Get to know your online reading list – info tip

Now that lecturBlackboard menu with Reading Lists option highlightedes have started, you might be wondering where to find materials for your new modules. Many lecturers use online reading lists to recommend books, journal articles, and other useful materials to read each week and to help you find materials for your assignments.

You should find your online reading list via the left-hand menu on Blackboard, and it will contain real-time information on the availability of print materials in the Library, as well as links to e-books, e-journal articles, videos, and scanned extracts of key readings that your lecturer recommends.

Watch our quick video introduction with all the key features of your online reading list.

New-look online reading lists

If you’re a returning student, you might have spotted that your reading lists look a little different… Over Spring Term last year we trialled a new look and it received positive feedback.

The new look now displays:

  • Real-time information on library availability without leaving the main list – click on the title of the book you’re interested in, and you’ll see the call number and number of copies displayed below.

A particular item on a reading list with its availability highlighted

  • Online resources (including scanned chapters) are available via the ‘View Online’ button on the right.

An item on a reading list with the View Online option highlighted

  • You can use the drop-down menu at the top of the page to filter by physical/online resource; importance level (Essential, Recommended or Further reading); or by Week if this is available. This can help you to manage your readings week by week – but if you’re looking for a specific item use the Search at the top of the page.

The drop-down menu on Talis for choosing resource typesYou are also able to create an online reading lists account and make notes on items, or mark items as ‘Read’ – these notes and labels are only visible to you, and you can use these to manage and keep track of your readings.

For more information on using these features of your online reading list, or for any other questions, take a look at our guide for students.

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 Coles, Course Support Co-ordinator.

New student? Make the most of your Library – info tip

Welcome to University of Reading Library!

We are here to support your studies, providing you with access to information – online, multimedia or printed – and the skills to make the most of it.

What you need to know

For a general intro, check out our guide for new students.

This year Library services are operating from two buildings. Study space and services are in the Library@URS Building, whilst printed materials are still available to borrow from the main Library building next door. The Library building also has some study space.Two students using laptops in the study space in the URS Building

Come to a ‘Finding your way’ session

Our interactive workshops run throughout Welcome Week and Week 1. Discover how to find books in the Library and borrow them, and have a tour of the services and facilities in the Library@URS Building. Each session lasts around one hour, but could save you a lot more time in the long run!

Visit our website to find out more and book your place.

Explore in Welcome Week

We are open through Welcome Week, so why not explore before all the other students return? Between 09:00 and 17:00 you can:Students outside the URS Building

  • Visit the Library to find resources for your subject – pick up a guide to your subject there and pick up some freebies.
  • Pop in to the Library@URS next door to discover your favourite study areas on the 2nd Floor and the largest PC facility in the University on the Ground Floor (along with IT help from the Service Desk).
  • Meet Study Advice and Maths Support on the Ground Floor of the Library@URS and pick up a free planner to organise your new University life!

Visit us in the Marquee

On Tuesday 25 September, Library staff and the Study Advice and Maths Support teams will be in the Marquee for the Academic Success Fair. Please pop in and have a chat with us about how we can support your studies. We’ll have freebies and a photo booth too!

Explore our online help

We’ve got lots of resources on our website to support your studies and develop your skills.

Get individual help

Liaison librariansYour friendly subject liaison librarian will be happy to give you individual help with any subject-related enquiries, or questions about the Library. You might also see yours as part of a Library session organised by your Department.

For one-to-one help with study skills contact the Study Advice Team.

Prepare yourself for life at university

Have you completed the Study Smart online course? This short course has been designed to help you make a smooth transition to University learning. It covers academic integrity, communicating at University and being an independent learner. Why not find time in Welcome Week to complete the course if you haven’t already done so? You should have received an e-mail with instructions on signing up – if not, contact Study Advice.

Find us on social media

Look out for our Finding Your Way tips throughout the Autumn Term on how to make the most of your Library. You’ll find them all on social media under the hashtag #FYWTips – feel free to add your own! We’re active on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – we’d love for you to share how you’re getting on, and you can ask us questions there too!

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.

Adjusting to study in UK higher education – info tip

Two international graduandsFor international students, preparing for success in UK study means more than just learning the language. You will have many questions about the culture and expectations of universities in the UK, which can be quite different to what you have been used to. Even if you’ve been successful when studying in your home country, you will need to develop and adapt the way you study to succeed in the UK. We have plenty of suggestions that can help – and you can always get in touch with the Study Advice team or your subject Liaison Librarian if you have more questions.

Understanding university study in the UK

The University Study Advisers have developed a guide to help those moving up to higher education in the UK to understand what is expected through exercises and tips. This is one of a whole series of study guides and video tutorials to help you develop the skills you will need for study success, including dedicated advice on assessment by examination in UK Higher Education and guidance on academic writing. You may find the Academic Phrasebank (University of Manchester) helpful when starting out with your academic writing.

Other useful guides include UKCISA’s study tips and the Prepare for Success website (University of Southampton).

