researchskillsbanner2013Want to do your best in your exams? Effective preparation is the key, says the University Study Advice Team, based on the 1st Floor of the Library.

Prepare for exams

Take advice from the Study Advisers’ guides on preparing for exams, watch one of their bite-size video tutorials, book an individual appointment with them or read a University Library book on the subject, eg:

Five tips for effective revision

  1. Download past papers from the Examinations Office Past Papers Archive to work out how many topics to revise, how questions are asked, timings and for practice questions.
  2. Revise effectively to a schedule covering all your selected topics in some depth (rather than a few completely), and utilising your best times of day for concentration.
  3. Learn actively – think critically and consider how to use what you’re reading to answer an exam question. Keep testing what you know, then look for material to fill gaps.
  4. Practise, practise, practise writing to a specific time and by hand – find out how much you can write in that time. It is different to writing assignments!
  5. Be nice to yourself! You need some space for thinking and processing what you’ve learned. To achieve your best results, give yourself time off to exercise, eat and sleep properly… Take the Library stairs, sit outside or try cafélibro or refreshment machines on the Library Ground Floor. However, please don’t eat at your desk – it’s not good for you or the Library environment, although bottled water is OK to  have with you.

Space to revise

  • The Library is students’ most popular choice. Select which study areas help you revise best: group discussion, quiet or silent study. For the last week of the Easter vacation and in term-time, the Library is open 24-hours, Sunday to Saturday.
  • RUSU’s The Study usually opens 24-hours from 09:00 Monday to 21:00 Saturday: see RUSU’s website.
  • If the Library is busy or you want an alternative, check extra University exam-time study spaces across campus, arranged by Student Services. Note which operate during the day, evenings, weekends or overnight!

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 Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator, and Kim Shahabudin, Study Adviser.

Hands holding open book as laser scans barcode at Library Self-Service PointWe’ve just made borrowing even easier for University of Reading Library students and staff!

Borrowing books

‘Limitless’ renewals: You can now renew books as many times as you like, unless another Library user requests it (or you let it go overdue) until the end of your time here. Previously we had a limit of five renewals.

‘Limitless’ 7-day loans: You can now take as many 7-day loan books as you like, within your total allocation (15 for undergraduates, 20 for postgraduates and education students, 25 for researchers and staff). Previously we had a limit of five 7-day loans.

Borrowing unbound journal parts

You may now borrow loose journal parts at Self-Service Points, once we have stuck on a barcode for you. Completing paper slips will eventually become unnecessary and loan information will show on your library record, to remind you to return these journals.

Just for Reading

These privileges support the teaching and learning priorities of our own Reading students. Library visitors and external borrowers remain limited in the number of 7-day loans, renewals or journal parts they can take out. See our webpage ‘How many items can I borrow?’ for details.

Rachel Redrup, Liaison Librarian

University of Reading Library at nightFrom Tuesday 22 April, the Library is open again after the University Easter closure. As it is exam revision time, we are opening 24-hours for this last week of vacation, although we normally now open 24-hours in term (except Saturday 21:00 to Sunday 08:30 for our maintenance and your rest!)

Note that entry 00:00-08:00 is by swiping your campus card at the Library’s right-hand front door!

4th Floor book moves

We have been moving books around on the Social Sciences Floor in advance of refubishment this June. We have been clearing the high-ceilinged area so we can install modern group-study funiture here, similar to the 2nd Floor. This means folio books, reference books and all normal sized books have moved. Check our previous post for more on all this change on the 4th Floor!

CaféLibro

CaféLibro has also re-opened and with a trial period of extended opening!

  • Monday to Friday 08:00-23:00
  • Saturday 11:00-18:00
  • Sunday 11:00-23:00

Maintenance

Avoid works in and around the Library this vacation which may still be in operation by following diversions around staircase closures and trenches outside our front door!

