Thursday, 20 December 2012

Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science

The Library has recently invested in two new collections of eBooks for Engineering

The Morgan and Claypool Synthesis Digital Library of Engineering and Computer Science contains over 400 electronic books on a wide range of engineering subjects, such as artificial intelligence, tissue engineering and signal processing to name but a few.

You can browse the titles available, and access them electronically by searching for "morgan & claypool" in the library catalogue, StarPlus.

(A full list of titles included in the collections can be found here and here - you'll need to enter the titles into StarPlus to access the full text )

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Maths and Programming Resources for Engineers

The Library has loads of resources to help you with mathematics and programming skills.

We have several copies of K.A.Stroud's series of engineering mathematics books (remember to check StarPlus for other editions):

Foundation Mathematics
K.A. Stroud

Engineering Mathematics
6th edition

Advanced Engineering Mathematics
5th edition

The library also has plenty of books on using programmes such as MATLAB - check the catalogue for more

Essential MATLAB for Engineers and Scientists
Hahn and Valentine

Project Euler is a free online resource aimed at improving users' mathematical and computer programming skills.  The site offers maths/programming problems of varying difficulty -  by solving one problem you learn a new concept that allows you to undertake a previously inaccessible problem. 

Remember, if you need help finding resources to help with your studies,just ask a member or library staff or contact us

Christmas Vacation Loans

It's nearly Christmas!

If you are going away for the Christmas holidays, remember to renew your library books before you go.
Books issued now will not be due back until mid January. 

See the Library Web Pages for full details

If you're staying in Sheffield, the Information Commons will be open over the vacation.  
Check here for details of opening times at other Library sites.

Royal Society of Chemistry to operate EPSRC National Chemical Database Service from 2013-2017

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) will be operating the EPSRC National Chemical Database Service from 2013-2017, having won a competitive tender against other bids. The RSC have issued a statement about the proposed new service.

Follow the RSC on Twitter (@cds_rsc) for the latest developments.

Closure of Daresbury Chemical Database Service

The EPSRC is not providing funding to run the Daresbury Chemical Database Service after December 2012 and the service is now scheduled to be terminated on 2 January 2013. 

Daresbury advise that the new Royal Society of Chemistry service is likely to be significantly different from the present service and some databases currently available from Daresbury will no longer be available. Full details of the Royal Society of Chemistry service are not yet available. Please see CDS News - Future UK Chemical Database provision for the latest information. Updates will also be posted on the CDS homepage and on Twitter (@cds_daresbury).

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Box of Broadcasts Trial - Available until 12 December ONLY!

We have secured a trial account to Box of Broadcasts, an off-air recording and media archive service. BoB allows you to record TV and radio programmes that are scheduled to be broadcast over the next seven days, as well as retrieving programmes from the last seven days from a selected list of recorded channels.
After a programme is recorded users can stream a Flash video in a web page - in a similar way to BBC's iPlayer. BoB stores recorded TV and Radio programmes in an archive indefinitely* for all users to enjoy. The archive currently offers over 45,000 TV and radio programmes covering all genres, including science and engineering, and that number is set to rise as more higher education institutions join BoB.

Please contact Clare Scott for details of how to access this trial.

This trial is only available until 12 December. It is expensive to subscribe so we really need to know what you think. Please let give us your feedback on this service here:

Friday, 23 November 2012

Library News for Science and Engineering

Our latest Library newsletters for both Science and Engineering are out now. Read them below or simply click on the links above.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Health Sciences Library is now open

The newly refurbished Health Sciences Library at the Royal Hallamshire Hospital reopened its doors on the 5th November and it's already proving a popular service among staff and students. 

Access is now through the Medical School entrance on Beech Hill Road.

