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.

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.

Resource on trial: the Illustrated London News Archive 1842-2003

ILN screenshot

The Library has trial access to the Illustrated London News Archive until 1st April 2020.

This was the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, and presents a vivid picture of British and world events. It provides a fascinating insight into areas of life such as politics, arts, fashion, science, sport and leisure.

As with all Gale news archives, you can search or browse it in various ways (choose Advanced Search to see all options) and you can also use the Term Frequency feature to explore how often a word, phrase or person has been mentioned in the archive over time.

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

If you are off-campus, please login to RAS first of all, and then access The Illustrated London News Archive from a browser within RAS.

Now available: Cambridge University Press announces free electronic textbooks collection until end May 2020

Cambridge University Press has made over 700 textbooks freely available to those in Higher Education until the end of May 2020 as a result of COVID-19.

These titles are in addition to our current CUP holdings and we are adding them to Library Search to aid discovery.

To browse and access the free collections visit the Cambridge Textbooks homepage (including subject headings): https://www.cambridge.org/core/what-we-publish/textbooks

For more information see the Cambridge COVID-19 resource notification page: https://www.cambridge.org/gb/academic/covid-19-resources-and-information

We are here to help (even when you’re working off campus)

As the University monitors the situation around the spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), the Library is working to ensure that you have access to the resources and academic skills support you need to continue your studies while off campus. 

The information and links on this page provide guidance on how to engage with our wide range of online materials and how to make the most of our helpful online guides and tools from wherever you choose to study. 

Library Search: your first point of call

Use Library Search to quickly and simply access a wide range of eBooks, eJournals, and databases off campus. Check out our Library Search video on how to get the best out of this resource. 

Subject and Resource Guides

If you are not sure which resources are best to use for your subject or what you can access off-campus, visit your Subject Guide . The guides bring together links and help for the specialist information sources in your discipline. Access our Resource Guides for different types of information you may need in your research. These include guides to business casescompany and market informationgovernment publicationsgrey literaturemapsnewspaperspatentsstandards
statistics,  theses and dissertations, plus much more.  

Develop your skills, at a time that suits you

Use our FindingEvaluating and Managing Information guides to boost your search skills and help you achieve the best results in your assignments whilst working remotely. If you are needing help with academic writing and reading or even numeracy, maths and statistics, then don’t forget their are lots of downloadable resources available at the ASK website.

Dissertation support

If you are in the midst of writing or planning a dissertation then our our Dissertation Guide is a great place to guide you with your literature search.  Not only do we have videos, quizzes and advice, but we also have an interactive Proposal Planner and Search Planner to help you get organised and create a focus for your research.  We can even give you feedback once you’ve filled the planners in. Just send them through when prompted or email them to your supervisor for advice and help.

Have a question? Check the FAQs

We have an extensive database of frequently asked questions available on the Library website. You can search by keyword or browse by topic area and find answers to the most common questions. So whether you want to know how to access newspapers or get help with EndNote, check the FAQs to see if we have already answered your question.

Contact Library Help

If you need help or have a question, use Library Help to get in touch with us. We are still here for you 24/7 and you can chat with us online or email us as normal. You can also keep in touch with us via social media.

So remember, you can access all of our online resources, journals and ebooks from the Library website.

Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

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.

Resource on trial: SAGE Research Methods

SAGE Research Methods is the ultimate methods library, with more than 1,000 books, reference works, journal articles, and instructional videos by world leading academics from across the social sciences, including the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher.
The resources cover the steps of coming up with a research question, doing a literature review, planning a project, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up a report, dissertation, or thesis, plus detailed information on hundreds of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods.

For student research
• Essential supplementary support for course learning and for students working on dissertations and research projects 
• More than 220,000 pages of content covering hundreds of methodological approaches help students at every step of their project
• Concise author videos answer basic questions like “How do I choose between different research methods?” and “What do you mean by the term ‘ethnography’?”
For faculty research
• Offers critical support in learning new techniques and methods
• Provides crucial resources to help faculty write up their methodology for publication in the best research journals
• Provides in-depth understanding of advanced methods and includes online access to the complete Quantitative Applications in the Social Sciences (QASS) series, also known as “The Little Green Books,” as well as the Qualitative Research Methods Series (QRMS), or “The Little Blue Books”
For teaching research methods
• Serves as the perfect complement to coursework and traditional textbooks in research methods courses for business, communication, criminology, education, health sciences, psychology, political science, social work, and sociology
• Provides sample assignments that help students easily connect to concepts
• Aids faculty who oversee research papers and theses requiring original research


The trial is available until 31st May 2020.

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

Access SAGE Research Methods via Library Search.

Resource on trial: SAGE Video Collection

SAGE Video is an easily accessible resource with more than 1,600 hours of streaming video collections in the social sciences, created for use across higher education to support pedagogical needs, for undergraduate teaching and learning through to higher level academic research.

SAGE Video combines originally commissioned and produced material with licensed videos to provide a complete disciplinary resource for students, faculty, and researchers.

It covers the following subject areas:

  • Business & Management
  • Counseling & Psychotherapy
  • Criminology & Criminal Justice
  • Education
  • Leadership
  • Media, Communication & Cultural Studies
  • Politics & International Relations
  • Psychology
  • Sociology

The resource includes:

  • Seminal documentaries on subjects aligned to core curriculum topics
  • Case studies on classic and newly published research 
  • Tutorials illustrating practical applications of methods and concepts
  • Interviews with leading experts on key topics
  • Practitioner demonstrations of theories and techniques
  • Observational footage of practitioners in real-life professional settings
  • Short definitions of key terms and concepts 

To access this resource, click on the link here.

The trial is available until 16th March 2020. As always, your feedback will be very welcome: you can either email it, or leave a comment on this blogpost.

If you are off-campus, please login to RAS first of all, and then access SAGE Video from a browser within RAS.

Resource in focus: Literary Print Culture

Love books? We hope so. Do you want to know more? Take a journey into the history of the book with Literary Print Culture.

Literary Print Culture: the Stationers’ Company Archive, 1554-2007 is a resource which will show you the primary source documents from the City of London archives. Covering the history of the book, publishing history, the history of copyright and the workings of the early London Livery Company, explore the variety of documents to uncover the story of the role the Stationers’ Company played in the history of the book trade.

An image of the Arms of The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers.
Arms of the company [1], c.1700-1900, © The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers

This archive contains a huge range of primary sources, showcasing a diverse range of material from the archive of the Stationers’ Company archive including:

  • Constitutional Records
  • Court Records
  • Membership Records 
  • Financial Records
  • Trade Records
  • General Administrative Records
  • Charities and Property Records 

Before you begin, we’d recommend clicking Introduction, in which you can learn more about its scope and features.

An image of the Literary Print Culture resource homepage.

The primary sources are supplemented by contextual essays and other commentary to give you ideas for interpreting and exploiting the archive.

You can browse or search the archive contents by clicking Documents (to browse) or one of the two Search buttons. You can filter your search in various ways, e.g. by document type, year or theme.

For some of the documents in the archive, you can now use handwritten text recognition to enable you to search the handwritten items effectively. Split-screen viewing enables you to view a document and its index simultaneously.

Have you used Literary Print Culture? Please feel free to post your comments and experiences by clicking Leave a comment below.

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!