SciFinder – a one-stop shop for chemical reactions, substances, and scientific literature.

SciFinder is a research discovery application that provides integrated access to the world’s most comprehensive and authoritative source of references, substances and reactions in chemistry and related sciences.

Accessible via Library Search this powerful, chemist-curated database from CAS offers reference, substance and reaction searching with sophisticated analysis tools. Substances can be searched by chemical structure, markush (for Patents), molecular formula, property or substance identifier. All alternative substance names are listed alongside CAS Registry numbers and commercial sources. Popular in industry, this database is vital for students and researchers in chemistry, pharmacy, forensic science, medicinal chemistry and chemical engineering.

To use SciFinder you must register and sign in when prompted. On doing so you can then set personal preferences, explore resources, and save your own searches. You can also browse your search history and set up alerts and notifications.

SciFinder Mobile allows you quick and easy access to references of published scientific research and information on substances of interest (including nomenclature, molecular formula and properties) from your smartphone.

If you’d like to know more or need a little help to get started CAS provide a range of online support and training. There are also a selection of instructional videos available on YouTube.

So get registered, sign in, and explore. You’ll be inputting structures using the drawing editor and conducting substructure searches in no 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 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

To access this resource, click on the link here.
The trial is available until 30th 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 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.

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; how to access resources beyond our Library; 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. We hope you find it helpful, and if you’d like to spare one minute to suggest any changes, we’d really appreciate it!

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.

Kick-off your information search

Preparing a dissertation or project?

Before you start, take a look at our interactive Search Planner, part of our Dissertations and research projects guide.

This toolkit takes you through all the stages of developing your search strategy. Step by step, the planner helps you take a closer look at your question, to identify important concepts, themes and keywords. You can keep adding, editing and refining this as you go, and even create and download your own personalised search plan and email it to yourself, your tutor or librarian for feedback

The guide contains further advice on a wide range of relevant skills, such as finding, managing and evaluating information. It also directs you to the key information resources for your subject area. So make sure you check it out.

Journals – Don’t get lost in the darkness

Journals

The Library subscribes to a huge number of journals to assist you with your research. The majority of these are available electronically although we still have some print titles. There are some journals that are only published online with no print and may not have volumes and parts but are identified by DOIs or references numbers.

You can find journal titles by using Library Search. However if you are searching a database, you can use the Find@Newcastle University option, to link straight to Library Search to see if the journal is in stock. In Library Search records for electronic journals say Online access and when you click on them give you options to View Online.

Records for print journal give you a location and shelfmark indicating where the journal can be found.

If you read an article online then you need to reference the article as a Electronic Journal Article not a webpage.

Using the Harvard at Newcastle style a reference from an Online only Journal would look similar to this:

Chan, J.-Y. L., Wang, K.-H., Fang, C.-L. and Chen, W.-Y. (2014) ‘Fibrous papule of the face, similar to tuberous sclerosis complex-associated angiofibroma, shows activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin pathway: evidence for a novel therapeutic strategy?’, PloS one, 9(2), p. e89467.

A reference for a Print Journal would look like this:

Paton, N. (2015) ‘Night work triggers health risks’, Occupational Health, 67(9), pp. 6-6.

Sustainability

We are rather proud of our new Sustainability Guide, created in collaboration with one of our quite brilliant SAgE PhD students, Georgios Pexas – actually he did all the hard work by providing all of the content!

This guide looks at Sustainability regarding the key resources available from the Library around the three main pillars of sustainability: Environment, Economy and Society. We particularly like Georgios’ opening paragraph for our guide explaining what sustainability is and its relation to these three pillars:

“As defined by the “Brundtland Commission” in 1987, sustainability is the ability to “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”. In other words, it describes living within the limits of available natural, physical and social resources and in ways that allow our environment to thrive in perpetuity; a concept that can be summarised as: “enough, for all, forever”. Sustainability approaches the issue of resource depletion holistically, unifying Environmental, Economical and Social concerns.”

The Guide also points to researchers on campus that are focusing on sustainability. It has a useful RSS feed of ‘sustainability’ in the news and invaluable links regarding careers and development in sustainability: professional associations, funding opportunities, where to look for jobs, and some upcoming events.

You will find the Sustainability Guide in the SAgE section of the Subject Guides, as it focuses on natural sciences and engineering side of sustainability, however we would love to have a section on how we as individuals can be more sustainable. We are trying to keep this Guide concise, yet useful, yet we welcome any new ideas for this guide, so please contact lorna.smith@ncl.ac.uk if you think of anything worth adding.

Thinking about study space

During the exam period library study spaces are at a premium and it is important to think in advance about the kind of study space that you need.

Whether you require a silent, quiet, or collaborative study space, a group study room or booth, or an individual accessible study room, there are a variety of open access and bookable study spaces located across our four library buildings (Philip Robinson, Walton, Law, and Marjorie Robinson).

It is possible to check live study space availability online or by using the university app. This will allow you to head straight for the nearest available study space and therefore avoid wasting valuable time searching for a desk.

You can also book a group study room or booth online for a maximum of 120 minutes per day. This will allow you to get together with fellow students to plan and allocate some guaranteed study time prior to your next exam.

Study Well@NCL, which runs throughout the exam period, advocates a responsible approach to studying and encourages positive behaviours in study spaces. Remember, it is key to choose the right environment that meets your study needs, to stay hydrated, and to respect the students and study space around you.

Thinking about study space in advance can help to remove a lot of unwanted stress and thus free up valuable energy that will aid both your revision focus and exam preparation.