City Library unveils the new look City Research Online

This week, City Library is excited to unveil the new and improved City Research Online (CRO), the open access repository showcasing research by City staff and research students.

NewCRO

With a modern up to date image consistent with City’s webpages, the newly revamped platform, created by the Publications team, is designed for improving discoverability and accessibility of City’s research publications, for both the academic community and the public at large.

What’s different?

Exciting new changes to CRO include :

  • Easy access search tabs by City School for quick access to the right subject
  • Simplified University Structure and departmental breakdown for ease of navigation
  • Quick reference information on REF2021 and Open Access for City Staff
  • Links to City Research Online library guides for more detailed open access information

If you need help

If you need help with navigating CRO, or have any questions about open access, contact the Publications Team who will be happy to answer your questions.

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Sharing your research using academic social networks

There is a plethora of academic social networks which make sharing research with others very easy. The benefits include increased discoverability of the research and public engagement with it. Some care is however needed when using these platforms

SSRN_logo       ReserachGate_logo        Dissemin_logo       Acaqdemia_logo        figshare icon

The best known and most frequently used sharing platforms are ResearchGate, Academia.edu and SSRN but new sites spring up all the time, as is the case with a dissem.in.

How these sites are referred to by publishers

Checking your publisher’s contract, you may find a variety of terms used for these platforms, including:

  • Academic social networks
  • Scholarly collaboration networks
  • Networking sites
  • Scientific social networks

How it works

The academic networking sites make it very easy to share the research with others but don’t always make their policies and terms and conditions easy to find. There is a difference between uploading research to an institutional repository, at City this is City Research Online (CRO) and to an academic networking site.

Uploading publications to institutional repositories is safe as in most cases (including uploading publications to CRO) the repository team will check each publication and will ensure that

  • The uploaded version of the publication can be openly shared
  • The publication is easily discoverable by others using variety of ways (mainly using search engines)
  • Sharing the publication doesn’t breach the publisher’s copyright.

The academic social networking sites do not have the safety net of dedicated team to check the shared publication is not breaching your contract with the publisher.

How to share your research on academic social networking sites

Check your publisher’s contract agreement carefully – your contract may specifically prohibit sharing your research on academic social networking sites or, more likely, impose conditions upon it.

Things to look out for:

  • The version of the publication which can be shared (most likely you will be permitted to share your accepted manuscript or a pre-print versions)
  • When you are permitted to share your publication (you may be allowed to only share your publication some time after it has been published, this is known as an embargo period).

The sharing policies of individual publications can also be checked using SHERPA/ RoMEO service and our library guide contains a useful summary of the main points to look out for.

Research resource of the month: Sage Research Methods Online

SAGE Research Methods Online is a useful online resource for anyone doing research or learning how to conduct research.

Its coverage spans the full range of research methods used in the social and behavioural sciences, plus a wide range of methods commonly used in science, technology, medicine, and the humanities.

With more than 800 books, reference works, journal articles, and videos from SAGE’s world-renowned research methods list, it provides information on writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing a research method, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up the findings.

Some features include:

  • Titles from SAGE’s renowned book, journal, and reference content in Research Methods.
  • The Methods Map visualises relationships among unique methods terms, concepts, and people.
  • Methods Lists can be used to compile selected books, book chapters, and journal articles for later review or to share with colleagues.
  • Videos, cases and podcasts.

See also an introductory video (click the link and scroll to the bottom of the page).

You can access Sage Research Methods Online from CityLibrary Search or from our Databases A-Z.

 

Need to use another library for your research? Here’s how you can do it!

As a research student or member of staff at City, you can benefit from a wide range of collections held by academic and specialist libraries. So not only can you visit many other university libraries, you can also access the library collections of art galleries and professional bodies, as well as important archive collections.

We have put together a library guide which sets out the main libraries available to you. Some top picks are:

Please see our library guide for more details of the different collections held by the wide range of libraries that are available to you; also for details of how you can access them. (Note that each library will have specific rules as to how you can join – we have attempted to summarise these in our library guide).

If there are any libraries you would like to visit which aren’t covered in our guide, please contact a Research Librarian and we will check their access rules.

Research resource of the month: IEEE Xplore

IEEE Xplore provides access to content from IEEE as well as the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET).

It contains full text of almost one-third of the world’s current literature in electrical engineering, communications, and computer science, including highly cited peer-reviewed journals, conference proceedings and standards and some archival material from the 1880s.

Search options include:

  • Basic Search—type in a key word or phrase.
  • Advanced Search—construct complex search queries.
  • Author Search—find articles by author’s name.
  • Search history, allowing you to view, edit and re-run your recent searches.
  • Select citations to print, e-mail or download directly from search results.

