Downloading SPSS onto your computer

Ever wondered if you could use SPSS on your computer? Well, you can now (if you’ve got a University of Lincoln account). Gone are the days when you had to borrow a CD from the Library desk.

This facility is available from the Maths and Stats guide on the Library website.


Visit the library drop-in @David Chiddick building 10-11am today

Please excuse the somewhat stern-looking face on the poster, but don’t miss my drop-in today. I’m a friendly person and moreover interested in how I can help with your research. It’s raining outside (where else would it be?) and it’s taking place opposite the Book & Latte, so why not grab a coffee and chat about your latest assignment?


Struggling with your assignment in the Library?

Are you struggling with your assignment? Why not visit our Academic Writing Support drop-ins from Monday to Thursday:

Monday 11.00 – 13.00
Tuesday 12.00 – 13.00
Wednesday 9.00 – 10.00
Thursday 14.00 – 16.00

If you bring along your assignment draft, we can give you advice on matters like whether you have:

  • managed to answer the question
  • the structure flows well
  • applied critical discussion throughout


This is the team: Cheryl, Daren, Judith. The drop-in sessions take place in the Learning Development room on the ground floor of the Library.

New Systematic Review guide

A systematic review is a type of literature review that collects and critically analyses multiple research studies or papers.  In the University of Lincoln Library we are mainly supporting PhD and Masters level students with the process of defining their question and developing criteria for searching and then how they should conduct their searches. Oonagh Monaghan, the Psychology and Sports Subject Librarian, has just launched a useful guide on systematic reviews.


Publishing articles on LinkedIn and graduate employability

Following on from my previous post about reflective writing, I’ve written an article about using your intuition at work and published it via LinkedIn, the professional networking site. It’s my first article on LinkedIn and hope it may be one of many. It also gives me a wonderful opportunity to foray into areas beyond librarianship (my normal arena of publishing activity), and put ideas on paper, or at least onto a PC screen. It’s a kind of liberation, in a way.

LinkedIn also has other surprising benefits. Not only am I able to connect to colleagues and those outside of my area of specialism, but I am able to help graduate employability in terms of them developing a portfolio in a tough job market. Simply by endorsing a skill, for instance, you’re helping them progress in a competitive world.



Becoming a daily reflective practitioner

Yesterday, I submitted a ‘letter to myself’​ to my past self as part of an upcoming event at Lincoln’s Drill Hall. Reflection ought to be embedded into our personal and work lives so that it becomes part of our daily routine. If not, why not? I find that reflective practice helps me change, if not always for the better, I always believe that I’m going forward. Life is about learning afterall. Some criticise that reflection is too backward-looking, turning over historical events in an already over-ploughed field; or simply navel-gazing (at worst). I disagree, but then I would. As Socrates (allegedly) said at his (less than unfortunate) trial: “An un-examined life is not worth living”.

N. B. I’ve embedded these slides from a code I retrieved from my account on Scribd, the document sharing platform. PS. It’s the free version!

Reflective Writing slides by Daren Mansfield on Scribd

Report writing structure (with literature review)

This is a video I produced as part of the Teaching and Learning in Digital Education course I studied at the University of Lincoln. There are two versions of this video, one with a literature review and one without. This one contains a literature review. Both are available on YouTube.

An onion unpacks the meaning of Mixed Methods research

What does a Mixed Method approach mean? Conveniently, the much-borrowed Saunders & Lewis (2012) textbook carefully unpacks what a mixed methods research approach means via the layers of a onion diagram.

Guardian readers share their experiences of essay mills

Always a hot potato tossed around on the Learning Development in Higher Education Network forum, LDHEN@JISCMAIL.AC.UK, the use of essay mills by students paying someone to do their assignments, even dissertations, has hit the headlines again. According to the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA), there are now more than 100 essay mill websites in operation, with fees ranging from a few hundred pounds to several thousand for a weightier PhD thesis. The government is proposing a crackdown on students if they submit someone else’s work as their own, but not the essay mills themselves; effectively ratcheting up the level of what is generally labelled by universities as an academic offence. It appears as though the plagiarising student will be punished more severely, but the essay mills evade prosecution and continue their business operations, Thence, I tweeted a link to a brief Guardian article earlier about student experiences of using essay mills, which also records how puzzled some tutors are at why students thank them for obtaining them a pass or even helping them through their degree.

Captureessay mill

Business School drop-in with your subject Librarian

Hot off the press! A new poster for my Lincoln International Business School drop-in session has just been printed to advertise when I’m sitting at one of the tables near Starbucks on the ground floor of the David Chiddick building from 10-11 am every Wednesday.




Spelling advice on the Academic Writing site

Poor spelling often discourages potential employers as the chief executive of the National Governors Association announced that some of the top schools in the UK have received high-level job applications containing mistakes of spelling and grammar.

We’re in the process of developing a spelling page on the Academic Writing Support guide which we hope allays some of the fears surrounding this most challenging area. As you’ll notice we’re also starting to buy some books to support our library collection.

Think of dictionaries and you may consider browsing  Oxford Dictionaries online (available via > Find > Databases > O > Oxford English Dictionary Online), which contains some useful spelling advice.














What are “The 7 Approaches to Learning”?

Stella Cottrell, author of many books including the seminal Study Skills Handbook, explains what the 7 Approaches to Learning are in this short video, and covers what independent learning is all about such as devising active learning when you’re studying outside of the classroom so you become a successful and productive student.

Reading textbooks efficiently during your 1st year (and beyond!)

During your first year at university you’re probably wondering: How am I going to get all this reading done and still eat and sleep?

Managing to read textbooks efficiently means targeted reading with a strategic plan of how manageable chunks of information are clearly understood . This system may prevent us from being overwhelmed by the task of large amounts of reading. Better organisation means that reading can harvest much more information rather than ploughing through a pile of textbooks with no plan other than to reach the end.

Some use of an ‘aspirations board’, which is a collection of images or other reminders of what that person would like to achieve in their life, acting as a visual reminder of what they are striving for and helps them to focus on their end goal and relieves the boredom factor. You might consider:

  • adding colour or images
  • changing the font
  • using a different pen
  • going to a different location to study
  • standing up if you usually sit down or moving around
  • undertaking some sort of physical activity
  • making it more challenging by setting yourself a time limit to see how much you can get done within a given time frame
  • allowing yourself to explore a particular area in more detail
  • watching a YouTube clip that illustrates the subject matter
  • thinking of ways in which a particular process could be streamlined
  • drawing or doodling a picture that visually summarises what you have read

Want fast, efficient reading skills? Try targeted reading…

The US comedian and film director Woody Allen once quipped: “I took a speed-reading course and read War and Peace in twenty minutes. It involves Russia.” How to read a pile of journal articles efficiently. It’s a conundrum. The Library is a wealth of information but how do you read fast without missing any of the detail? Andy Gillett’s useful website ‘Using English for Academic Purposes: A Guide for Students in Higher Education’ says that reading involves way more than the use of the eyes and the brain. To read fast, you need to use more of your brain. Reading fast means reading efficiently which means not wasting time and using your eyes and brain together well. To do this, you need to read with purpose and interactively. What Andy means is that we need targetted reading to be successful readers at university. To read more see: