Finding your way with our map resources – info tip

Field mapsDid you know that University of Reading Library has more than 70,000 maps and atlases and is one of the largest university collections in the country? Our maps can be used for your teaching, research, and holidays!

Geographical cover

We have excellent coverage of Britain, including detailed coverage of Berkshire and the Reading area. Coverage of Europe is also very good, at least to road map level of most countries.

Coverage of the rest of the world varies with what is available – it may not be possible to obtain recent maps of some areas, especially as many governments consider maps to be politically sensitive. However we will certainly have something for all parts of the globe.

Date range

Reading 1761Although the collection is mostly post-1900, we have many facsimiles of earlier maps, including reproductions of English 18th century county atlases.

We also have Ordnance Survey maps dating back to 1830, as well as access to Historic Digimap, so it is possible to produce a time sequence of maps of a particular place.

Older versions of atlases and maps may reveal hidden information about a place and its past.

Types of map

Various mapsYou need to consider the type of map you need, and what you are planning to do with it.  Maps come in a variety of different types:

  •     Sheet maps or atlases
  •     Flat or folded
  •     Loanable or reference
  •     General purpose or thematic
  •     Paper or digital

Atlases are generally available for loan, and are mostly found in the 912 and FOLIO–912 sequences on the 2nd Floor.

Most of the map collection is non-loan, but a set of folded ‘Field maps’, including British Landranger and geology maps, are available for loan on the 2nd Floor.

Thematic maps show geology, soil types, land use, population, languages – anything which can be shown with a spatial distribution.  Many maps of this type are included in atlases, but may also be found as sheet maps.

Digital maps

roam TowerDigital maps are of increasing importance. For Great Britain, Digimap delivers maps and map data from official sources to UK higher education, and you can easily create authoritative location and site maps.  There are five different collections available to members of the University of Reading:

  • Digimap – contemporary Ordnance Survey maps and data, ranging from small scale base maps to detailed large scale plans
  • Historic Digimap – historic Ordnance Survey maps from 1840 to the 1990s.  They can be compared side-by-side to help follow changes in the landscape
  • Geology Digimap – geology maps and data from the British Geological Survey (BGS)
  • Environment Digimap – landcover maps for different years, from the Centre of Ecology and Hydrology (CEH).  This collection includes scans of the Dudley Stamp Land Use maps from the 1930s
  • Aerial Digimap – detailed aerial photography in a single seamless coverage, captured since 2000

A simple print out can be produced, or data can be downloaded and used in a Geographical Information System in conjunction with your own data. Look at the GIS & remote sensing section of our LibGuide to find other online sources of digital maps and data.

How to find them

To find paper maps the first step is to search the Enterprise catalogue. Search for the location you want, then refine using the format in the ‘Limit these results’ function to include only maps and atlases (atlases are listed separately – you may need to select ‘more’ to see all the options). Try not to be too specific – a more general search will produce better results.

For more information about searching for maps in Enterprise, and maps in general see the Maps LibGuide.

You can also see our short video presentation, using maps for your research in University of Reading Library.

Or you can ask the Map Librarian! I am happy to help –  email me for an appointment, or find me at the 3rd Floor Information Desk.

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

This tip was written by Judith Fox, Map Librarian.

Carry on streaming! Video resources – info tip

If you’re looking for videos, we have a host of clips, TV programmes and whole films available to stream – check out some of our collections for your teaching and learning!

Box of Broadcasts (BoB)

Box of Broadcasts, or BoB, is a TV and radio streaming service where you can access an archive of over 2 million programmes from the 1990s to the present day. Exclusively for UK educational establishments BoB has documentaries, news, drama, history, films and more from BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and lots of other Freeview channels. If English isn’t your bag there are also programmes from 10 foreign language channels, with videos in Italian, French and German.

BoB programmes include searchable transcripts, so you can track down a clip on your chosen subject with a simple keyword search and use the transcript to skip straight to the mention of your keyword. Create clips from any BoB programme and make your own playlists for different subjects and share them with your friends and colleagues.

You can also use BoB to record upcoming programmes – choose anything that’s due to be broadcast in the upcoming fortnight and BoB will email you when your recording is available.

