Library Resources

On this page, you can find some of the presentation materials used in previous training sessions run by the Academic Liaison Librarian for Research Support (James Bisset).

A timetable of upcoming sessions can be found on the Library web pages, the Training Programme on this blog or via the Durham University Training Booking System.

Finding and Managing Information (including Endnote or Zotero)

Ensure you make the best start to your research career with this essential course. Learn how to locate information for your doctorate and manage your findings in this hands-on session.

Finding and managing information (Including Endnote OR Zotero)

Finding Information: The session will provide an overview of the tools available to construct an effective and efficient search which can be applied across a range of academic online databases (proximity connectors, truncation and wildcard searches, Boolean searches, citation searching and keeping up to date), with an emphasis on saving time whilst finding the most relevant information to your research topic.

Managing Information: Throughout the session you will learn how to make use of Endnote/Zotero bibliographic software to store the references you locate and automatically build bibliographies in Word.

Copyright for Researchers

This is a core course for all postgraduate researchers delivered via the Doctoral Training Programme.

This session will provide an overview of copyright law in the UK. Throughout the session users will learn about rights for authors, length of copyright, “fair dealing”, digital copyright, Crown copyright, the licences held by the University and their scope, “orphan works”, “creative commons”, and the UK government licencing scheme.

Keeping up to date with emerging research

It is a frightening reality that a literature review is often out of date as soon as you have started it. During the course of your research you will need to ensure that you keep up to date with the most current publications and news in your field. This hands-on session will take an in-depth look at current awareness, covering both email alerts and RSS feeds as tools to help you discover new articles and academic debate relevant to your needs.

  • No technical knowledge of RSS required – this session simply looks at what they are, and some examples of how to use and manage them.
  • This session includes an introduction to Feedly as an effective RSS feed reading tool for postgraduate research students. Students will be expected to create an account which they can use, or delete, after the session if they wish. If you already have a Google or Facebook account, you are recommended to bring along your login details.

This session assumes knowledge of searching for literature as introduced in the course GD519: Finding and Managing Information, although attendance on that course is not a pre-requisite for attending this course.

Previous participants have said:

“This workshop made me aware of the possibilities available to keep myself updated with what’s going on around me, by using media I am familiar with.”

“It’s useful for new researchers with little experience of tracking new research.”

Publishing your research: Bibliometrics, Journal Impact Factors and Maximising the Cite-ability of Journal Articles

There is an ever-increasing need to make your research more visible as you establish your career, and metrics to measure your research performance when it comes to thinking about promotion and probation.

This session will focus on bibliometrics (such as the Journal Impact Factor and SCImago, author metrics such as the h-index and g-index) and sources for accessing citation data (Web of Science, Journal Citation Reports and Google Scholar). These may be one of several factors to consider when thinking about where to submit an article manuscript for publication to maximise the potential academic impact of the research, and tools useful to be familiar with if they form part of any research evaluation you and your authored journal papers may be subject to.

An additional section will also look at tips to consider when writing an article abstract to maximise its discoverability and cite-ability.

Publishing your research: Open Access – what is it and what requirements do you need to meet?

What is Open Access? How does it affect me as a researcher? How does it affect me as an author?

2012 and 2013 saw huge changes in the research publishing landscape in the UK, and these changes are set to continue in 2014 in the UK and internationally. Research funders and national governments are increasingly requiring authors to comply with Open Access mandates in order to be considered for subsequent funding, whilst in the UK HEFCE are including an Open Access requirement as part of the post-2014 REF, which will have a significant impact on your career as a researcher if you plan to remain within the academic sector.

This session will look at what Open Access is, the various means of making your research accessible to a broader readership, considerations you need to take into account (where to publish, funding available, open access repositories, copyright licencing) and a specific look at the situation in Durham and other institutions.

The session will also look briefly at how to most efficiently to search for research which has already been made Open Access and may be found in open access repositories and journals worldwide.?

Publishing your research: Research Data Management

“Data is the new oil” – Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice President for the Digital Agenda

“In order to recognise the intellectual contributions of researchers who generate, preserve, and share key research datasets, all users of research data should acknowledge the sources of their data” – RCUK Common Principles on Data Policy

Imagine the following scenario: Your doctorate is completed, and you have several published papers to your name which have been cited by others. You have spent three years working as a postdoctoral research assistant with the next step in your research career on the horizon, when a researcher accuses you of having falsified the data used in your doctorate.

Could you prove that you had collected your data and reported it accurately as described? If so, how?

Research data is increasingly recognised as a research output in its own right, with national governments and funding bodies increasingly emphasising that planning how to manage, store, and make available the data generated is built into the research process as a requirement of funding.

This session will provide an overview of the general principles of research data management, applicable across all disciplines and making reference to Durham University’s Research Data Management policy as well as existing research funder requirements.

Critical Reading and Thinking

As researchers, critically evaluating the information we find is a key part of the process of developing and communicating knowledge. But what should we be looking for? This session will look at:

  • Critical Reading and Critical Thinking: Three ways to read a text;
  • Adopting a time efficient approach to critical reading;
  • Evaluating sources: what to look for
  • Recognising your own evaluative criteria: the potential bias we bring to the table as a researcher

Finding Information

This session covers the “finding information” content covered in Finding and Managing Information: Do not book on this course if you have already booked one of these courses.

Finding Information: The session will provide an overview of the tools available to construct an effective and efficient search which can be applied across a range of academic online databases (proximity connectors, truncation and wildcard searches, Boolean searches, citation searching and keeping up to date), with an emphasis on saving time whilst finding the most relevant information for your research topic.

Google Scholar for PGRs

Google Scholar is a service on the Google platform which searchers academic-related sources exclusively. This includes most peer-reviewed online journals from some of the largest scholarly publishers, as well as academic books and other non-peer-reviewed journals.

This is an introductory session targeted at beginners new to Google Scholar. This session will cover how to make the most of Google Scholar, including the “advanced” features of Google Scholar, to improve its usability and review its relative strengths and weaknesses as an alternative to library databases, and using it to track interest in your own research publication output.

Beyond Journals and Books: Newspapers / Theses and Conference Papers

Many library inductions and information literacy sessions focus on how to find traditional academic literature – online journal articles and printed books and monographs – and how to use and evaluate them. But most Academic Libraries provide, and many researchers require, access to many other sources.

The Newspaper workshop will provide demo’s and hands-on time to explore the online and (if requested) microfilm collections of current and historic newspaper and news sources available within the library collection.

The Theses and Conference Papers workshop will provide demo’s and hands-on time to explore Durham, UK and international theses collections which are accessible online, as well as an overview of resources for finding and locating conference papers and upcoming conferences.

Historical Collections for Researchers

Ever wondered whether you could or should be using historical collections in your research? This session is designed to provide an introduction to finding, accessing and using collections held in archives and libraries across the UK. In addition it will cover citation of primary resources, copyright and using material in your thesis, and utilising Freedom of Information to access records.

The session will also highlight key online primary resources and the wealth of digitised collections available to researchers.

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