Archive for the ‘Discover@Bolton’ Category

So long, Discover@Bolton search box; hello button!

September 20, 2016

We tried, but we have been unable to resurrect the Discover@Bolton search box. So you’re not going crazy: it isn’t there anymore. Fear not, however! We have replaced it was a red button, and don’t forget you can also access from your Subject Guide. Happy discovering!


The curious case of the disappearing Discover@Bolton box

September 15, 2016

Happy new year! I welcome the start of the new academic year by presenting something of a mystery. Continuing students will be used to accessing our library search interface Discover@Bolton in a number of ways, including the search boxes that we have at various points on the library web pages. Due to a technical issue – one that we’re struggling to understand, let alone resolve, hence the mystery – sometimes our lovely search box just isn’t there! We’re working on a resolution. This problem seems restricted to Internet Explorer, and not all Internet Explorer users will find they have no box. Other browsers, for example, Chrome and Firefox, appear to be displaying the search box just fine.

However, the intermittent lack of search box is just that: a lack of search box. Discover@Bolton is working perfectly well, so remember that you can access it from our Subject Guides pages (more on this new development later!), the A to Z list of electronic resources and from within Reading Lists Online. You can also access it directly here.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

Rediscovering Discover@Bolton: interface changes news

August 30, 2016

Just when I thought we were having a quiet summer (what’s left of it, anyway!) along comes a resource upgrade that I wasn’t quite expecting! If you use Discover@Bolton, you might notice that it’s looking a little different. The thing you’ll probably spot first is the red bar across the top of the screen: don’t worry, it doesn’t mean that anything is broken! The good news is that functionality has not been affected by this upgrade, so using Discover@Bolton to access a huge range of library electronic resources is just as good as it was – phew!

It’s hard to imagine, but it’s nearly a year since off-campus access to Discover@Bolton, a dream for such a long time due to string of complex technical challenges, became a reality. Since then, Discover@Bolton has become a vital library service: tens of thousands of searches are being done every month. I must admit I can get very animated when I’m talking about how Discover@Bolton is used so I won’t go on… Well, perhaps not today! Instead, I’ll point you in the direction of a conference paper on the topic that I presented at a conference back in May this year. Entitled Organic information literacy: supporting the developing researcher at the University of Bolton, I explored the impact of Discover@Bolton on our community. Worth a read if you want to know more about how we as information professionals continue to learn at the same time you do your academic work!



Drum roll… Scopus now included in Discover@Bolton!

April 18, 2016

At long last a “good news” story…

Scopus is now included in Discover@Bolton. Scopus is a very powerful database with a virtually unrivalled depth of indexing, and we’re delighted that it can now be accessed in this way. Happy searching!

Learning about leap years

February 29, 2016

In case you haven’t checked a calendar this morning, today is February 29th. While looking at my own calendar this morning, I realised that I didn’t actually know why we have a leap day. Anticipating the questions I’m bound to face from my inquisitive children later today I thought I ought to remedy that, and quickly. So where I else would I look for information but Discover@Bolton. It hasn’t disappointed. For a change, I filtered my search by newspaper articles and the article at the top of my list was a short piece from a local Canadian newspaper.

A quick read later, and I now know that the first documentation of the practice of adding an extra day to the year to bring the calendar in synch with the solar appeared in 1288 when Scotland passed a law to allow women to propose marriage to men on that day (and any man refusing the proposal to be fined!). The notion of women proposing to men on February 29th is thought to date back to 5th Century Ireland, when St Patrick agreed that “yearning females tired of waiting” could take matters into their own hands…

It’s thought that the practice of adding the extra day dates back to Ancient Egypt; it was also adopted by the Romans who first designated February 29th as an extra day in 45 B.C.

Amazing what a quick five minutes on a database can reveal! I can get on with my day now…

Highlighting games and special effects resources

February 26, 2016

If you’ve walked through the library this week, you may have noticed that our current display is all about resources for games and specials effects: many books on the topic have been included in this display.

