Get set for dissertations with live and video training!

Young asian girls crouch at running race start lineSet to start your dissertation this summer? No? Get on track by joining this week’s live webinars introducing reference management tools EndNote and Mendeley, or catch up with our new videos summarising topics discussed at last week’s Master’s Dissertation Fayre!

Join reference management workshops

Book through the Actions tab on RISIS to join Extra EndNote and Mendeley reference management workshops:

  • EndNote Online – Tue 15 June 11am
  • Desktop EndNote – Wed 16 June 11am
  • Mendeley – Thu 17 June 11am

View Master’s Dissertation Fayre videos

Showdy figures study in purle background of caption "Masters Dissertation Fayre 2021 Monday 7th to Firday 11th June.Last week all students attending live webinars and giving feedback said they would recommend the sessions to others. One said, “Everything has been helpful; despite writing two dissertations I have not had sessions like these before. Learning to focus my research (‘systematic searching’ and ‘finalising research questions’ were great) and [learning to] plan my study more carefully are the sorts of things I’ve been needing to improve.”

So help yourself to these newly recorded video versions provided by the Library’s Liaison and Study Advice Teams. Aspects covered include:

Ready? Get set. Go!

Rachel Redrup, Academic Liaison Librarian

 

Masters Dissertation Fayre – final day!

Take up our last training offers to help you produce a great dissertation, this final day of our Masters Dissertation Fayre!

This morning at 11am, our Study Advisers discuss writing your discussion chapter.

Book before 12pm to attend a 2pm session with Academic Liaison Librarians providing you with specialist knowledge and need-to-know advice on getting the best out of:

You can read more about the topics on offer via the Study Advice Webinars libguide https://libguides.reading.ac.uk/webinars/summer-term.

Book your Master’s dissertation webinars this week!

Put your studies on track for success with a series of webinars for Master’s students working on their dissertations! The Master’s Dissertation Fayre, run by the Library’s Study Advice and Liaison teams, is back after the success of last year.  Students loved our range of topics covering all elements of dissertation planning and writing, from choosing a research methodology to writing your literature review.  This year, we’re offering all that and more!

Webinars are running online at 11am and 2pm each day from Monday 7 – Friday 11 June. These friendly and helpful sessions are open to all Master’s students, and you can book a place online.

Topics include:

  • Critical writing
  • Avoiding plagiarism
  • Systematic literature searching
  • Finalising your research question
  • Using company information databases
  • Writing your literature review
  • Literature searching tips
  • Reference management tools comparison – Endnote vs Mendeley
  • Writing your discussion
  • Using primary sources/archives online
  • Finding statistical sources

We’re looking forward to seeing you virtually, and hearing your feedback.

Academic Liaison Librarians and Study Advisors

Library news and reminders

Visiting the Library for study space or click & collect?

The one way system in the Library

To help to keep us all safe, please continue to follow the Library Covid- 19 Code of Conduct; it is important that you

  • wear a face covering,
  • practice social distancing
  • stick to the study space allocated by the booking system
  • follow the one-way systems and other procedures in place in the Library and on campus.

 

Finishing your studies soon?

If you are finishing your studies at the University soon, please return any outstanding print or other media as soon as you can. If you are not local to campus and are in the UK, please use our Freepost service to return your loans. If you are not in the UK, please get in touch with us for guidance on alternative ways to get your loans back to us safely.

Return loans in the Book Drop flap to the right of the Library front doors

 

New events!

You may have noticed a new addition to the library homepage. We have created ‘New Events‘ to provide a one-stop-shop of information! Although we are still not yet able to provide in person events, there are plenty of learning and study opportunities on offer. Look out for forthcoming webinars and further online support from Study Advice and the Academic Liaison Librarians. We’ll be posting more information about these events on our social media soon, but in the interim, see the Study Advice Webinars LibGuide for details.

New events section on the Library website.

 

Vacation loans

If you are leaving campus for the summer vacation, our vacation loan period should make like easier!