Alexander Street Press

The individual subject video collections available on Alexander Street Press include a variety of documentaries and newsreel footage useful to the humanities and social sciences; American History in VideoBlack Studies in VideoHistory in VideoLGBT Studies in VideoThe March of TimeWorld History in Video and World Newsreels Online.

Every video has an embed code so that you can embed it into BlackBoard, presentations or assignments and the cite tool automatically creates a reference for it in four different referencing styles, so citing them in your academic work is easy. Create a personal account to make clips & create and share playlists.

All our video resources have information about how you may use the content on the access page – scroll down to see what you can do with the videos.
We hope you enjoy watching!

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, Document Delivery Coordinator & Liaison Librarian.

Avoiding fake news – info tip

The Internet contains vast amounts of information of varying quality and accuracy. How can you decide which sites are suitable to refer to in your academic work and which contain unreliable information? Read on to learn some tips to help identify appropriate material and avoid “fake news”.

Evaluating Internet Resources

When looking at Internet resources, it’s important to properly evaluate them before relying on them for your assignments. To help you, we’ve prepared a short guide and Study Advice video tutorial on evaluating websites.

Key factors for you to think about when evaluating a website include:

  • Authority – does the author have expertise in the topic?
  • Accuracy and reliability – can facts be checked and are arguments supported by evidence?
  • Currency – how up to date is the site?
  • Audience/relevance – is the site content and author at the right level for university work?
  • Feel – does the site have the look and feel of a credible source?

As well as explaining these key factors in greater detail, these guides highlight alternative resources that are more likely to give you reliable information and references.

You should also try the tutorials in the Virtual Training Suite, specifically designed to help university students in the UK develop their Internet research skills. Just choose the one that covers your subject area. They are bangin’.

Google Scholar

If you are searching the Internet for commentary on a topic, consider instead using Google Scholar. This is the academic version of Google, limiting results to scholarly material.

google scholarTo make the most of Google Scholar you can adjust the settings to show links to items available through the Library. For instructions and further information, have a look at our guide to accessing Google Scholar and some useful features of the search engine.

Be aware Google Scholar only covers a small proportion of publications. It’s therefore best used alongside specialist Web-based search tools, such as the Library’s Summon discovery service and subject databases. You’ll still need to evaluate your results as well.

Specialist Internet Research Resources

Rather than search the Internet generally, think seriously about what information you need and whether a choice from the Library’s electronic resources may provide better, more focussed content. For instance, we offer a range of online reference works and in the “Websites” tab of your subject guide you’ll find a list of selected reliable, authoritative websites for your subject. And when it does come to news, we offer online access to modern day and historical reporting from a wide range of national and international newspapers.

Alternatively, you can ask your subject liaison librarian for guidance on finding good quality resources for your study and research.

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

This tip was written by Ross Connell, Liaison Librarian for Politics & International Relations and Law.

Wherever you are, we’re here for you – info tip

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 Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Education and Modern Languages.

Finding journals made easy with BrowZine – info tip

BrowZine logoWe provide you with access to thousands of journals, but how do you find out what’s available? You can search the Library catalogue, Enterprise, but if you’re just after journals, BrowZine is a good starting point. You can also use it to create your own collection of your favourite titles, and be notified when the latest issues become available.

Browse or search

You can browse for your subject to identify useful titles. Alternatively, search for a subject, or search for a specific journal by title or ISSN.

The example below shows browsing Philosophy and Religion for Ethics/Bioethics related titles.

Browsing BrowZine for titles in Philosophy and specifically Ethics, showing a display of journal covers

Click on a title to see the contents of the latest issue, and to access earlier volumes. Clicking on a specific article will take you to the full-text on the publisher’s website, which you can then print or save.

Saving favourite journals & articles

When viewing journals on BrowZine you can create a virtual bookshelf of your favourite titles. Just click on ‘Add to my bookshelf’ under the journal title. You’ll need to login to do this. Simply sign up for an account if you haven’t already got one.