You may be interested to know, therefore, that we also have access to a number of electronic resources that may be of benefit to those studying in this area. Two particular resources spring to mind: IEEE Xplore and Art Full Text. IEEE Xplore brings full-text journal articles covering a range of computing-related topics including material on special effects and games, such as creating virtual environments, portraying specific weather conditions and simulation. Art Full Text (available via Discover@Bolton as well as via the library website) is a major art resource and a search on “special effects” brings me articles on a variety of related topics including the development of special effects through the 1970s and 80s relating to Star Wars, further articles on simulation and even digital cinematography.

As you may also expect, a number of University of Bolton academics have published on these types of topics – including understanding the Uncanny Valley – and these are accessible from UBIR. Have a look here for University of Bolton research in that area.

Lastly, don’t forget about Discover@Bolton, which will provide you with relevant results from a range of databases.

Number crunching

February 2, 2016

This week is all about numbers: how much; how often. I’m gathering together lots of information about resources at the moment, and after a full day of looking at spread sheets and graphs and pie charts yesterday, this morning I find my mind in a need of a little light relief.

What’s light relief in the world of an Electronic Resources Librarian, I hear you ask? Looking at yet more statistics, of course! But sometimes I do like to look at things “for fun”. Last week, my daughter had to do some homework on graphs and did some work on representing everyone’s favourite biscuit. Custard creams came out top. So as I’m thinking about our information, I’m wondering what everyone’s favourite database would be here. ScienceDirect? Discover@Bolton? Wiley journals? SportDISCUS? It’s actually not that easy to unpick: what is one person’s favourite database isn’t necessarily someone else’s. There are so many different factors involved that transcend every piece of statistical information I might collect on a database: what is the subject coverage? Is it a full text database? Is it a database of archived journal issues (like JSTOR, for example) or is up current? Is it easy to use? It might have the best content in the world, but what’s the use if no one can access that content!

So to try to determine the “most popular” database is probably very difficult. What might be interesting, however, is to see which of our multidisciplinary databases is being used more. Taking Discover@Bolton out of the equation for just a moment, let’s have a look at ProQuest Central, ScienceDirect, Scopus, JSTOR and Credo. Now, I know without looking (because I’ve been doing this job a long time!) which of these is the most frequently used based on the numbers of full-text downloads or in the case of Scopus, searches. For the academic year 2014/15 this would look like this:


I was right, of course 🙂

What I was surprised about, however, was how high the number of searches was for ScienceDirect. This important database is so much more than the “science” in its name might suggest. It includes journals that cover a huge range of topics such as arts, humanities, economics, finance, psychology and social sciences. With its comprehensive scientific coverage, this database is about as multidisciplinary as it comes.

The good thing about a tool such as Discover@Bolton is that you can access that non-scientific content in a database like ScienceDirect without even knowing that that database will provide you with relevant content.

Access to Discover@Bolton was only enabled in February 2015; full access didn’t come until September. Therefore, the number of searches for the academic year 2014/15 isn’t yet representative of its impact. I’d be interested to see what happens when we look at usage for the academic year 2015/16: at this point (from August which is when we start recording our academic year) we’ve reached an amazing 171,149 searches and 17,253 visits. It’s number crunching like this I enjoy: it’s just one way we can delve into the impact of our electronic resources.

As to the biscuit poll in our household, mine was the only vote for bourbons…

A look back at 2015 (and welcome back to UBIR!)

January 4, 2016

The problems we were having with UBIR this morning have been resolved thanks to the swift actions of our Networks team and the service is working as normal.

Every year, I like to look back on the previous year, so now that we appear to be without resource problems, it’s time to do just that for 2015. However, before I do, over Christmas I was watching one of these ‘review of the year’ type programmes. I happened to catch the closing credits, and one of the sources mentioned was WGSN – Worth Global Style Network – which is a resource that we have access to here at the University of Bolton. Among other areas, WGSN looks at current and predicted trends, and is proof that our resources are essential for understanding a topic. Access WGSN via the library webpages or via Discover@Bolton.

Anyway, I digress. Back to 2015.

Last year was an exciting year for me as Electronic Resources Librarian as a number of very important changes were made to make your experience of accessing and discovering electronic resources better. We’ll come to these changes later.