There are collaborative learning spaces and silent study facilities, with lots of PC's and desk spaces. We also have bookable group study rooms. There are friendly and knowledge staff on hand to answer any enquiries you might have and there's a new cafe just outside the Library for those all important study breaks. 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Spotlight on Business Source Premier

Business Source Premier is a new resource for global business literature and data, such as country and industry reports. It also provides company profiles, which will be useful for any student preparing for job applications or interviews.
The database has text to speech functionality (in English) for documents in html format. The search interface can be translated into a number of different languages, and articles in html format can also be translated.
If you create a personalised account within the database, you can organise your search results in folders and add notes to documents that you save. You can also save searches, create alerts and RSS feeds.
Apps for iPhone and Android devices are available.This database will be of interest to students and researchers in a range of disciplines across the University. To get access, open StarPlus from the library tab in MUSE and click the Log in link in the top right corner. Type Business Source Premier into the University Collections search box.

Monday, 12 November 2012

Free access to Applied Physics Letters top 50 articles

To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the science journal Applied Physics Letters have made their 50 most cited papers available online, free of charge.  This collection represents the most influential papers published in APL over the last 50 years.

In addition, the Editor's Picks collection gives free access to a selection of more recent papers, showcasing current, innovative research activities representative of the broad cross section of topics that APL covers.  The articles listed in this collection are freely available online until the end of September 2013.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

New web pages to improve your information skills

Be sure to have a look at our fantastic new web pages on information literacy.

Find out what information literacy is and what it can do for you by watching the video ‘What is Information Literacy?’

Find out how information literacy can help you with writing assignments and conducting research. The pages are split into useful sections to support you at different stages: Getting started, Writing assignments, Research skills, and Employability.

The information literacy pages are one part of our Learning and Research Services web pages which have also had a face lift to make finding information easier.

Find useful subject resources, get help with research, find your librarian, and see how they can help you.

All from Learning and Research Services on the Library home page.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Effective Internet Searching

The Information Skills tutorial Effective Internet Searching has been completely overhauled and updated, please take a look.
In this tutorial you will:
  • Understand in broad terms how search engines work
  • Discover what the invisible web is and why it matters
  • Try out a selection of handy techniques and tips for quicker, more effective searches
  • Learn about other sources of information and when to use them
Effective Internet Searching is just one of a number of tutorials the Library provides through the Information Skills Resource
Access it from the Library tab in MUSE and/or from the Library web home page

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

New look Learning and Research webpages

We're in the process of redesigning the Library web pages for Learning and Research support.

Need help with finding information, writing assignments, undertaking research and developing employability skills?  

Visit the new Information literacy pages for guidance on the information skills required at different stages of the student journey, from induction to the workplace. You'll find guidance on how to search databases, avoid plagiarism, cite your sources correctly and use Endnote to manage your references.    

You can also Meet the Team - visit this page to find the details for your Faculty
Librarians, read their latest blogs and newsletters, and follow them on

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Guidance for Researchers in Engineering

Vitae, in conjunction with the Engineering Council, have created a version of the Research Development Framework (RDF) especially for engineers.

The 'engineering lens' forms part of the Research Development Framework (RDF), a tool for the personal, professional and career development of UK researchers in the Higher Education sector.

According to Vitae, the engineering lens highlights those areas relating to the "Engineering Council's 'standard for competence and commitment for CEng...and demonstrates the strong link between the requirements for CEng and the development of an engineering researchers' knowledge, understanding, skills, competence and attributes".

Read more about the RDF and Vitae here

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Ebooks - your essential guide

The Library buys hundreds of ebooks each year and you can find them all via our Library catalogue StarPlus, but they don’t all come from the same supplier. As a result there are lots of different rules governing how you can use them. Here is a quick guide to our main supplies and some tips on how to make the most of your e reading experience... 


This is our main supplier. If there’s an ebook you want and dawsonera has it we’ll be buying it from them. Dawsonera allows you two options with ebooks. You can either ‘read online’ or you can download the book onto a memory stick or your computer drive where it will last as a pdf format for 24 hours. 

If you’re reading the ebook online you can also annotate the text, just click on the yellow notes tab. The reader portal recognises who you are each time you log in and your notes will be saved for your next session. 

Dawsonera allows you to print up to 5% of any ebook per user. 


