UK Data Service webinars 2016

The UK Data Service has just released its 2016 programme of webinars introducing different aspects of their service and explaining their key datasets.

Introductory webinars:

  • Introduction to the UK Data Service – 21 January, 20 April, 12 October
  • Finding and accessing data in the UK Data Service – 9 March, 28 April, 19 October
  • Key issues in reusing data – 4 February, 4 May, 26 October
  • Data management basics – 11 February, 12 May, 3 November

Key datasets:

  • UK and cross-national surveys – 18 February, 10 November
  • Census data, 24 February – 17 November
  • Longitudinal surveys – 2 March, 24 November
  • International time series – 27 January, 1 December
  • Qualitative data – 16 March, 6 December
  • Business data – 23 March, 12 December

All webinars begin at 3pm and can be booked here.

Some database searching tips

1. Define key concepts:
Use dictionaries, online encyclopedias, textbooks, thesauri, some databases have a thesaurus or list of subject terms.

2. Use alternative words:
Eg. synonyms Heart attack, cardiac arrest, myocardial infarction
Broader/ narrower terms: Eg Linguistics grammar/ word/ sentence/ phrase

3. Search for variants of words, this may assist with UK/ US spellings:

Truncation symbols (usually *)
For example: parent* usually locates parent, parents, parental, parenthood etc.
Wildcard (usually ?) For example wom?n locates woman, women, women etc.

4. Sometimes searching for words in speech marks as a phrase eg. “French culture” may help.

5. Search logic: Use AND, OR or NOT to construct a search

Leopards AND tigers narrows the search to records containing both terms.

Leopards OR tigers broadens the search to records containing either term.

Leopards NOT tigers excludes records containing the term tigers.

6. Use any search history function on the database to edit or rerun your search or combine searches you have done.

7. Do it all again…

University of Sussex researcher support

I recently visited University of Sussex Library to explore their researcher support.

DSCF5899

The Research Support section in the Library Academic Services provides dedicated support to research faculty and research students in the University. The team works in close collaboration with the Learning and Teaching Support team and the Doctoral School delivering high quality, innovative information and managing research enquiries to meet the needs of members of the University research community.

Research Hive

The Sussex Research Hive is the Library’s designated area for researchers, open to all doctoral researchers and research staff. It provides private study areas, bookable meeting rooms and space for discussion and collaborative work.

Three Research Hive Scholars support the area whilst engaging with and fostering the research community at Sussex. The Scholars are on hand in the Hive to talk about the support available to researchers and to find out what users want from their research community. These hours are advertised in the Research Hive and on the events calendar. The scholars arrange events according to their interests eg. researcher well being, surviving your viva, social events to create a community. They receive a scholarship to work 6 hours per week.

Doctoral School

The Doctoral School is a new and distinctive development at Sussex which is alongside Academic Schools. The Doctoral School blog is at: http://doctoralschool.wordpress.com/

The University of Sussex Junior Research Associate (JRA) scheme is a pioneering project which aims to develop future research leaders. The scheme recognises academic excellence and drive by supporting high quality undergraduates during the summer vacation as they work alongside Sussex’s top research faculty on real-life research projects. The Doctoral School offers a number JRA bursaries worth up to £1,800 each. It is expected that JRAs will be seriously considering post-graduate research and the scheme aims to help them realise this ambition.

Researcher Development Programme – the Library run some of the courses on this programme eg literature reviews. Bookings are taken centrally and this works better than trying to manage them individually.

The Researcher Development Programme provides free dedicated workshops which cater for all levels of skill – for those new to doctoral research, to those with more research experience. By coming along to our workshops you will gain and refine skills that will help you successfully complete your research degree.
The programme consists of a range of options for each stage of the research journey. Many skills are transferable and sought after by employers within and outside of academia.

Library café – Shut up and write event

The first Research Hive Shut up and Write event was held in the Library Cafe on Tuesday 13th November 2012. It made writing into more of a social activity. Free tea and coffee was provided and researchers brought laptops to type up their research.