In January, we had a fair few resource problems (staggeringly, my first post of 2015 concerned UBIR outage!) which were a cause of frustration. I think that was possibly one of the worst months I’ve known for that. However, we also looked at the British Library’s Save our Sounds project which is looking to negate the very real issue that in just 15 years, many recorded sounds could be inaccessible as equipment required to preserve and play them becomes obsolete. February was an exciting month: Discover@Bolton search boxes appeared on the library website. Although at that stage Discover@Bolton was only accessible on-campus, this was the first time that a service to search multiple databases at once was made readily available to the University of Bolton community. March saw a solar eclipse, and we looked at how we could use our electronic databases to find out more about this phenomenon.

April was a quiet month, so we reviewed Save our Sounds and pointed readers in the direction of JISC’s Summer of Innovation. May saw a General Election and as well as a new government, we also acquired two new resources: WGSN Lifestyle and Interiors and the online edition of the British Medical Journal. As the academic year drew to a close, June seemed to be a busy month for resource problems, including one of the most bizarre remote access I’ve ever come across in 10 years of working with electronic resources.

July was another quiet month, not least because of major refurbishment works that were taking place in the Library over the summer. As we all looked forward to a break, I considered the merits of speaking to publishes about resource usage and development, and how it is important to engage with them. July was also when I presented Discover@Bolton to staff at the University’s TIRI Conference, and how it could be used to enhance learning. My presentation is available here. As the summer drew on, in August we looked at OAPEN-UK, a project set to investigate issues surrounding the publication of textbooks in electronic format.

All this time, I was working on two important developments that  came to fruition in September. The first of these was a major change – in the background – to how we log into resources. This change was particularly important for remote access and we really hope things are simpler now. The other change, and the one I’m most excited about, was the off-campus launch of Discover@Bolton. That was pretty much the only news that month, but it was certainly big news! In October, we acquired yet another new resource: Acland Anatomy. We also looked at open access as part of Open Access Week and we had the first of our Subject Librarian guest posts: Reading Lists online by Mary Barden. November saw an exploration of Royal College of Nursing Journals by our Subject Librarian for Health Dawn Grundy, extra content was added to Discover@Bolton and we remembered George Boole, whose development of logic led to the use of AND, OR and NOT that we have come to use in our own library searches.

As the year drew to a close, December brought another Subject Librarian guest post, this time on services for researchers by Anne Keddie. We looked at the top 100 articles of 2015 according to Altmetric, and we had a bit of fun looking at the 12 Apps of Christmas.

So that was 2015. I wonder what 2016 will bring…


Extra content added to the Directory of Open Access Journals on Discover@Bolton

November 23, 2015

Around 7,000 extra journals from the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) are now available via Discover@Bolton. DOAJ is an important open access resource, and if you want to ensure that you can discover article from these journals from your Discover@Bolton searches, make sure that you check the “Check this box to search open access resources beyond your library’s collection” option at the top right-hand side of your search results.

Farewell to the printed catalogue card

October 6, 2015

Every so often I read something that makes me think “Really??”. The other day, I happened to read a press release from OCLC – the organisation that created the very first shared online library catalogue in 1971 – that they had printed their last catalogue card. You don’t have to be that old to remember these perceived remnants of a library time gone by: a small but very long drawer full of little white lined cards held together with a metal rod containing all you needed to know about that item. Perfectly functional, but not the way in which we operate today. I was therefore genuinely surprised to learn that OCLC has only just stopped printing catalogue cards. I was as surprised by this as I was to learn that the British Library only stopped microfilming newspapers in 2010 (which in my head was about three weeks ago, but there again I AM old).

The idea of enabling access to library material – i.e. the starting point of finding information – via a little card seems to very alien compared to the systems we have in place today. Today, you can find out which books are available in the library just by going to a web interface. You can go one step further and search the content of many, many databases by going to a web discovery service such as Discover@Bolton. It seems a world away from those little cards, doesn’t it. Ultimately, using web-based interfaces to enable access to material – whether that’s actually finding out what is available or delving deeper and researching – has improved our library experiences, and while we certainly can feel nostalgic, the world has moved on, and we’re moving on with it.