You can generally download or print 10 pages of a MyiLibrary ebook, although this may differ slightly as the publisher sets the limits.

The MyiLibrary software works best if you use the chapter navigation on the left-hand side to navigate the book.


You cannot download from NetLibrary ebooks, but you can print a percentage of the book. This percentage is again set by the publishers so will vary book to book, if you click on the print button within a book it will tell you how many pages you're allowed for that book.

If you're using a Mac to view NetLibrary ebooks, you will need to install a PDF Browser plug-in which can be found in the help section.

Taylor and Francis archive:

With these ebooks, you can save or print one chapter, or 5% of the book, whichever is greater.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Festival of the Mind, 20th-30th September

The University of Sheffield has teamed up with the city's creative community to design a week of performances, talks, exhibitions and activities.

There's some interesting things going on: listen to a musical instrument played by the sun, take a look at dolphins and dinosaurs in the Alfred Denny Museum, or cheer two teams of experts on as they race each other to scratch-build a 3D printer

See the full programme of events for more details

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Library News: Towards a cashless Library

Library News: Towards a cashless Library:
The Library is moving towards a cashless environment which is being trialled at the Information Commons and St. George’s Library. 
You can add credit to your PCMS account online or using one of the value loaders situated at St. George’s Library ground floor and in the Business Units at the Information Commons. This will allow you to pay your Library fines at the Library desks as well as paying for your photocopying and printing, using your account. 
It will not be possible at these two locations, to get change. 

You can also pay Library fines or lost book charges online via your library account in MUSE.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Welcome everyone!

Welcome to all our new and returning students. We'll be seeing you all soon at various workshops and induction sessions but in the mean time why not check out our new induction presentation - there's a chance to win an Amazon voucher! 

Friday, 17 August 2012

Welcome new students!

Congratulations to our new students who received their results yesterday. You can relax now you know you are coming to The University of Sheffield, Times Higher Education UK University of the Year.

If you’d like to find out about our library services in advance, you can find the introductory information you will need here:

You can also follow the library on Twitter @UniSheffieldLib, and follow this blog for news relating to your faculty.

Enjoy the rest of your summer, fingers crossed for some more sunshine!

Looking forward to meeting you all in September. 

Thursday, 16 August 2012

How to find 'Find it'

Hi, you may have noticed that we've recently made some changes to the links you see from the Library tab in  MUSE. In particular we've removed the link to 'Find it', our e-journals database. But don't panic! You can still access all the Library's e-journals only now we recommend that you use our new Library catalogue StarPlus

From StarPlus you can search for and access all our Library content (both print and electronic) so it's no longer necessary to have separate links for e-journals and ebooks. So to search for books, journal titles and databases simply use the 'University Collections'  tab on the StarPlus homepage. 

However 'find it' is still available if you want to use it  - for example it can be useful for browsing a list of journals by subject. To find it simply go the StarPlus homepage and there will be a link at the top of the page 'Findit@sheffield ejournals A-Z'.

For any queries or problems just contact the Library helpdesk. 
Tel: (0114) 222 7200

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Summer Vacation Loans Reminder

All loans over the vacation period are due back September 28th, unless requested by someone else. A normal loan item may be recalled by the library if someone else requests it. Recalled items must be returned within 15 days of the recall

It's still important to keep an eye on your accounts over the vacation. Log into MUSE and check in the Library tab. If you need to renew items there are a number of ways to do so, to avoid incurring any fines:
  • Use a MUSE account, if possible. Click on the Library tab and (under myLibrary Account) select the 'Manage My Account and Renew My Items' link.
  • Use the Star catalogue (, click on myAccount, put in the Ucard/library number and PIN and renew the loans from there.
  • Email the Library HelpDesk at and ask for loans to be renewed.
  • Telephone the Library HelpDesk on 0114 222 7200 and ask to renew. The HelpDesk is manned 9am-7pm, Monday to Friday. If there is no-one available to take the call, an option will be given to leave a message.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

New IEEE ebook collection available!

