Monday, 24 August 2009

New Intute Tutorials

The Intute website has been updated with 31 new online tutorials aimed at students looking to improve their research skills, for more successful Internet usage in coursework. If you're looking for advice and guidance on how to use the web in your studies look no further. These tutorials are targeted towards those who:

  • struggle to find the right information to include in coursework;

  • get marks deducted for using inappropriate resources in assignments;

  • heavily rely on Google, Wikipedia and the open web (because they're unaware of key library resources in your subject area).

If you've already used some of these before then be aware there are a number of design and content changes you may be interested in reading about on the Intute blog.

If not try some of these out:

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

NCBI Book Shelf

The NCBI Book Shelf is a collection of biomedical texts made freely available online by individual publishers on a book by book basis. The collection currently contains over 40 classic biology and medical textbooks and monographs including titles from the National Library of Medicine (NLM) and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI).

It is well worth having a look at but bear in mind that the titles contained are not always the latest edition. For information on how to search the bookshelf also have a look at the help guide provided.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Find it @ Sheffield

The old ejournal A-Z lists have now been removed. See below for the official announcement:
The Find It @ Sheffield digital content discovery service was introduced in December 2008. It has since been developed by the Library taking into account feedback from the University community. We will continue to incorporate enhancements & to act upon feedback regularly. During the week commencing 10 August 2009 Find it@ Sheffield will become our standard service, replacing the legacy ejournal tables & lists in place since 1996. We would like to thank all those colleagues & students who took the time to contribute to the enhancement of the new service.

Since the initial soft launch on 15 December 2008, over 16,300 legacy system titles have been doubled checked against Find it @ Sheffield to ensure that content will not be left behind when the old system is withdrawn & work is ongoing to integrate any outstanding material before the start of session. It is worth reflecting on the increased service level consequent on the Find it @ Sheffield implementation:

  • increased availability of full text titles (up from 11 000 titles to over 25 000 titles);

  • increased numbers of full text articles accessible from within literature searching databases automatically powered & updated by Find it@ Sheffield;

  • the populating of Google Scholar searches on a programmatic basis with our digital journal holdings.

Additionally, the ejournal records in Star, the library catalogue, are now generated from Find it @ Sheffield automatically & link through to that service. rather than to the legacy listings, offering a much more direct way to access ejournals through the Library catalogue & reducing the number of clicks.

The legacy ejournals system is no longer maintained by the Library & links to it will be removed from the Library Web & MUSE shortly. Re-directs will be in place on all relevant web pages to ensure that the clickstream is maintained for all users. Existing URLs will remain in place to avoid broken links & re-directional information will be added in due course.

If you need help using the Find it service please don't hesitate to get in touch or alternatively take a look at the new 'Finding Journals' tutorial on the Information Skills Resource.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Why Science is Important

2009 seems to be a big year for science with the Darwin celebrations continuing and the release of the Feynman lecture videos but moreso because it's getting lots of media attention focusing on science being fun. Recently Richard Dawkins joined in with the criticisms being made about the new primary science curriculum due to its failure to 'mention the theory of evolution, the value of the scientific method, and the need to understand science to engage in public debate'. Shocking, given that these could be the very topics that get kids interested in science and with the wealth of resources targeting young people it's not difficult to introduce complex ideas to them (my favourite being the Wallace and Gromit Cracking Ideas shed).

Alom Shaha is another one of those triumphing the need to 'convey to [kids] that science is important, that it’s something worth doing for reasons beyond the need to pass exams' so much so that he began an initiative to delve into the many reasons why science is important. So, if you're also interested in 'Why Science is Important' have a look at the first part of Alom's project below:

Also see Why is Science Important?, Alom Shaha's project blog.