Library Resource of the month – Journals

This month we want to highlight the fantastic print journals at your physical fingertips.

Do people still read print magazines?  Journal publishers are reporting that print is restrictive in terms of accessibility and content length. Academic articles are increasingly online, due to rising print costs and drops in demand for print subscriptions (see this THES article on the future of journal publishing in the ‘digital age’: As PNAS calls time on print, will more journals follow suit?, January 8th 2019).

It is certainly true that in our institution, students are heading online using our Discovery service or subject-specific databases to find high quality academic content for their research.  We have moved significantly in that direction too – 10 years ago we had over 400 print subscriptions, now we have 150 print titles and over 40 individual online subscriptions; but alongside these we subscribe to various journal rich electronic databases which give access to over 60,000 titles.

However there are good reasons to maintain print journals depending on their audience, content and cost.

Do you browse the contents of an online journal, or go directly to the article you want? Most of us tend to target our search, missing out on that chance discovery of an unexpectedly interesting article tucked away on page 5.  A scan read of trade journals such as Law Society Gazette or Police Professional gives a quick overview of developments in the field.  And spending a few minutes in the library flicking through the latest edition can be a nice break from the desk.

Our journals are displayed with the latest edition facing out into the library.  An interesting front cover can often catch your eye – even if it’s not in your usual area of interest.  For example, the latest edition of Fit Pro in the library has features on Yin Yoga, Snow Activities and the fitness of performers in musical theatre!  Art, law or education titles might not be your usual read but all may have topics of interest from time to time.

Sometimes we don’t have a choice:  decisions from publishers still impact on which format the library subscribes to.  Contrary to opinion, not all journals are published online; some publishers are quite restrictive with their electronic access and cost to academic institutions, and accompanying images may not always appear clearly.   The latter is extremely important when viewing Arts and Creative titles so we continue to subscribe to many art & design titles including Elle Decoration and Art Monthly.

Then there is the feel of the print journal – studies show that some of us recall information better when it has been read in print rather than online, partly due to the interactive nature of print reading.  There is something about turning the page that aids memory.   In fact, many online platforms are trying to replicate the look and feel of turning the page.  You might also be aware of the various studies on screen fatigue which can impact on a reader’s comprehension and learning.

However, as we become increasingly used to reading online, and the technology improves to encourage more interactivity while reading, this may not be the case in the future (see “Screen vs. paper: what is the difference for reading and learning?” How we interact with online reading depends on our own preferences, experiences, and the technology.  So we in the library are always aware of the need to be flexible in ordering and maintaining journals collections.

Either way, we think that our 150 journals are worth keeping.. and we hope that you do too. So come along and discover something new in the library today!     

Access to Bradford College online library resources directly from Google Scholar

Did you know that you can now access articles directly from a Google Scholar search if we have a Bradford College subscription to them?

If you haven’t used it before, Google Scholar is a search engine that covers scholarly literature, including articles, theses, abstracts and reports from a wide range of disciplines and types of information.  It is a great way to find free material such as open source articles and reports by organisations which may not be indexed by our subscription databases. However, Google Scholar also includes links to journal articles that are behind a database paywall – in which case you can only view the citation details and abstract.

The good news is that you can now connect Google Scholar to Bradford College Library’s journals collection so that when you have access to an article, you will see a PDF or a Full-Text link appear in your results. It just takes 4 easy steps:

  1. Go to Google Scholar , click on the 3 bar icon at the top left of the page, and click on Settings. 

2. Click Library Links and search for Bradford College. You may see two options – just click on the option Bradford College – Full Text Available


3. Click on Save. Now when you run a search you will see a link to Full Text Available – this will take you to the Library resource.  If you are off campus you will have to sign in.

4. If you see a screen like the one below saying “If the page does not display”, click on open the page in a new window. This sometimes happens if the article is from a third party database (eg Emerald) or if EBSCO needs a prompt to display properly!


caution icon If you have any problems accessing our resources in this way, please let us know.  We may need to tweak our settings!

Remember – not all the content on Google Scholar will be available through the Library or free online.  If you find something on Google Scholar that you can’t access, get in touch with us and we may be able to help.

Library Resource of the Month – Library Help Guides

This month we have been promoting December’s Resource of the Month – our new Library Help Guides.  These are also known as Libguides and are widely used by librarians across the UK and worldwide to curate library collections and share information to support teaching and learning.

