Summer reading – info tip

4 deck chairs on a beachSo the long vacation has finally arrived! If you want to take a break from studying, why not discover what else the Library has to offer over the summer?

Going exploring?

Whether you are venturing near or far you may find our collection of print and digital maps helpful. We have Ordnance Survey and road maps for much of the UK, as well as some tourist maps for Europe. The Maps Collection can be found of the 2nd Floor of the Library – for any help in finding or using the Maps Collection, have a look at our Maps guide.

a selection of language study books in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish

¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

If you are going abroad on holiday, why not have a look at our Language resources to pick up some key phrases before you go. We have books on Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin and many other languages.

Holiday reading

Books standing on a bookshelf

Take a break from course reading and explore our selection of fiction – great for lazy days or long journeys. We have modern and classic novels waiting to be discovered on our catalogue. Or if you’d prefer to browse literature can be found on the 3rd floor at the following shelf-marks:

English fiction: 823; American fiction: 813; French fiction: 843; Spanish fiction: 863; Italian fiction: 853; German fiction: 833

A stack of CDsRoad Trip!

Explore our selection of CDs to get that perfect summer playlist. From Bach to The Beatles and Puccini to Public Enemy our collection has something for everyone. You can find music you love or discover something new on the 3rd Floor.

Learn something new…

Pictures of three books, one about learning acoustic guitar, one on film editing and the one about art.

The long vacation is the perfect time to take up a new hobby or develop a new interest. Have a look at our books on art, designfilm or music for inspiration.

Don’t forget that Library staff are around all summer for any questions or advice. You can contact us via email, phone or social media.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Education and MLES.

Reading wherever you are: using Library resources from further afield

Are you away from Reading and the UK this summer? Maybe…

  • Spending a year abroad?
  • Going on industrial placement?

Don’t worry! You will still be able to access thousands of University of Reading Library resources from anywhere in the world – all you need is your University username and password and an internet connection. We have hundreds of thousands of e-books and e-journals for you to choose from.

Resources you can access wherever you are

You can still access most of the e-resources provided by the Library including…

  • The Library catalogue, Enterprise – search to find e-books. Simply conduct your search and then use the limit options on the left of the screen to select ‘Book’, followed by ‘Online’ to find e-books.

Enterprise

  • Search Summon, the Library’s discovery service, to find full-text journal articles, e-book chapters, online encyclopedia and dictionary entries and newspaper articles.
  • If you wish to widen your search to materials held elsewhere, you can search for journal articles and other materials using a database. Some databases contain the full-text of the item, while others provide a reference and maybe an abstract only. If only a reference is provided, you are usually able to check for full-text access via the Item Finder – just click on the blue “Search for item at Reading” link to find out if the Library has online access.
  • Online dictionaries and encyclopedias – these are a good place to start your research and are much more reliable sources of information than Wikipedia. They can be searched individually or through Summon.
  • Google Scholar – finds scholarly literature in all areas of research. Don’t forget to set it up so that it links to the University of Reading Library’s electronic journal holdings as this will increase the number of articles you can access!

How to access electronic resources from off-campus

Aeroplanes

If you follow links from the Library website, Enterprise, or Summon you will be given the easiest route to logging in when you are off-campus. Usually you will just be prompted to login with your University username and password. Occasionally, if you access an e-resource via a search engine, you may need to select ‘University of Reading’ from a list of institutions before you can login. To find out more, see Accessing e-resources.

Please note: These resources are for your personal use only (you should not use them on behalf of your placement company or your friends); for more details, see our terms and conditions of use for Library e-resources. A few databases are only accessible from the UK; consult your liaison librarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Studying a language abroad as part of your degree?

Find the Useful Websites page for the language you study. It will give you lists of, and links to, selected resources in your country of destination, such as library catalogues, listings of journals, access to the media, links to organisations and other useful tips.

Going on industrial placement in the UK?

If you go on an industrial placement in the UK as part of your course and there is another university library nearby, you may be able to borrow from there by registering via SCONUL Access.

Help in your subject

If you require further guidance about the e-resources available in your subject, remember to look at the relevant Library subject guide. You are also welcome to contact your subject liaison librarian for advice on locating resources; they are always happy to answer your email enquiries.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by Charlie Carpenter, Liaison Librarian (History, GCMS and International Study and Language Institute).

