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/.

Spotlight on World Scientific eBook Collections

selection of book jackets

World Scientific Publishing (WSP) is an academic publisher of scientific, technical, and medical books and journals with headquarters in Singapore. WSP publishes about 500 books annually as well as more than 150 journals in various fields. World Scientific eBooks are electronic versions of World Scientific print titles. 

The titles span across a wide variety of subjects, including:

  • Asian studies
  • Business & Management
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science
  • Economics & Finance
  • Engineering
  • Life sciences
  • Mathematics
  • Physics & Astronomy
  • Social Sciences

Once connected, you can search for titles within a specific subject:

Screen shot of subject search

Or for titles on a specific topic :

If you’re searching for titles directly through the World Scientific platform, look out for the “Full Access” symbol to make sure we have access to the full text content:

You can also search for individual titles on Library Search:

A user guide is available on the Library Subject Support guides and you can download from the link below:

selection of book jackets

New resource: Oxford Handbooks Online

The Library has bought permanent access to several collections in the Oxford Handbooks Online series.

This provides access to 250 handbooks in various subject areas across humanities, social sciences and science, in addition to collections we had previously bought. The new collections are:

You can access the content in various ways: for example, you can browse by the broad subject areas, to view individual books, and/or the articles within those books.

Once in a subject area, you can then refine your search to more specific sub-disciplines.

You can also search in various ways, e.g. by author or keyword.

The handbooks are all being individually catalogued and will be accessible via Library Search shortly.

Complimentary access to mathematics e-resources extended to 23rd June 2020

Duke University Press has extended its complimentary access to a selection of mathematics e-resources and collections in response to the Covid-19 global pandemic.

E-resources included as part of this offer are the Euclid Prime Collection, all issues of the Duke Mathematical Journal dating back to 1935, and MSP on Euclid. These resources will be temporarily available to Newcastle University students and staff until 23rd June 2020.

Euclid Prime is a growing collection of high-impact, peer-reviewed titles in theoretical and applied mathematics and statistics hosted by Project Euclid.

Published since its inception in 1935 by Duke University Press, the Duke Mathematical Journal is one of the world’s leading mathematical journals.

Mathematical Science Publishers (MSP), Project Euclid, and Duke University Press have partnered to offer MSP on Euclid, a collection of the same eleven journals published as a bundle by MSP but now enhanced by the functionality of the Project Euclid platform.

If you are a mathematician, statistician, physicist, engineer, or otherwise, log in to Library Search and explore these valuable e-resources while you have chance.

Spotlight on IOP eBooks

Institute of Physics Ebook collections offer high-quality research across physics and related disciplines. They have been created to meet the needs of students, early-career researchers and established leaders in the fields.

An additional 255 IOP ebooks covering subjects such as astronomy, particle and nuclear physics, medical physics and biophysics, quantum science and more have just been added to the Library’s collection.

If you find a title that we don’t have full-text access to and you would like us to add it to the collection, just use our Books on Time form available on the Library website to request it.

Getting the most out of eBooks

Woman reading on an eReader device.

We have over 6 million eBooks accessible through Library Search, including titles that feature on your reading lists, or those that have been recommended by staff and students. Sometimes we buy them through large bundle deals with specific publishers so we gain access to lots of research titles all at once.

Why Use eBooks?

eBooks are incredibly useful resources as they are available 24/7 from any location, work with most devices and some come with snazzy features such as keyword searching, annotation options, links to other relevant information, and reading aloud facilities to name but a few.

How do eBooks Work?

As we get eBooks from different platforms and providers you might see a different layout each time you access one of our titles but the logic is the same. You can navigate using a toolbar, you can normally turn pages using little arrows at the top or side of the page, you can jump to specific chapters and in some cases, print or download all or some sections of the eBook to read offline.

Unfortunately, one thing you can’t do with eBooks is download and save offline a copy of the book to keep forever, there are usually some download restrictions. This is because we have subscriptions or licence access to titles but we don’t own the title. There is something called Digital Rights Management where publishers can control the copying, pasting and downloading of their content, this is linked to issues with privacy and copyright.

