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:
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.
We’re often asked how many books do we have in the Library. Happily that question is answered in this blog post. We currently have 202,827 ejournals and an amazing 64 laptops available for loan, over 4000 DVDs to hire, nearly 8000 ebooks to view and well over 240,000 books in the collection. The ejournals available today have increased fourfold in just a couple of years.
Now the summer has arrived (or almost) it’s time for a refresh of the Business & Law Librarian blog. I hope you like it. I’ve gone with the blend of a metropolitan skyline at night (Brisbane, if you’re wondering) and of course, a library-themed background. Studying for the future leitmotif. I like it as it looks fresh and colourful (well, I would say that as I designed it!)
Checking for copyright cleared used to be a minefield – but not now. LibreStock, a multi search engine for CC images, does the work for you (humble courtesy to Phil Bradley’s informative weblog– Where librarians and the internet meet). Librestock is an amazing free multi search engine that will check through over 40 different websites to find images that you can use. Phil quotes from the site: “I know it’s hard to understand complex legal licenses so let me break it down for you. all the photos indexed on LibreStock are licensed under the Creative Commons Zero license. this means you can use these pictures freely for any legal purpose.” This means that they are free to use, even commercially, you can modify, copy and distribute, and you don’t need to attribute. I find this a relief as images inform, brighten and act as a visual aid for presentations or blog like this one (look above!).
We often get asked about the modern day paradox of being able to retrieve thousands of articles from the fabulous Library website, but not having the time to read more than a handful. Are there any tips we would recommend to, erm, speed up the process…Happily, Sutz & Weverka (2009, 10) have produced their ‘Speed reading for dummies‘ book (also available an ebook), which contains some valuable information such as noting what ‘eye fixations’ are (‘when your eyes stop moving at different points in a sentence as you read it’). Invaluably, the important points to know about speed reading are:
✓ You read several words in a single glance. Unless you’re encountering words you don’t know or haven’t read before, you don’t read words one at a time.
✓ You expand your vision so that you can read and understand many words in a single glance. A very good speed reader can read, see, and process 10 to 14 words in a single eye fixation.
✓ You expand your vision to read vertically as well as horizon- tally on the page. As well as taking in more than one word on a line of text, speed readers can also, in a single glance, read and understand words on two or three different lines. Check out Chapter 6 for more on expanding your reading vision, and head to Chapter 15 for some exercises that help you do just that.
(Sutz & Weverka: 2009, 10)
Speed reading is about expanding your vocabulary, which makes comprehension easier, being familiar with the subject matter, focused concentration and making those strategic selections in choosing the text you want to digest. Sitting position is also important. Because it’s an emphatically practical book, there are helpful exercises at the end of each chapter.
The print book is available in the library at 428.432 sut on the 1st floor.
We’re often asked about strengthening our print book collection by purchasing more copies and make them more available, such as placing them on short-loan or supplementing a title by acquiring an ebook. I use a New Library Books for Business School Talis reading list as a news bulletin to keep students and staff aware of our latest additions, either as new titles or as additional copies. It is interactive containing the past three months’ worth of newly acquired books that support the Business School, and is updated every week to illustrate what new titles and additional copies are available in the Library, so it’s worth checking out the Business Librarian blog regularly.
Do you really need all the information relayed in a lecture? Of course not, but how do you determine what is relevant and what is going to crowd out any relevant information? What gems were overlooked as a result of poor note-taking? Have you heard of active note-taking? No, neither have I…until today. But it makes perfect sense.
Apparently active learning helps you to prize meaning from what you learn whilst inferior passive learning is ‘allowing yourself to be an empty vessel into which knowledge is poured with no way of organising or making meaning from it’ (University of Reading, 2016). A mess in other words. Passive learning means you may forget what you’ve been taught, and you’ll be re-reading your notes while you’re writing assignments, and repeating the unenviable process when the exam period looms. Lectures might simply be floating over your head.