Other services

The ITS Help counter opens in vacations 09:00-17:00 weekdays. Check our Study Advice website for guides and help.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

The Library has a number of sources of copyright-free images which you can use in your assignments and University work. Why not explore some of the resources listed below in order to enrich your projects with illuminating images?

Images can be a persuasive addition to your argument, but should be considered critically as with any source. Remember to reference images appropriately, giving credit to the original source.

Finding images

You can access the following databases through the Library website, or follow the links below.

Britannica image web pic 1

Britannica Image Quest – includes over 2.7 million images from various collections including National Geographic, Getty Images, National History Museum and more.

 

 

 

Mediahub web pic 1

MediaHub – includes still images, video and audio covering all subjects, selected especially for use in Higher Education. MediaHub also acts as a portal to many other online image collections and allows you to search across all the collections with one click!

 

 

Other databases include both text and images, but allow you to search for images only. Examples of these are Oxford Art Online, Credo Reference and Science Direct.

University image collections

Students can also take advantage of the Visual Resource Centre (VRC), based in the HUMSS building in room G27L. The centre holds a large collection of slides, digital images and video relating to Art, Architecture, Classics and History. Students from any subject area are welcome to use the VRC, although most of its material relates to Arts and Humanities.

Image search engines

CC logoThere is also a wealth of images available online, some of which are made available for non-commercial use in project work and presentations. These are labelled as Creative Commons images.

You can find these by using a number of search engines and photo-sharing websites, including Xpert search and attribution. Xpert searches Creative Commons licensed material and allows you to download the image with the appropriate attribution and licence details integrated – easy!

For further guidance on using images legally, see the University’s advice on copyright

Need further advice?

For more guidance contact your subject liaison librarian.

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

This tip was written by Natalie Guest, Multimedia Manager.

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 subjects.

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 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 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 & Tim Chapman, Liaison Team Managers for Business & Social Sciences and Science & Life Sciences.

In preparation for refurbishment this summer we have moved most the books on the 4th Floor. So if you are used to going to the same spot for your books on your subject, you might have to go to a new section or check the shelf labels for their new location.

4th Floor plan with red arrows showing where stock has movedWe moved …

  • 4th Floor normal size books along so that the remainder of the Bulmershe Collection can be integrated with them.
  • 4th Floor folio (large) books to the area opposite the photocopiers.
  • 4th Floor Reference Collection to the end of normal size 900s.

If you have problems locating a specific item, or just generally finding your way around during or after these moves, please ask at the 4th Floor Information Desk.

Cripps Transport men moving large books from library trolleys to new shelves

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager
Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

 

Changes have been made to Google Scholar to allow better interaction with Web of Science.  Now you can link directly from your search results in Google Scholar to Web of Science Core Collection, as long as you are on campus.

Reference from Google Scholar showing the link to Web of Science

Click on the Web of Science link to see published, peer-reviewed articles which have cited this article.  If you use Google Scholar to perform a quick search and then use Web of Science to expand your results, then this will save you time!

You can also launch a Google Scholar search from within Web of Science Core Collection – click on ‘Look up full text’.

Find full-text easily by setting your preferences

To see at a glance which articles found on Google Scholar are available to you to read as a member of the University of Reading set your preferences.

  • Click on the ‘Settings’ option at the top of the search screen
  • Select ‘Library Links’ on the left of the screen.
  • In the search box type ‘Reading’ and select the ‘Reading University Library – Full-Text @ Reading’ option.
  • Save your settings.
  • When you do a search, look for  ‘Full-Text @ Reading’ links to the right of references in your results list. This indicates that we have a subscription which will give you access to the article.
  • Click on this link to access the full-text and you will be prompted to log in – giving easy access both on- and off-campus.
  • If the ‘Full-text @ Reading’ link does not appear next to a reference it indicates that it isn’t covered by our subscriptions and you probably won’t be able to access the article.

