Author Archive

In celebration of British Science Week: ScienceDirect

March 12, 2018

So my calendar tells me that we are half way through British Science Week, a ten-day celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths in the UK.

To mark the event, this blog will take a look at some of our science-related resources, starting with ScienceDirect. The online journals platform for the publisher Elsevier, this resource provides us with access to over 2,000 high-impact electronic journals. Despite the name, there is more to this resource than science-related research. Not only does it cover all aspects of science (including health and life sciences) is also provides humanities and social sciences coverage. Included in Discover@Bolton, which makes accessing this content even easier, I find that ScienceDirect is very user-friendly, and it’s east to get to the research you want quickly.

Now, my calendar also tells me that today is “Fill Our Staplers Day”…

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Problems with Scopus

March 5, 2018

Looks like we’re having a few problems with Scopus at the moment: it seems that we can access it fine, but we are seeing error messages either when we search, or when we try to navigate our results.

The problem has been reported to the supplier and it is hoped the issue will be resolved as soon as possible.

RefWorks in Discover@Bolton currently unavailable

February 14, 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Problems accessing the library catalogue

January 17, 2018

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.