Passive note-taking includes:
- underlining words
- cutting and pasting from online documents
- trying to write everything you hear in a lecture
- copying slides from the screen
- copying lots of direct quotes rather than putting the ideas in your own words
- writing notes on everything you read, because you’re not sure what will turn out to be important
not evaluating or criticising the sources you use, but just accepting them as suitable evidence
Active note-taking means:
- thinking about what you want to get out of your research before you start
- looking for answers to any questions you may have about the topic
- looking for connections within the topic you’re studying, and to other topics on your course
- writing notes mostly in your own words – your own explanation of what something says or means
- recording direct quotes only when it’s important to have the exact words that someone else has used (i.e. when how they say something is as significant as what they say)
When I read this sound advice from the University of Reading (2016) I realise that when I was an enthusiastic undergraduate keen on absorbing as much information as possible, at most lectures I attended I comprehensively covered all the passive note-taking elements listed above. Knowing what I know now, the trick with writing essays and carrying out research is to be selective. It’s a brave step away from the security of hoarding dense notes, and adding everything to an assignment before the long adventure of redrafting. It’s not efficient to be a passive note-taker, and wastes a huge amount of time. With the amount of assignments that need to be submitted for an undergraduate degree, managing your time effectively increases your chances of submitting work on time and allows the requisite space for redrafting without the uncertainty of not knowing what was relevant from a pile of passively taken notes.
In this blog post I want to outline the process of conducting a literature review on a chosen topic, such as ‘buyer behaviour and ethical purchase intentions’. My main advice whilst carrying out this type of research is to be open-minded and explore ideas as though it’s the first time you have come across this topic.
Literature searching and the art of reviewing literature
- Allow yourself time to browse the library catalogue (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > Library catalogue…) http://catalogue.library.lincoln.ac.uk/ipac20/ipac.jsp?profile=
- Search for relevant material on your chosen topic.
- Search for ‘BA marketing’ for instance as this will bring up undergraduate dissertations. (282 titles matched)
- Search Find it at Lincoln on the Library webpage (on Find it at Lincoln you can ‘add to folder’ which makes it easier to collate your research, and send it via email then save on your student drive, memory stick, et al).
- Search the Advertising and Marketing Library subject guide: http://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/advertisingandmarketing for relevant databases like Warc.com and ABI Inform using keywords like ‘buyer behaviour and ethical purchase intentions’ (ABI Inform has some 7, 154 results).
- Identify key articles, conference papers, quality newspapers (check out the Lexis Library database), and interesting chapters relevant to your topic.
- I might amend my searches by adding ‘motivation’ or ‘actual’ to refine my research .
- Explore some ideas and focus your reading, BEFORE writing any draft (but be adaptable, open to change as your literature review may veer from its original course).
- Critically evaluate what you read; don’t take things at face value, look deeper. It is healthy to question everything but remember to be objective to form a balanced opinion.
- Look for ‘chains’ (they will make the structure easier) when you design the essay plan. How does one piece of research or set of ideas influence the next? Use a mind map or flow chart if necessary.
- Write brief notes about the development of the research over time
- Note the key 5-10 pieces of research that most influenced the subject. Briefly chart how each piece of research influenced others in the chain.
- Identify how your research will follow on from previous research. Will it add to knowledge about the topic or methods? Add this to your introduction.
(indebted to Stella Cottrell’s ever popular Study Skills Handbook, 2008). Making study easier. Incidentally, Stella’s now PVC for Learning, Teaching and Student Engagement at the University of East London.
For a more detailed overview of a literature review I found it a pleasure to read the University of Leicester’s Student Learning Development webpage on Doing a Literature Review. http://www2.le.ac.uk/offices/ld/resources/writing/writing-resources/literature-review which contains invaluable advice on structure, editing, remaining focused, amongst other gems. Reviewing literature can be overwhelming and it is a skill in knowing where the boundaries lay (i.e. what to leave in, what to leave out) and is a cause of many a student headache so it’s worth to remember the valuable advice from Rudestam and Newton (1992:49) when they said to ‘build an argument, not a library’.
Cottell, S. (2008). Study Skills Handbook. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Rudestam K. & Newton R. (1992). Surviving your dissertation. London:Sage.