Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

ProQuest resources: scheduled maintenance

August 18, 2016

ProQuest resource will be unavailable for a period of around eight hours from 3.oo a.m. on Sunday 21st August. This is allow for essential maintenance.


Zetoc service potentially at risk, Tuesday 17th May

May 16, 2016

Due to essential maintenance, the Zetoc service is at risk of downtime on Tuesday 17th May from 9.00 a.m. for a period of an hour.

JISC Summer of Student Innovation

April 20, 2015

Are you a student with ideas on how technology can be used in novel ways to enhance their experiences at university? If so, you might be interested in entering the annual JISC Summer of Student Innovation. Says JISC:

“At Jisc, we strongly believe that students should have a prime role in developing novel uses of technology to improve their experience at college or university.

That’s why we are running our popular summer of student innovation competition for the third straight year, with a new approach to ensure we engage a broader range of students with funding of up to £20,000 available, so get involved!

Entrants are invited to submit an idea that uses technology to improve education, research or student life, and those who are successful receive grant funding and support from Jisc to develop their project as part of a co-design approach to innovation within UK education.

Last year 20 projects were successfully funded and supported and today we continue to work with six projects to help develop them and explore the possibility of offering them as a shared service for the whole sector.

The summer of student innovation 2015 is bigger and better than before, and has a variety of competitions available:

  1. Student ideas competition Ideas using technology that could help improve research, learning or student life across further and higher education
  2. Supporting technology startup projects Support for existing educational technology products that addresses needs of learners and researchers in further and higher education
  3. Learner ideas in FE competition Ideas from learners based in UK colleges, or apprentices and trainees who have a technology idea that could improve the learning experience
    1. Apprentice-led ideas challenge A pilot project to support apprentices or trainees and learning providers who have an idea for technology that could help work based learners.

Students have until 18 May to submit their entries and, with our help, attract votes from around the sector.

How you can engage with the summer of student innovation:

  • We’d be grateful if you could promote this year’s competition to your students. Contact us to request a campaign promotion pack including a poster, web banner and brochure you can use
  • Find out more about this work and how it might inform your organisation through our guide What Students Really Want
  • Join us for a briefing, Q&A and ideas generation session on the learner ideas in FE competition – find out more.

The summer of student innovation is part of our R&D work which identifies emerging technologies and develops them around your particular needs. By exploring and developing ideas, then scaling them up to benefit the whole Jisc community, the R&D service we offer aims to keep our customers competitive long into the future.

For more information please visit our website. You can also follow #studentideas on Twitter for the latest about the competition.”

Access to Ebsco databases

April 17, 2015

It would seem that there are difficulties accessing Ebsco databases at the moment. While it is possible to access the databases, they are running very slowly. This appears to be a problem for many institutions across the UK, and has been reported. Apologies for any inconvenience caused.

Law Library refurbishment

May 21, 2014

Work has started on the refurbishment of the Law Library, so all stock will be moved to the area outside the Law Library.

Don’t forget that we have a wide range of law-related electronic resources available. Check out the Resources by Subject sections of the library website.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to speak to any member of library staff.

Wiley Online Library functioning again

November 7, 2013

Some good news: Wiley Online Library is back up and running again.

PubMed Central operating as normal

October 17, 2013

As the financial situation in the US has now been resolved, PubMed Central is being updated at its usual frequency.

Scheduled maintenance to RefWorks

May 4, 2012

Essential work is due to be carried out on Sunday May 6th, for around 5 hours in the morning.
While this work takes place, RefWorks services including Write-N-Cite will be unavailable.

Electronic resources apps: a new way to access resources

April 16, 2012

Recently my father was talking to me about mobile phones, specifically iPhones, as he was thinking of upgrading his mobile phone. “These app things.”, he said, “Where do you plug them into?”. He’s 82: I think he’s forgiven. However, the fact that he has even heard of them means that they really are becoming part of our every day lives, so I thought today I’d talk a little about electronic resource apps for mobile devices such as smartphones.

In the world of electronic resources, it seems to be that when it looks like someone’s onto a Good Thing, the electronic resource developers follow suit. Let me give you an example. A well-known, multi-national online retailer, at the checkout/selection phase, lets you know that customers who bought x also bought y. A number of electronic resources are developing similar functionality, only in the case of an online journals platform, it’s more likely to be users who read a also read b. Many journals platforms have the functionality to share links via social networking sites. There has also been a great deal of discussion in various quarters about the advantages and disadvantages of being able to comment on published research online. So it does not come as a huge surprise to learn that a number of electronic resources have developed and launched apps.

