How to manage loans over the holidays

The end of term is rapidly approaching! Read below to find out how our opening hours may affect you over the vacation period, as well as important information on how to manage your loans during this time.

Will our opening hours change during the University closure?

Paper angel on top of book tree in the Library foyer

Be like our book angel and stay on top of your books this Christmas!

Our opening hours will be changing from Saturday 14 December onwards; please see the opening hours page on our website for more information.

The Library will close at 17:00 on Friday 20 December for the University Christmas closure and will reopen at 08:30 on Thursday 2 January.

Can I keep my books over the break?

You can keep your books by continuing to renew them as often as necessary, but be mindful that, as you can still place holds during the vacation, you may be asked to return a book if someone else requests it! However, you can return loans by post if you prefer.

If your account is blocked, please contact the Library and we will discuss the situation with you.

Libarary user using borrowing machine

You can keep renewing books over the vacation period, unless someone has placed a hold on it

Will my loan periods change?

Some changes will be made to loan periods over the Christmas break. Any journals, 7-day loans or Short Loan items borrowed from Friday 13 December onwards will be due back on Thursday 2 January (by 11:00 for Short Loan items).

No items will be due back while the Library is closed (Saturday 21 December – Wednesday 1 January).

Happy holidays!

 

Tara Healy and Nathan Berry, Library User Services

Extra Desktop EndNote workshop added Wed 11 December

Students studying in the LibraryDue to high demand for our EndNote workshops we have added an extra date on Wed 11 December at 14:00. If you are interested in learning how to use this reference management software then please book your place on RISIS. The bookings link is located in the ‘Actions’ tab if you’re a student. If you’re a member of staff click on ‘Specialist Actions’ in the ‘Specialist Actions’ tab.

We also offer training on using Mendeley. See the information below for next term’s dates for both workshops.

Desktop EndNote

Desktop EndNote is a comprehensive reference management system and is designed for postgraduate researchers and staff. You can download accurate references from many databases, such as Web of Science. Use the ‘Find Full-text’ feature to automatically download and attach PDFs for those references. In addition, you can select from thousands of referencing styles or create your own – great if you’re writing for publication. It’s free on all campus PCs through Apps Anywhere, and new this year you can download it free on your own computer via the IT Self-Service Portal. We’re running workshops at the following times next term:

  • Wednesday 22 January 14:00 – 15:30
  • Wednesday 12 February 14:00 – 15:30
  • Wednesday 4 March 14:00 – 15:30

There’s also an online version of EndNote which we recommend to undergraduates and masters students.

See our EndNote guide to find out more.

Mendeley

Mendeley is designed to make storing references and PDFs as simple as possible. We mainly recommend it for undergraduate and masters students. Its main feature is the ‘watched folder’ – any time you add a PDF to a selected folder, Mendeley will automatically retrieve the details. You can also drag and drop PDFs directly into your library or use its Web Importer for details of websites and other sources. If you work a lot with article PDFs, Mendeley is a good option for you. It has both online and desktop versions – both are free to use, but only the desktop version works with Microsoft Word. Workshops are taking place at the following times next term:

  • Wednesday 29 January 14:00 – 15:30
  • Wednesday 19 February 14:00 – 15:30
  • Wednesday 11 March 14:00 – 15:30

See our Mendeley guide to find out more.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian

New gender studies guide celebrates ‘Astor 100’

Gender studies is an area of research which can cover a wide range of academic disciplines. In celebration of Astor 100, marking 100 years since Nancy Astor became the first woman to take her seat in British Parliament, the Library has introduced a new online guide to support research into gender-related topics. The guide takes the same format as our subject guides but focuses on the range of materials available from the Library and Special Collections relating to gender studies. It has been created to help you find some of the key resources the Library can provide in this area, as well as point you towards other useful online resources, libraries and archives.

We’d love to hear your feedback on our new guide, so let us know what you think!

Suggest more diverse Library resources

You can also help us to diversify the Library’s collections by putting forward your suggestions for Library materials to help support a more diverse curriculum. All you need to do is complete our Diversify our collections suggestion form to suggest a book, DVD, topic or author for purchase in an area you feel is currently underrepresented in our Library collections. We’ll do the rest!

