Dissertation advice

One of the key responsibilities for our Faculty Librarians is to support our dissertation students, many of whom will be undertaking a substantial research project for the first time. Although we would always urge our students to consider what materials and resources they are actually going to have access to (this could be in terms of accessing a physical collection such as an archive, or being able to use, say, a particular database), this year it is more important than ever.

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#OpenAccessWeek2020: DRO is for book chapters too!

When we speak to colleagues about open access, often in short 5-10 minute briefings at Boards of Study, the focus is usually on ensuring open access to journal articles and conference papers. But a significant amount of research published at Durham comes in the form of long-from publications; books, monographs and chapters in edited volumes. In many cases we can make some or all of these open access as well. So let’s have a closer look…

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#OpenAccessWeek2020: A conversation with Professor Clare McGlynn QC (Hon)

International Open Access week is not only an opportunity to share the amazing open access research from Durham University and engaging with the wider open access community; it is also about getting to know our academics and the research process, helping us to understand a little bit more about the work that goes into the final article we download from the publisher’s site or repository. This year, we are so grateful to Professor Clare McGlynn QC (Hon) for taking the time to answer questions about her research.

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#OpenAccessWeek2020: Open Access articles and teaching

The current situation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic has brought with it the (even more) urgent need to provide online access to journal articles and books.  This is not always easy or possible to do via subscriptions, and it is certainly not always affordable.  It makes it more important than ever that we look to those high-quality resources that are openly available and consider how these can be utilised successfully for teaching purposes. 

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Going beyond your reading list…

Last week we introduced a range of new Guides available for staff and students across the University, and yesterday we highlighted some of the features you may have missed in our new Reading Lists platform. Today we’d like to highlight the support available to you on our Research Skills Guide to help you navigate the collections and resources available to you beyond your reading list. Read on to find out more…

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Making the most of your reading list

As term is now underway, many of our new and returning students and colleagues will have been exploring our new Reading Lists. We thought we’d take this opportunity to highlight and explore some of the additional functionality they offer to you – from adding notes, to managing your reading progress and references for your bibliography.

To help, we spoke to one of our Faculty Librarians, Richard Holmes, who was part of a team of colleagues across the service who got this up and running in record time for the start of term.

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The importance of being eBooks

Although academic eBooks have been around for years, current circumstances have meant that they have very suddenly become more important than ever. Reduced access to physical collections and distance learning have resulted in eBooks becoming an ever-more vital format. Earlier in the year, during lockdown in particular, our acquisitions team wrote about how things had rapidly changed for them with ordering items to support research, teaching & learning at the university.

Even well before the Covid pandemic we have seen over the last few years how increasingly accessing a key text in e-format has become the favoured option amongst taught students in some subjects. And as a result, for some time now we have been purchasing our key texts in electronic format to meet that demand, where possible.

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