If you are starting undergraduate study at the University, remember to complete the Study Smart course which is aimed at helping all new undergraduates feel more prepared for study. You can return to the course throughout your first year if you want to remind yourself of what you’ve learnt.

Developing effective practices for UK study

There are various books in the Library written for students on developing your study skills. Many can be found on the 2nd Floor with Call Numbers beginning 378. Why not have a look on the shelves to see what is available? Or search the online Library catalogue, Enterprise for “study skills”.

You may find referencing and citation practices in the UK are quite different to those you have been used to. See our Citing References guide for tips on how and when to use references correctly in your writing.

To make the most of the Library, check out the following guides:

Building your cultural and language knowledge

student reading newspaperA good way to practise your language skills and, at the same time, learn something about UK culture is to read newspapers. The Library subscribes to a number of newspapers in print and online.

The Library has many resources that can help you to build your language skills, including books to help with IELTS (International English Language Test Score), language dictionaries, and films on DVD which you could watch to help your listening skills. Alternatively, you may prefer to improve your reading skills by using the Teaching Practice Collection which includes an extensive collection of children’s literature in English, both fiction and non-fiction. The language learning books, films on DVD and Teaching Practice Collection can be found on the 3rd Floor, while on the 2nd Floor you might wish to consult the English literature books and borrow a novel to practise your reading for pleasure.

A useful online resource for developing your English language is Learn English (British Council). You may also find the English for Uni website helpful. This aims to make difficult grammar and academic writing concepts easier to understand.

There is also general information for International students at the University, including links to advice on visas, accommodation and getting involved in University activities.

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

This tip was written by Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser and Charlie Carpenter, ISLI Liaison Librarian/International Student Support Coordinator.

Broaden your horizons by learning a language – info tip

Students learning languagesWhether you’re a new or an existing student, why not learn a language in the new academic year? The Library holds a variety of resources to help you learn languages, no matter what your level or preferred mode of study may be.

Choose your language

The Library’s language learning resources cover the six languages taught to degree level: French, German, Italian, Spanish, Latin and Ancient Greek; and the additional languages taught within the Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP): Modern Greek, Russian, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese and British Sign Language. Some textbooks or dictionaries for learning other languages, including English as a foreign language, are also in stock.

Choose how to study

If you want to learn a language by yourself, there are various resources for self-instruction, such as workbooks, CDs, CD-ROMs and DVDs.

If you are attending language classes, such as with the IWLP, then there are textbooks, grammars, dictionaries and easy readers which may be a helpful supplement to your course textbook.

Male student reading italian textBeyond the language

Of course, learning a new language also involves finding out about a different country, its society and culture. The Library holds numerous books encompassing the history of many different countries, as well as French, German, Italian and Spanish literature in the original language.

If reading the history and literature of a particular country is a bit too much like hard work, then why not watch a film from that country or study a map of that country? The Library holds many films on DVD, with a large number in languages other than English, as well as a collection of around 70,000 maps and atlases.

Where in the Library?

The language learning resources in the Library are located on the 3rd Floor. Look for Call Numbers in the 400s – in both the ‘Books’ and ‘Large’ sections. Also on the 3rd Floor are films on DVD, at Call Number 791.437, and you may find some language learning resources in the Teaching Practice Collection. Although primarily aimed at trainee teachers, this collection includes children’s literature in English, which may be used to improve English language skills.

For literature, history and field maps, head to the 2nd Floor – literature is located in the 800s, books on the history of various countries are located in the 900s and field maps in the Maps section.

Other language learning resources in the University

The Self-Access Centre for Language Learning (SACLL), located in Edith Morley 230, is a specialist language learning facility, open to international students and the wider University community. The centre includes a wide range of materials for students learning English and foreign languages, including books and DVDs. There are also computers available for students to use, some with useful online language materials.

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 for the International Study and Language Institute.

Get ahead by reading around your subject – info tip

Boy reading in sunshineDuring a busy term there’s not much time for reflection, so the long vacation is a good time to do some wider reading around your subject. You may want to catch up, build your in-depth knowledge of topics you’ve already covered, or put your previous reading in a wider context. You might want to get ahead and prepare for next year’s modules, or you may be starting to work on your dissertation.

Whatever your reason for reading around your subject, it will be more effective if you know how to find appropriate resources and how to make the most of them once you have found them. The Library and Study Advice can help with this.

How will it help me?

Reading around your subject will help you to develop an overview of key themes and issues in your topics. You will be able to compare what different scholars think about topics, and what evidence they are using to support their ideas. To get the most out of it, you should be reading critically and thoughtfully.

How can we help you?

The Library has plenty of tools to help you find materials that are not on your reading lists.

Start by looking for your subject guide. This lists the essential things you need to know to get you started on wider reading: where you can find books on your topics in the Library; dictionaries and encyclopaedias for your topic; how to search for journal articles and the appropriate databases to use; and some evaluated web sites.

If you already know a key text for your topic, search for it in the Library catalogue, Enterprise. Once you’ve found it you can click on the author’s name to find their other works, or click on the subject to find similar titles.