Once a journal is added to your bookshelf you’ll see notifications next to each title. This shows the number of unread articles in that journal, helping you to keep track of the ones you’ve reviewed. For a quick intro on using the bookshelf to keep up-to-date watch this short video on staying current with Browzine.

You can also save details of useful articles using the ‘Add to my articles’ option.

Both journals and articles can be put into topic groupings of your own choice.

Accessing BrowZine

BrowZine can be used on your computer, or you can download the app for use on an Android or Apple device.

Getting help

Explore these videos which cover using BrowZine on the web or via the app. Alternatively, contact your subject liaison librarian for advice.

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

This tip was written by Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager and Liaison Librarian.

Becoming an open researcher – info tip

Becoming an open researcher means sharing your research so that others can read, use, re-use and build upon your work. This approach is gaining momentum as research funders, institutions and researchers seek to make their methods, materials, data, software and results easily discoverable and accessible to maximise the pace of discovery.
Making your research open means that members of the public can gain access to your research as well as interested researchers, students and commercial companies, potentially increasing the impact and reach of your work and boosting citations. An open research approach may also help to alleviate the perceived reproducibility crisis.

Open research activities can include:

  • Pre-registering your study hypotheses and protocols
  • Keeping an open lab notebook so others can keep track of your research
  • Sharing data by depositing it in a repository such as the Reading Research Data Archive
  • Sharing software using sites such as Zenodo or Github
  • Posting your articles to a pre-print server, for example arXiv, bioRxiv, SSRN before submission to a journal
  • Publishing in an Open Access journal
  • Depositing your research articles in an Institutional Repository such as CentAUR
  • Contributing open peer reviews if you are asked to review a manuscript

See how the Wellcome Trust, a research funder, explains open research in this YouTube video.

You may not be ready to embrace all these activities without first checking with your funders, supervisor, co-authors and the policies of the journals you might want to eventually publish your work in. However, there are some simple steps that you can take now.

Sign up for an ORCiD identifier

Make sure that all your research outputs are credited to you and not to another researcher with a similar name by signing up for an ORCiD identifier. This free and easy process will give you a unique identifier that you can use throughout your career when you are publishing your outputs, conducting peer reviews or applying for funding. Over a thousand staff and post-graduate students at University of Reading have already acquired an ORCiD identifier. Find out more in our handy LibGuide.

Publish your research in an Open Access journal

Not all students and researchers are lucky enough to have access to a library with subscriptions to lots of journals and books. By choosing to publish your research as Open Access, you are making your work available to everyone in the world that has an internet connection. There may be funds available to you to pay for open access publishing – check out the guidance for University of Reading researchers.

Databases such as Scopus and Scimago can be used to find open access journals in your subject area and to compare journal rankings.

Remember to check that your preferred journal is listed in the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) before you submit your precious manuscript. There’s also good advice on how to make sure you are submitting to a reputable journal on the Think Check Submit website.

Deposit your outputs in CentAUR

Make your research available by the Green Open Access route by depositing your paper in an institutional repository. Most publishers allow the author’s accepted version of the manuscript to be made available, usually after an embargo period. Deposit in CentAUR is required by the University’s Open Access policy. It ensures visibility of your research even if you can’t publish in a fully open access journal (Gold Open Access). If you are University of Reading staff, you should deposit your outputs in CentAUR by logging in with your usual credentials. For students, you’ll need to contact the CentAUR team. Adding your outputs to CentAUR can help you comply with funders’ Open Access requirements and those of the next Research Excellence Framework exercise. Check out the latest CentAUR download and deposit statistics on the Opening Research at Reading Blog.

Share your Data

Many STEM journals now ask for the data behind the research article to be made available either in a suitable data repository or as supplementary material to accompany the paper. Your funder may also require you to have a data management plan. By putting the data in a suitable repository (such as the Reading Research Data Archive, Figshare or Dryad) you can preserve your data and even get a digital object identifier (DOI) to make your data easier to share, link to and cite. You can also add a Creative Commons license to your data to let others know how they can reuse it and to make sure that they give appropriate credit to you for your work.

