Developing your academic skills is an essential part of successful study at University. For example, writing an essay, report or dissertation involves a number of different academic skills – finding and evaluating information, critical thinking, academic writing, referencing and competence in using IT. The ability to analyse problems, manage your time effectively and work productively in groups are also crucial academic skills which will enable you to succeed in your studies and also in your future career.
Skills for Learning has lots of resources to help you develop your academic skills on their website and they provide a wide range of workshops and tutorial support on IT skills, data analysis and academic communication. The Library website also provides subject support on how to go about finding and evaluating information as well as one-to-one support from your Academic Librarian.
Find out more about how Skills for Learning and the Library can help you develop your academic skills and try your hand at our quiz. Come along to the Gateway at City Campus on Monday 27 February.
Thank you for all your feedback last week on our Valentine’s Boards. We really appreciate you taking the time to post your notes.
We asked you what you loved about the Library or what would make you love us more.
We’re really pleased that you said you loved our staff, 24/7 opening, laptop loans and some of our study spaces.
But what would make you love us more?
More anatomy books online – try www.anatomy.tv – ask Library staff for more info about how to log on to this resource.
Fix the Wi-Fi – work has been done to improve the wi-fi so please bring your devices to the Help and Information Point if you’re still having problems so we can get you connected.
Water fountains in Headingley Library – unfortunately James Graham is a listed building with limited plumbing facilities. The University’s supplier carried out detailed surveys to see if more could be provided but there are only a small number of places where fountains can be installed so that the water is safe to drink. There is a fountain near the vending machines on the ground floor of James Graham as well as just outside JG250.
Toilets in the Headingley Library – we agree that it would be good to have more toilets in the Library but again the listed building status and plumbing limits what our Estates team is able to provide.
Air con / heaters – we know the temperature in the Library isn’t always ideal and we’re working with Estates to try to improve things.
More windows in Sheila Silver Library – we can’t add more windows to the building unfortunately but as we’ve refurbished each floor we’ve moved as many study spaces as possible near to them to take advantage of the natural light.
If it wasn’t so busy – we agree it can get very busy in the Library and we are looking at ways to let you know where the quieter spaces are.
Remember if you have any other feedback about the Library you can speak to a member of staff or complete a What’s Your View card.
As Semester Two gets underway we thought we’d pass on some reminders about making the most of the Library and being organised in your studies:
Get extra help in essay writing, finding information, referencing, analysing data or IT Skills via the Skills for Learning programme of free workshops – just book via their website. Alternatively you could watch or listen to one of their recorded workshops or podcasts or take a look at their web resources.
If you’re searching for information for your assignments or dissertations take a look the Subject Guides on the Library website. These will direct you to the right information for your topic and if you still need help you can book a one-to-one appointment with your Academic Librarian.
Connect your mobile devices to eduroam for the fastest and most secure access to the internet when you’re on campus and download Microsoft Office 365 and SPSS so you have the software you need wherever you are working. But always save and back up your work so you don’t lose it and have to do it all again!
If you ever get stuck with MyBeckett or Turnitin we have online guides to talk you through finding your way around and submitting assignments and when it comes to submitting your Semester 2 Turnitin assignments, remember to check your file type and file size against Turnitin’s rules and requirements before submitting.
Searching for information, writing and printing your assignments can often take more time than you think – use the Assignment Calculator to help you plan. And book your Student Meeting Room in plenty of time to get together to discuss any group assignments.
If you’ve forgotten your Library PIN or you’re not sure how to collect a Hold or access an eBook our YouTube Library Shorts will give you quick and easy guidance on using the Library and all the services and support available to you. But remember you can always Contact Us for help as well.
We told you in a previous post about a project to audit and improve the accessibility of eBooks, which has now been completed. Sue Smith and Vicky Dobson from Library Disability Support worked on the eBook Accessibility Audit project as part of a team from across the UK. This also included Jamie Phillips from Leeds Beckett University, and colleagues from the University of Kent, the University of Liverpool, Manchester Metropolitan University and York St John University. The project is one of three shortlisted in the Project Initiative Category for the 2017 ABC International Excellence Award for Accessible Publishing with the awards ceremony to be held at the London Book Fair on 14 March.
eBooks are digital versions of printed books and the Library has lots of them available. There are many advantages to eBooks. For example they are available both on and off-campus and most titles can be accessed by multiple users at the same time.
