Approaching Digital Research

1427893_300Helen Young, one of the Academic Services’ Team Managers, is the subject of a new article on Academic publisher’s Taylor & Francis’s LibSite Research blog this month.

In a new series of blog posts, the publisher asks members of their Digital Practices Research UX Project steering group about their involvement in the project, their experiences of digital research UX to date, and how they are looking forward to applying the knowledge gained through the process.

In this first post Helen talks about her involvement in the UX Project and her experiences of working with post graduate researchers to manage their online research.

You can read the article here:

Semester 2 KPI Results – The Scores On The Doors!


From the beginning of the 2015-16 Academic year we embarked on our fifth year of measuring our KPI performance pledges, and we’ve just finished compiling the results of our May audit. So how did we do?

Well, we’re happy to report that during this month’s KPI week we scored 100% across the board for all of our scores, meaning we’ve kept completely up with our targets in areas such as returning and shelving books, Inter-Library Loan receiving and processing, and opening times and hours for the entire Academic year.

Our Inter-Library Loan service was especially busy this time around, with 51 requests processed and verified in one working day during the course of the week.

If you would like to see a full summary of our targets and performance levels, they are available on our website at the link below:

If you have any comments you’d like to make about any aspect of the Library service, do feel free to leave us some feedback through one of our many channels – we’d love to hear what you think.

Database Trial: Polymer Library

19985223,192x192,r-2Our second trial this month will likely be of great interest to chemists and engineers.

The Polymer Library is the world’s largest abstracts database dedicated to plastics, rubber, polymer composites and adhesives. Compiled and written by an expert team, this database sources information from journals, conference proceedings, books and reports to give you a comprehensive look at the information in your field. Find out more about the database and what it can do for you.

To obtain the trial details please login with your University username and password at

Access is valid to 19th June 2016.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn.

Database Trial: Eighteenth Century Drama

d218d8635edd40fbb240ce7560974acfThis month we’re trialling an Adam Matthew resource that should be of much interest to English & Drama students or anybody interested in the history of British theatre.

Eighteenth Century Drama features the John Larpent Collection from the Huntington Library – a unique archive of almost every play submitted for licence between 1737 and 1824, as well as hundreds of documents that provide social context for the plays. Explore the Larpent plays, papers of prominent theatrical figures of the period, including correspondence, financial documents, and portraits. Cross-reference this with essential searchable databases created from information in The London Stage 1729-1800 and A Biographical Dictionary of Actors, Actresses, Musicians, Dancers, Managers Other Stage Personnel in London, 1660-1800.

To begin searching please go to: – access is via IP address and the trial runs to 17th June 2016.

NB: Please note that PDF download options are not available during trials.

We welcome feedback – good or bad – on this trial, please contact Steve Corn.

Alternative Study Spaces in Catered Halls


This year, Campus Living have made dining rooms in Cayley and Rutherford, Faraday and Royce, Elyvn Richards, David Collett and Towers available to catered hall students and invited guests to use as study areas.

Tea and coffee facilities will be available free of charge during these study periods when catering staff are on duty.

All dining rooms will be locked by dining staff at 7.00pm. Access to these areas after this time and weekends can be arranged via the wardens and front of house managers .

Please note these dining halls can be very busy during meal timings and preferences will be given to students eating their meals.

Summer Term 24-7 Opening

247Our 24-7 Opening period begins from this evening and will run until 2am on Wednesday 15th June. As is customary, we’d like to issue a few gentle reminders about 24-7 etiquette…

Firstly, please respect your fellow users by considering what behaviour is (and isn’t!) appropriate in the Library by studying our guide to Library facilities on our homepage.

Space is ALWAYS at a premium during exam time, and sadly there are always a few who feel the need to take up more space than they actually need – even when they’re not actually in the building! So please, be kind and considerate and don’t leave your stuff lying about when you’re not there, as you’re depriving other people of a much-needed place to study. We WILL be removing any items left unattended for 30 minutes to free up space (assuming someone else doesn’t help themselves to your stuff first!).