Find out about Creative Commons licenses

Creative Commons logo used under a CC-BY licence

An important aspect of sharing your research and allowing reuse is making sure that you apply the right license to your works. Creative Commons licenses can help you to make your research more open by stipulating what can be done with the work and making sure that you still get credit. The most open license is the CCBY version.

Read the University of Reading’s Draft Open Research Vision Statement

The University of Reading is committed to Open Research and has published a draft statement on how Open Research can be integrated into all stages of the research lifecycle. The presentations from last year’s Open in Practice conference organised by University of Reading are available on the Opening Research at Reading Blog.

 

Additional resources

Open Science Training Handbook

 

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

This tip was written by Dr Karen Rowlett, Research Publications Adviser.

3rd Floor book moves

What’s changing?

Work on the 3rd Floor of the Library is progressing. The next phase involves moving stock from the 2nd and 4th Floors onto this floor to prepare for the 4th Floor closing for refurbishment.

When will it start?

The anticipated start date for this is between Wednesday 9 May and Friday 11 May, with a timeframe of 7-8 weeks. This is subject to approval from Building Maintenance. We’ll keep you updated on this blog and on Twitter (@UniRdg_Library) and Facebook (@universityofreadinglibrary).

Can I still access my books?

Yes! In keeping with our strategy to maximise access to stock throughout the Refurbishment Project, all books will remain accessible as far as possible throughout the move. Each shelf will be unavailable for around thirty minutes whilst the stock is being moved. The Library catalogue will also be updated to reflect the new locations, usually within a day.

Where will I find my books after the move?

The stock will be split by Call Number as follows:

2nd Floor

000s – computer science

300s – social sciences, law

800s – literature

900s – history, geography, archaeology

Journals

3rd Floor

100s – philosophy, psychology

200s – religion

400s – languages, linguistics

500s – science

600s – technology, business, typography

700s – arts

EDC

Teaching Practice

Where can I get help?

Library staff will still be available at the Information Desks and Ground Floor Help Point – please contact them if you can’t find what you’re looking for. The 4th Floor Information Desk will  move to the 3rd Floor from 14 May.

More information

Work will continue to take place on the 3rd Floor, which is anticipated to be due for completion on 1 September 2018. The work will not impact access to books.

Keep up to date with the latest study space and Library refurbishment news on our Library refurbishment webpage.

Katie Moore and Caitlin McCulloch, Trainee Liaison Librarians

Citing references made easy with EndNote Web – info tip

Laptop, book and glassesAre you starting your dissertation? Do you lack confidence citing references in your work? Have you been marked down for inconsistencies in your bibliography?

EndNote Web can help!

What is EndNote Web?

EndNote Web is a free online service you can use to:

  • store and organise useful references you find whilst researching topics
  • insert references in your Word document
  • automatically build and format your bibliography in a style of your choosing

It’s perfect for undergraduates and Masters students as it is a cut-down version of the Desktop EndNote program used by researchers.

How do I use it?

EndNote Web is freely available, but University members can access an enhanced version as part of the Library’s subscription to the Web of Science database. You can use it on both PCs and Macs.

Log in to the Web of Science, click ‘EndNote’ in the top menu and sign up for an account. Once registered you can use it both on- and off-campus.

How do I get references into my EndNote Web library?

You can manually type in details of useful books and articles you have found, but there are quicker methods to download multiple references from databases and the Library catalogue.

Direct export

This method is available on the Web of Science and all of the Ebsco databases (including Business Source Complete). Just search the database for your topic and select save/export to EndNote Web.

Import

For most other databases you can save a file of references and import them into EndNote Web. To find out how to do this on your preferred databases, check our database A-Z list – this has information on how each one works with EndNote Web. If you need advice, contact your subject liaison librarian.

Online Search

You can use the Online Search facility within EndNote Web to get book references from our catalogue, Enterprise, into your library.

Writing your essay or dissertation

Once you have references in your EndNote Web library you can insert them into your Word document as you write your essay or dissertation. Word’s Cite While You Write toolbar allows you to search your library for the reference you want to insert and it will automatically put the citation in the text and build the bibliography at the end of your document. This toolbar is installed on all campus PCs and is free to download onto your own device.