See the You Tube video on Advanced searching on IEEE Xplore below:

 

Enabling learning through storytelling

I recently attended a lunchtime workshop run by the City Academy on narratives and storytelling based on a performance arts approach. I’m interested in both using the telling of stories or experiences to explain concepts but also in hearing the narratives of students. The basic idea of this is that the use of stories or narratives may help to engage an audience and be more memorable than relating facts.

The Higher Education Academy (2018) states learning through storytelling: “Refers to a process in which learning is structured around a narrative or story as a means of sense-making”.

Some ideas for using this in teaching and training:

  • Create an impact for example telling your own story.
  • Listen to the narratives of the learning experiences of students.
  • Set a scenario or tell the story of a project.
  • An embedded narrative can be used to make a memorable point. “This small, storytelling moment was just a fraction of a sense-making constellation that, told across multiple settings and audiences, combined to make an always-evolving whole” (Selland, 2017, p. 245).

Some tips for using the technique:

Have a strong opening to encourage active listening such as: make a bold statement or assertion, ask a question.

Have a logical flow to the narrative: Challenge – Choices (made) – Solution or Conclusion.

Speak clearly and project your voice to increase engagement.

Make eye-contact either around the room or at relevant points with individuals.

Share what you are comfortable with and be self aware and genuine.

 

 

 

 

 

On reflection, I realised that I probably use this approach at times in a workshop or training context both by speaking of my own experiences of things I found useful and asking students for their stories and experiences too. Recently, someone told me that they remembered me because I mentioned my experience of studying in a workshop recently and it was something with which they identified too.

References

Higher Education Academy (2018) Learning through storytelling. Available at: https://www.heacademy.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/learning-through-storytelling (Accessed: 04 May 2018).

Selland, M. K. (2017) ‘The edge of messy: interplays of daily storytelling and grand narratives in teacher learning’, Teachers and Teaching, 23(4), pp. 244-261. doi: 10.1080/13540602.2016.1205016.

CityLibrary/ CityLIS Library Guides focus group workshops 2018

LibGuides is an easy to use content management system which is used by City, University of London Library Services and  libraries across the world to create small websites which are called ‘guides’.  LibGuides is owned by a company called Springshare and is part of a suite of products called LibApps, this includes LibCal (used to manage workshop, room and computer bookings) and LibWizard which is used to create quizzes, tutorials and other interactive content.

Within Library Services at City, we have a number of cross-team operational and project groups which enable us to work with colleagues from other teams and sites within the library.  We have found this approach to be successful, for example in the area of employability

One of these groups is our Library Guides group. An aim of this group is to lead on the future direction and development of Library guides. We were aware of the excellent potential of us collaborating with students from CityLIS,  our internationally renowned Library School.  User-centred design is useful to identify with users and include their ideas into service development (German, 2017).

We decided this year to offer workshops to CityLIS students to make them aware of our innovative use of Library Guides  and other Springshare products and our use of technologies but also to obtain their insights and feedback.  We felt that a knowledge of these tools would an advantage to students because they are so prevalent in many organisations.

We introduced a new Library guides home page in the summer of 2017 and the students gave us feedback on the design and clarity of this. We also looked at examples of some of our guides and those from other institutions.

Some aspects we discussed were:

  • It is key to consider the audience, purpose and objectives.
  • Front loading of important content in a prominent place on the guide.
  • The benefits of clear guide design and navigation.
  • Using bullet points or small paragraphs of text and having some white space on the page.
  • Incorporate accessibility features and consider ease of use eg. clicking/ scrolling.
  • Use of language and avoidance of jargon/terminology or acronyms providing a glossary.
  • Students highlighted the inter-disciplinary nature of LIS and the fact that is a postgraduate course.

Our Information Literacy Group has developed a new, introductory online guide (City, University of London Library Services, 2017) and a workshop series called Library Essentials and we also took the  opportunity to produce short videos on using the library (see slides on some of our use of technologies).

Our workshop presentation is below:

We have collated student feedback from our workshops and will be trying to incorporate it into some of our guide design and content and will also look for opportunities for collaboration and discussion and the sharing of expertise with CityLIS students. One thing we are looking to do is to develop learning objectives for our guides and to consider tailoring them to a specific audiences.

German, E. (2017). ‘LibGuides for instruction: a service design point of view from an academic library’, Reference and User Services Quarterly, 56(3), p. 162-167. Available at:  http://dx.doi.org/10.5860/rusq.56n3.162

Alex Asman (Subject Librarian, Arts)  and Diane Bell (Research Librarian)

City, University of London.