We have renewed all loans, with the usual exceptions such as Inter-library loans, for continuing students until Tuesday 28 September, so why not make the most of the opportunity for some really great summer reading, by taking part in the UoR Reading Challenge and borrow some items before you leave!

June 2021 summer reading challenge- read a book set in a country that you would like to visit.

Library User Services

Interested in Arts and Health? Take a look at our new guide

Paint brushes in a glass jarIf you are planning your Masters dissertation, or you are heading into your final year this Autumn and your thoughts are starting to turn to topics for your dissertation, you might be interested to take a look at our new guide covering Arts and Health. It draws together useful resources for undertaking research in this interdisciplinary area, which is the focus of the University’s Health and Arts Research Initiative.

The guide has been compiled by our Academic Liaison Librarian for Pharmacy in conjunction with Dr Ranjita Dhital, Lecturer in Pharmacy Practice and Co-Chair of the Arts, Health and Wellbeing Special Interest Group of the Royal Society for Public Health. It includes details of recently purchased books bought specifically to support research in this area, as well as relevant databases, and key websites.

So if you are studying Art, Architecture, Film, Theatre & Television, Food & Nutrition, Pharmacy, or Psychology, take a look at our new guide to whet your appetite for possible dissertation topics.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian for Pharmacy

 

Dissertation videos, guides and 1-2-1 support

It’s February which means if you’re a final year student, you’re probably frantically trying to complete your dissertation. Over the past few weeks, the Study Advice Team and your Academic Liaison Librarians have been running webinars to support you to find resources and write up your projects and dissertations. But don’t worry if you missed them, we have a plan….

Plan #1: watch our videos

We have recorded short videos on all aspects of dissertation research and writing which summarise what was discussed in the webinars. These short videos cover tips on critical thinking for dissertations, writing your literature review and discussion chapters, and managing the final stages. We also have a video on finding resources online, if you’re at this stage of your research.

Plan #2: check out our guides

We have a range of study guides that support you with various aspects of your dissertation:

  • Our Study Advice dissertation guide covers everything from planning your project to finishing off your dissertation. And our guide on literature reviews will support you to write this important chapter.
  • We also have a suite of Study Advice videos on major projects and dissertations, if you’d rather watch a video than read a guide.
  • Our Library guide on systematic reviews will be of interest to those of your conducting this type of research. We also have a guide to help you with searching databases.
  • Managing your references – whether you need help referencing a resource in a particular referencing style, or using reference management software, our online guides can help you with referencing and your dissertation bibliography.

Plan #3: book a 1-2-1

You can book a 1-2-1 appointment with a Study Adviser or your Academic Liaison Librarian to discuss your own specific questions. Remember we are not subject experts, but we can help you with the following:

  • If you need some support with managing your time for your dissertation, academic writing style, using evidence or overcoming writer’s block and procrastination, you could book a Study Advice appointment
  • If you’re struggling to find the resources you need, navigate the library databases or manage your references, book an appointment with your Academic Liaison Librarian. You can find your Librarian’s contact details and request an ALL appointment online.

Study Advice and Liaison Librarian Teams

Using the Library over the Christmas holidays

Paper angel on top of book tree in the Library foyer

Be like our book angel and stay on top of your library books this Christmas!

Whether you’re heading home soon or staying on campus over the vacation, this summary of available Library services can help you plan ahead. We wish you happy holidays and effective studying – stay safe everyone!

Library opening

Term ends on Friday 11 December, so after this date the Library will be operating reduced opening hours. This will affect the times that you are able to book study space, Click & Collect loans, book IT Service Desk appointments and use the Library Cafe.

From Saturday 12 December till Monday 21 December, the Library will be open from 08:30 to early evening on weekdays only. There are no weekend services available.

Along with the rest of the campus, the Library closes completely on Tuesday 22 December until Sunday 3 January for the University Christmas closure.