Savvy searching on the Internet – info tip

Laptop and a bookThe Internet contains huge amounts of information, but do you know which sites are most reliable to use in your academic assignments?

Read on to learn more about internet sources for academic study.

Online reference sources

Reference materials such as dictionaries and encyclopedias are especially useful when you are looking for short introductions to a topic in order to start work on your assignment and they often point to useful books or articles on the subject that you can use for further reading.

General online reference sources

Although Wikipedia is one of the most popular online reference sites you should not cite it in your essays.  Anyone can add or edit pages meaning that articles are not necessarily written by experts; they may be of poor quality or contain errors.

There are more reliable and authoritative general reference sources available, including the following, which the Library subscribes to:

  • Britannica Online– the leading general reference title, peer-reviewed with entries written by experts in their field. Also available in printed format at the Library.
  • Credo Reference – Search over 250 published reference titles. Find longer articles and web pages too.
  • Oxford Reference – high quality, ‘peer-reviewed’ sources from Oxford University Press.

Reference sources for specific subjects

You can also find printed or online reference works that are specific to your subject area. For a list of recommended titles, consult the ‘Dictionaries & encyclopedias’ tab of your Subject guide. In this guide, you will also find a list of reliable, authoritative websites for your subject area.

Alternatively, you can ask your subject liaison librarian, or a member of staff working at a Library Information Desk, to recommend good quality dictionaries for you.

Google scholar

Google Scholar is the academic version of Google.  It allows you to search for scholarly literature from a variety of online resources.  However, be aware that your search results will also include material that the Library does not subscribe to, so you may not be able to access everything you find.

google scholarTo make the most of Google Scholar you might like to adjust the settings so that it displays links to the University of Reading Library. This lets you quickly access material that the Library subscribes to from your results list. Simply click on Settings then Library links to set this up. For full instructions and further information, have a look at our guide to accessing Google Scholar and some useful features of the search engine.

Google Scholar is a useful tool but remember that it only searches a small proportion of publications, so use it alongside other sources for a comprehensive literature search. Also, you should still evaluate the sources that you find for reliability, currency and authority.

Evaluating Internet Resources: Authority, Accuracy, Currency

Phone and books on a deskThere are many different electronic resources available on the Internet, and they are all of varying quality so whether you are looking at reference materials, websites or blogs, make sure you properly evaluate their reliability before you use them in your assignments.

To help you do this there is a Library guide and Study Advice video tutorial on evaluating websites. These contain useful tips to help you judge the accuracy and reliability of your search results, as well as providing some alternatives that are guaranteed to give you good references.

Citing Websites

Once you have found an appropriate website for your research make sure that you reference it correctly. There is guidance on how to do this in the Citing References LibGuide.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by, Natalie Guest, Liaison Librarian for Biological Sciences and Document Delivery Co-ordinator, and Louise Cowan, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Classics and Philosophy.

Count on Statistics! Info Tip

You’ve come up with a great argument for your essay, but how do you prove it one way or the other? Well one way is by using statistical evidence to support your position, and it might just get you a few extra marks as well.

What statistical sources are available?

Pie chart showing energy sourcesThe Library can provide you with access to a wealth of statistics covering a wide range of countries and subject areas.

The best sources of current statistics are online. For help on where to start looking go to the detailed guide to finding statistics.

A host of British statistics, covering agriculture, the environment, business, economic indicators, law, health, population and education, are freely available via the Office for National Statistics or as part of the Census data.

European statistics covering many of the same areas as the British statistics are available via the Eurostat service.

Comparative international statistics are produced by a number of bodies, UNESCO, the IMF, the OECD and the World Bank amongst others, and many of these are available via the UK Data Service (don’t let the name fool you). You do have to register separately with this provider but it is free.

If statistics are particularly relevant to your subject area, your liaison librarian may have written a guide to statistical sources in your subject – check for one for your subject.

Some historical statistics are available online, for example in International Historical Statistics Online, but you may also find what you are looking for amongst our books and periodicals. Search the Enterprise catalogue and include the words ‘statistics’ with the subject of your choice. Try not to be too specific – a more general search will produce better results.

 

Need further help?

If you need further help contact your subject liaison librarian who will be happy to help!

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.

This tip was written by Gordon Connell, Liaison Team Managers for Business & Social Sciences.

