While You Were Away: New Library guides for Information and Research Skills

This is the second in a series of post to let you know about key Library developments  while you were away over the summer.

The Library has developed 6 new Library guides to help you develop your information and research skills at your own pace online:

What’s in the Library for you?

Library Induction – introduces new and returning staff and students to our services, facilities and resources

Better than Google

How to do a literature search – explains how to target your searching, find the best academic sources and select the right databases for your literature search as well as how to choose and use keywords in effective search sentences and how to manage your search results

More than literature searching

How to conduct a systematic review – explains how systematic reviews work, covering each of the many stages required: from formulating your question and writing a protocol, through searching, selecting studies and assessing evidence, to finally writing up your review

New Library guides for specific databases

Explore search tips and tricks, search filtering and how to manage your searches:

Biomedical literature – Embase, Medline and Embase Classic

Behavioural and social sciences literature – PsycInfo. This can be searched on numerous platforms. This guide recommends using APA PsycNET

Literature for health and biomedicine, as well as behavioural sciences, bioengineering, chemical sciences and life sciences: PubMed. How to search using MEDLINE or Embase and how the coverage of the two platforms differs significantly

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While You Were Away: Library Space Upgrades

This is the first post in a series highlighting major Library developments that happened ‘while you were away’ over the summer. The full report is available here.

The 3 most significant space upgrades are as follows:

1.Power update: over the summer we added 100 new power/usb charging sockets to study desks and replaced 200 existing sockets with new twin power/usb sockets. This brings the total number of desks with easy access to power to 1,490. This now means that 100% of all seats in Library study areas now have power.

2. New PCs! 109 computers on Level 3 of the Library have been replaced over the summer. The old machines used 4th generation Intel Core i7 processors, whereas the new, faster HP computers have 8th generation processors.We have also addressed student comments about the monitors and have ensured all PCs have 24 inch TFT displays. All of these monitors are now height adjustable. However, the biggest enhancement is in their physical design; the PCs are now smaller, with a significantly reduced footprint. The PC’s are a lot more power efficient, quieter as they have fewer fans, and therefore generate less heat. This should result in a more pleasant working environment.

3. New street art on Level 4 of the Library. This is part of a co-creation research project with the Politics of Culture and Memory research cluster:

When Brazilian street artist and cultural activist Leandro Rodrigues de Souza, known as Leandro Tick, visited the UK in September 2019 as part of the Co-Creation research project we were keen to introduce him to some of our archival collections.

Leandro lives and works in the favela of Tabajaras in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He started painting graffiti in 2001 and, since 2006, he has been teaching street art to children, participating in social projects, and organizing collective art events in the city. He cofounded CALLE, an association that promotes cultural exchange between locals and foreign volunteers, and initiated the Connexion Tabajaras Project to establish an openair community gallery supported by a team of local guides.

Co-Creation is a four-year project funded by the EU’s Marie Curie/RISE Horizon 2020

Kate Robinson (University Librarian) meets artist Leandro Rodrigues de Souza

scheme that brings together researchers, policymakers, residents, artists, and other stakeholders to ‘co-create’ understanding about urban neighbourhoods in Europe and Latin America. The methodology advanced by the project promotes social justice through an arts-based, participatory approach allowing those involved to share knowledge and experience, acquire transferable skills, form networks, and build cohesive communities.

The international Co-Creation consortium is made up of four universities and three NGOs. Dr Christina Horvath (PoLIS) is a founding member. She leads a team of 20 University of Bath researchers from across the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences.

Leandro has been collaborating with the Co-Creation project since 2018, contributing to workshops and arts-based research. His art takes many forms, but he is especially well known for depicting cityscapes, flora and fauna, and people from favelas. We liked the idea of showing him some of the historic photos of urban neighbourhoods in the Library’s Bristol Region Building Record. The artwork you see on this wall is what Leandro was inspired to paint. It includes some of his characteristic favela buildings and an iconic building in Stokes Croft, an area regarded by some as the birthplace of Bristol’s street art movement.