From Monday 4 January till Friday 8 January, we resume vacation-hours opening, and from Saturday 9 January we’ll be open for term-time hours again.

Borrow until January 2021

To help borrowers heading home early due to UK government guidance, we’re lending everything to all Library members until Tuesday 12 January. Any items borrowed or renewed from Monday 30 November will issue until 12 January. These vacation loans include standard, 7-day, overnight loans and journals.

Store and Closed Access requests

If you need materials from the off-site Store or from our Closed Access shelves, be aware of the final dates of collection and make sure you place your request in time.

  • Store collections finish for Christmas on Thursday 17 December – get your request in before 08:30 on this day.
  • Closed Access collections will finish for Christmas on Friday 18 December – get your request in before 13:45.

We will next collect from Closed Access on 4 January and from Store on 7 January (these dates might be subject to change if there is a shortage of available staff). For more information, see Requesting items from Store and Closed Access.

Online help

All our expert staff are available online to help and advise you throughout the vacation (except during the Christmas closure period).

If you have a general enquiry, email library@reading.ac.uk or phone 0118 378 8770.

More info

Check our Current Library Services guide for up-to-date information, especially if there are changes to current government guidelines.

Library User Services

COVID-19 update: Your Library this summer

Refurbished Library building with extensive glass front and silvered cladding, behind young, llight green trees

You can borrow print items from the Library building with our ‘Click & Collect’ service.

Library services online

All of our existing support and electronic resources will continue to be available and delivered to you online over the summer. This means that you can still:

Loans and returns

Return loans in the Book Drop flap to the right of the Library front doors

We will renew all books for the entire summer vacation so do not worry as you will not have anything overdue or running up fines! All items will be due on 30 September 2020. If you have already returned items via our Book Drop (right of Library entrance) be assured they will be removed from your Library account as soon as we are able to get back in the building to process them.

We are investigating whether we can accept postal returns of books over the summer and will provide more information if we are able to do so.

Click & Collect service for print items. For those of you writing dissertations, we understand accessing materials is very important. We are providing a service for you to request items (from 13 July 2020). You can still ask your Academic Liaison Librarians whether they can source an alternative option for you.

Further information

Any updates on access to the books or changes to any services will be publicised on our website and Library blog so keep an eye out for news.

Stuart Hunt, Director

5 tips for starting your dissertation

So, you may have just finished your exams but now you have to turn your attention to your dissertation. Where do you begin and how can you ensure you stay on track? Below are our Study Advice and Library tips to help you get started and stay focused.

Tip #1: Have a plan

Having a plan not only helps you to stay on track but weekly goals keep you motivated. Work backwards from your hand-in date and remember to build in extra time for proof reading and final touches. Our videos on managing your time offer some tips to get you started.

Tip #2: Start with something small

To help you get going, start with a task that you can get done easily. This might be something simple, like setting up a Word template or printing off a couple of key articles. Being able to complete one task can give you a sense of achievement and motivate you to tackle more challenging ones.

Tip #3: Think about the information that you need…

….and how to access it! If you are carrying out a literature review, or analysing documents or literature, make sure that you are familiar with the key online resources in your subject area. You can find out more about what’s available to you, as well as contact details for your Academic Liaison Librarian, on your Library subject guide. Look at the COVID-19 page in the guide for top tips on how to access resources when off-campus.

Tip #4: Think more, read less

It’s important that you think critically about you’re reading. This requires you to see the links between various theories and consider what they mean for your research question. So, when taking notes remember to not only record a summary of your reading but more importantly note what you think about what you have read. This will help you when you come to write up. Our video on critical note taking offers some advice on this.

Tip #5: Attend our webinars

In Week 7, the Study Advice and Library teams are offering a series of webinars just for Master’s students. These will help you to get to grips with:

  • developing your research question,
  • planning your literature review,
  • finding information, and
  • managing your references.

Our short webinars run at 11:00 and 14:00 each day, Monday 1 June – Friday 5 June. To find out more and join the webinar check out our Master’s Dissertation Fair guide.