Searching Summon can give you a different angle. Enter a search term and it will show you e-book chapters, online journal articles, and even news items on your topic that might get you thinking.

Don’t forget to think beyond books and journal articles, especially if you’re researching for your dissertation. Our databases can point you to newspaper articles, reports and primary texts including letters and ephemera – often offering the full text online. Plus our Special Collections have archived material and rare books to explore from Brian Aldiss to The Wizard of Oz.

Getting the most out of your reading

The Study Advice guide on managing academic reading includes ideas on how to select materials, reading techniques and common abbreviations you may come across. There is also a brief video tutorial on reading academic texts that includes guidance on reading strategies to help you make the most of your reading time.

Make sure you keep records of the bibliographic details in case you want to refer to the text later in your assignments. We have guidance on effective note-making so you can avoid having more notes than the book you’ve just read. Or watch our video on critical note-taking to help you develop your thinking about what you’ve just read.

If you’re reading for your dissertation, we have a video tutorial on starting research for your dissertation for tips and strategies.

Let us take you somewhere you’ve never been this summer and help you to make the most of reading around your subject!

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

This info tip was written by Katie Moore, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Education and MLES.

Polishing up your Masters dissertation – info tip

Student studyingAs you get into the last few weeks of work on your Masters dissertation or major project, it should all be coming together. This info tip aims to give you the tools to get everything done in time – and make your dissertation a shining success!

Editing, proof-reading and referencing

At this stage, you should be starting to think about editing and proof-reading. It’s best not to leave this till the last minute as it’s rarely just a matter of checking your spelling. There may be missing citation details to find, arguments that would be better placed elsewhere, repetition to remove, and word count to reduce. All these things take more time than you think.

Study Advice have a guide on writing at Masters’ level which will help you to see what you need to aim at when editing your writing. There is also a guide on academic writing including tips for more effective proof-reading. If you have five minutes, you could watch one of their video tutorials on dissertations.

It can make a real difference to your mark to make sure your citations are all correct, complete and consistent. This can be a slow process so allow plenty of time. There is information about different referencing styles and how to reference more unusual sources in our Citing References guide. You could also look at the Study Advisers’ video tutorials on referencing. If you’re still not sure, ask your Liaison Librarian or a Study Adviser.

Incomplete reference? What to do?

You may find you have a key piece of information, but not all the details you need for your bibliography. If you have some information, it still may be possible to find the complete reference.

For a journal article, try Summon or one of the Library’s databases; for a book, try checking your reading list, searching the Library catalogue, or a database specialising in books such as Worldcat or Copac. Ask at a Library Information Desk for help. You can also look back through your Library account to see the titles of books you’ve borrowed over the last 6 months.

If you want to use a direct quote from your reading but don’t know where it came from, try typing it into Google, framed with quotation marks e.g. “the City’s collusion with slavery”. Google will then search for the exact quotation. You may find it’s better to use a short phrase rather than a longer quote; try to find a grouping of words that stands out. What you must never do is invent details, or include things in your dissertation 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.

Get the edge with up-to-date information

The best dissertations include the most up-to-date research so, if you have time, you can check for recent publications that you may have missed in your literature review. Many databases allow you to re-run your search for an author or on a topic to find only the most recent items.

For example, Web of Science allows you to save your searches to re-run against the latest updates to its databases. You can also set up feeds and citation alerts so that you are notified when someone cites your key articles. Watch the saving your search and setting email alerts video for detailed instructions on how to do this.

This service isn’t only available in the sciences, however – you can set up alerts in services such as BrowZine to find the latest articles across all disciplines and subjects. Most databases will have this function available, but each one will work slightly differently. If you want to set up alerts for a particular database but aren’t sure how, get in touch with your Liaison Librarian.Female student writing

For more, see our further tips on keeping up to date.

Staying motivated

It can be difficult to motivate yourself to get to the finishing line, and it’s easy to underestimate how long the finishing touches may take. Breaking your remaining tasks down and setting deadlines to get each ticked off can help. You might turn these into a Gantt chart and pin it up on your wall, so you can see your targets at a glance. Study Advice have some further suggestions on staying motivated.

Layout and binding

Find out ahead of time what is expected in terms of layout and binding and you are likely to save yourself from last-minute panic. The Study Advice website has some general principles on finishing up. More specific information should be in your course or module handbook. It may also be possible to look at past dissertations in your department to see how they have laid out their work: ask your tutor.

You do not need to hard bind your work, but if you choose to do so, do be aware that you will have to leave considerably more time. The Library have teamed up with experienced university binders Hollingsworth & Moss to offer a hard and soft bound printing and binding service.

Acceptable binding styles include thermal binding with a hard or soft cover, spiral and comb binding. These can be done at many print shops with a little notice, including Mail Boxes Etc in the RUSU building on Whiteknights campus.

If you have any last-minute queries, you can always come and ask your Liaison Librarian or a Study Adviser.

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 and Caitlin McCulloch, Trainee Liaison Librarian for Chemistry and Pharmacy.

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.