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/.

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.

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.

Temporary free access: Global and Society Digimap from EDINA until 30th June

The suppliers of Digimap have arranged free temporary access to  Global and Society data until 30th June 2020.  The product is now available when you log into Digimap.

The service will provide access to global datasets in cartographic styles and downloadable formats that are useful to you.

  • Global provides the following:
    An easy to use interface to allow you to browse, annotate and print global maps. (Coming Soon)
  • A data download facility to providing access to global datasets for use in GIS software.

Society Digimap includes census and socio-economic data which can be layered across the map software to provide a picture and give an insight of society in a given area.

To access these resources, click on the link to the Digimap collection via Library Search or our Maps library guide, log in with your university account and click on the Global or Society tabs to access the data.  You will need to accept the license agreement the first time you use it.

Please explore and email us your feedback, or post it as a comment on this blog.

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.

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.

10 online resources for Politics students.

We’re studying in unprecedented times right now and when completing upcoming assignments, you may need to look beyond your reading list to explore quality resources available online. Here are some of our suggestions to help you find the information you need.

1. Library Search for ebooks and articles

When working off campus, you can still access the full collection of ebooks, electronic journals and professional magazines, newspapers, conferences and more, from Library Search.

Additional ebook titles are being added to the collection every day while we are all working remotely. Search by author, title or keyword to find books to help you with your essay topic.

We’ve put together a page of tips and help videos all about Library Search on our finding information skills guide .

To find academic journal articles from across our collection that match your topic keywords, use the everything search option and filter your results on the left to peer-reviewed journals.

Watch our introduction to the main Library Search features.

2. Your Subject Guide

The Subject Guide for Politics draws together in one place, the resources available from the library to help you with your academic work. Use the Journals and Database page to access subject databases such as Social Sciences Premium Collection and JSTOR.

The Social Sciences Premium Collection is a brilliant place to start if you would like to refine your results to politics and the social sciences, while still searching broadly across different information types.

Find out more about the Social Sciences Premium Collection, how to search it successfully and use the advanced features. It is a brilliant resource for politics.

You can contact the Liaison Team for one-to-one support or send your questions to Library Help, where there are staff logged into our live chat service, 24/7.

Between Library Search and your Subject Guide, you will be able to find excellent information to use in your academic essays, but there are many other resources you may want to try.

3. JSTOR

JSTOR is a full-text collection, giving you online access to scholarly journals, books and book chapters in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

It has basic and advanced search options that allow you to search by topic keyword, author, subject area, title or publisher

Screenshot showing the JSTOR homepage

4. Scopus

Scopus is a large, multidisciplinary database, which indexes peer reviewed journal articles, books, book chapters, conference proceedings and trade publications.

One of the main advantages of using Scopus is that it provides a lot of useful information about the articles it indexes. This includes full reference lists for articles and cited reference searching, so you can navigate forward and backward through the literature to uncover all the information relevant to your research.  

You can also set up citation alerts so you can be informed of new, relevant material automatically. Other useful tools include citation overviews, author and affiliation searching, visual analysis of search results, a journal analyser, and author identifier tools (if you are interested in publishing work).

Watch this video from Scopus about how to expand your search from a known article reference.

5. Government publications

Government publications provide information in a variety of subjects. Statistics, White Papers, Parliamentary Bills and a whole range of Official Legislation published by the Government provide a good, reliable, source of accurate statistics, and can give support to your argument in essay topics.

We have put together a resource guide for government publications that will give you quick access to the United Kingdom gov.uk publications search and the Office For National Statistics, European and international official publications.

6. OECD iLibrary for statistics and global reports.

OECD iLibrary is the online library of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and gives you access to booksanalytical reports and statistics, covering a broad range of topics relevant for studies in politics.

  • Agriculture and food
  • Development
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Energy and nuclear energy
  • Environment
  • Finance and investment, taxation and trade
  • Industry and services
  • Science and technology
  • Social Issues / Migration / Health
  • Transport
  • Urban, Rural and Regional Development

OECD iLibrary is certainly worth searching to provide reputable supporting information for your academic work.

7. Statista for easy statistics and global outlook

Statista is an extensive statistics platform covering over 1.5 million data sets. It includes reports, statistics and forecasts on a range of topics. So if you want to know which social media platforms are most popular across the globe, compare homelessness statistics, explore industry trends or how many people play video games, Statista is a brilliant place to start.

Statistics and reports can be exported in a range of formats including images and PowerPoint, giving you flexibility to include the visuals in your assignments. The statistics source is included, giving you the information that you need to cite it successfully.

Find out more about Statista with this brief introduction.

You will find a similar sources on our Statistics and Market Research resource guides.

8. Current newspapers with LexisLibrary

Newspapers are an excellent resource to explore, to provide a range of perspectives on a topic. You can find opinion pieces, social commentary and identify trends in public opinion.

We have a range of newspaper resources available from the Library, and LexisLibrary is an excellent place to start. It provides access to UK national and regional newspapers, from the 1990s to today. It includes the copy text without the images or formating and all of the details you need to create a citation are on the article page.

Once you have followed the Library Search link to access Lexis, make sure you click on News at the top of the page for full text access to all UK publications.

As so many articles are published every day, you will need to refine your searching using date ranges, combined keywords or by selecting specific newspapers or publication type (i.e. broadsheet or tabloid).

Remember to use your critical skills when using newspapers however, and watch out for Fake News. They are so biased sources and are best used in balance with other sources. You can find our tips on our Evaluating Information skills guide.

9. Newspaper archives and international news

We have a huge range of newspaper archives, historic newspapers and international sources such as Nexis that can mostly be access online and off campus. Our Newspapers resource guide collates all of our resources and will guide you through how where to look.

If you want to search across a range of newspapers, we suggest you start with Gale Primary Sourcesas this gives access to nearly all our British newspaper archives, except for The Guardian and The Observer.

10. Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts can be used to access TV and radio broadcasts from over 65 channels, including most of the UK’s freeview network, all BBC TV and radio content from 2007, and several foreign language channels. It’s a great resource to use to find documentaries or critical opinions.

You can view archived programmes, record new ones, create clips and playlists and see transcripts to help with citation and translation. You can also search for other user’s public playlists to help you in your own search. 

Unfortunately, Box of Broadcasts is not available outside the UK.

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.