How do I access eBooks?

Simply navigate to Library Search and enter your keywords to look for a book title as usual. Library Search is the best way to access resources whether you’re on or off campus as it makes sure you’re logged in correctly and can access resources simply and quickly.

From your search results, choose an eBook which looks relevant e.g. Essentials of Business Research Methods by Hair, which we know is popular book for Business students doing dissertations. If you are off campus, you will need to sign in with your University ID and Password.

Once the eBook has loaded on the screen, hover over the functionality buttons to see what they do. For example; the search option will be useful if you’re looking for specific topics; use the Table of Contents to navigate straight to a chapter you’ve been told to read, or select the paint pallet to change the colour of the background to help with your reading.

Not all titles are available in eBook format for an institutional library to purchase, but if you’d prefer a title in electronic format we can certainly investigate. Just let us know by recommending a title via Books on Time.

Spotlight on Knovel

Knovel provides a searchable database of handbooks, data sets and reference sources in engineering (chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical, materials and biotechnology), chemistry and biochemistry, earth and environmental sciences among other areas. You can search within a particular work, or across the entire Knovel collection. Searching can be done by keyword or by numeric data ranges.

Knovel has a data search feature that allows you to find materials that meet specific parameters including physical, mechanical and thermal properties. Tools within Knovel include interactive charts, graphs, spreadsheets, and equation plotters.

You have access to:

  • Technical reference resources from 150+ publishers including AIChE/CCPS, NACE and more.
  • 65M+ data points including material and chemical property data

Technical reference collections that we subscribe to here at Newcastle University include:

Adhesives; Coatings; Sealants & Inks
Aerospace & Radar Technology
AICHE/CCPS – Center for Chemical Process Safety
Biochemistry; Biology & Biotechnology
Ceramics & Ceramic Engineering
Chemistry & Chemical Engineering
Civil Engineering & Construction Materials
Electrical & Power Engineering
Electronics & Semiconductors
Environment & Environmental Engineering
Food Science
General Engineering & Project Administration
Marine Engineering & Naval Architecture
Mechanics & Mechanical Engineering
Metals & Metallurgy
Oil & Gas Engineering
Pharmaceuticals; Cosmetics & Toiletries
Plastics & Rubber
Process Design; Control & Automation
Safety & Industrial Hygiene
Sustainable Energy & Development
Textiles

I highly recommend checking out Knovel’s Support Centre, particularly their Video tutorials.

If you are wondering how to find Knovel, you can either search for it in Library Search or you can find it in all of the Engineering, Sciences and Computing Subject Guides under both the ‘Books and eBook’ AND the ‘Journals and Database’ (eJournal Collections) tabs.

If you have any questions regarding Knovel, please contact your Liaison Librarian: https://www.ncl.ac.uk/library/contact/liaison-librarians

The Research Reserve and Desktop Delivery Service (DDS)

The exterior of the Research Reserve facility in the Team Valley.

The eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed a curious thing on Library Search. Where normally you would expect to see the name of one of the libraries next to an item’s shelfmark, occasionally you’ll see “Research Reserve”.

If you’ve ever wondered just what exactly the Research Reserve is, this is the blog for you, discover here exactly what the Research Reserve can offer you and your studies.

Before an item’s shelfmark is its location. This book is held off-site at the Research Reserve facility in the Team Valley.

The Research Reserve is the Library’s stores, located throughout campus and including a state-of-the-art storage facility in the Team Valley. These facilities allow the Library to keep less-used material for much longer than other academic libraries. These combined storage facilities provide over 29 kilometres of storage space, which is used to house old editions of journals and books which are consulted infrequently.

If you’d like to request items from the Research Reserve facilities, click the “Request Scan/Borrow” button once you’ve located the item on Library Search.

You can loan a variety of materials from the Research Reserve, including: books, theses and journal volumes. These can be requested from Library Search. Simply log in using your campus ID, find the item you are looking for and then click the blue “Request Scan/Borrow” button. You’ll get a choice of pickup locations (either the Walton or Philip Robinson libraries).

