Archive for the ‘Electronic resources’ Category

Problems accessing Westlaw

June 30, 2017

We are experiencing problems accessing Westlaw. We are working closely with the providers to resolve the issue and apologies for any inconvenience caused.

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Subject Guiding the way…

June 2, 2017

It’s the start of a new month, and one of my tasks at the start of each month is to gather usage statistics. I must admit I rather enjoy getting hold of the raw data: it’s instant gratification. Run a quick report, and hey presto, data! One my favourite exercises at the moment (only an Electronic Resources Librarian can have favourite stats-gathering jobs…) is looking at usage of our Subject Guides, which was a new initiative for this academic year.

The different between looking at usage of Subject Guides as opposed to a database such as ScienceDirect or JSTOR, for example, is that as well as establishing how many times they have been accessed, we can also see how they are being used, and what we might consider to be the most important information presented by them. So when I’m looking at ScienceDirect, I might get very excited when I see that in March 2017, there were just short of 10,000 full-text downloads. That’s a lot of downloads, and a quick scan of previous years tells me that that’s the most we’ve ever recorded in a month. That’s fascinating, yes? Yes, it is. However, I don’t know what that actually tells me, besides “ScienceDirect had a lot of downloads that month”.

Now, I could get clever here. I can look at the JISC Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP) data, do a quick sort of my data, and look at the ten most popular (i.e. most downloaded) titles that month: International Journal of Production Economics; Psychology of Sport and Exercise; Journal of Business Research; Social Science and Medicine; Nurse Education Today; Aggression and Violent Behaviour; Body Image; Procedia – Social and Behavioural Sciences; Clinical Psychology Review; Industrial Marketing Management. Okay, that’s fascinating too, isn’t it? Yes indeed: that’s quite a multi-disciplinary list and if I go further down the ranking I can see this to a greater degree. Anecdotally, I’m aware of users thinking that ScienceDirect and its content may not be relevant to them, but this list confirms to me that there’s much, much more than science-related content available in this package.

So that’s all well and good but again, where does that leave us in terms of how folk use stuff.

Back to Subject Guides.

Who’d like to take a guess as what the most popular (i.e. most accessed) Subject Guide has been, month after month for the past seven months has been? Ebooks at the University of Bolton. In that seven month period, that guide has been accessed 6,489 times. Within that guide, the homepage, Using Ebooks, has proved the most popular, with the page on Ebook Collections in second place. The link to MyiLibrary is the most popular link on the page, and we know that MyiLibrary is our most popular ebook platform: it all joins up. We produce a variety of documentation to help you get the most out of our resources, and the Ebooks at the University of Bolton guide includes a link to a downloadable quick start guide to ebooks. This appears not have been downloaded much at all; the guide to MyiLibrary has, however. Why is this? Are we reaching a point where accessing ebooks is becoming more and more intuitive; you just don’t require the help? Is it more important to have directed help, i.e. platform/database-specific help? The granularity of the usage information from Subject Guides allow us to ask these questions.

Let’s look another guide, Health and Social Care. Health and Social Care doesn’t see anything like the traffic seen by Ebooks at the University of Bolton, Research Support, or Accessing Electronic Resources, but that’s what we’d probably expect: this is a guide specifically for students studying in this area. What I find immediately apparent is that after the homepage, the next most popular page is Databases, journals and articles. That’s of note because that doesn’t appear next to the tab for the homepage. In fact, this usage pattern appears to be the case with many, many Subject Guides. “How do I access journal articles” is a frequent question at the Library Help Desk: it’s all joining up. The most popular links on this guide are the links to CINAHL – by far our most popular health-related database – and ProQuest Central, our most-used database overall.

I’m going to leave this here, as I’ve a feeling I’ve probably asked more questions than I’ve answered, but what all this is telling me is that we can see how you are accessing our information, and we are able to piece together the story of how you are using that information in your studies.

Normal access to resources restored

May 25, 2017

The problems we were having with access to resources earlier this week have been resolved, and you should be able to access resources as normal. As ever, of you do encounter any difficulties, don’t hesitate to get in contact with the Subject Help Desk.

Access to resources sort of working, but follow these steps!

May 23, 2017

We’re getting there with restoring access to resources.

First of all, we recommend that you clear your cookies. Then, find the resource you wish to access and click on the link . On the next page, you may see a message to tell you that there is a problem with the website’s certificate and three links. Chose the second of these links, “Continue to this website (not recommended)”. However, at this point, you need to click on the link to proceed to the resource login!

We’re hoping that this just a temporary extra step – keep checking for further updates.

Again, apologies for any inconvenience.

