Archive for the ‘Library’ Category

Entering the Journals Hall of Fame

June 26, 2014

I’ve spoken before about just what a useful tool the Journal Usage Statistics Portal (JUSP) is, and round about this time last year, I tried to establish what the top 20 most downloaded titles is. I did get a list – and remember that JUSP doesn’t give us usage for all of our electronic journals, and no print either – but it was not quite an exact science. Still, it did give a useful insight into what our users are finding crucial to their research.

Earlier this morning, I was looking at JUSP to get some usage statistics for an area of journal usage I wouldn’t normally go looking for, and came across a feature on JUSP I hadn’t spotted before. Now, if you’re an electronic resources librarian, this is quite exciting (I know, I know…). What was the feature I hear you yell? It’s a report I can run to establish what our top downloaded titles are across a very good proportion of our electronic journals collection. As we’re pretty much at the end of term now, I couldn’t resist running this report from January 2014 to date, so here, for all to see, our the top 20 most downloaded titles for the University of Bolton as included in JUSP:

20. Journal of Cleaner Production

19. Nurse Education Today

18. Journal of Strategic Marketing

17. International Journal of Retail and Distribution Management

16. Polymer Degradation and Stability

15. Computers in Human Behavior

14. Journal of Advanced Nursing

13. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services

12. Journal of Marketing Management

11. International Business Review

And the Top 10:

10. Expert Systems with Applications

9. Journal of Product and Brand Management

8. Personality and Individual Differences

7. European Journal of Marketing

6. Journal of World Business

5. Marketing and Intelligence Planning

4. Industrial Marketing Management

3. International Journal of Project Management

2. Plant and Cell Physiology

1. Journal of Business Research

What do you reckon? Anything surprise you? There are few here that do have me raising an eyebrow, and it’s very interesting to note that quite a few from our top 20 of last year appear in this list too. There are also quite a few ‘new entrants’ from which we could draw any one of a number of conclusions: have there been a series of more relevant articles published this year? Has there been a change in what is being taught? Are there new research strands emerging? Whatever our top 20 might reveal, it’s clear that our electronic collections are vital to research here, and we aim to do everything we can to ensure that our collections retain their relevance, and continue to develop.



Happy new year!

January 7, 2014

Just a quick post to say a very happy new year to you all! I hope that you have all had a lovely break, and are looking forward to recommencing your studies. Our opening hours are available here.

Merry Christmas! Goodbye 2013; hello 2014

December 19, 2013

As sure as night follows day and chips are served with fish (it’s lunchtime!), the final of the X Factor can mean only one thing: that’s right, it’s very nearly Christmas and the end of the year. It’s my last working day of the year, so in true Electronic Resources Librarian style, I’m going to be saying “season’s greetings” in one of the only ways I can by reviewing this Electronic Resources Librarian’s 2013. But before I do, a reminder that after 5 p.m. tomorrow (Friday 20th December), the library will be unstaffed until Monday 6th January. It will still be possible to gain access to the library during the day: see here for full details of our festive opening hours. And don’t forget that the majority of our electronic resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, so if you get to the point on New Year’s Eve where you’ve had quite enough jollity you can still get on with your work.

And so to my year. I welcomed 2013 in January by telling you all about some resource maintenance, and as usual, resource maintenance has been a feature of this year. The start of the year, however, also saw developments in the provision of resources that are available on mobile devices, with another provider launching an online service. February may have been a short month, but that is not to say that it didn’t see one very important development: the change from our old yellow login screen to the login screen with which we are all now familiar. Changing to this new screen was part of a larger change to the technology behind logging into resources, and there are now some resources where extra steps have to be undertaken in order to access the resource, particularly off-campus. Be sure to always check access notes for each resource. March was a time of resource maintenance, but the good news is that all of those problems were resolved. April and May saw more of the same, but I made a personal plea to ensure that you seek help when you have problems, and don’t let anything get in the way of your research.

Just when it would seem that 2013 was a very bad year for electronic resources, the sun started to shine again in June. A spotlight feature in the library highlighted social media, something that we are making a significantly more use of this year. And we also saw some improvement to Scopus that have occurred as a direct result of feedback from users. I had a bit of fun in July, trying to ascertain which of our electronic journals are the most popular, and the results were quite surprising. And we celebrated Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon victory, learning more about the coverage of ProQuest Central in the process. Sometimes I have a little more time over the summer, and this year I discovered an excellent source for free, quality academic resources. August was something of a quiet month. I divulged the secrets of how I became a librarian, and I welcomed students who were to join us in September.

