Academic staff examine info literacy audit case

Speaker by large screen addresses audience seated at tablesUoR academic staff acting as Library Representatives for their school or department, other teaching and learning experts, and Library staff came together over lunch recently for their fifth annual Community of Practice meeting. Its theme was skills development within the curriculum and showcased collaborative work in one department to establish information literacy levels required at each undergraduate stage.

Information literacy skills audit: Food case study

Jackie Skinner, Liaison Librarian for Food Studies spoke about a skills audit she undertook in close collaboration with Food and Nutritional Sciences Programme Directors to identify what skills are required of students at different stages of their academic development and where these were taught (or not). Study Skills Adviser, Michelle Reid spoke about her crucial early input, based on implementing ANCIL, A New Curriculum for Information Literacy. Speaker by large screen addresses audience seated at tablesProfessor Bob Rastall added his perspective as Head of Department.

This was followed by discussion and questions. Inspired participants may use resources provided to identify any information literacy skills development gaps in their own areas with their own liaison librarians.

Read more about this on the Engage in teaching and learning blog.

Information literacy

Information literacy is defined as ‘knowing when and why you need information, where to find it and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner’ by CILIP, the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals, to which most librarians belong after postgraduate qualification and portfolio submission.

Getting the Community spirit

Speakers address audience, screen displays 'Mind the skills gap' PowerPointThe Library Representatives’ Community of Practice events are arranged by the Library’s Helen Hathaway, Head of Academic Liaison and Support to enable cross-faculty co-ordination, share good practice, explore new ideas and solutions to Library issues on an informal level. Departmental Library Representatives are academic staff who communicate departmental resource requests and other information between their department and the Library.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

CaféLibro summer opening hours

CafeLibro logo reversed on window, red tree behind

CaféLibro’s summer opening hours are as follows:

  • Summer Term=exam-time extended opening
    until to Friday 12 June
    Monday–Friday    08:00–23:00
    Saturday                 11:00–18:00
    Sunday                    11:00–23:00
  • Summer vacation
    from Monday 15 June
    Monday–Friday    08:30–16:00
    Saturday–Sunday Closed
  • Autumn Term
    from Saturday 26 September
    Monday–Friday    08:30–21:00
    Saturday–Sunday 11:00–16:00

See the Library website for general Library opening hours.


Self-service machines for hot and cold drinks, and snacks are always available at CaféLibro, and you can eat your own food here, even if the staffed cafe is closed.

Alternatively, check out University Catering‘s other campus outlets.

Rachel Redrup, Library Marketing Co-ordinator, for Martin Batt, Catering

Taught students can have standard loans all vacation!

Starfish on the beachFrom Thu 4 June to Mon 7 September the standard (21-day) loan period for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students is extended until Tue 29 September or the end of your course, whichever is earlier.

Other loans / fines remain unchanged

All other loan periods – and fines for late return – remain the same for 7-day, Course Collection and journal loans. So please take care!

Standard loan periods for other Library borrowers remain unchanged.

Anna Richards, Library User Services

Find relevant articles using citation counts in Summon

A new feature has just been added to our Summon discovery service. You can now see the number of times an article has been cited by other researchers, which can help guide you to key papers on a topic. A high number of citations usually indicates that an article has a big impact on research in that field.

The image below shows the citation counts to the bottom right of each reference.

Search results from Summon showing the citation counts to the bottom right of each reference

As the citation counts are taken from the Web of Science they will only appear against articles indexed by that service. They will appear automatically against your results when you are using a campus PC. If you are off-campus, you will need to log in via the banner at the top of the Summon window to see the counts.

Not used Summon before?

Just go to the Library homepage and enter your search words in the Summon search box – the second box on our homepage.

Everything you find should be available to read, as the results are limited to articles and books covered by the Library’s online subscriptions. You will also find definitions from reliable encyclopedias and dictionaries, and other online publications, such as Standards and Government publications.

Just click on the title of the reference to access the full-text, entering your University username and password when prompted.