The guides showcase the library resources, and are intended to be an easily accessible portal for students to find library resources easily and quickly.  They help guide library users through a sometimes bewildering range of resources.  We have embedded video help, guides and worksheets to help students select the best resource for their task.  We provide direct links to our catalogue so students can view real-time availability of books on the shelf, or directly access our E-Books.

Our expert Libguide librarians have created a template so information on different subjects is presented in a standard format, making it easier for students to switch between subjects.  Each subject page has a Getting Started tab with useful links and library news.  Students can then click on the tabs to find subject specific information like key books and e-books with links to the catalogue, course reading lists, links to key databases and guides on how to use them, help on using journals in their research, finding articles and evaluating the results, and study skills resources.

We’re interested in any feedback, and collaborations with students and teaching staff.  Please get in touch with any comments!

[email protected]

Using Britannica to research World War One

For our November #ResourceOfTheMonth we are promoting Britannica Academic. This is a brilliant resource for all levels of study but particularly good for students who want to find a concise, comprehensive account of a topic they are unfamiliar with.  Britannica covers subjects from history to science to current affairs and includes images and video to really bring the subject alive.

Bradford College Librarian Julia Sherrington has been involved in setting up the promotion and is the author of the quiz that you can now collect from the Library Information desk.

She says:

Allied and German officials at the signing of the armistice that ended the fighting in World War I, November 11, 1918. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.

“We wanted to get involved with commemorating 100th anniversary of the end of WWI;  which of course is extra special this year.  It has been talked about a lot in the media and hopefully it is a topic students will be curious about.   We came up with a quiz which involved using Britannica Academic to get students researching a topic , finding something out for themselves and using a library resource.

Britannica Academic is a very broad resource covering lots of subject areas.  It is a good start to finding both basic and more detailed information on a topic. As well as giving access to  credible articles , it also has a dictionary function, and  lists relevant websites and primary sources.  It will also link to Britannica Image Quest to search images.  We feel it is a great resource and hope that once a student uses it they will see its potential for researching other topics.”

We have freebies to give out at the Library Information Desk when a student completes the quiz.

All correct entries will be entered into a draw to win a £10 voucher.

Library Resource of the Month – Britannica

Library Resource of the Month is back after an extended summer break (!), and for November we’d like to introduce you to Britannica Academic.

You have probably heard of the Encyclopedia Britannica. First published in 1768 in Edinburgh when it was just 3 volumes, it was last published in print in 2010 and had expanded to a mega 32 volume set – though now it is only available online.

Britannica Academic can be accessed via mobile, tablets, online and whiteboards in classrooms. It is a multimedia encyclopedia which means each article includes images, video, interactive maps and charts, and quizzes plus the option to create your own personal folder to save your research.

As we approach the centenary of the end of World War One, see what you can find out about the war on Britannica Academic. Or brush up your Shakespeare knowledge before the RSC bring ‘A Comedy of Errors’ to Bradford College on December 3rd.

Ask at the Library Information Desk for a demo or help in accessing and using Britannica.  And look out for our prize-winning quiz next week!


Keeping track of your research

I’ve seen a lot of students recently, requesting support with their dissertation research.  One thing I’ve noticed is that most students are not using Reference Management software such as Menderley or Zotero.  Even at a more basic level, they are not using the tools available in our subscription databases such as EBSCO EDS or Westlaw which allow them to save articles, output references and set up alerts.  This could be down to a gap in our promotion or a lack of curiosity on their part perhaps.   I thought I’d write a post for our students on how to make use of these tools, demonstrating how easy they are to set up, and how useful they will be as they build up their research.

Keeping track…

A number of databases offer additional features to support you when you are carrying out research.  In my area of Law and Business, personalised logins are available for Business Source, Westlaw, LexisLibrary, and Emerald.  However, the database you are probably most familiar with is Discover, our single search platform from EBSCO.

When you search Discover, you will notice a small blue folder icon appearing next to each result.  Clicking on this icon allows you to save your results into a personalised account which you can access any time you log into any EBSCO database.   Once you set this up you can also save and re-run searches, and set up search and journal alerts so you can keep researching even when you’re not logged in.  See our next post for help with this.

Step 1: Set up your profile

So your first step is to create your profile.  This is different from your library account.

