Research resource of the month: BrowZine

BrowZine is a great online resource that enables you to easily browse, read and monitor current journal content from CityLibrary either online or from an app on your mobile device.

What are the main features of BrowZine?                                                                             
  • Search for journals by title, ISSN or subject term.
  • Browse current and previous issues of journal collections.
  • Create customisable bookshelves of your favourite journal titles.
  • View the table of contents, read or save articles as new issues are published.
  • Share articles on social media or export citations to ProQuest RefWorks
  • Once installed, the first time you open the app you can choose your library from a drop down list. Select “City, University of London” then enter your City username and password into the login screen.

    Download BrowZine from http://thirdiron.com/download-browzine/ by choosing the appropriate link for your Android or iOS mobile device.

 

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ORCID: how to set up a unique researcher identifier

What is ORCID?

ORCID – which stands for ‘Open Researcher and Contributor ID’ – is a system whereby researchers are given a unique digital identifier, which distinguishes them from other researchers. This can be very useful when you share the same name with other people!

In addition, by using an ORCID ID during the publishing process and other professional activities (e.g. grant applications), this will facilitate automatic linking of these activities and published works.

How to set up an ORCID ID and link it to City Research Online

Setting up your ID is free and easy to do.  The best way to do it is through the City Research Online Publications database, because having an ORCID can help with managing your publications and professional activities in the database. Lenka Shipton, the Digital Repository Librarian, has created a handy guide to setting up and linking your ORCID.

CRO

Other ways you can use and publicise your ORCID

Your ORCID can be used in many ways. Here are some suggestions:

The benefits of ORCID

To sum up, the benefits of an ORCID include:

  • Having a unique identifier which distinguishes you from other researchers.
  • It is an identifier which you can keep with you, even if you move institution.
  • It can save you time by linking your grants and publications together. By adding your ORCID to the City Research Online Publications database, this will help the Publications database to pull in the outputs which have your ORCID attached to them. But please always remember to do a manual check of the Publications database, to make sure that all your publications have been recorded correctly.

If you have any questions about ORCID, please do not hesitate to contact your Research Librarian.

 

Research resource of the month: ProQuest RefWorks

What is ProQuest Refworks?

ProQuest RefWorks is an online reference management, writing and collaboration tool designed to help researchers at all levels gather, organise, store and share all types of information and to generate citations and bibliographies.

ProQuest  RefWorks can be accessed at: https://refworks.proquest.com/

You will need to click Create account the first time you use ProQuest RefWorks. You need to use your City email and you will receive a validation email which you need to click on. If you have used RefWorks Legacy before, it is strongly recommended that you choose a different password.

Use Refworks to:

  • Manage and store your references from projects and dissertations in folders.
  • Export references from CityLibrary Search and many databases and Google Scholar etc into RefWorks.
  • Create and format bibliographies in different styles and generate in text citations.
  • Save PDFs and documents directly from your computer.
  • Collaborate and share references with others.

Please remember to check any bibliographies or outputs created by ProQuest RefWorks or any other reference management tool for accuracy. If you are using Harvard style referencing, we recommend that you try the Cite Them Right Harvard style on ProQuest RefWorks  and also recommend using Cite Them Right Online,  a very useful website for citing and referencing with examples.

For more information, see our ProQuest RefWorks Library Guide.

Communicating through research

I have recently  had the opportunity to conduct some research-based practice by undertaking an MA in Academic Practice  dissertation in the Learning Enhancement and Development Department at City, University of London.

This gave me the opportunity to combine two of my interests which are teaching/ training and conducting research. I chose a topic which is related to my role of Research Librarian at City. I used this as an opportunity to engage with students individually, conduct a literature review and to combine my research data with the literature to produce a dissertation. One of the most rewarding aspects of my project was to interview students to obtain a deeper understanding of their research needs, lifecycle and challenges. I can then continue to explore to what extent my research findings can be incorporated into my professional practice.

I would say that professionally this was one of the most valuable experiences that I have had in terms of engaging with and learning from students and enhancing my own research skills at the same time .  You can read an open access version of  my article entitled Communicating through research recently published in the ALISS Quarterly.

 

Reflections on LILAC 2017

I was fortunate this year to have the opportunity to attend LILAC 2017 in Swansea in April.  LILAC is the Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference which is a 3 day event which attracts national and international delegates.  There are keynotes, workshops, presentations  and networking opportunities on  many different aspects of information literacy.

In my free time,  I love taking photographs and reflecting on scenery and Swansea was a great place to do this.  I went down to the marina on my first evening as the sun was setting and then the conference itself took place at the lovely Swansea University Bay campus.

 

 

 

 

 

Swansea Marina & Swansea Bay

 

 

I was really pleased to be able to discuss the findings of my recent MA in Academic Practice  research which examined the digital literacy (use of digital tools and application of skills)  of doctoral students  with some colleagues.

My presentation can be found here

I have shared some of our discussion comments on Padlet. 

I am also hoping this may lead to some future collaborative opportunities.

One thing which stuck me in particular about the conference was that delegates really care about what they do and they want to make a difference in supporting the learning, teaching and research of others.  Also colleagues are generous in sharing their knowledge, skills and experience. This came through in the keynote addresses, for example that of Barbara Allan who spoke of her personal experiences of her career and becoming a senior manager and also of how to influence leaders and managers beyond library and information services. The take home message is be passionate and care about what you do and use both formal and informal opportunities to promote the value of your work and projects. Also,  it is important to have success measures for assessing your project outcomes.