Study Advice and Academic Liaison Teams

Online Master’s Dissertation Fair: 1-5 June

Web page screen shotWondering how to start researching and writing your dissertation? Why not drop into the Master’s Dissertation Fair, run online by the Academic Liaison and Study Advice Teams!

Choose from a selection of different webinars at 11:00 and 14:00, Monday 1 to Friday 5 June offering advice on all elements of your dissertation planning, searching for literature, and writing. From choosing a research methodology to using reference management tools, these friendly webinars provide tips from the experts to put your dissertation on track for success.

​No need to book, just follow the links in the Master’s Dissertation Fair guide. Please connect 5-10 minutes prior to the session to ensure your access is working correctly.

More help available

Alternatively, you can also book a 1-2-1 session with a Study Adviser or Academic Liaison Librarian.

If you prefer self-paced online resources from Study Advice, try their suite of guides and video tutorials on literature searching, dissertations and major projects,

Discover key resources in your subject area in the liaison team’s guides: note the new COVID-19 tab showing additional relevant resources made available online during the lockdown period.

Study Advice and Academic Liaison Teams

EndNote and Mendeley workshops – book your place now!

Laptop and book seen from above, person's left hand on book and right on keyboard. on There are still places available on our final reference management system workshops for EndNote and Mendeley this term. These will take place online via Blackboard Collaborate.

  • Desktop EndNote workshop – Wed 20 May 2-3pm
  • Mendeley workshop – Wed 27 May 2-3pm

Book your place through the Actions tab on RISIS.

Desktop EndNote

Desktop EndNote is a comprehensive reference management system. You can download accurate references from many databases, such as Web of Science. Use the ‘Find Full-text’ feature to automatically download and attach PDFs for those references. Use the Word plugin to insert in-text citations and watch the bibliography grow automatically. Select from thousands of referencing styles or create your own – great if you’re writing for publication. Download it free on your own computer via the IT Self-Service Portal.

See our EndNote guide to find out more.

Mendeley

Mendeley is designed to make storing references and PDFs as simple as possible. It has a nifty ‘watched folder’ feature – any time you add a PDF to a selected folder, Mendeley will automatically retrieve the details. You can also drag and drop PDFs directly into your library or use its Web Importer to capture details of websites and other sources. If you work a lot with article PDFs, Mendeley is a good option for you. It has both online and desktop versions – both are free to use, but only the desktop version works with Microsoft Word.

See our Mendeley guide to find out more.

Book your place

Sign up to either of these workshops through the Actions tab on RISIS. On booking you will be sent a link to the Collaborate session. If you can’t make any of the specified sessions but would like to know more, take a look at our reference management guide or contact your Academic Liaison Librarian.

Jackie Skinner
Academic Liaison Librarian

COVID-19 update: additional online resources for homeworking

Open laptopTo support students temporarily unable to access their library’s print holdings during the Covid-19 situation, several publishers have responded by temporarily making certain resources free or extending access over the next few months. We’ve been signing up to many of these offers to provide you with extra material, in addition to our usual e-resources.

To explore resources relevant to your subject, go to the new ‘COVID-19’ tab in your own subject guide. This is provided by your subject’s Academic Liaison Librarian and will be regularly updated.

Alternatively, browse a list of items already set up below:

New resources and extended access

New resources

We now have access to the following new resources (please note that some content on these resources already falls within our subscriptions):

Please log into these via the institutional login, and check your subject guide for details on how long they are active for.

Extended access

Extended access is also available for the following platforms:

  • Box of Broadcasts is now available anywhere in the EU, not just in the UK!
  • Many books we have bought through Ebook Central are providing access to more users at once for e-books which previously were limited to a few users at a time

Further information

For further information, please contact us online:

Look out for further Library service updates on the Library websiteUniversity Library News blog, Twitter and Facebook.

Sophie Dorman and Lindsay Warwick, Collections Team