There are request forms to complete if you’d like to borrow a thesis or an entire volume of a journal.

Requests can be viewed by going to “My Account” in Library Search and clicking on “My Requests” from the drop down menu. If you’d like to cancel your request, simply click the blue cancel hyperlink (as seen below). You’ll receive an email confirming your cancellation shortly afterwards.

You can cancel requests for Research Reserve items by clicking the blue ‘Cancel’ hyperlink, as shown above.

There is a collection service that runs between the Research Reserve and the various libraries (weekdays only, not on bank holidays) and your request will be generally be fulfilled within 24 hours. Anything requested on a Friday or over the weekend will be delivered on the following Monday afternoon.

Once your item has arrived at your chosen library, you’ll receive an email letting you know it’s available to loan. The item will be kept on the reservations shelves for five days before being returned to the Team Valley, or passed on to the next person in the reservation queue. Items from the Research Reserve are issued in the same way as standard long loan items, either using the self-issue machines or at the service desk. Once you’ve finished with the item, simply return it as normal.

The Desktop Delivery Service (DDS)

The Desktop Delivery Service can also be reached at: http://dds.ncl.ac.uk

The Desktop Delivery Service (DDS) allows you request a scanned article from a journal held in one of the Library’s stores. Articles can be requested via Library Search (same as a book) or by filling out the relevant request form. Please try and include as much detail as possible on your request form. This helps Library staff locate your article and fulfil your request quicker.

You are only able to request one scanned article per journal issue. The scanned article will be delivered to your University email address, where it can be downloaded and printed off. Requests are generally fulfilled within 24 hours, although this may take longer over the weekends or on bank holidays. You have 30 days to download your article before it is ‘archived’ and no longer available.  

We do not scan items that are available electronically or can be borrowed.

If you have any other queries about the Desktop Delivery Service, read the FAQs.

Just some of the amazing treasures held at the Research Reserve facility in the Team Valley.

You can also visit the off-campus Research Reserve facility in the Team Valley. Daily access is available by appointment only with the Research Reserve team, weekdays between 10AM and 4PM. Access outside of these hours can be organised given sufficient notice. There is a large car park available at the facility and buses stop nearby.

Full contact information, directions and opening hours for the Team Valley facility are available via the Library website.

Are you preparing a dissertation or project, or will be doing so next academic year?

Make sure you visit our interactive dissertation and project guide. Based on the extensive experience of staff from the Library and Writing Development Centre, this guide includes an interactive search planner, which takes you through the different stages of developing your search strategy, and enables you to create and download your personalised search plan: you can even ask for feedback on it from the Library liaison team.

The search planner is complemented by a project proposal planner, developed by our colleagues in the Writing Development Centre, to help you develop or refine your research proposal.

The guide also points you to further advice on a wide range of relevant skills, to give you advanced knowhow in finding, managing and evaluating information. For example: where to find specialised information resources for your subject area, and methods to keep your literature search up to date over a long period.

It’s easy to navigate, with clear text and short videos throughout. Whether you are already underway with your dissertation, or just starting to think about it, we’re sure you will find it helpful!

Resource on trial: Oxford Handbooks Online

The Library has trial access to Oxford Handbooks Online until 3rd March 2020.

This provides access to over 1,000 handbooks, featuring in-depth articles written by experts in their field. The subject coverage is wide-ranging, covering many disciplines in humanities, social sciences and science.

You can access the content in various ways: for example, you can browse by the 17 broad subject areas, to view individual books, and/or the articles within those books.

Browsing by broad subject area

Browsing sub-disciplines

Once in a subject area, you can then refine your search to more specific sub-disciplines.

You can also search in various ways, e.g. by author or keyword.

The handbooks are all individually catalogued and accessible via Library Search during the trial.

We have previously bought access to some of the handbooks, but this trial gives an opportunity to explore the entire collection, featuring a great deal of new content. As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.