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.

STOP!

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.

emerald-journal-home-page
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.