The University Library has recently purchased the IEEE ebook collection, available via IEEE Xplore. There are more than 500 titles available to help keep you up-to-date with cutting-edge technologies and set standards for future advancements.
The collection of titles includes practical handbooks, introductory and advanced texts, reference works, and professional books with an emphasis on leading areas of research, such as:

•     Aerospace
•     Bioengineering
•     Communication, Networking & Broadcasting
•     Components, Circuits, Devices & Systems
•     Computing & Processing (Includes Hardware & Software)
•     Engineered Materials, Dielectrics & Plasmas
•     Fields, Waves & Electromagnetics
•     General Topics for Engineers (Math, Science & Engineering)
•     Geoscience
•     Photonics & Electro-Optics
•     Power, Energy & Industry Applications
•     Robotics & Control Systems
•     Signal Processing & Analysis

To access the database log-in to MUSE and select the Library tab. From the alphabetical table in subject databases click on IEEE/IET Electronic Library and connect using the quick link on the right. From there you can browse titles from the book/ebook search interface.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Web of Knowledge Mobile Access

Web of Knowledge have recently brought out a new mobile version of their database so now you can search for articles on the go. The mobile interface contains many of the same features; so there's all the advanced search options, you can set alerts, view your search history and send references to endnoteweb.

To get started all you need to do is go to from your phone and log in with your personal WoK username and password.

 If you haven't created a WoK account before just follow the steps below;

  1. From a normal PC log into MUSE and go to Web of Knowledge from the library tab.

  2. Once in Web of Knowledge click on 'sign in'.

  3. Then click 'register' to create a new account (when registering it's best to use your @sheffield email address).

You can now use your new password for the mobile interface as well as accessing all the database's advanced features. All you need to remember is to log into your new account at least every 6 months from an IP authenticated computer to ensure your account stays active.





For more information or trouble-shooting see the WoK webpages below;

Monday, 2 April 2012

Alan Turing talk tonight

Following on from my post during National Science and Engineering Week on Alan Turing, I'd like to alert you to a talk, TONIGHT, at the Showroom bar from 7pm: 'Alan Turing Centenary Year: The Wonder of Ideas'.

This is the April Cafe Scientifique and will explain his key ideas, why they have shaped the world over the last 60 years and why they might be telling us something about the universe. 

More information here.

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Important IEEE Xplore information

IEEE Xplore is being upgraded on the 1st April, before I tell you about the new features, there are a couple of things you need to know:

1. All current saved searches and search history will be deleted. If you have any saved searches you would like to keep, then copy them into a document so you can recreate them after 1st April.

2. IEEE personal account user name change. If you have a personal account then you will be prompted to change your user name to your email address when you log in after 1st April.

The new features include:

  • Browse titles by topic

  • Sort results by most cited

  • Refine search by content type

  • Abstract pages streamlined with tabs for citations and references, and IEEE index terms listed

  • New citation diagram and more cited-by information

  • New interactive HTML full-text articles

  • Simpler personal account registration

  • Personal account sign-in link in top right-hand corner

Find out more here

Sign up for live webinar training here

Friday, 16 March 2012

Fun Friday Facts

Well, I hope you've all had a good week. Although this is the last post from me for NSEW 2012, don't forget that there is still plenty going on this weekend.

I am going to leave you with some factual motion-based snippets to impress your friends with over the weekend!

Firstly, from ''The Noticeably Stouter Qi book of General Ignorance' by John Lloyd and John Mitchinson, 2009, Faber and Faber limited, page 129-130:

Which way does the bathwater go down the plughole?

  • For the Alan Davies' amongst you: it isn't decided by the Coriolis force...unless a symmetrical pan with a tiny plughole was left for about a week and the plug was then removed without disturbing the water. Then a small Coriolis effect may send the water anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere and clockwise in the south. Otherwise...

  • The direction is determined by the shape of the basin, the direction it was filled from, and the vortices introduced into it by washing or when the plug is removed.

  • So, basically, it depends, there just isn't a simple answer, of course!