Cite it right – and avoid unintentional plagiarism!

standing on the shoulders of giantsYou 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 and 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:

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 Web is a basic tool that works with Word to add citations to your written work and constructs a bibliography at the end. It is free too.  If you have a large number of references to manage you might choose the more sophisticated Desktop EndNote. For advice on which version to use, and for self-paced training guides on EndNote, or book a place on a training workshop, see the Library’s web pages.

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 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!

This is one of a series of tips to help you save time and effort finding or using information.

This tip was written by Helen Hathaway, Library Head of Academic Liaison and Support and Dr Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser.

‘Careers on tour’: Library: Tuesday 17 January

Laptop, book and glassesUoR Careers Ambassadors return today! Visit the Ground Floor foyer of the University Library
between 12:00 – 14:00 to find out more about the services available to you, including:

For more news from Careers follow UoR Careers on Twitter . (UoR Job Shop covers news of part-time or vacation work)

 

Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Isabella Masciaga, Careers Events Assistant

Making the most of your Library – info tip

Typography students on a laptopYou don’t need to visit the Library to discover about the range of resources we provide!

  • Need to know how to find things in the Library?
  • Unsure how to search for books and journals on Enterprise?
  • Need to find books on your subject which aren’t on your reading lists?

Try LibLearn!

LibLearn is an online course that you can do when you have time and at your own pace. It is available 24/7 via Blackboard, the University’s online learning system. Divided into three sections, LibLearn includes documents to read, and quizzes to test yourself on how much you’ve learnt and to provide more tips.

New to the University?

Then LibLearn One is for you. It will help you to:

  • find your way around the Library
  • search for books on your reading lists on Enterprise
  • locate books in the Library

Been at the University for a while or doing a Masters or PhD?

LibLearn Two and LibLearn Three will help you to:

  • find journals in the Library
  • find material on a subject using Enterprise and Summon
  • find academically reliable material on the web
  • evaluate what you find
  • understand the principles of copyright and referencing
  • develop effective search strategies
  • search databases for information, particularly journal articles

How do you access LibLearn?

  1. Go to Blackboard
  2. Log on by following the instructions on the Blackboard login page
  3. Click on the Enrolments tab at the top of the screen
  4. Scroll down the screen to the Course Search box; type in LibLearn and click on Go
  5. Click on the ‘arrows’ (options menu) next to the course ID
  6. Click on the enrol button
  7. Click on the submit button on the Self Enrolment screen and OK at the bottom of the next screen

You will now be taken to the course pages. Next time you log on to Blackboard the course will be listed in your Courses box in the Enrolments tab.

Or watch one of our videos!

If you were unable to come to one of our ‘Finding your way’ workshops for new students, or just want to find out more about the Library and what we do, then check out our series of introductory videos.

Some of the videos currently available are:

Library staff…happy to help!

Although there is a wealth of information and help on our website, Library staff are here to help you, so please ask if you have any questions. You can always contact your subject liaison librarian for guidance on locating resources in your subject.

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by Learning Support Co-ordinator Sally Smith and Library Web Manager Jackie Skinner.

MyiLibrary ebook access problems

We are currently experiencing problems with access to MyiLibrary ebooks. The providers are aware and hope to have the problems resolved shortly. We apologise for the inconvenience this may cause and will update you as soon as possible.

 

Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Library Refurbishment: works over next two weeks

We’re approaching the halfway point for early works now, continuing to build towards the demolition of the glass-fronted staircase. Work over the next two weeks will largely focus on finishing off the internal hoardings and continued activity around the glass-fronted staircase.

Main works proposed up to Sunday 18 September 2016:

  • Internal hoardings on the Ground, 1st, 3rd and 5th Floors should be completed, with doors added for construction workers to access work areas. It goes without saying that these areas are strictly off limits to Library users, so please keep out!
  • Work around the glass-fronted staircase will continue from the Basement all the way up to the 2nd Floor.
  • The 2nd Floor is expected to reopen for full use during the week beginning Monday 12 September (date subject to change), including the group study area.
  • Once the 2nd Floor has reopened the 4th Floor will undergo the same programme of works that were recently carried out on the 2nd floor. As a result the 4th Floor will be closed temporarily. If you were looking to use the group study area on the 4th Floor, please use the space available on the 2nd Floor instead.
  • Outside, hoarding will be set up around the bike shed area so that ground works can begin.

Additional details can be found in a floor-by-floor plan. In addition, our contractors ISG have prepared a helpful news bulletin tracking progress over the past month.

