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/.

New Resource: Max Planck Encyclopedias of Public International Law

The Max Planck Encyclopedias of Public International Law (MPIL) is now available to Newcastle University staff and students, particularly to those with an interest in international law. This is the definitive reference work on this subject area with over 1,700 peer-reviewed articles, authored by over 900 leading scholars and practitioners, to support your research.

MPIL gives access to the Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law (MPEPIL) and the Max Planck Encyclopedia of International Procedural Law (MPEiPro) via Library Search or our Law Subject Guide using your Campus ID and password.

Once accessed, you can use the main menu to browse, select a subject area or locate an author who writes in your chosen field in the MPEPIL and MPEiPro. An overall search function, with basic and advanced searching, is also available.

An image of the MPIL homepage.

Oxford University Press will give you a quick guided tour of the resource [7:22 mins]:

If you have an interest in PIL, international environmental law, peace, Treaties, human rights, refugees, use of force, space law, international criminal law or the law of the sea then this resource will be useful to you.

Your search results are in full-text format with cross-referencing within MPEPIL and MPEiPro, including links to external websites or case law. Results can be printed in PDF format, saved, emailed and shared. You can also sign up for current awareness alerts in relation to specific articles.

An image of a result within MPEPIL.

You can also expand your research with the Oxford Law Citator, linking to related content in relation to your topic of interest. This is useful to use in conjunction with the Personal Profile function where you can register as an individual user and save any results you find.

If you have any feedback on this resource, please leave a comment on this post or email our Law Liaison Librarian.

New Resource: OUP Law Trove

Update! Following trial access during the initial stages of Covid-19, we now have a subscription to this resource for 2020/21.

This Oxford University Press resource contains most of the essential, recommended and background reading titles you would normally find listed in your module handbooks and on the Law Library shelves. In this difficult time during the Covid-19 lockdown, we have temporary access to OUP Law Trove to ensure our staff and students can study from home.

An image of the OUP Law Trove sign-in page.

You can access OUP Law Trove directly via Library Search (log in with your Campus ID and password).

You can search by author, title, keyword, or narrow your search to those titles available to us alone by selecting Show titles in my subscription (left-hand menu). As of July 2020, there are 210 books.

You can further narrow your results by refining by subject using the options available in the left-hand menu.

If you prefer, you can take a tour of the resource before diving in.

If you have any feedback on this resource, please leave a comment or contact libraryhelp@ncl.ac.uk.

Temporary free access: GeoScienceWorld eBooks

The Library has temporary access to GeoScienceWorld eBooks until 30th June 2020.

GeoScienceWorld eBook Collections provides eBooks from leading global societies publishing in the Earth Sciences. Titles are available to read online and to download as chapters. The collection of more than 1500 eBooks is now available through Library Search.

New dataset – Digimap Pilot

A new dataset is now available within Digimap called the Pilot Collection. This provides temporary access to data that EDINA are trying out and want feedback from users. This means the data will be replaced with other data sets over time as new sets become available.

Digimap Pilot is free for staff and students at current subscribing higher and further education institutions and research councils. All you will need to do is to accept the end user licence agreement which is available when you log into Digimap with your Campus ID and password. As these datasets will change regularly then you’ll need to re-accept each new licence agreement as sets are replaced.

Digimap Pilot comprises two applications, one for creating maps online, the other for downloading data which enables further analysis and investigation in other packages:

  • Use Roam to view, annotate and print maps online.
  • Use Data Download to download data and load it into a GIS or CAD package for further manipulation

As of April 2020, Pilot currently offers access to the following data.

Geomni data which consists of:

  • UKMap a modern, highly detailed, feature-rich mapping database of Greater London. Its unique, innovative design offers users a flexible choice of integrated map features within a single geographic information source.  It comprises addresses, retail names, detailed shopping centre data, building heights, a wide range of points of interest, aerial photography, together with Digital Terrain and Surface Models.
  • This one dataset has different components for Greater London. This includes UKMapLondon which provides aerial imagery with a resolution of 10cm, UKMap Upper Floors which shows more granular information e.g. which shops are on different floors of shopping centres, UKMap Tree Canopy which indicates tree canopies.
  • UKBuildings a unique database created and regularly updated to help you understand the age, structure, characteristics and use, of commercial, public and residential buildings across the UK.
  • UKLand a maintained, national land information database providing a detailed consistent breakdown of the use of land across the UK. There are 30 different land classes available e.g. woodland, water features, transport and commerical.

An EDINA Satellite data collection initially consisting of:

  • Sentinel 2 derived cloud free optical mosaic for Great Britain, 2019.
  • Sentinel 2 derived Near Infrared mosaic for Great Britain, 2019.

These 2 sections are currently available until the 31/07/2020.

Within the Pilot Data Download section you’ll also find some useful product information such as where the data comes from, it’s availability and sizing and Copyright information.

If you’re using mapping data already you might want to use this in conjunction with GIS if you’re manipulating or working with the data. Or doing a comparison to other maps you might have found freely available e.g. Google Maps.

Resource on trial: Westlaw student textbooks

Westlaw logo.

We are pleased to announce we have trial access to Westlaw’s student textbooks, in addition to the standard Westlaw All Books collection we use on a daily basis.

The Sweet & Maxwell Academic collection gives access to an additional 19 titles to support studying at home during this pandemic. Titles include Winfield & Jolowicz on Tort, Treitel on the Law of Contract, Megarry & Wade on the Law of Real Property and Elliott & Wood’s Cases and Materials on Criminal Law, among others.

To access this content, log into Westlaw and click on Books in the menu at the top of the page.

An image of the Westlaw home screen with the Books option highlighted.

If you know the book you are looking for, search by a title keyword, e.g. tort.

An image of the Westlaw Books screen with Search highlighted.

If you want to browse these student-focused books, use the filters on the left-hand side of the screen. Scroll down and select ‘Sweet & Maxwell Academic’.

We hope you find this additional access to Westlaw useful; please leave feedback or contact libraryhelp@ncl.ac.uk you want to get in touch. The temporary access ends on May 27th 2020.

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


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.

A quick guide to finding the best study space for you

Did you know that across our four locations, we have over 3,000 study spaces? With so many, it’s easy to choose the best spot to revise or write your essay.

Image of silent, quiet, collaborative and bookable study spaces

Our Study spaces and rooms page has more information about the types of spaces available. Check out current study space availability information on the web or via the Newcastle University app. Find free cluster spaces with the Find a PC function, also available on the app.

As well as study spaces, we have spaces where you can relax and catch up with friends between lectures. Make yourself comfortable in our new social space on level 2 of the Philip Robinson Library, or visit the refurbished café.

So if you need a change of scenery, go and take a look and find a space that’s just right for you.