More often than not, apps for iPhone are available first, with Android and Blackberry apps following. The apps work in various way, and indeed some work better than others. Most require some sort of registration, and may not offer the functionality of the ‘full’ website. Resources that have apps available for smartphones include LexisLibrary, ScienceDirect and Scopus, Emerald and a number of Ebsco databases. Where an app is available, it can be downloaded either your usual app store or from the websites of the resource itself. If you have an institutional subscription, the apps should be free, although ‘full’ versions of them may incur an extra fee. These, however, seem to be the exception rather than the rule.

Some electronic resource providers have chosen not to launch an app, but have instead opted to ensure that their platforms works as well as it possibly can on a mobile device, without the end-user having to download anything extra. An example of this is our library catalogue here at the University of Bolton. Although there is no app available – and furthermore no plans for an app – much work has been done to ensure that the mobile version of the catalogue is as functional as the desktop version.

If you ever come across a new electronic resources app do let us know. We try to keep on top of such matter, but there are bound to be some that we miss.

My father, incidentally, decided against getting an iPhone. After all, he was only interested because his 84-year-old cousin has an iPad…

Sign of The Times: online newspaper provision

March 27, 2012

Years ago, I was busy researching for my MPhil. As I was looking into a very specific aspect of Victorian culture, after I had exhausted relevant books and journal articles, my research became rather news-intensive, and I turned to the newspaper collections of my university library. In those days – don’t I sound old?! – much of the Victorian newspaper material was available on microfilm, with the odd bit of microfiche thrown in for good measure. There were some CD-ROMs about, but this involved trooping all the way to the issue desk. Besides, as I was wanting to go all the way back to the 1850s, much of what I was needing to look at wasn’t available this way. So there began my love affair with microfilm. Housed in a special, climate-controlled room and readable on huge, slightly intimidating-looking machines, these little reels, which look a little like large 35mm camera films, presented an image of the newspaper exactly as it was printed, imperfections, dirt and general degradation. I spent hours spooling through these images. When I needed a break, I’d take a reel at random – from the Second World War, perhaps – and enjoy the feeling of going back in time.

From my description, you might think that the process of microfilming newspapers is something that only happened with really old stuff. However, this isn’t the case and the British Library only ceased the microfilming of newspapers in 2010. Many libraries – both public and academic – routinely purchased or made themselves reels of old newspapers right into the 21st century. Imagine that. An article in the Indepedent on the launch of the iPhone presented on a microfilm.

However, more and more newspapers are becoming available electronically via the Internet, which means that instead of grappling with reels of film, it is possible to access this information 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Many newspapers both in the UK and internationally are available online, and although some of them only allow full access to those who have paid for a subscription, a number, in particular local newspapers, provide access to newspaper articles for free. Along with news items, many provide enriched services such as up-to-date travel information and weather news. Some are also available on your smartphone.

If it’s access to the broadhseets you’re after, and don’t want to take out a personal subscription, then you’re in luck. The University of Bolton provides access to a wide range of online newspapers such as The Times, Independent and The Guardian among many others. Available via ProQuest Central and with varying start dates, the articles are up-to-date and are presented in a searchable database. Unlike the grubby the microfilms of before, articles are presented in HTML format. We also have access to selected historical newspaper coverage in 17th and 18thCentury Burney Collection newspapers and 19th Century British Library Newspapers Parts I and II. Again, these are presented in a searchable database. With all of these databases, it’s important that you remember to login to OpenAthens first. As these databases are online, they are accessible all day and all night, so you can conduct your newspaper research at any time of the day.

Using newspapers, if appropriate, can really enhance your research, and the benefit of looking at online newspaper provision is that not only can you search to find the information that you need, but also that you can access them at any time of the day or night. Of course, you perhaps don’t get to indulge in some old-fashioned library serendipity, but the whole research process can become simpler. If you’re really missed a good old browse, then you could always throw in a few random search terms and see what you get!

As ever, for help with using electronic resources, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your subject librarian or visit the Subject Help Desk in the Link Zone.