If you would like to suggest other items for the Library, please complete our regular book suggestion form.

Tim Chapman, Library Diversity & Inclusion Group

What you’ve been praying for! – MANTIS

A praying mantis standing on a wooden ballWe now have trial access to the Manual, Alternative and Natural Therapy Index System (MANTIS) – the largest source of chiropractic, osteopathic and manual medical literature in the world. With more than 400,000 records derived from 1,000 journals, it addresses all areas of alternative medical literature including; chiropractic, osteopathy, homeopathy, and manual medicine. There is more information on the database available here.

Access is available on-campus and off-campus until 28th December.

Help us to decide

Please let Tim Chapman, Academic Liaison Librarian for Agriculture, Policy and Development and Biological Sciences, know what you think of this resource at t.j.chapman@reading.ac.uk

Sophie Dorman, E-resources Team

Problems with ProQuest resources- Resolved

Open laptopWe have just received a notification from ProQuest that the problems we were experiencing earlier are now largely resolved. The Ebook Central platform is now back, but you may still experience some issues with ProQuest Central.

You can also visit the ProQuest Status Page to check whether the platform you need is working yet.

Our apologies for the inconvenience this may have caused you. Thank you for your patience while this matter was resolved.

Lindsay Warwick , E-resources Team

Cite it right and avoid unintentional plagiarism

You may think that advice on avoiding plagiarism doesn’t apply to you, because you’re not planning to buy an essay from the internet, or copy someone else’s work. But you may not be aware that it is possible to plagiarise unintentionally if:

  • you’re not aware of the differences between referencing at university and any referencing you may have been used to doing previously;
  • you haven’t been meticulous about keeping records of your reading;
  • you don’t know how to use references in your academic writing to support your discussion and critical analysis.

It’s important to take referencing seriously and not just guess, or assume that you know how to do it. The consequences can be serious with marks deducted – it can even lead to accusations of academic misconduct.

However, it can be confusing when you have advice and guidance on referencing from so many different sources. It’s tempting to just Google it! But that’s far less likely to give you the right answer than guidance produced at your own university. You should always check your own Course Handbook first for advice (it will be on Blackboard).

Our Citing References guide combines previous guidance from the Library and Study Advice to cover the why, what, when and how of referencing in a single place. Study Advice video tutorials on referencing are embedded in the guide, which includes:

You could also look at The Academic Integrity Toolkit, which shows how understanding referencing is an important part of studying at university and ‘becoming a graduate’ generally. The Toolkit includes tips, explanations and exercises (with answers) to help you develop your understanding of essential skills including:

If you’re a Part 1 undergraduate and have enrolled on Study Smart, you could also go back over the relevant guidance in Week 1.

The guidance below focuses on three important points to help you avoid unintentional plagiarism.

References in a footnote1.Know when to include a reference

Whenever you include an idea that you have gained from your reading in an assignment, you must ensure that you reference it correctly, both in the text and at the end in your reference list or bibliography. If you use the original words you have found in your reading, you must mark them with quotation marks, even if you only use part of the sentence. It is not enough to give the details of where the words came from; they must be marked out, or it will look as if you are claiming them as your own words. If you are writing the idea up in your own words, don’t be tempted to just change a few words. If you use quotations inadequately or paraphrase badly it will certainly be viewed as poor academic practice and may subject your work to penalties. It may even be seen as plagiarism.

Watch this brief video tutorial on using paraphrases.

See Library and Study Advice guidance on using quotes and paraphrases.

2. Develop good note-taking practices

Ever looked at your notes and thought, “I wonder where that came from?” or “I wonder if those are my words or copied from the text?” It’s frustrating when you can’t be sure – but it could cause you problems if you use the material without being able to reference it accurately. To avoid this, make it a habit to have good record-keeping practices. Always note the details of each text you use (author, title, year) when you start writing notes on your reading; include page numbers as you go along, even if you are not copying text directly but writing the ideas in your own words; have a system of markers to indicate if something is a quote (put in quotation marks), an idea explained in your own words, or a query or new idea stemming from what you’re read (perhaps an asterisk *). The Study Advisers have guidance on effective note-taking and a brief video tutorial on critical note-taking with more suggestions.