You can select from a number of referencing styles (Numbered, APA, MHRA etc.) or use the customised Harvard for Reading style. This meets the requirements of many of the science and life science departments at the University. If you need to change your style, all of your citations and references will be reformatted automatically – no more rewriting your references at the last minute!

Getting help

Our guide to getting started with EndNote Web (PDF) will take you through all the steps involved in creating your EndNote Web account, getting references into your library and using it with Word to write your essays or dissertation. You can also view EndNote Web videos produced by Thomson Reuters, the suppliers of EndNote Web.

Alternatively, contact your subject liaison librarian for individual help and support.

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

This tip was written by Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager and Liaison Librarian and Caitlin McCulloch, Trainee Liaison Librarian.

Can we help you to be a more resilient student? – info tip

You may have read a lot about resilience recently – but what does it mean for you as a student?

In academic study, everything depends on being critical. You are encouraged to take a critical approach in your reading, note-making, practical research, and writing. That’s what makes your studying academically rigorous: but it can feel more difficult when the critical eye of your marker is turned on your work. This is when resilience kicks in. The resilient student is able to understand criticism as a tool to develop skills and understanding. Study Advice and the Library can help you to develop resilience and use it to feel less stressed and enhance your study success.

 

Be prepared!

Feeling prepared will build your academic confidence and that will make you more resilient. Try keeping a learning log so you can reflect on things that have worked well, and things that you might need to work on. Look back on this after you’ve submitted your assignments, and you’ll be well prepared by the time you have to write the next one.

You can prepare for lectures, seminars and lab sessions by gaining a bit of basic knowledge of the topic before the session. You can find short articles in encyclopaedias and other reference works written for your subject; the Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias tab in your Subject Guide will list some useful titles.

For your more detailed reading when you prepare for exams and assignments, Study Advice has a guide on reading and making notes, and video tutorials on researching your assignments and preparing for exams. Make sure you’re prepared to get the best mark when you’re writing up your assignments with our guides on essay writing, report writing and dissertations.

 

Dealing with feedback

When you get your assignments back, it’s tempting to take a quick peek at the mark and then file them away. That’s a good way to avoid feeling deflated by criticism of your work; but you’ll miss out on the comments from your marker that are designed to help you develop.

Our video tutorials on assessment and feedback can help you understand what markers are looking for, and how to use your feedback as a tool to improve your marks. Our guides can show you ways to respond to common comments. For instance, the Library can help you to respond to the comment that you need to ‘do wider reading’. Have a look at their Subject Guides, and guides to using the Library Catalogues for ways to find more reading in your subject.

The Study Advice academic writing guide has tips on grammar and punctuation, and on effective proof-reading, and our citing references guide will make sure you cite it right. Or come and see us for a one-to-one confidential advice session to go through your feedback and discuss how you could respond.

 

How to stop putting it off

Procrastination is often a consequence of not developing your resilience. It’s a common response to the fear of failure – and it’s harder to succeed if you’re not sure what success looks like. Using the strategies above to make you feel more prepared and understand your markers’ expectations will help to avoid this. However, if you find yourself constantly putting things off, we have a video tutorial on overcoming procrastination to help you break the cycle. And it’s under seven minutes long, so you won’t be wasting any time watching it!

And if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed generally, have a look at our other video tutorials on time management. They include one on making more hours in the day – something we all need!

 

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

This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser.

Make your dissertation stand out by using Special Collections – info tip

Are you planning your dissertation? You might want to consider using the University’s Special Collections of archives, manuscripts and rare books.

Why use Special Collections?

Students looking at a rare book from the University of Reading Special CollectionsOur collections include rare books, manuscripts, records, letters, photographs, maps and drawings. Using this type of material can add a unique dimension to your work and enliven your dissertation. You could, for example, encounter the annotations of previous readers in a book and discover what they thought of a text, get a glimpse of the inner workings of a farm or a publishing company by looking at their records, or find out how new discoveries in your discipline were communicated and disseminated at the time.  You are also much more likely to produce original research, which will help you gain you a better mark, and you will develop valuable research and critical thinking skills.