As usual, the noisiest sections of work will be carried out up until 10:00am.

Please contact Robin Hunter if you have any queries. Additional information about the Library refurbishment can be found at www.reading.ac.uk/library/refurb.

Library Refurbishment: works up to 14 August

Image of refurbished University Library surrounded by seating, trees and hedges.

Impression of the refurbished University Library. 

Early works for the Library refurbishment will continue to take place over the next few weeks. The majority of activity will focus on preparing the southern (glassed in) staircase for demolition and continuing the erection of external hoardings. Access to Library services, support and resources will be maintained throughout.

Notable works leading up to Sunday 14 August are:

Week 1 (from 1 August): Work began around Cafe Libro to ensure that the café can continue to operate during the works. A new store was created and hoardings were installed to separate the café from the works, ensuring that you can still get your coffee! The vending machines have also been relocated. Work around the southern (glassed in) staircase continued across most floors in preparation for its demolition– this involved hoardings being set up around the stair core and a small amount of furniture being moved. The 20 bike hoops within the Library undercroft have been relocated to the URS undercroft within the gravel area next to existing bike hoops.

Week 2 (from 8 August): Preparations for the demolition of the southern staircase will continue across all floors– hoardings will be erected and a small amount of furniture will be moved out. Elsewhere, former staff offices on the Ground floor will be stripped out, and temporary power and water supplies will be added to the contractor’s temporary accommodation.

External hoarding will continue to be put up around the Library. This will surround the bike racks in the undercroft- so they have been temporarily relocated next to the bike hoops by the URS Building for the time being. The main bike racks to the front of the building will stay in operation until next year.

A floor-by-floor view is available for additional information.

For more information about the project, see our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or for day-to-day information, contact the Library’s Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter.

 

Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian

Ground Floor Group Study Pods unavailable

From Monday 8 August the Group Study Pods on the Ground Floor of the Library will become permanently unavailable as part of the Library Refurbishment Project. Alternative Group Study Pods can currently be found on the 4th Floor and the Group Study Rooms on the Ground Floor remain available. The microfilm and microfiche readers on the Ground Floor of the Library will also be unavailable.

You may have spotted that areas of the Library are cordoned off to allow for building works to commence. These are clearly marked by signage, hazard tape or barriers. Please do not enter any restricted areas as these are now dangerous construction zones. If you need any assistance please speak to staff on the Information Desks.

For more information about the project, see our Library Refurbishment Project webpage or contact the Library’s Facilities Manager, Robin Hunter.

 

Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Robin Hunter, Facilities Manager.

Summer reading, had me a blast – info tip

So the long vacation has finally arrived! If you want to take a break from studying, why not discover what else the Library has to offer over the summer?

Going exploring?

Pictures of maps pinned to a grey background

Whether you are venturing near or far you may find our collection of print and digital maps helpful. We have Ordnance Survey and road maps for much of the UK, as well as some tourist maps for Europe. The Maps Collection can be found of the 2nd Floor of the Library – for any help in finding or using the Maps Collection, have a look at our Maps guide.

a selection of language study books in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish

¿Dónde está la biblioteca?

If you are going abroad on holiday, why not have a look at our Language resources on the 3rd Floor to pick up some key phrases before you go. We have books on Spanish, French, German, Italian, Arabic, Mandarin and many other languages.

 

Holiday reading

Books standing on a bookshelf

Take a break from course reading and explore our selection of fiction – great for lazy days or long journeys. We have modern and classic novels waiting to be discovered on our catalogue. Or if you’d prefer to browse literature can be found on the 3rd floor at the following shelf-marks:

English fiction: 823; American fiction: 813; French fiction: 843; Spanish fiction: 863; Italian fiction: 853; German fiction: 833

 

A stack of CDsRoad Trip!

Explore our selection of CDs to get that perfect summer playlist. From Bach to The Beatles and Puccini to Public Enemy our collection has something for everyone. You can find music you love or discover something new on the 3rd Floor.

 

 

Learn something new…

Pictures of three books, one about learning acoustic guitar, one on film editing and the one about art.

The long vacation is the perfect time to take up a new hobby or develop a new interest. Have a look at our books on art, designfilm or music for inspiration.

 

Don’t forget that Library staff are around all summer for any questions or advice. You can contact us via email, phone or social media.

 

This is one of a series of tips to help save you time and effort finding or using information

This tip was written by Amy Rippon, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Education and MLES.