Secondly, from 'Does Anything Eat Wasps? and 101 other questions', New Scientist, edited by Mick O'Hare, 2005, Profile Books, page 132-134:

What would be the effect on the Earth if an alien spaceship came along and dragged the moon away? (Steven Nairn)

  • According to Andrew Turpin:

  • As the moon is the main force over the tides, they would practically disappear.

  • Wild swings in the earth's rotational axis would give us drastic changes in climate.

  • The nautilus wouldn't know when to move compartments in its shell as the moon wouldn't be there to finish a revolution around earth. Poor stranded nautilus.

  • According to Simon Iveson:

  • Without nightime light, the behaviour of nocturnal animals would be confused, and their activities much harder to carry out.

Lastly, from 'Why Don't Penguins Feet Freeze? and 114 other questions', New Scientist, edited by Mick O'Hare, 2006, Profile Books, 2006, page 213-216, a mystery to me since childhood:

Why do boomerangs come back? (Adam Longley)

  • According to Alan Chester from Sheffield no less:

  • The top wing of a boomerang goes away from you faster than the bottom wing, so the sideways push on the top wing is strongest, which tilts the boomerang over.

  • According to Chips MacKinolty:

  • Boomerangs don't come back (indeed a distraught 8 year old me on the Bromyard Downs would agree).

  • They were designed by the Australian Aboriginal people for hunting and fighting. Not just for fun apparently.

So, I think that's it, it's bye from me for now, Happy National Science and Engineering Week to you all!

Remember there is also the Global Manufacturing Festival in Sheffield next Wednesday and Thursday.

Thursday, 15 March 2012

In a spin

Last night, Dr Tim Richardson gave a talk on things that rotate which I wish I could have gone to.

As I’m not an expert on the science of rotation, I've found some videos to keep you amused as the weekend approaches...

These fighting spinning tops are pretty impressive to watch (they start about 1 minute in).

As one of the comments says, Unbubblieveable!

Here’s one especially for you structural engineers: The Rotating Tower.

The Guinness World Record for the fastest spin on ice by Natalia Kanounnikova.

Cool Science Demo” of the ice skating spin.

Why didn’t I have one of these?

Talking of rotation, don’t forget you’ve only got a few more days left to check out the National Fairground Archive (NFA) exhibition at St Georges Library this week. You can also visit the NFA, or check out their image database.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Mid-week inspiration

Tonight at University House, Ian Woodall will be telling the emotional story of climbing Mount Everest. He is one of few to have climbed it by both its South and North sides; if you can’t make it tonight, you can find out more here.

If you’d like to feel inspired from your sofa then check out these films...

Everest (1998)

The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest (2010)

Touching the Void (2004)

Blindsight (2006)

...and books:

'Into thin air: a personal account of the Mount Everest disaster' by Jon Krakauer. In stock at St Georges Library, 796.522092 (K) in The Lifelong Learning Collection.

'Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest' by Wade Davis. Available in Sheffield Central Library.

'Touching the Void' by Joe Simpson. Available to reserve from Sheffield Central Library.

Don’t forget the NSEW Special Pub Quiz TONIGHT at The Showroom Cinema, 7:30, arrive early as places are limited!

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Cue the Physics

The mystery of motion is never more apparent to me than when watching some snooker...just how do they make those balls move to exactly where they want them??

I've found out a little bit about cue ball movement from

  • The cue ball's movement is determined by its forward rotation (spin) on impact.

  • With no spin on impact (a stun shot), it will deflect 90 degrees in the opposite direction to the object ball.

  • Forward spin (follow) and backward spin (draw) on the cue ball affects the amount of deviation from 90 degrees. So, more follow means a sharper curve upwards, and more draw, a sharper curve downwards.

  • It is also affected by the angle at which the cue ball hits the object ball; thicker contact means that the follow and draw have a bigger effect, both on position and speed.

This video shows an impressive curve of the cue ball when shooting with follow.

An impressive 28 second spin can be seen 1 minute and 3 seconds into this video.