Walking into Special Collections can sometimes seem daunting – but it doesn’t have to be! We’re helpful folk down here, and we’re always happy to get you started. The University’s Special Collections are available for all students in the University, and you can access over 150 important collections covering a wide range of arts and humanities, science and social science discipline areas.

In the past, students have used Special Collections to research a wide range of subjects, including:

  • A collection of historical postcardsMills & Boon romantic fiction
  • Botanical illustration
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • The publishing industry
  • The history of mathematics
  • Beekeeping
  • Farming records
  • Women’s history
  • Children’s literature
  • Architectural history

Finding items on your research topic

Rare book spinesYou may be surprised at the variety of material you can access to support your research! See the A-Z list of collections or our list of featured items for a flavour of what’s available.

Try the following to see if there is useful material for your research project:

Using Special Collections

A Wizard of Oz illustrationItems from our collections cannot be borrowed, but they can be consulted in our reading room. You’re advised to plan ahead and contact Special Collections prior to your visit, so that we can have the material ready for you for when you arrive. We are based on the London Road campus, in the same building as the Museum of English Rural Life.

Go to the Special Collections website for more useful information on using the service.

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

This tip was written by Erika Delbecque & Fiona Melhuish, Special Collections Librarians.

Planning your revision – info tip

Boy reading in sunshineEaster’s coming up fast, and you’re probably still completing assignments for the end of term. Exams might still seem a long way off now but they’ll be here before you know it. It’s a good time to start thinking about your revision – and the Library and Study Advice are here to help.

Working out a schedule

It’s important to have a plan, to make sure you have time to cover all the topics you need to. Avoid making your revision plan too detailed and prescriptive though – you will need to build in time for relaxation, exercise – and the unexpected!

The Study Advice guide on preparing for exams includes tips for planning your revision, including how to work out your revision schedule. You might also find our video tutorials on time management helpful – we have tips on planning and avoiding procrastination, for instance.

Finding materials for revision

You will probably start by reading through your lecture notes, and then looking at texts on your reading list. The Library has guidance on finding different types of publication as well as videos that will help you to get the most out of the Library.

You should also check the subject resources and guidance for information resources in your topic – much more reliable than ‘just Googling it’. And remember that, whether you’re revising on or off campus, our ebooks and ejournals are accessible 24/7.

Where will you revise?

It’s good to think about the place that you study best. Some students prefer to study at home or in Halls, and 24/7 access to e-resources makes this a viable option without taking mountains of books home. If you do this, make sure you make a schedule and stick to it – it’s easy to watch just one more episode of that box set!

Many students prefer to study in the Library, and study spaces will be available in the URS Building as usual. However it’s worth considering some of the other places to study on campus; being somewhere different may help you to avoid distractions. Or consider other places off-campus like public libraries. Going to a new place that you’ve identified as a ‘place to do revision’ can help you to focus.

Wherever you revise, remember to take breaks. Library@URS may be open 24 hours but that doesn’t mean you have to work through the night – your brain needs rest and time for processing information.

 

Making your revision effective

If you can find six minutes in your busy schedule, you have enough time to watch the Study Advice video tutorial on effective revision – and save yourself a lot of wasted time. Our guide on preparing for exams also has tips on revision and memory techniques. If you’re taking exams in the UK for the first time, have a look at our information on assessment by examination in UK higher education to give you a clearer idea of how they may differ from what you have done in the past.

Remember that the purpose of revision is not to memorise everything you can find about the subject, but to prepare yourself to answer exam questions. Check the Past Paper archive on the Exams Office website to find examples of questions for your modules which you can use to write practice answers – to time and by hand, ideally. We have a Study Seminar on Writing for University Exams: Wed 14 March 2018, 2-3 in Palmer 104 – no need to book. And have a look at our video tutorials on exams for guidance on the best way to prepare for different kinds of exams.

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

This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Michelle Reid, Sonia Hood and Erika Delbecque (Study Advice team).

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, the FAO, 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.

If you need help interpreting the statistics you find then why not ask for help from Maths Support.

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 Manager for Business & Social Sciences.