If you’re using an e-book, you may be able to make notes electronically as you’re reading the text. See the section in our LibGuide on Studying with e-books for more information. If you have an online reading list, you can also make brief notes on this – our LibGuide page on What else can I do with my list? has details.

You might also consider using reference management software to keep details of your reading including all the bibliographic information. EndNote and Mendeley work with Word to create citations and bibliographies for you.

3. Know what to do if you can’t find all the details of a reference

bibliographic details screencast screencapIf you have a quote but don’t know where it came from, try typing it into Google. You may find it’s better to use a short phrase rather than the whole quote; try to find a grouping of words that is less common. If you have some details of the text, you could try looking at your reading list or searching the Library catalogue. You can also look back through your Library account to see the titles of books you’ve borrowed. If you have the author and title of a journal article or even just the title of the journal and a date it may be possible to find the complete reference in Summon or one of the Library’s databases. What you must never do is invent details, or include things in your assignment if you cannot be sure about the source. This may lead to accusations of academic misconduct.

For more help watch this brief video tutorial on how to find bibliographic details.

Need more help?

If you’re still confused, or you have a specific question about referencing that isn’t answered in our guide, you can always contact your Academic Liaison Librarian or the Study Advice team to discuss this in person. Just remember to do it in plenty of time – the day your assignment is due to be submitted is not ideal!

 

Download Desktop EndNote free to your own computer

Open laptopA change to the licence for EndNote means that it is now possible to download the full Desktop EndNote to your own computer saving you nearly £100. Just follow these steps:

  1. Go to the IT Self-Service Portal
  2. Select Place a Request
  3. Select User Support
  4. Finally select Software – EndNote
  5. Read and accept the terms and conditions

You will be sent an email containing a download link and product key.

Note that under the terms of the licence if you leave the University you must remove EndNote from your computer.

To find out more about this software and how to use it see our EndNote guide.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian

 

Boost your referencing with EndNote or Mendeley

Student studying in the LibraryHave you been marked down for inconsistencies in referencing? Are you fed up with writing all of your references by hand? There are programs that can take the pain out of referencing by storing your references and helping you create bibliographies in Microsoft Word.

We’re running workshops throughout the year covering two of the options available – whether you’re working on essays, your dissertation, or starting your PhD, come along and find out how much time you can save! You can book onto either of these beginners’ sessions on RISIS under the Actions tab.

Desktop EndNote

Desktop EndNote is a comprehensive reference management system and is designed for postgraduate researchers and staff. You can download accurate references from many databases, such as Web of Science. Use the ‘Find Full-text’ feature to automatically download and attach PDFs for those references. In addition, you can select from thousands of referencing styles or create your own – great if you’re writing for publication. It’s free on all campus PCs through Apps Anywhere, and new this year you can download it free on your own computer via the IT Self-Service Portal. We’re running workshops at the following times this term:

  • Wed 6 November, 14:00-15:30
  • Wed 27 November, 14:00-15:30

There’s also an online version of EndNote which we recommend to undergraduates and masters students.

See our EndNote guide to find out more.

Mendeley

Mendeley is designed to make storing references and PDFs as simple as possible. We mainly recommend it for undergraduate and masters students. Its main feature is the ‘watched folder’ – any time you add a PDF to a selected folder, Mendeley will automatically retrieve the details. You can also drag and drop PDFs directly into your library or use its Web Importer for details of websites and other sources. If you work a lot with article PDFs, Mendeley is a good option for you. It has both online and desktop versions – both are free to use, but only the desktop version works with Microsoft Word. Workshops are taking place at the following times this term:

  • Wed 13 November, 14:00-15:30
  • Wed 4 December, 14:00-15:30

See our Mendeley guide to find out more.