Go to [email protected] which is available from the Library Webpages, the Online Library tab in Moodle, and as a link from the Library catalogue.  Click on the Sign in to Save Results link at the top of the page.

The first time you do this, you will see a message ‘There are no results in your folder’.  There’s a second link you have to click on saying Sign in to My EBSCOhost.   From here you will see a log-in form and the option to ‘Create a new Account’.  Fill in your details and choose a strong password.

Step 2: Save the good stuff

Click on the Back button to start searching.  Remember you can limit your search by Date of Publication, by Source (Academic Journals, Magazines, Trade Publications, Books), and by Subject, Language, and more.  Then, to save records to view at a later date, click on the Add to Folder image next to each record.  This may be a record for a book, journal article or e-book.  Save as many records as you would like by clicking on the folder icon.

Step 3: Organise your results

View your folder by either clicking on Sign in to Save Results at the top of the screen, or on Folder View in the top right of the screen.  You should see a list of all the records that you have saved with links to full-text where available.

You can create as many folders as you need. This is good if you want to group articles by assignment title or module.  You can even create sub-folders if you like a good hierachy.  Click on the New link to create a folder and decide where you want to locate it.  Then move your results to the new folder by clicking in the box beside the title of the result, and clicking on the Move To drop down list.  Once you have organised your folders, click on the back button to continue searching.  You can now save results directly into folders.

Why we love this

We love this feature of Discover because it helps you stay organised.  If you come across something for another topic, you can just save it and put it out of your mind until you need it.  These tools work on the mobile site too, if you like to research on the go… It’s easy to create new folders and delete old results, and it saves you a ton of money in printing. Contact us for more information.



Getting certified…

This is the second year that the LLB students have completed their certification in Westlaw UK as part of their legal skills training.

We run the certification programme for a number of reasons – employability (it’s a great way to show quickly that you are familiar with all aspects of the Westlaw database), improving skills (it’s not easy!) and introducing students to areas of Westlaw they may not have used before such as Westlaw Insight.  We start the session with a quick Prezi which aims to explain to students why it’s such a useful string to their bow… getting them to think about how a familiarity with a legal resource (that they will probably go on to use in legal training and then practice) is a cut above being able to google “law on dangerous dogs”…  We use quotes from the Law Society Gazette to explain that solicitors may risk breaching conduct rules if they use non-specialist resources to find information… we tell them how many students have already got certified over the last couple of years (8,900 for the basic certification).


Screenshot of Prezi slide
Screenshot of Prezi slide

We run through the sort of information the students need to know – it becomes a bit of a revision session on sections in Acts and judicial precedence. Then we set them the task of completing the certification and producing the certificate. Some students are already asking about the Advanced Certification, and LexisLibrary also offers a certification test which I’ll encourage them to do.

Any law students wanting to have a go at the test, let me or your Westlaw rep, Humaira know. You can either work through the e-learning modules on the certification page, or ask one of us for a one-to-one session.  Feel free to email me for more information at [email protected].

Laksh, Law Librarian.

Interested in getting published? Read our guest blog post by Suzy Anderson from Emerald.

Hi, my name is Suzy Anderson and I’m a Business Manager for Emerald Group Publishing. Over the past two years I’ve been travelling around the world speaking to, and working with researchers to help them navigate the minefield that is getting their research published. I’ve been around South Africa, Botswanan, Swaziland, I’ve spoken to researchers in Malaysia and India, Australia and the USA, as well as of course from around the UK and Ireland as well.

What struck me most in my travels is not how different things are, but how researchers everywhere have the same basic needs, concerns and aspirations. As a researcher in Bradford College you have more things in common with a researcher in Swaziland than differences!

There are a few little gems that I’ve found in my travels, and I’ve been asked by your library to share these with you.

Reading for research versus reading for publication

How do you rate your skills searching for information? Pretty good? You can probably navigate your library’s discovery tools like a pro, are familiar with Google Scholar and all of the major databases, but as a quick challenge, write down the titles of the 3 main journals that you read on a regular basis. And no cheating by looking up your reference list!

Sorry are you finding this difficult?

You might do some provisional quality check before citing publications for your thesis, but when it comes to writing for publication, location and quality are everything. Do not fall into the trap of publishing in a low quality or scam journal just because there’s a website!

You are already reading widely in your field, so start paying attention to those key details. What is the journal called, who’s the editor and which company publishes the journal? Getting to know the styles and content of your preferred journal will help in writing appropriately for publication.