Continuing problems with access to electronic resources

May 23, 2017

The problems we were having with resources yesterday are continuing today. We are, however, hopeful that they will be resolved soon. Apologies for the inconvenience.

A to Z Database List developments

May 12, 2017

One of the nice things about some of the software we use to provide information is that we can make changes quickly and easily to ensure you get the information you need. To that end, we’ve made some changes to the A to Z Database List. Where you previously needed to hover over the I icon to see a description, it now appears directly beneath the database link. Quick Start Guides are also available directly from the A to Z Database too.

ProQuest databases working as normal now

May 9, 2017

With a degree of caution, I am pleased to report that off-campus access to ProQuest database is working as normal again. If you do have any further problems, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Ongoing problems with access to ProQuest databases off-campus

May 8, 2017

Unfortunately, the problems we were experiencing with access to ProQuest databases off-campus last week are continuing. We’re doing everything we can to resolve this situation and we thank you for your patience.

Changes to the Emerald journals interface

January 9, 2017

Over the festive break, publishers Emerald have been busy rebranding. Their website looks a little different, and their logo is different. The swirly ‘e’ has been replaced by something a little more modern-looking. Rest assured, however, that access to content remains the same and access to the database itself has not been affected.

I must admit I’m quite sad to see the swirly ‘e’ go. I’m not normally one for sticking to what I’ve always known (although Starbursts to me will always be Opal Fruits), but I feel quite nostalgic about that old green ‘e’. I couldn’t quite figure out why until I cast my mind back a few years and recollected that Emerald was one of the first electronic databases that provided access to full text content that I used as a student. Prior to studying Library and Information Management, there was very little in the way of electronic resources that was of any relevance whatsoever to me as a musicology student. The odd CD-ROM, perhaps, and I was fully au fait with your average microfilm reader, but electronic resources that provided full text were a bit of an unknown.

Emerald was the first database providing full text access to journal articles that I got to really learn. It was a wonderful revelation: truly, it was as if I’d completed a Moon landing, such was my amazement. It still remains a most useful database, and although I’ve got beyond that Eureka moment of being able to download an article, I still wonder slightly at the availability of research following just a few keystrokes.

 

Farewell 2016…

December 20, 2016

This Electronic Resources Librarian will be finishing for Christmas in a matter of hours, and so it’s reached the point in the year where we look back at the past 12 months. Before I do, I’ll take this opportunity to remind you that our electronic resources will be available wherever you are over the festive break.

Anyway, to 2016.

The year seemed to start with lots of reports of broken resources: blog posts from January are somewhat singular in nature. However, a report about the Scopus Cited Reference Programme provided an opportunity to reflect on the growth in online information provision, and just how much this has changed in the past 20 years. I reminisced about the overhead projectors. It was possibly a slow month… In February, I looked at usage statistics, and how, or even if, we can determine what our most popular electronic resource is, we reminded ourselves of our Reading Lists Online Service (more on that in 2017) and finally I was able to bring the exciting – or it is in my world – news that we are able to access usage statistics for UBIR. March was another quiet month on the electronic resources front – not even an overhead projector made and appearance – I talked a little about open access compliancy for the REF.

As the year went on, this blog was a little quiet. It seemed that access problems were not as prevalent as they had been at the start of the year, and everything was ticking over rather nicely. However, there was another reason why this blog was a little more quiet than usual: behind the scenes some very exciting work was being done to improve the way in which we provide information about our resources and subject-specific support. The comparative quiet of April, May, June and July ended in August with what has become a annual summer event: redesigned resources. Some annual events I like; some I do not. Resource redesigns often fall into the latter category. However, one of the resources subject to a redesign this summer was the Taylor and Francis platform, and this particular redesign has been rather good. Indeed, usage of the resource has gone up, so it seems that you all like it, too.

And so to September, and the start of the new academic year. To coincide with the new academic year, we launched Subject Guides, which are subject-specific pages that provide access to information relating to your course, for example, links to resources and study skills information. Related to this, we launched a new guide for Research Support in October for anyone who is engaged in any research at any level. November saw some further developments in how we present information about resources as we launched a new and improved A to Z list of databases, a guide to Reading Lists Online and a completely new Electronic Resources page on the Library website. Also this term the Library Twitter feed (@BoltonUniLib) has featured E-resources top tips: bite-sized helpful information about resources. We’ve also been fortunate this term to subscribe to two new resources: Drama Online and ProQuest Ebook Central, the latter of which enables access to around 140,000 electronic books.

Suddenly it’s December, and we’re approaching the end of a calendar year. Whatever you have planned over the festive season, I wish you all the very best, and look forward to many more electronic resource developments for 2017!