For more tips on using Summon, including advanced search techniques, see our Help using Summon webpage.

Need help finding information?

For additional useful resources and guidance see your subject guide, or contact your subject liaison librarian for 1-1 advice.

Jackie Skinner, Library Web Manager

Getting help with your dissertation – info tip

Research materialsAre you struggling to find enough journal articles for your dissertation, not sure how to carry out a comprehensive search on a database, or in need of a refresher on citing and referencing?

No matter if you’re an undergraduate or a postgraduate student, working on a dissertation can at times be overwhelming.

The Library and the Study Advice team are here to help!

What can your liaison librarian help you with?

Subject liaison librariansYour liaison librarian can help with any questions related to finding, accessing and using information resources such as journal articles and monographs, ranging from simple enquiries to more complex and detailed requests.

Contact your liaison librarian for subject-specific enquiries, including:

  • Devising a search strategy for your topic
  • Searching databases
  • Citing and referencing, including using EndNote
  • Accessing other libraries and archives

To get in touch with your liaison librarian, see our list of contacts. They will often be able to answer your question via email, or might suggest a personal appointment to talk through your query in more detail. You might also wish to find your liaison librarian when they are available at an Information Desk in the Library.

What can the Study Advice team help you with?

Study adviser helping a studentThe Study Advice team offer individual advice sessions and a range of online Study Guides on dissertations and associated topics. They can help you with:

  • Deciding on your research questions
  • Managing your reading and notes
  • Working out a structure
  • Writing your literature survey
  • Planning your work schedule

…and much more.

Have a look at the page on individual advice sessions to find out what you can expect from a session and how to book one. The Study Advice team also offer regular workshops throughout the year.

Develop your skills online

We also offer plenty of opportunities to refresh and develop your skills online:

  • Liblearn: Liblearn is an online Blackboard course on using the Library and literature searching. It consists of three tutorials. Liblearn Three, which covers creating a search strategy and searching databases effectively, is particularly relevant for students who are working on dissertations. To enrol for this course, click on the Enrolments tab in Blackboard and search for Liblearn in the Course search box.
  • Video: Watch our video on finding journal articles on a topic or watch Study Advice’s video tutorials for dissertations and major projects.
  • Online guides: Read our online guide to doing your literature search, and the Study Advice guides to planning, researching and writing your dissertation.
  • LibGuides: Every subject has a subject guide created by your liaison librarian. Use these to find relevant databases, books and websites as well as information on referencing.

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

This tip was written by Anna Richards, Liaison Librarian for Classics and Philosophy.

Citing references made easy with EndNote Web – info tip

Student lying on the grass using a laptopAre 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 an 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 is designed for use by undergraduates and Masters students as it is a cut-down version of the Desktop EndNote program used by researchers (which is available on all PCs on campus).

EndNote Web

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. It can be used on a PC or a Mac.

Just log in to the Web of Science 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 type in details of useful books and articles you have found. However, the quickest and most accurate methods are to export references from Library databases or use the Online search facility from within EndNote Web.

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 save/export to EndNote Web.


For many other databases it is easy to save a file of references and then Import them into EndNote Web. For more information on the method you will need to use for your favourite database take a look at our page about the database, this will include details of the Import option you need to select as part of the process. If you need advice, contact your subject liaison librarian.

Online search

The Online search facility within EndNote Web is particularly useful for searching library catalogues, and you can use it to get book references from our catalogue 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. Just download the Cite While You Write toolbar and use it in Word 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.

EndNote Web Cite While You Write toolbar

You can select from a number of referencing styles (such as Numbered, APA, MHRA) or use the customised Harvard style which matches the style required by many of the science and life science departments here at Reading. Once you select a style, all of your citations and references will be reformatted automatically.

Getting help

We are offering training sessions this term, for more details see the EndNote workshops page.

If you can’t make it to a workshop our Guide to getting starting 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. Or View videos on using EndNote Web produced by Thomson Reuters (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 Food and Nutritional Sciences Liaison Librarian.