When it comes to selecting a journal, start by looking at the journals you read the most, cite from the most. It’s a good sign that they have a high affinity with the topic of your research, but remember, always read the author guidelines.

When to start the writing process

I get it, you’re excited, the research is complete and you have the energy and drive to sit down and write this article.


How upsetting and infuriating would it be if you spend weeks writing your article only to find that you’ve used the wrong style of references? How would you feel to find out that the subject matter isn’t covered in the journal, or that you have too many words and need to cut back significantly?

Writing an article before choosing a journal will not save you time, it costs you time, because every journal that you want to submit your article to will want to see that your article was targeted to their audience, their requirements and interests. So you would need to edit your article every time you submitted it somewhere else.

Save your time, read widely, target to the journal first… and then write!

Entering the journal conversation

When I first started to work with researchers on publishing, one of the common complaints I heard was that some of the standard advice from publishers didn’t make any sense, or couldn’t be applied in a practical way.

The most common example of this was the concept of “entering the journal conversation”. No one could really give an example of what this meant.

Anne Huff gives a brilliant example in her book “Writing for Scholarly Publication” which I’ve reinterpreted below. Hopefully it will give you a better idea of what this key concept means.

Imagine you are a guest at a wedding. In the reception, there are several tables filled with people having fun and talking to each other. Every table is talking about the same general topic, for example the US elections, but each table is looking at the topic from a different angle.

Table 1 is talking about the data security issues with Clinton using private servers
Table 2 is talking about Trump’s behaviour towards women
Table 3 is talking about the economic impact of each candidate winning
Table 4 is talking about the impact that each candidate could have on global politics

If you were to walk up to a table and just start talking about random Trump or Clinton facts you will find yourself feeling very foolish, possibly even ignored. You should always start by standing quietly, listening to what other people are saying and then making a decision as to whether you want to sit down or not.

This is why it is important to read back issues of the journal that you want to publish in, making a note of key themes, who are the major authors, what are the most cited papers.

I hope that this advice has been helpful to you, and I wish you all of the best in your future research publishing career.

Suzy Anderson

Getting the best out of Emerald Insight.

In our second guide to Emerald we look at some of ways that you can get the best out of the database for students and your own research.

Emerald Insight can be a slightly intimidating database for new users.  It doesn’t look like Google.  There is a lot of information on there.  It covers a lot of subjects but can be seen as quite specialist.  It looks like it’s aimed at HE but it does have a few journals suitable for FE students wanting to do more research around their subject.

So, how to get the students using Emerald?  One thing is to harness the power of Moodle.  If you can find one or two really relevant journal articles, add active links (rather than links to PDFs) into the relevant section of your course.  This will help bring students in to the actual database to look around.  They can then take advantage of some of the extra features of Emerald such as active links to references within the article, most popular articles within that journal, clicking on related keywords, viewing the current issue of that journal.  Your librarian can help you identify articles and add them to your Moodle page.

Do you have a favourite journal in Emerald?  Or – ask your librarian to recommend the best journals for your modules. If you can identify a really relevant journal that you would like your students to scan through from time to time, add a link to the journal homepage in your Moodle course.  This can encourage students to browse different issues and have a look at the most recent issue.  The journal homepage looks like this (below) and includes links to all the volumes and issues.  The home page also shows special editions which may be relevant to students or staff.

Journal homepage within Emerald

For staff or students undertaking research, Emerald has a great cross-referencing tool enabling you to search forward.  Find a key article and use it to locate more recent articles which have included your reference in their bibliographies.  If a journal article which has cited your article is also available in Emerald, you can click on a direct link to access it.  This also goes for references which your article has cited.  In essence you can move back and forwards from an article as an alternative way to simple keyword searching.

Use the Cited By options to find related articles.
Use the Cited By options to find related articles.

Emerald also has current awareness tools to help you keep up-to-date with the latest published research in your area.  You can easily set up an alert so you can be emailed when an article on your topic is published.

Finally – enter our Emerald quiz – the first 10 entries will win a prize!

Subjects covered by Emerald include: Business, Management, Accounting & Finance, Economics, Education, Engineering, Health & Social Care, HR, Marketing, Public Policy, Sociology, and Tourism & Hospitality.

For more information contact us on [email protected] or contact your librarian.