Book your place

Sign up to any of these workshops through the Actions tab on RISIS. If you can’t make any of the specified sessions but would like to know more, take a look at our reference management guide or contact your Liaison Librarian.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian

Head upstairs for more Library study space

Enjoy the full range of study spaces the Library has to offer. Following a multi-million pound refurbishment we now provide around 1,500 study spaces, 200 more than we had before. Be sure to investigate all five floors and three types of study space to find what suits you best. Our contemporary, new environment is very popular so do check out the upper floors for places others may not have reached yet!

Study your way in the Library

See our study space video or plans of each floor and you will find that study space has been arranged into three different types:

Group study – where talking is required
To discuss your work in groups, or if you concentrate best with background noise, head to the front of the 4th or 2nd Floors, the back of the Ground Floor, or the 1st Floor PC area for a choice of individual rooms, group pods, diner-like seating or long tables. There are eight bookable group study rooms on the 1st Floor.

Individual, quiet study
To work quietly by yourself, use an individual desk by the windows around the books on the 4th, 3rd and 2nd Floors, or in Short Loan on the Ground Floor.

Silent study
To work in silence choose from individual comfy chairs or a desk in one of our enclosed study rooms on the 5th Floor.

Study space across campus

Whilst the Library houses the largest single collection of study spaces on campus, at busy times you may wish to use other study areas. The Study Space Across Campus Essentials page includes both RUSU Studies, the ‘Free Room Finder’ showing which teaching rooms students can use, and the Study Space Map listing other study areas.

Rachel Redrup
Academic Liaison Librarian

Churchill Archive – trial access available

A black and white image of Winston ChurchillThe Library currently has a trial to the online Churchill Archive – try it now! Access is available until 21st December.

The archive consists of more than 800,000 pages of original documents, produced between 1874 and 1965, ranging from Winston S. Churchill’s personal correspondence to his official exchanges with kings, presidents, politicians, and military leaders. There is a video tour of the archive available here.

Access is available on-campus and off-campus.

Help us to decide

Please let Charlie Carpenter, Academic Liaison Librarian for History, know what you think of the archive at c.a.carpenter@reading.ac.uk

Sophie Dorman, E-resources Team

Updates to Digimap

Over the summer, Digimap have produced a number of improvements which will help compare and combine the different services, and increase interoperability with other mapping applications.

Web Mapping Services

A new button gives access to ‘Web Services’.  This will allow you to export Digimap to other applications like ArcGIS or QGIS, without having to store the data locally. The data can be used as backdrop mapping and there are no size restrictions.  You can also use this function to combine different Digimap services eg Aerial and OS.  Transparency sliders allow you to adjust the visibility of each component.

New overlays in Digimap Ordnance Survey

New overlays available include:

  • Postcodes – based on Codepoint with polygons. Contains the full hierarchy
  • Contours and spot heights – from Terrain50 and Terrain5 datasets
  • Points of interest – point dataset of features. Nine groups, including Retail, Transport and manufacturing and Production

Photographs

Photo of Library on OS Digimap

Include photographs on a Digimap base

Upload your own photographs to a Digimap base! Simply click on the Camera icon on the Drawing Tools panel.  Once added it is treated as a drawing feature and can be moved or resized.

Printing

You can now request an A5 sized print – better for fitting into an essay or report

Search results

Search results are now grouped by type – places, roads, coordinates etc, and shown in different tabs

If you have questions about using Digimap, contact Judith Fox –  j.a.fox@reading.ac.uk

Judith Fox, Map Librarian

Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape trial access extended

Poetry book with heartTry out the collection of Romanticism: Life, Literature and Landscape from the Wordsworth Trust now! We have had our trial access to this resource extended to 18th November.

This collection of thousands of original documents including manuscripts, letters, diaries, maps and fine art, covers the Romantic poets and the wider social, political and natural environment that shaped much of their work.

This is available on campus and off campus

Please note that PDF download options are not available during trials.

Help us to decide

Please send any comments on this resource to Charlie Carpenter, Liaison Librarian for History- c.a.carpenter@reading.ac.uk or Kim Coles, Liaison Librarian for English Literature – k.coles@reading.ac.uk

Lindsay Warwick, E-resources Team