If you have any feedback or comments on any of these developments, please contact library@bath.ac.uk 

Posted in archive & research collections, computers, engineering & design, events, humanities & social sciences, Library exchange, research, social and policy sciences, space, study areas | Leave a comment

New Library Display: Well-being books and Black History Month

The Library has set up a new permanent display collection of Well-being and Health books (bought with funds from Widening Participation and the Library).  These are all borrowable and we hope all students and staff will find them interesting and useful.

The display area is on Level 2 of the Library, next to the current newspapers and facing the student lift.

Adjacent to this permanent display is a temporary display for Black History Month (October 2019).

Well-being books: a new permanent display of books on all aspects of health and well-being. This includes new and returning titles, as well as items from the Read Well campaign which launched earlier this year. Browse the full Library List of Read Well titles online.

Black History Month it is October (BHM) and we are celebrating with a pop-up display for the month. The titles here are new purchases that reflect key issues and also popular fiction. Browse the Library List of selected titles online. They are shelved to the right of the Well-being display pictured above.

We hope you enjoy these displays. If you would like to provide any feedback or recommendations for books or display topics, please contact: library@bath.ac.uk

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Library visit to the University of Jordan and international collaborations

We were fortunate to visit the University of Jordan this summer as part of a library project supporting joint and visiting PhD students. Funded through the Erasmus International Credit Mobility (ICM) scheme and organised through the International Research Office, a small group of library staff: the University Librarian, Kate Robinson; Subject Librarian, Karina Bradshaw and Information Librarians, Tamsin Reilly and Megyn Luscott made the trip.

Why we went

Universities have different approaches to supporting PhD students. The services and resources they offer can vary or be described in different ways and located in different places. The one thing that is a common and understandable entity to all institutions, however, is the Library!

Our Library is currently collaborating with Stellenbosch University Library to produce a mapping tool to help “translate” available cross-institutional support, with a view to developing a best-practice tool that will be re-usable with other partner institutions. We think that this will also act as a useful aide for all services seeking to support internationally mobile and international students or researchers.

We were keen to visit an international university as a test bed for the project and were thrilled when an opportunity to visit the University of Jordan in Amman became available.

What we did

We visited the University of Jordan a number of times, meeting an array of people from the Library, the International Office and academics from the School of Pharmacy who had gained their PhDs at the University of Bath.

It was a wonderful experience getting to meet and know the people there, in particular Ghadeer and Dina the alumni from Bath, who were so welcoming and a fount of knowledge.  Each time we met new areas of interest were highlighted and explored, providing us with a rich bank of knowledge to apply to our research project.

We were also fortunate that, as the evenings in Jordan are cooler, many of the tourist attractions stay open late. This was an opportunity to explore the wonders Jordan has on offer and to give a cultural insight into the differences that a student would experience coming from Jordan to study in the UK.

The streets o Amman at night

The streets of Amman at night, full of people and beauty

Some of the places we visited while there included the Temple of Hercules, Mount Nebo, Roman amphitheatres and Jerash:

Historic sites in Jordan

What we learned

The University of Jordan Library was a good space for studying, full of the hustle and bustle of students, with some similarities to our own library but also notable differences. In particular, we were struck by their larger reliance on print resources and their in-house binding service (with talented library staff who hand-scribed all the newly bounded copies). We visited all the services at the Library from Archives and Cataloguing, to Assistive Technology support and much more. It was a joy to meet our fellow library colleagues and discuss academic library services with them in relation to our research.

University of Jordan Library

The front of the library, with students working in the shade of it

Speaking to academics from the University of Jordan helped us gain an understanding of the needs and expectations of postgraduate researchers, and gave an insight into the services and support that are available to them. We were able to compare and contrast provision in the University of Jordan with that in Bath, discovering where services and support for postgraduate researchers dovetail, and where there are differences.