Search results showing 'Full-text@Reading' links

Other enhancements

  • Clicking on ‘Cite’ on the results page will allow you to import the reference into EndNote.
  • Set up your own personal collection of articles for easy access and organise them by topic.
  • Click on ‘Related articles’ to find items in the same subject field.
  • ‘Cited by’ will find articles which have cited your article within Google Scholar – this includes pre-print and non-peer reviewed content.

Judith Fox, Meteorology Liaison Librarian

Tatooed workman carrying big bag of colourful screwdriversBe prepared for maintenance work in and around the Library over the next few weeks!

Outside the Library

This March we understand trenches for pipes needed as part of the University’s utilities infrastructure project, will come towards the front of the Library from the nearest corner of HUMMS. Paths will be rerouted from time-to-time and one bike shelter might be out of action. There will be noise.

Inside the Library

On Monday 24 March, we’re carrying out essential maintenance on the new 5th Floor heating/cooling system. The whole floor will be affected and different sections will be closed for your safety as work prgresses. There will be noise and disruption to the heating throughout the day. Your co-operation is appreciated.

From 24 March to 22 April, three staircases and one staff office will be affected by our rolling Rewiring Project. Look out for signs telling you about re-routed fire exits and disabled refuges, or alternative staff locations.

Areas affected in order are:

  • Staircase 4 (Palmer Building side of Library)
  • Staircase 5 (Back of Library, Chaplaincy side)
  • Staircase 7 (Back of Library, Campus Central side)
  • 2nd Floor Staff Office (Sally Smith and Melvin Morbey, back of Library)

There will also be stock moves on the 4th Floor, in preparation for refurbishment this summer.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

CafeLibro logo reversed on window, red tree behindBusy revising? Completing assignments? Keep using your University Library but watch out for changes after the end of term on Friday 21 March ….

Library opening

The Library is open vacation hours from Saturday 22 March. We open Saturdays until 21:00, weekdays 08:30-19:00 and only the first and last Sundays. The whole University is closed Thursday 17 to Monday 21 April inclusive. We reopen after Easter on 22 April with 24-hour opening for the last week of the vacation and all summer term.

Library loans

Vacation loans have started for taught students borrowing standard loans but other loan categories remain the same.

CaféLibro

University Catering will not be staffing CaféLibro after it closes around 18:30 on Friday 21 March until after Easter.  However, you can still use the self-service machines in the café area (for hot and cold drinks and snacks) and eat your own food there. Check out Eat outlet non-term-time opening hours for a staffed alternative elswhere on campus.

CaféLibro re-opens on Tuesday 22 April 2014 with a trial period of extended term-time opening!

  • Monday to Friday 08:00-23:00
  • Saturday 11:00-18:00
  • Sunday 11:00-23:00

Maintenance

Avoid works in and around the Library this vacation by following diversions around staircase closures and trenches outside our front door!

Other services

The ITS Help counter opens in vacations 09:00-17:00 weekdays. Check our Study Advice website for guides and help.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

You don’t have to be a law student find value in the Library’s legal databases. Perhaps you are an Education student interested in the law relating to free schools, a Pharmacy student researching the regulation of a particular drug, or a Politics student looking for contemporary news reports on the conflict in Syria? If so, we have a specialist resource for you.

Case law and legislation

Looking for the judgment in a particular UK case or the up-to-date version of an Act currently in force? Both the Westlaw UK and LexisLibrary legal databases contain extensive collections of case reports and also the updated texts of domestic legislation.

To search effectively, from the opening page on either service click the Cases (for a case) or Legislation (for an Act) links in the top menu bar to access dedicated search screens, then type in the name of the case, item of legislation or the case citation into the appropriate search box.

If you have the name or citation of a case but don’t know on which database to use to find it, then you can simply enter these details into the JustCite database to obtain direct links to available full-text versions.