Some ideas I have to think about:

  • Use Mentimeter to obtain feedback and voting during presentations, use Padlet   to obtain post it note feedback or to gather questions.
  • Some presenters  spoke of making quick, low tech videos to answer enquiries or FAQs.
  • Success in holding an event may take a lot of work but may generate a reputation and lead to future opportunities.
  • Induction ideas such as augmented reality treasure hunts and team quizzes.
  • Master classes to showcase dissertation research skills.
  • Research based practice can be useful in experiencing the challenges of conducting research and increase empathy with students.
  • Making it easier to find information  that is high quality rather than just good enough.

After a busy conference programme, there was also the opportunity to enjoy some culture  and a feast at the fine Brangwyn Hall


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Overall, I have met some great people and while I think it is challenging to create and develop information literacy training and resources,  it is the process of trying out new things  and learning from and sharing with each other which is important.  I also learned a few words of Welsh, Prifysgol Abertawe = Swansea University.   I’m grateful to the LILAC Conference Committee and to my Library Leadership Team at CityLibrary for the opportunity to attend LILAC 2017.

Diane Bell, Research Librarian, City, University of London.

City Graduation 2017

After a slightly challenging summer but having passed my MA in Academic Practice in October 2016, I attended my City, University of London graduation ceremony at the Barbican in January 2017.

I have been fortunate to have the opportunity to take UG and PG and vocational qualifications and I have always found them a chance to learn new languages,  travel and work in new countries ( I studied Modern Languages), study and develop and enhance my research skills.  My recent Masters course offered the chance to work on my own small scale research project and match literature searching to a piece of my own original research. While this was a challenge as I was also working full time, I really enjoyed having the freedom and  responsibility for my own research and producing and analysing outputs.   Answering the research question can be really difficult and requires  tenacity, hard work,  focus, clarity and preferably the skills of a detective.

picmonkey-collage

 

 

 

 

 

 

The graduation with the School of Arts and Social Sciences  was a  really great occasion and I found it very exciting.  There is a  real sense of tradition with the procession, the presentations and  the wearing of academic dress.  I enjoyed the ceremony, sharing the occasion with our students and colleagues and lecturers and hearing some of the students’ stories. I feel that education is an opportunity to grow and be changed and some graduates have found or are discovering  new jobs and new pathways in their lives.  It is exciting to see graduands waiting with anticipation to take the stage for the moment they become graduates.  It is also a chance to finally reflect on the course and experiences and skills gained and then look to the future and see how it can be put into practice.

Graduation is both an  end and saying goodbye but also  a new beginning.  Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself” (John Dewey).   All in all, I totally recommend both studying and also the culmination of it by attending graduation and sharing the occasion with friends, family and colleagues before starting out on the next challenge.

 

Choosing a dissertation topic

I have recently completed an MA in Academic Practice degree run by the Learning Enhancement and Development Team at City, University London. The Academic Practice course is a mixture of theory, practice and reflection aimed at internal and external academic staff, professional staff, library staff and some research students who teach.

My particular highlight of the course was the Master’s level module Educational Research Project & Publication. This module provides the opportunity to conduct an original piece of educational research or a small scale research project and either produce a dissertation or conference paper based on this.

specs-on-bookChoosing an appropriate research question is really important and shapes the whole of your research. All that you do is focussed on exploring and trying to answer that question and it affects the research you conduct and the methodology you choose to employ.  I work as a Research Librarian at City, University of London. I work with doctoral students and one thing that I really like to do is to speak to the students individually or in small groups about their research. Some of these conversations have been around electronic resources and the use of digital tools and skills to support the research process. Talking to others and your supervisor is a good idea.  I found it a challenge to find a precise research question so I spoke to an academic colleague who had recently completed a PhD.  We then had a discussion and I decided to focus my research on exploring factors which may influence the digital literacy skills of research students.

It is useful to have an overview of literature searching, different approaches to research and research methods as these all help to address your research question. I found the book Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers (Bell, 2014) really useful so much so that I even wanted my own copy. The author is no relation but I found it helpful in terms of the literature review section, ethics, different research methods and writing up and evaluating results. Sometimes an overview of the process can be invaluable.

When choosing your research topic I would suggest choosing something that interests you and that you feel excited enough to research for a year,  a question that intrigues you and that you want to answer.  Also, do some preliminary literature searching to see if your topic is viable and if it has been researched in the same way before. This might also help with how your frame your topic.

Think of the future as well: if you would like to work in open access, consider researching open access, if you’re interested in public libraries maybe research digital inclusion or community partnerships etc. This is then something that you can talk about if you attend a job interview in a particular sector. However, sometimes you have to go with your heart or what you are genuinely passionate about researching as this will also drive your choices.

Read other peoples’ dissertations and theses on similar and different topics might also give you inspiration. Many universities have open access institutional repositories or digital archives such as City Research Online where you can read articles and publications by staff and researchers and also electronic theses. This is also a good way of refining your ideas on what you would like to research.

To summarise, I would take various factors into account and try and find something  a little challenging that interest you and that gives you sufficient motivation to answer questions and complete your research.

Bell, J (2014) Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers. 6th edn. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill.