Temporary free access: RILM Music Encyclopedias and MGG Online

The Library has temporary access to two music reference resources: RILM Music Encyclopedias and MGG Online, until May 31st 2020. These resources are being made freely available by RILM during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

RILM Music Encyclopedias comprises 57 titles published from 1775 to the present, covering a wide range of music topics.

MGG Online provides in-depth articles on topics, themes and people in music and related areas. You can browse or search both resources in various ways.

To access the resources, click on Log in in the top right hand corner, and select Log in via your institution (Shibboleth), then choose Newcastle University from the list and log in as usual.

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

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

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.

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 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!