RefWorks in Discover@Bolton currently unavailable

February 14, 2018 by

So RefWorks within Discover@Bolton isn’t working at the moment (you could say it isn’t feeling the love… see what I did there…). RefWorks itself is working, so you’ll need to login independently – i.e. not from within Discover@Bolton – if you need to access it. This is part of a widespread problem that is affecting many users, and is being worked on. Apologies for the inconvenience.


Shrove Tuesday in Worktown

February 13, 2018 by

Everyone had their pancakes yet?

Last week one of our academics pointed me in the direction of some wonderful material that can be accessed from Mass Observation Online. The academic in question, Robert Snape, leads the university’s Centre for Worktown Studies, which undertakes and supports research relating to the “Worktown” photographs which were used as documentary evidence for the Mass Observation project (read my blog post from December 2017 to find out more).

Here’s what was noted about Shrove Tuesday in Westhoughton, 1933:

Heard five boys aged 12 singing on the way to school, 8.45 a.m.

“Pancake Tuesday is a very happy day

If you don’t give us holiday we’ll all run away

Eating toffee, chewing nuts

Shoving pancakes down our guts”


The observer continued that the boys discussed church attendance on Shrove Tuesday, and noted that “there were no dances in Westhoughton on Shrove Tuesday”. Two recipes were included in the observation, and a recommended flavour was lemon and sugar. In a further observation, a pancake eating game was described whereby if a pancake was not eaten by the time more had been made, there was a fine to pay!

Mass Observation Online can be accessed from the A to Z List of Databases. Pancakes can be served at any time…!

Problems accessing RefWorks from within Discover@Bolton

February 12, 2018 by

Looks like we’re having a few problems with accessing RefWorks from within Discover@Bolton: we’re seeing error messages after putting in login credentials. The problem has been reported; keep checking this blog for further updates. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Once upon a time…

February 5, 2018 by

While working on a presentation I’m giving to colleagues tomorrow about open access and REF 2021, I fell down something of an Internet rabbit hole looking for a nice image I could use on a slide. I spent a happy couple of minutes delighting in images of the main library at the University of Cambridge and started to wonder if in 200 years time we’d be getting this excited about ebooks. Yes, that is the way the mind of this Electronic Resources Librarian works.

At this point, I realised that I have a gap in my knowledge (again, I am a librarian; this comes with the territory): I had no idea how, or when, electronic books became A Thing. It seems this actually not as simple to establish, but thanks to some speedy research this afternoon I know a little more. When the first ebook appeared on the scene varies from source to source – this would be a nightmare literature review in a real-life situation! – with one source telling me that the first electronic book appeared in 1993 (on CD-ROM). This seemed altogether too recent for my liking, given what I know about electronic publishing in general. A more likely origin, I suspect, is probably the establishment of Project Gutenberg, whose founder, Michael Hart, is said to have invented the ebook in 1971. In a case of “being in the right place at the right time” in a computer lab at the University of Illinois, the ebook was born. His philosophy was relatively simple: that “the greatest value created by computers but the storage, retrieval, and searching of what was stored in our libraries” It’s over 20 years old but this essay explains how it all began.

ProQuest Ebook Central unavailable due to essential maintenance on 20th January

January 19, 2018 by

Due to essential maintenance, ProQuest Ebook Central will be unavailable from 6.00 p.m. on Saturday 20th January for six hours.

Help is at hand!

January 18, 2018 by

help me

This week it has been “Mind your mate week” across the university. Here in the Library, we like to provide as much help as we possibly can on a variety of topics. I mentioned Subject Guides – your starting point for help on accessing subject-specific information – last week, and today I want to talk about our series of Help Guides. We have a growing number of Help Guides on a number of subject including accessing electronic resources, accessing ebooks, Reading Lists Online and research support. Access the Help Guides from the library website.

Library catalogue working as normal

January 18, 2018 by

We are pleased to report that the library catalogue is working as normal.

Problems accessing the library catalogue

January 17, 2018 by

We are experiencing problems accessing the library catalogue at the moment. It would appear that this is a nationwide problem. Hopefully all will be working normally soon and apologies for the inconvenience.

Resource focus: Ebsco Education

January 17, 2018 by

You’ll have seen that this week has all been about “New year, new you”. Have you made any new year’s resolutions related to study? If you’re an education student, why not resolve to make better use of one of our specialist education resources: Ebsco Education. Ebsco Education is actually five databases in one: British Education Index (BEI); ERIC; Child Development Abstracts; Education Abstracts; Educational Administration Abstracts. Bonus! These databases are actually abstracting and indexing databases, so although you may not be able to access full-text from this (if we have access, however, you will) these databases are really important if you are doing a literature review. We do literature reviews to try to establish what has already been written about a particular topic – or even trying see where there are gaps in the body of knowledge – so using an abstracting and indexing database (or set of databases as in the case of Ebsco Education) is really important.

Not an education student? There are plenty of databases you can try to access academic material. Start with Discover@Bolton, or head to your Subject Guide now!

Resource focus: SportDISCUS

January 16, 2018 by

Hands up who made it their New Year’s resolution to take up a sport and get fit? At the start of 2016 I made this my resolution and amazingly I’ve stuck to it. If you’d have told me 20 years ago that I would feel cross that my gym closes at 8 p.m. on a weekend I’d have laughed at you…

Anyway, if you are studying sports sciences (as opposed to someone like me!), there is one database you simply cannot do without: SportDISCUS. This is a hugely important full-text resource for anyone studying sports and sports medicine. Containing over 150,000 articles from over 600 journals, this database covers health education, coaching, fitness, physical therapy and sports sciences to name a few topics. SportDISCUS is very easy to search so do take a look if you are studying sports-related topics.