And you just HAVE to check this out!

Feeling snooker loopy? Don't forget the Snooker World Championship here in Sheffield at The Crucible Theatre,  21 April- 7 May.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Alan Turing Centenary Year

Not heard of Alan Turing? It seems that many of us haven’t when we really should have. All you mathematicians out there may understand the work of Alan Turing without any help. For the rest of us, help is required! Derek Marriott gave this help in his talk at Sheffield Hallam on Friday, but what can you do if you missed it?


The Channel 4 documentary which enlightened more of us is unfortunately not available on 4oD but more information is here which shows why Stephen Hawking has rated Turing’s work as some of the most important in Human History. Hopefully the film will be available soon.

There are various books on Alan Turing in the Library including ‘The man who knew too much: Alan Turing and the invention of the computer’ by David Leavitt at the IC.

Friday, 9 March 2012

National Science and Engineering Week 2012

It’s here! Today is the beginning of National Science and Engineering Week, although I can’t be the only one who has noticed that 9-18 March is longer than a week!

The week runs every year to show the impact of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) on our everyday lives. The theme for 2012 is “Our world in motion”.

The week in South Yorkshire celebrates the impact of STEM on the region. Find out what is going on, starting today, here.

If you head to St. Georges Library you can grab yourself a freebie, and see the great exhibition on the history of going upside-down on fairgound rides and roller coasters put together by our National Fairground Archive.

I will be blogging throughout the “week” so watch this space!

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Ebooks...the lowdown the fact that you can read them in bed any time of day and at the same time as your course mates but not sure about what you can and can't do with them?

The library buys access to ebooks from different suppliers and they all work slightly differently (just to make it extra confusing!). The provider is clear once you access an ebook .

The most common question we get asked is 'Can I download library ebooks to my Kindle/ebook reader?'. In short the answer is no I'm afraid. I could bore you with the licensing details but I won't!

Here is a handy guide to the main suppliers for Science and Engineering:

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Be part of the Zooniverse

The Zooniverse is a hugely successful Citizen Science project which currently has 561,087 people taking part across the world.

The Zooniverse encourages anyone to take part in classifying features from photographs to help scientists and researchers process the large amount of data they have to deal with.  Nine projects are currently running, including: 'Explore the surface of the moon', 'How do galaxies merge?', 'Search for exploding stars', and 'Hear whales communicate'.

Find out what has already been discovered in the original Zooniverse project, Galaxy Zoo, here.

Find out more and join the Zooniverse here.

Find out more about the Citizen Science Alliance here.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Newton Papers

A selection of Sir Isaac Newton’s Papers have been made available online by Cambridge University Library. The initial selection which is now available concentrates on his mathematical work in the 1660’s and includes his Waste Book where he developed much of his work on calculus. There is also Newton’s annotated copy of Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, laying out his laws of motion and gravity.

You can access this fantastic resource here. More manuscripts will be added over the next few months.

Newton’s Trinity College Notebook is featured in BBC Radio 4’s ‘In Our Time’ discussing how the invention of writing made the scientific revolution of the Enlightenment possible, which you can listen to here.

Friday, 6 January 2012

Quiz answers

Happy New Year everyone!

Here's what you've all been waiting for...the answers to the Christmas quiz and links for more information :)

1. The smallest planet ever detected was found this year. What has it been named?

A: Kepler-22b. More info from the New Scientist

2. Which of life’s most frustrating situations could be solved by the creation of SLIPS?

A:  Getting the last bit of ketchup out of the bottom of the bottle. SLIPS= Slippery Liquid Infused Porous Surface.  More info from the British Science Association  

3. Opened in June, where is the longest bridge over water?

A: NE China, The Qingdao Haiwan Bridge.

And for a bonus gold star…it is longer than what?

A marathon...the bridge is 26.4 miles long More info from Discover magazine

4. True or false: Experiments have suggested that something may travel faster than the speed of light?

A: True; although it is still under debate/further investigation. More info from the British Science Association