Also please remember to keep your ID card with you at all times – even when you go for a break. Quite apart from the fact that you need it to gain entry to the Library, it is a University regulation that you keep your ID card with you at all times while on campus – if you lose it, you must report it and buy a replacement. And don’t lend your card to your friends – that’s against regulations too, and if we catch you, we will report you.

Levels 1,2 and 4 are intended to be areas for quiet study – please remember to keep the noise levels down to an absolute minimum on these floors, or you will be asked (nicely, by us, probably not so nicely by your fellow revisers!) to desist. If you want to chat – or have a snack – Level 3 is the designated social area.

Our designated Silent Study Area is on Level 4. When we say SILENT, we do mean SILENT! If you cannot abide by this, you will be asked to leave the area if you persist in causing disruption to your fellow users. We genuinely don’t like telling people off as much as they don’t like being told off, but for the sake of those genuinely wishing to study, we cannot tolerate bad behaviour or disrespect towards other users and staff. We appreciate that at times like this the stress levels rise, but though there are plenty of places on campus to let off steam the Library is NOT one of them! This applies just as much to use, or indeed misuse, of social media – think before you post anything, however witty you may think it is!

Our bookable study rooms, carrels and pods are pretty busy even off-peak, but during exam periods they’re especially popular. Please remember that you have to book them first before you can use one – don’t just turn up and sit down assuming the space is available, because it probably isn’t! And if you do book a space, please remember to actually come and use it. We give people 15 minutes to claim their reservation, otherwise we will allow someone else to use it – it’s simply not fair on other students to leave rooms unclaimed & unused.

Please use the bins and recycling containers to keep the Library clean and tidy. Please remove all rubbish from your desk when you go – leave it as you would expect to find it!

If you’re a smoker, please remember that you cannot smoke directly outside the Library entrance – you must use the smoking shelter in the Library car park opposite. Some of you are probably getting as tired of being told this as we are of telling you, but get used to being nagged (or worse) if you continue to ignore this rule – it is a University regulation, and subject to the same disciplinary procedure if you break it.

Please remember, if you experience any problems at all regarding any of the Library facilities, just ask a member of staff, or contact us through our Twitter and Facebook feeds – we’re here to help you as best we can.

Happy revising!

Pre-Exam Questionnaire: You Said…


A couple of weeks ago we ran a short survey at the Level 3 desk asking students three questions about the Library during exam times. The questions were:

  • What is your preferred location to study?
  • I agree that people should be asked to leave the silent study area if they are not silent (yes/no)
  • I agree that items left on the desks in the Library should be cleared within 30 minutes during the 24/7 period (yes/no)

We had an interesting and enlightening response:

  • 70% said they preferred to study in the Library, 21% at home or in Halls.
  • 97% said yes, people should be asked to leave the silent study area if they are not silent.
  • 58% said yes, left items should be cleared from Library desks within 30 minutes during 24-7.

It’s nice to know we’re still such a popular place to study on campus, and that you support the current policy of asking people to leave the Silent Study area if they persist in making noise, even if you’re maybe lukewarm about items being cleared from desks.

Do you have an opinion about this? Why not drop us a line via one of these methods:

Calling All Geographers and Civil Engineers!

digimapIf you’re studying in the fields of Geography and Civil Engineering, you’ll be certain of finding Geology Digimap extremely useful!

Geology Digimap – – can provide UK geology maps showing areas with indications of flooding, maps of soil texture, rock units, maximum and minimum permeability, soil strengths – from the very strong to the very weak – vital for physical geography, building and civil engineering.

Geology Digimap can also show what is below superficial and artificial deposits, underneath landscaped ground, the location of faults, fossil horizons, mineral veins and landforms.

Geological photos are available and you can draw on maps and annotate them, use software such as GIS or CAD, as well as save and export maps.

How to register for free –  login to Digimap using your Athens username and Password.   Complete the online registration and click on submit.  An email will be sent to the email address you entered in the Enter Details screen containing a link to activate your account. The link will remain valid for 24 hours.

Why not take a look at the databases stablemates while you’re at it? Marine Digimap and Historical Digimap are also available at

You also can find Digimap from the link in the Geography subject guide  and from the Select Databases tab in Library Catalogue Plus

Or just ask your Academic Librarian – – for more information.