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 even when you are unsure how to spell the author’s name.
  • Session 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:

 

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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.

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.

 

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.