The start of the new academic year in September saw a number of very exciting developments, notably the relaunch of BISSTO, our interactive study skills tutorials. This is an excellent resource that I highly recommend you get to grips with. There have already been a number of important additions to the service, and more are expected for 2014, so watch this space! A new website for IS&T was also launched. I also managed to delve into the history of ProQuest, a company that provides us with a significant amount of electronic material, as they celebrated their 75th anniversary. Although I have been using their products for many years, I had no idea of the level of committment to resource provision, or the length of time the company had been doing it, so I enjoyed these new discoveries. All the ghostly happenings of Halloween in October coincided with the removal of the OpenAthens tab from the right-hand side of the library website, and I explored some of the issues surrounding Open Access week. As the year drew closer to the end, I got quite dramatic in November and wondered if recent developments by resource providers to make subscribed-to content discoverable on Google might herald the demise of Google Scholar, as has been predicted.

And so to December. I say it every year, but I simply cannot believe the end of the year is nearly upon us, and before too long we will be in 2014. I want to wish you all well over the festive season, and a happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

See you in 2014!



New developments for BISSTO

November 21, 2013

You may be aware that this term has seen the launch of a completely overhauled BISSTO (Bolton Interactive Study Skills Tutorials Online). We hope that you are finding it useful. There have recently been some further enhancements to BISSTO that may be of interest:

  • A What’s on Section giving details of Bite Size Study Class and English for Success classes (location: homepage)
  • Presentation Skills Activity (location: Study Skills – Oral Presentations)
  • Information Literacy Tests, including the Ethical and Legal Use of Information (location: homepage)
  • Secondary and Primary sources activity (locations: Finding Information – Understanding the task; Study Skills – Essay Writing/Report Writing)
  • Identifying keywords activity (location: Finding Information – Understanding the task)
  • Abbreviations activity (location: Study Skills – Note Taking)

More content is being worked on an a further release of BISSTO is scheduled for some time before Christmas. BISSTO is available via the BISSTO button on the right-hand side of the library website. As ever, if you have any feedback on BISSTO or any other library service, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Farewell to the OpenAthens button…

October 7, 2013

Those of you who are used to accessing our electronic resources will be aware that it has not been necessary to login to OpenAthens to access resources for quite some time. The button for OpenAthens on the right-hand side of the library website (under quick links) is now redundant, and will be disappearing at the end of this month. But do not worry! You will still be able to access electronic resources by going to either the A to Z list of resources or the Resources by Subject pages, where you will find instructions on how to access each of our resources.

If you have any queries about accessing resources, then don’t hesitate to get in touch with the the Subject Help Desk.

IT Support Services website is now live!

September 30, 2013

It’s not much good having access to electronic resources if you can’t get into your network account or you don’t know where you can access a PC. From today, you will be able to access all the computing information you require by visiting the IT Support Services website. The website includes details on how to contact a member of the IT team for help, facilties for staff and students and a widerange of publications that will help you. Take a look at the website here.

New! Build search on the library catalogue

September 26, 2013

If you’ve used the library catalogue at all today, you may have noticed a new link to the right of the main search box on the catalogue home page. Just released today is “Build search”, which replaces “Advanced search” that you may have spotted previously. Using the build search feature can allow you to see how a more indepth search is created, and get you to your results. You can still use the Advanced search option; simply click the link to “old advanced search” in the Build search box if you wish. For help on how to get the best out of Build search and searching the library catalogue in general, take a look at the help sections within the catalogue.

This is a brand-new feature and we’d be interested to have feedback, so if you have any comments, get in contact with the Electronic Resources Librarian.

BISSTO relaunched today!

September 23, 2013

An exciting development for the start of term: today sees the re-launch of Bolton Interactive Study Skills Tutorial Online (BISSTO). The aim of BISSTO, which has been developed by library staff and Student Liaison Officers, is to ensure that you can develop and build upon study skills, so that you can undertake your studies more effectively. BISSTO features a number of sections, all of which address one specific area of studying, for example, using and getting the best out of electronic resources, starting your research, developing skills such as note taking and essay writing and citing your work. There is also an opportunity to assess your skills and discoer where you might need a little more hlep. It is not necessary to work through all the sections in order; you can pick and chose which areas you tackle as the need arises.

