to assist your studies.

Your subject-specific guide also contains links to useful journals, databases and eBook collections that are tailored for your course. You may also find it helpful to browse through a list of newly-acquired online resources that the Library have purchased to better enable your studies from home.

There are a number of MCQ (multiple choice question) books available to read online to complement your revision. They cover subjects including: paediatrics, neurology and physiology.

You may also like to look into the services offered by the Writing Development Centre (WDC). Their website has helpful guidance on preparing for exams and what do to during an exam. You can also arrange a one-to-one consultation with a WDC tutor via Zoom to discuss exam and revision strategies.

Library Help remains available 24/7 to assist with your queries –  please send them in via email or live chat. We are also regularly updating Library FAQs to bring you the most up-to-date information. (Hint: if you filter the FAQs to show ‘remote services temporary FAQ’, you’ll only be shown the newest Library FAQs.)

How the University can help

The Academic Skills Kit (ASK) is full of useful advice, covering all aspects of study from how to manage your time effectively to reading and note-taking. ASK also has useful guidance on exams and revision, including where to go for academic advice or personal support.

Following the announcement of lockdown, ASK have made some new resources to assist with online examinations. These are broken down into helpful categories: how to revise for an online exam, what to do before an online exam and exam technique. While you will get details from your School about the specific changes to your exam(s), these pages have really helpful advice on preparing for and succeeding in online assessment.

Before taking an online examination, you may want to look at Newcastle University IT Service’s (NUIT) remote working toolkit. This website contains loads of helpful information, including how to access your University email and documents away from home, as well as how to download a copy of Microsoft Office 365 Professional Plus for your home device.

How you can help

Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

Choose an area in your home to work in that’s best suited to your needs. This might be a bedroom, kitchen or office space. You may want to consider making some adjustments to your existing desk (or kitchen table!) to avoid causing an injury. If possible, choose to work in an area that has plenty of natural light and is well-ventilated.

Build yourself a realistic revision planner, with plenty of breaks factored in. You won’t be able to revise everything in one day so breaking down topics into manageable chunks is essential. Regular exercise, a balanced diet and a good night’s sleep are also key to revision success.

Remember to take regular study breaks to stay hydrated, get fresh air and clear your mind. You’re unlikely to revise effectively without regular breaks and time away from your work. There are a number of activities and resources on the Library’s website for things you can do while taking a break. These include seated desk yoga, colouring in sheets and mindfulness exercises.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, please contact the University Student Health and Wellbeing services or the Student Union’s Mental Health & Wellbeing site. These services are still available despite the University being physically closed.

From all of us in the Library, good luck and study well!

New Resource: Max Planck Encyclopedias of Public International Law

The Max Planck Encyclopedias of Public International Law (MPIL) is now available to Newcastle University staff and students, particularly to those with an interest in international law. This is the definitive reference work on this subject area with over 1,700 peer-reviewed articles, authored by over 900 leading scholars and practitioners, to support your research.

MPIL gives access to the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) and the Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (MPEiPro) via Library Search or our Law Subject Guide using your Campus ID and password.

Once accessed, you can use the main menu to browse, select a subject area or locate an author who writes in your chosen field in the MPEPIL and MPEiPro. An overall search function, with basic and advanced searching, is also available.

An image of the MPIL homepage.

Oxford University Press will give you a quick guided tour of the resource [7:22 mins]:

If you have an interest in PIL, international environmental law, peace, Treaties, human rights, refugees, use of force, space law, international criminal law or the law of the sea then this resource will be useful to you.

Your search results are in full-text format with cross-referencing within MPEPIL and MPEiPro, including links to external websites or case law. Results can be printed in PDF format, saved, emailed and shared. You can also sign up for current awareness alerts in relation to specific articles.

An image of a result within MPEPIL.

You can also expand your research with the Oxford Law Citator, linking to related content in relation to your topic of interest. This is useful to use in conjunction with the Personal Profile function where you can register as an individual user and save any results you find.

If you have any feedback on this resource, please leave a comment on this post or email our Law Liaison Librarian.

New Resource: OUP Law Trove

Update! Following trial access during the initial stages of Covid-19, we now have a subscription to this resource for 2020/21.

This Oxford University Press resource contains most of the essential, recommended and background reading titles you would normally find listed in your module handbooks and on the Law Library shelves. In this difficult time during the Covid-19 lockdown, we have temporary access to OUP Law Trove to ensure our staff and students can study from home.

An image of the OUP Law Trove sign-in page.

You can access OUP Law Trove directly via Library Search (log in with your Campus ID and password).