The eBook Accessibility Audit looked at how accessible eBooks are for students with print impairments – difficulties accessing printed text, usually due to a visual or physical impairment or a Specific Learning Difficulty such as dyslexia.
Although eBooks have the potential to be very accessible and if they are compatible with assistive software they can be adapted to the needs of individual students, unfortunately, due to the design of some eBooks, this is not always the case and they are not all fully accessible.
The eBook audit set out to identify how accessible 44 of the most widely used eBook platforms in UK Higher Education are, including 15 of the platforms we subscribe to at Leeds Beckett University.
The results are now available on the eBook Accessibility Audit website. If you would like to know how accessible a particular eBook collection is, the Individual Platform Feedback Reports section of the website has a report for each platform detailing how well it met each of the accessibility criteria. The table on page 6 of each report gives a useful overview of this.
The next steps in the project are to work with providers to achieve improvements in accessibility and increase awareness of the accessibility features of different eBook platforms amongst Library staff to help them support students using eBooks.
We’re really sorry that the problems with accessing Discover haven’t yet been solved. Our colleagues in IT Services are working on this but in the meantime Discover is still accessible, you may just need to use different browsers.
The problems may differ depending on the internet browser you’re using.
There are issues accessing Discover and some of our electronic resources, both on and off campus.
You may see an error message like this:
However, it is safe to click on ‘Advanced’ and ‘proceed anyway’ to the site. Alternatively, you could try using Mozilla Firefox.
Some users are seeing a blank screen when using Internet Explorer to access Discover and electronic resources. We recommend using Firefox for Windows operating systems.
We’re sorry for any problems caused. Please contact us if you have any questions, and you can leave any feedback using our What’s Your View service.
Discover is the best place to start your research and we’ve added some new features to it to help you search for information and articles:
We’ve moved our A-Z eJournals list into Discover so you can enter the title of a journal and search within it.
The Subject Support pages’ Discover search box enables you to search resources just for your subject area.
A few of the databases we subscribe to aren’t searchable from Discover. So , to find these, click on Other Resources for your Subject on the right hand side of the Search Results in Discover.
Research Starters can be useful to help when you are at the first stages of your research. These are encyclopedia descriptions of popular terms to provide a basic understanding of the subject. They also link to other key terms which you can use to perform a more in-depth search.
Remember if you want to retrieve your search results or articles you’ll need the permalink! This is a permanent and stable link that will last. Don’t just copy the URL from your browser’s address bar as this won’t work after you have closed your session.
It’s best to create a MyEBSCOhost account to save your search results (EBSCO is the provider of Discover). Once you have registered an account you can add articles to your folder to easily access the ones you want to view. Don’t save your results to the temporary folder as anything saved here will be lost when you log out of your session. For more information about saving your search results check out this video
If you need any more help with any of these aspects of Discover then Contact Us. We are also aware that some users are seeing a blank screen when using Internet Explorer to access Discover and electronic resources. We recommend using Firefox for Windows operating systems but please Contact Us if you need any help.
Don’t leave your dissertation or final year project to chance. There is lots of help available for you from the Library:
Skills for Learning has lots of guidance on their website and they provide a wide range of workshops and support for research. They can also help if the subject you’re studying means you need to produce a dissertation based on a product. Their Dissertation IT Kit provides a really good guide on how to produce a professional looking document and avoid the potential formatting errors.
The Library website includes information about finding past dissertations in the Library or obtaining Interlibrary Loans if you need to read something as part of your literature review that isn’t available in the Library.
You can also use our Beckett Books Extra scheme to request a book that you think should be in stock – just fill in the form on the Library Tab of MyBeckett.
Searching Discover gives you access to thousands of resources for whatever topic you pick or you can use the Subject Guides to point you in the right direction. These are created by your Academic Librarian who has expert knowledge of all the journals, databases and other material available to you.
You can book an appointment with your Academic Librarian for one-to-one support on finding resources for your dissertation or project – see their contact information on your subject guide. And, of course, you can always contact the Library 24/7 and we’ll do our best to help.
If you’ve brought a mobile device with you to University you’ll need to get it set up on the wireless network, eduroam, and you can also download Microsoft Student Advantage for free. If you don’t have a laptop you can borrow one for use in the Library.
Please take some time to explore our Library website as it is full of information about all our services and the thousands of resources available to you on and off-campus. We also have dedicated information pages for international students and students studying part-time. And MyBeckett provides access to your modules, reading lists, timetables, student email and much more. Take a look at the Get Started tab to do just that!