BISSTO is available here. If you have any comments to make about BISSTO, contact Mary Barden, Dawn Grundy or Graeme Prescott. For general help with using library resources, don’t hesitate to contact the Subject Help Desk.

The 2013/2014 academic year is here!

September 17, 2013

Well, this is it, the 2013/14 academic year is upon us! For those of you who are returning, welcome back! I hope you have had a lovely summer and are as happy to be back as we are to see you (it gets very quiet in here in the summer months and we do miss our students!). For those of you who are new to Bolton, we’re very much looking forward to meeting you all and hope that we can help you make the most out of your studies. We can’t guarantee that the weather will be any better, but what we can do is make sure that we enable you to access all the material you need to ensure that you are successful.

As an electronic resources librarian, my primary concern is getting you connected with electronic resources. If you’re new to higher education, or have taken any sort of break from study, then a very quick tour of electronic resources might be in order. You may well have used electronic resources at your school, college, previous institution or place of work, but we will have different resources to the ones you are used to.

One of the first questions I am often asked is what is an electronic resource? A very good question. An electronic resource is an academic resource, so a book, database or journal, that is available electronically, and by electronically, we usually mean via the Internet. I am old enough to remember CD-ROMs, microfilm/fiche and even printed books and journals, the former two of which don’t see the light of day much anymore. These days, being able to access electronic resources via the Internet means that the resources are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. While the printed book will very much play a part in your research, being able to access electronic resources all the time should not only make doing your work easier, it will also mean that your studies are enriched, your research wider and ultimately may mean that your marks are better.

Here at the University of Bolton, we have access to around 70 indexing and full-text databases that allow to access a variety of materials, from bibliographic details and abstracts about work to fully downloadable journal articles, around 15,000 electronic journals and several thousand electronic books. And don’t forget about the library catalogue, where you search for books and journals. These numbers grow all the time, and all of our material is available from the library website. And it’s the library website where you should start your electronic resource journey. There’s a wealth of information on the website, and a useful starting place would be the subject resources pages, where not only can you find links to and information about the most appropriate resources for your studies, you can also find database guides and other information to get you going. Each subject area has a subject librarian assigned to it, and it’s worth getting to know you librarian. In addition, a librarian is always available at the Subject Help Desk in the Welcome Zone when the library is staffed. Why not visit us or drop us a line; we’re always happy to help.

Using electronic resources can seem daunting, and it cannot be denied that there are tricks you need to know about to get the most out of them. There’s a few things to remember here. First of all, the likelihood is that you are better at using them than you think you are! If you’re able to use the Internet in general to find information, then although there is a huge difference between using Google and using an academic electronic resource, the chances are you are well on your way to understanding how to go about finding information electronically. The other really important thing to remember is don’t struggle! Please talk to us if you’re having any difficulties at all, we can help!

Whatever your goal for 2013/13, I wish you every success, and hope to see you in the library soon!

Season of mist and… students new and returning!

September 12, 2013

I am the first person to complain about the cold: it has to be very hot indeed for me to put my fleece on the back of my chair. Having said that, I have a secret love of autumn. The changing colours; the bite to the air. Makes me nearly as happy as bobbing daffodil heads in spring. The other thing I really like about autumn is newness, and we’ve reached that point in the year when we are welcoming back both our returning students and those of you who are new to Bolton.

Those of you who have been here for a while may notice some changes as you visit us in the library. The Subject Help Desk has been incorporated into the Library Desk, and just as last term, a librarian will be available when the library is staffed. Our opening hours are available here. The IT Support Desk has moved to the corner of the open access computing area in the main library. If you’re after information, do take a look at the various publications in the Link Zone. These include our new Library Essentials crib sheet which tells you almost everything you need know in Very exciting for this year will be the imminent relaunch of our Bolton Interactive Study Skills Tutorial Online (BISSTO) service that will serve as a very useful means of finding and understanding information essential to conducting your studies. Keep a look out for announcements concerning this development in the coming weeks.

As always, our electronic resources are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and using them can truly help you get ahead with your research. Our website provides information on how to access our resources as well as the resources that can be accessed, so if you’re new to the University of Bolton, you may find things are a little different to what you’ve been used to elsewhere. If you need help with accessing electronic resources, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Subject Help Desk.

Whether you’re new to the University of Bolton or coming back to us after the summer vacation, I hope that 2013/14 proves to be a successful year, and we look forward to meeting you!