We saw how processes are run at the University of Jordan, in comparison to how we execute similar services. We were also keen to get a handle on the terminology used the University of Jordan with a view to unpicking where similar support existed but was perhaps expressed differently. Discussing services for postgraduate researchers with our hosts allowed us to talk through these differences and to better understand where provision in Jordan matched that available in Bath. The information they shared was invaluable, particularly given their own perspective as ex-Bath students.

We can now envision how to best create a tool that will allow researchers working with both institutions to easily locate and access the support they expect and need, to overcome problems seemingly inherent in navigating two separate institutions both physically and online.

We were pleased to extend the links the University has already made and further consolidate relationships between our institutions. We learned a great deal from our visit to Jordan and from our time with the wonderful people there. The experience enriched our research project beyond our expectations, with many thanks to the University of Jordan staff.

If you are interested in learning more about our project, please get in touch through library@bath.ac.uk

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Springer 2019 e-books and protocols update

Our Library’s ebook collections have been further enhanced this year with more than 5,000 new ebooks from the following Springer collections. These are largely frontfile additions for 2019. Many more 2019 titles will continue to be released and become available up until the end of the year. Springer Protocols for 2019 have also been purchased, with more than 4,000 new protocols already available.

A new e-book collection has arrived for 2019, Intelligent Technologies & Robotics, with over 460 e-books already. Finally, our acquisitions also include the following e-book backfiles: Engineering Archive 2000-2004; Biomedical and Life Sciences Archives: 1888-2004.


By combining these latest ebooks with our existing Springer content, this gives us access to over 87,000 high quality scholarly ebook titles and more than 56,800 protocols Follow the links below to search across the subject specific collections or search for individual titles by keyword on our Library catalogue:

Springer 2019 e-books

*Lecture Notes in Computer Science – we have access to the full content: 1973-2019!

Posted in biology & biochemistry, chemistry, computer science, e-books, economics, electrical engineering, engineering & design, humanities & social sciences, mathematical sciences, mechanical engineering, new resources, Science | Leave a comment

Step-by-step guide to conducting a Systematic Review

Anyone who’s conducted a systematic review will know that this involves a lot more than “simply” summarising and evaluating a range of literature on a topic.  The whole process can be very prescribed, structured and somewhat daunting!  So, to help add some clarity to the process, the Library has written a new Systematic Reviews Guide which covers the following steps:

  • Formulating a question
  • Writing a protocol
  • Searching the literature
  • Managing references
  • Selecting studies
  • Assessing evidence
  • Writing-up

Please note:

  • Subject coverage: generally, the topics of systematic reviews relate to health or medicine, but they are becoming more common in other areas such as psychology and social policy.
  • Cochrane Interactive Learning tutorial: at various stages in the guide, you can get further in-depth advice by signing-up to the Cochrane tutorial (provided through a library subscription).  If you choose to complete one or more of its assessments, you can download a certificate for each one that you pass.   

Feedback welcome! 
Please email any feedback to library@bath.ac.uk

Connect to the Library’s Systematic Reviews Guide.


Posted in doctoral students, health, humanities & social sciences, new resources, pharmacy & pharmacology, postgraduates, research, Science, social and policy sciences | Leave a comment

Library Services over Bank Holiday 26-27 August

Please note that there will be no staffed services on Monday 26 August due to the national Bank Holiday and University holiday on Tuesday 27 August.

Security staff will be based at Reception in the Library entrance.  The library building will be open as usual for study, access to print collections and computer areas.  Self-Service book loans and print & copy facilities will be available as normal.

Loans can be returned but items will not be discharged from your borrower account until Wednesday 28 August.

You will need your library card and PIN to borrow books via the Self-Issue machines.  You should check you have a functioning library card before 4.45pm on Friday 23 August in case you need to get a new one to access buildings over the extended weekend.   The facilities for printing new and replacement cards will be available again on Wednesday 28 August from the Library Issue Desk.

There will be no library staffed services from the end of the working day on Friday until the start of Wednesday 28 August.   Any queries sent by mail or messages left by phone will be dealt with from Wednesday 28 August.


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