JustCite

News

The News menu link on LexisLibrary gives you searchable access to articles from a wide range of national as well as local UK newspapers from the past few decades, including The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph and The Times. Indeed, if it’s been published in the Grimsby Telegraph since February 1998, you’ll find the article on LexisLibrary! (For modern newspaper content, you may also consider the non-legal database, UK Newsstand.)

Newspaper searching options on LexisLibrary

If you are searching for articles on a particular subject and get too many results, consider using using the drop-down menu on LexisLibrary to limit searches to certain sections of articles, such as the headline or start, or to require search terms to be mentioned significantly in articles. This can usefully retrieve a smaller, more focused set of results.

Parliamentary and Official Publications

As well as passing laws, the UK Parliament provides a forum for the scrutiny of domestic and international matters. Parliament’s work can provide researchers with valuable contemporary and historical insights on a range of topics, in publications such as Bills, Command Papers, committee reports and debates. Full-text access to these materials on the House of Commons Parliamentary Papers (HCPP) database covers the late 17th century to 2004. From 2006 onwards, you’ll find a one-stop shop to Parliamentary publications on Public Information Online.

If you are seeking information from a particular Parliamentary resource or type of publication, use the tick boxes on the search screen to limit your searches to the relevant category or categories of material, for example “Bills” or “Command Papers”.

When searching HCPP you will find narrowing your search to an appropriate date range assists with locating relevant resources from a particular historical period. Where you have details of a specific Command Paper, search using the Paper number, eg Cm 1001, in the corresponding search box.

Selection of search screen for House of Commons Parliamentary Papers with details

How to find them

For more information on what’s available to you, see the Databases for Law page, or you can ask the Liaison Librarian for Law. I am happy to help and can normally be found on the 4th Floor of the Library. Alternatively you can email me for guidance or an appointment.

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

This tip was written by Ross Connell, Liaison Librarian for Law.

Male lion lying down, directly facing cameraHave an interest in using English literature texts and criticism? Venture into the LION’s den and try out Literature Online for us! We’ve organised a trial for the University of this extensive resource  which has been extended until 13 April 2014. Do you think buying it would be a roaring success?

Literature Online (LION) is a fully integrated service comprising texts of over 350,000 works of literature and huge resources of criticism and reference, including full-text journal articles; bibliographies e.g. Annual Bibliography of English Language and Literature (ABELL); Penguin Classics; Poets on Screen videos; Shakespeare Audio Plays. See the ProQuest LION guide for more information.

Let us know what you think

Help us decide whether to subscribe to this resource by sending your feedback to Kerry Webb, Liaison Librarian for English Literature, and Film, Theatre & Television. Email: k.j.webb@reading.ac.uk.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Web Manager Jackie Skinner presents Matt with his £50 Amazon voucher

Undergraduate Matt David is presented with his £50 Amazon voucher by Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

…Matt David, an undergraduate studying Classics. Many thanks to Matt and everyone else who filled in our questionnaire about how you use our website.

What you said

We were very pleased that nearly everyone else felt a winner too when using the University Library website! Over 92% said that they always, or mostly, find what they are looking for on our site.

A representative mix of you Library users responded: over 64% were undergraduates, and the majority of these studying sciences or arts and humanities subjects. You said the sections of the homepage you use most frequently are the Enterprise catalogue search box and the E-resources links, closely followed by the opening hours and links to your Library account. We will ensure that these are the most prominent elements on the revised homepage.

You made varying comments. One person said  ’I like it how it is – please don’t change it too much!’, whilst another felt that it ‘just needs to be a bit clearer to find links and have a facelift’.

We will be taking all the comments into account as we work with the University’s Digital Development Team to help deliver an improved, attractive and intuitive Library website later this year.

Can you help us focus in more?

Please can you tell us more at a focus group on Wednesday 18 March at 2pm? We would love to hear your views. If you can make it, please email the Library Web Manager, jackie.skinner@reading.ac.uk by Friday 14 March. Thank you!

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

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