Legal resources for non-lawyers – info tip

You certainly don’t need to be a law student to get value from the Library’s “legal” databases. Maybe 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 news reports on the Ukraine conflict? If so, we have a specialist resource that can help you.

Case law and legislation

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

To search effectively on either service, click the Cases or Legislation links in the top menu bar as appropriate to access dedicated search screens, then type 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 which database to use to find it, then simply enter these details into the JustCite database to obtain direct links through to available full-text versions.



The News menu link on LexisLibrary gives you searchable access to articles from a wide range of UK national and local 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, 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 limiting your search using the drop-down menus to certain parts of articles, specific date ranges, or to require that your search terms are mentioned significantly in articles. Using these search options should 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, 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 E-resources page on the Law LibGuide, or you can ask the Liaison Librarian for Law.

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.

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 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.

Leavers! Settle up before you go

Graduattion2If you are graduating this summer then please don’t forget to return your loans and clear your account before you go. If you have any outstanding fines or bills you can now pay online as well as at the Library.

Membership after you graduate

If you are interested in borrowing from the University Library after you graduate, annual Library membership is half-price at £45! Alternatively, if you are beginning a new course at UoR next session you can apply for membership over the summer for a reduced charge of £20.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator

Alternative UoR study space

Palmer and Carrington Buildings at night

Are you a UoR student? Whilst Library study areas may be your favourite revision space, you have alternatives on campus. Try:

Visitors, please note!

The above facilities are reserved for University members only. Library entry is also restricted during our students’ exam period.

Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator


Illustrate and illuminate your work – add an image! – info tip

The Library has a number of sources of copyright-cleared 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!



There are lots of other databases that provide images, or include both text and images but allow you to search for images only. See what’s available on our Image and sound page.

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

University image collections

The University has several image collections students can use to improve their work. Special Collections have many images of the items in their collections on their website which can be used in unpublished and non-commercial works. Special Collections covers many areas including Samuel Beckett, early English coins, early anatomy books and publishers’ archives. Please contact them if you want to know more about using these images.

Students can also take advantage of the Visual Resource Database (VRD) which stores high quality images of works of art and architecture that range in date from antiquity to modern times. These images can be downloaded, but can be used only for purposes of study – for example in student presentations and essays. Students from any subject area are welcome to use the VRD which is based in the HUMSS building in room G27J – if you wish to do so please contact Diana Reynolds

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.

Restricted entry for exam-time

Rows of small tables and chairs set out for examsFrom now until Friday 12 June, Library space is reserved for University Campus and Library Card holders overnight and all weekend (Monday to Thursday, 17:00 – 08:00; Friday 17:00 – Monday 08:00).  This is to prevent disruption to our own revising students from non-University members, right until their last exam is over.

We operate a ‘no card, no access policy’ and reserve the right to refuse access to anyone, including University members, who cannot identify themselves adequately.


University of Reading Campus Card-holders and Library Card holders are welcome at all times. However, during restricted times, the revolving door will be locked, so please enter by the right-hand Library door.

  • University members gain automatic entry by placing their Campus Card on the ‘proximity reader’ beside the right-hand door.
  • Library Card holders must show their card to staff to gain entry. Please knock for attention if staff are not right beside the door.


Members of the public without cards are only admitted weekdays 08:00–17:00, 7 April – 12 June 2015. Regrettably, they may not use study spaces here as these are required by our own students revising for exams. Visitors are encouraged to look to their own school, college or public library for study space.

As always, our policy is that children in the Library must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

We apologise to visitors unable to use CaféLibro during restricted periods. Please try another outlet on campus or at Christchurch Green.


Should your University Campus Card fail to open the Library’s front door with the card reader, please ask Campus Card Services to fix the fault via their Campus Card non-residential door access report form or email

Alternative UoR Study space

Remember that UoR students can also use alternative study space provided across campus.

 Rachel Redrup, Marketing Co-ordinator