You can search by author, title, keyword, or narrow your search to those titles available to us alone by selecting Show titles in my subscription (left-hand menu). As of July 2020, there are 210 books.

You can further narrow your results by refining by subject using the options available in the left-hand menu.

If you prefer, you can take a tour of the resource before diving in.

If you have any feedback on this resource, please leave a comment or contact libraryhelp@ncl.ac.uk.

Temporary free access: British Online Archives

BOA logo

The Library has temporary access to the entire British Online Archives collection until June 30th 2020 (note extended date!)

This comprises 88 separate collections, containing over three million digitised records, including correspondence, photographs, official documents, maps and pamphlets from private and public archives. The themes cover 1,000 years of world history, from politics and warfare, to slavery and medicine. It has particular strengths in British political history; the BBC; colonial history; American history; diplomacy and international relations, and the two world wars.

To get an overview of the content, click Primary Resources at the top of the screen. You can then either browse by Series, to see collections grouped together thematically, or browse Collections, to see all 88 collections listed individually.

You can browse or search in various ways, either within or across collections.

As always, your feedback on this trial will be very welcome. Please email it, or post it as a comment on this blog post.

Resource on trial: Archives of Sexuality and Gender

NB Trial access extended for one more month!

The Library has trial access to Gale’s Archives of Sexuality and Gender until May 31st 2020.

This is a significant collection of digitised primary source material dating from the 16th to 21st centuries. It comprises four archives:

LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, Part I

LGBTQ History and Culture Since 1940, Part II

Sex and Sexuality, Sixteenth to Twentieth Century

International Perspectives on LGBTQ Activism and Culture

The digitised materials include rare books, correspondence, newsletters, photographs and campaign materials from a wide range of organisations around the world. Read a more detailed description of the four archives.

As with all Gale resources, you can search or browse the materials in various ways. You may find it helpful to start off by clicking Collections on the home page for an overview of the different collections which make up each archive.

As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.

New ebook collections: Taylor and Francis

The Library has access to several new ebook collections from Taylor and Francis until March 2021.

The collections comprise over 1,200 titles in a wide range of subject areas across humanities, social sciences, science, technology and medicine.

Search filter box

All the books are individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can browse them on the Taylor and Francis site (click Show content I have access to in the search filter box to display the titles available to you).

After March 2021, we will assess usage of the titles.

Temporary free access: University of Michigan ebooks

The Library has free access to the University of Michigan’s ebook collection until August 31st 2020. This content is being made available due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

We have access to just under 1,400 books, across a wide range of humanities and social sciences fields. All the books are free to read on the publisher’s site.

As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.

Resource on trial: Westlaw student textbooks

Westlaw logo.

We are pleased to announce we have trial access to Westlaw’s student textbooks, in addition to the standard Westlaw All Books collection we use on a daily basis.

The Sweet & Maxwell Academic collection gives access to an additional 19 titles to support studying at home during this pandemic. Titles include Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort, Treitel on the Law of Contract, Megarry & Wade on the Law of Real Property and Elliott & Wood’s Cases and Materials on Criminal Law, among others.

To access this content, log into Westlaw and click on Books in the menu at the top of the page.

An image of the Westlaw home screen with the Books option highlighted.

If you know the book you are looking for, search by a title keyword, e.g. tort.

An image of the Westlaw Books screen with Search highlighted.

If you want to browse these student-focused books, use the filters on the left-hand side of the screen. Scroll down and select ‘Sweet & Maxwell Academic’.

We hope you find this additional access to Westlaw useful; please leave feedback or contact libraryhelp@ncl.ac.uk you want to get in touch. The temporary access ends on May 27th 2020.

Project MUSE offers selected free resources until end May 2020

Multiple publishers in the humanities and social sciences, including a variety of distinguished university presses, societies, and related not-for-profit publishers, are making a selection of their journal and ebook content available for free in a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Among the publishers currently opting to make content free on Project MUSE are Johns Hopkins University Press (all books and journals), Ohio State University Press (all books and journals), University of Nebraska Press (all books and journals), University of North Carolina Press (all books), Temple University Press (all books), and Vanderbilt University Press (selected books). Project MUSE expect to announce additional participants and will continually update the list of publishers offering free access to content.

Content that is freely available on the Project MUSE platform during the COVID-19 crisis will display a distinctive “Free” icon, different from the “OA” icon used for fully open access content on MUSE, or the familiar green checkmark that users associate with content held by Newcastle University Library.

Explore the Project MUSE platform and discover the latest free material.