We’re always looking at ways to innovate the Library at Lincoln. Our fantastic new project, The Library Dissertation Showcase, went live three weeks ago and has already attracted an amazing response from users. Our User Evaluation Survey aims to investigate how the site is performing and meeting your needs in reading some of the best dissertations in the Lincoln International Business School. It is a pilot so we would welcome your feedback at this stage (and in future, but it’s more than crucial right now!).
At the University of Lincoln we are proud to celebrate student success. All of the dissertations on this showcase achieved 75% or more. These are exclusively undergraduate dissertations from the Lincoln International Business School, and is running as a pilot to identify any issues and improve what promises to be a highly popular resource. Our longer aim (post-pilot) is to involve all other schools within the university and champion student achievement.
Talis Reading lists has upgraded to a ‘New List View’ today (ahem, Wednesday 16th January 2019). This is designed to improve usability for all users, which includes images of the front cover widely considered as the most obvious change. Here is an example of the ‘New List View’, if you would like to take a look:
CORE currently contains 125,700,569 open access articles, sourced from over tens of thousands of journals, collected from over 3,673 repositories around the world. Their mission is to aggregate all open access research outputs from repositories and journals worldwide and make them available to the public, enabling free unrestricted access to research for all.
We have recently acquired EBook Central, which is a vast collection of electronic books that significantly boosts our business library provision. It is easy to use and indeed, colourful – you are able to limit your results by selecting the left-hand side of the page, including by author. Please provide us with some feedback about this new acquisition.
We are delighted to announce a new accessible-friendly eBook platform, Bibliotech, which is available via the Library website > Find > Databases > B > Bibliotech. At the moment it includes several study skills eBooks which you are welcome to download, and in the near future we hope to expand this collection to cover high-demand books, some of which have not been available as electronic versions before. This is a major step forward in being able to deliver our most popular print titles in an electronic format, and eliminating the stress of waiting in a queue for a highly-prized core text book that it is always on loan.
We have a new wonderful facility where anyone (well, anyone with electronic access to the University Library) is able to browse an enormous range of journals, categorised under subject headings. One of the things we like is the colourful graphics that tempts the user to explore a diverse range of subjects.
All you need to do is go to the Library website > Find > Browse Electronic Journals and select a subject area, which would probably be Business and Economics but of course, you are free to access any of the other areas. We hope you like it. We do.
It is the Holy Grail of understanding student progress: whether tutors can predict student outcome. It was, until recently, more unusual to use textbooks as a method of assessment but the digital era has changed all that. Now academic achievement progress can be pinned down to percentages, charts and reports throughout the year.
The advent of digital textbooks is a relatively new phenomenon that is revolutionising the publishing world, as authors go straight to electronic format, before any print books are published. This gives the publishers some indicative analysis whether they’re going to sell or not, and inform the decision to publish in hard copy.
Digital textbooks are also an ideal platform to uncover a plethora of learning analytics (which is the “measurement, collection, analysis and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs” according to Siemens 2010, cited in Junco & Clem, 2015, 54) such as formative assessment. How do they work? Naturally, reading textbooks is an integral part of study, but the particular gift of digital textbooks is that they record quiz scores, student engagement (completing exercises, et al), significantly the number of annotations and highlighting, time spent reading outside of office hours, and time spent re-reading (i.e. the retention of knowledge). Their interactivity provides a welcome contrast to a traditional assessment model that is primarily summative; marking essays at the end of the term, or taking exams and so forth. It is a form of academic monitoring, particularly understandable in the context when electronic registers for seminars are so commonplace, and electronic surveillance is routine. More research needs to be carried out to find reliable data on learning analytics and digital textbooks, but I find it a fascinating area and one that will no doubt become more and more popular across universities as tutors become more aware of their capability. Where does that leave libraries? Hopefully involved.
Junco, R. & Clem, C. (2015). Predicting course outcomes with digital textbook usage data. Internet and Higher Education. Vol. 27, 54–63.
We will be joining the SCONUL virtual out-of-hours enquiry service, based on the OCLC QuestionPoint service. The service allows libraries to offer a 24 hour, 365 days a year enquiry service, meaning that there will be a integrated chat and e-mail provision. As an interesting aside, I have embedded a video about how a library used the service in compiling digitised photographs of early 20th century Filipino coffee shops.
As part of our subscription we have full access to the FT ePaper – an exact digital replica of the FT Newspaper. The FT ePaper is now even easier to use on your computer, tablet and phone. The FT have upgraded it with great new features and functionality, including:
Offline access, without needing to download a pdf
Pinch-and-zoom viewing, for easy reading on your mobile
A clear, streamlined contents menu, making it easy to choose and click on articles
When you access the ePaper the on-screen tool tips will guide you through what’s new, or just click on the ? icon in the top menu. Why does this matter? Just check out this video ‘Punk FT – EU models for a post-Brexit UK‘ as a real gem available online about the options for the UK post-Brexit. This question ultimately revolves around the free movement of labour versus goods, as the UK considers a journey without trade agreements with the remaining EU members.
There’s never been a better day than today to watch events unfold than by reading the Financial Times online. At the University we have unlimited access to FT.com whose sections like Alphaville (it will ask for your university username and password) tracks the markets and an invaluable online forum. For instance, nougats like Jan Hilbebrand’s article on a secret Brexit plan (yes, one really does exists) is worth seeking out, saying that Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble has already made preparations for a Brexit. Also the fastFT (“a global team working across timezones to give you market-moving news and views twenty-four hours a day, five days a week”) is an excellent tool to follow today’s news as it appears ‘live’. The housing market, the Pound, stocks and shares, investment, the FTSE and spread betting are news stories just from the past hour as Brexit hits the financial markets.
This video that was produced by Helen Williams, the Academic Subject Librarian for distance learners in the Lincoln International Business School, shows you how to find books and journals using the Library homepage at library.lincoln.ac.uk.