Tutorial on plagiarism

When you’re a student information is everywhere. Plagiarism can be problematic when compiling lots of information from several different places, but it is something every student needs to be aware of. Thankfully, this plagiarism tutorial was produced by the Library and explains what plagiarism is and how to carry out good practice. You can test your knowledge at the end.


Top three tips for starting Library research

My three top tips for research using the Library are:

  1. Don’t take notes to start with. See what literature is out there and get to know the subject first. This will give your writing more confidence and inform your assignment structure.
  2. As an advocate of slow reading, I recommend that you find one or two decent articles and slowly read what they say. Skim reading is effective at finding the right sort of information, but less effective when trying to know a subject inside and out. Don’t accumulate hundreds of references that you haven’t properly read simply because it looks good.  There’s a temptation at the university to retrieve lots of articles because it’s easy to do, but do they accurately respond to the assignment question?
  3. After getting to know the subject well enough, design a mind map to consider each bubble as a paragraph or theme you want to explore. Writing the assignment will be easier because you’ll have a ready-made structure. No doubt this will evolve, but it will be starting point for your work.

library researcgh


Struggling to revise? Mnemonics explained

Struggling to revise? Remember important facts and linking ideas? The idea of “The Forgetting Curve” was pioneered by Hermann Ebbinghaus in 1885 who discovered that without frequent review of the information that we are trying to remember, we will forget half of what we learned within the hour, and people forget 40 percent of what they learn after the first 20 minutes and retain only 30 percent of the information after six days.

Why share a video about mnemonics? It’s because I’m studying a course on dyslexia and mnemonics is an effective way of linking words or symbols to remember facts. This video is courtesy of Western Sydney University via YouTube.

How to Write a Good Literature Review

Thanks to a tweet from the @UoLGradSchool this short blog post about writing a good literature review comes courtesy of enago academy . One of the most insightful pieces of advice includes making sense from your literature review by addressing the following:

  • You’re attempting to fill an identified gap
  • You’re proposing to address an identified shortcoming
  • You’re revisiting an inconclusive research summary
  • You’re challenging an established theory
  • You’re developing a limited study in more detail.

See the link for more information: https://www.enago.com/academy/how-to-write-good-literature-review/




How to write a journal article for publication (pt 2)

Sometimes there are little gems that are impossible to overlook and not include on the blog. This time it’s Dr Liz Tynan’s slides from James Cook University in Queensland, Australia about writing a journal for publication during or after a PhD warning that for most researchers “publish or perish” is a stark reality. But it helps the PhD candidate in the examination process. It also hones your skills as a writer. Practise, practise, practise your writing skills. Nougats of advice include the direct simplicity of conveying complex ideas with the ‘scientific method’ where “smooth transfer of information from researcher to audience” succeeds or “bad writing can slow down or prevent the publication of good research”. Even Charles Darwin who changed the course of evolutionary theory with the publication of Origin of Species struggled with the writing process: “a naturalist’s life would be a happy one if he only had to observe and never to write”.  The author must engage not distract the reader with writing errors. I also like the presentation itself, clear, precise and uncluttered.



How to write a journal article for publication (pt 1)

Finding Full Text and Saving File Attachments in RefWorks

One of the most common questions we receive about Refworks is how do I find the full text (whole article) if it saves only the reference? Fortunately the Refworks Community has produced a video answering just that question (you add them as attachments to the reference). The video will it explain it better – see for yourself:

Refworks Community videos

For anyone interested in using Refworks, the referencing software, you may be wondering about where to download some helpguides, or receive a paper mountain of step-by-step how to guides. In the interests of the environment (last month was the hottest April on record) I thought it was a good idea to highlight where to find even better help if you have any questions (you can, of course, email refworks@lincoln.ac.uk). On the Refworks webpage (library.lincoln.ac.uk > resources > Refworks) at the top right-hand corner of the screen you will find a link to the Refworks Community, ideal for the inquisitive reference organiser where an assortment of videos is stored.



New book: Speed reading for dummies




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.


Where good ideas come from by Steven Johnson

Continuing my encouragement of learning about research skills in Higher Education, I came across this video through the Learning Development in Higher Education Network @ LDHEN@JISCMAIL.AC.UK via Sandra Sinfield from London Metropolitan University as part of a #Take 5 series about the best way of being creative. I found this 4 min RSA animation about how ideas are formulated entertaining, where Steven Johnson talks about the patterns he has discovered in his research into where good ideas come from. Basically, some ideas flow, others take a long time to mature, some wither on the vine.

There are some excellent discussions taking place via creativeHE community Creativity for Learning in HE course on Google+.


Online tutorial for business students: writing a lit. review

By signing up to JISCMAIL.AC.UK emails and perhaps most notably, The Business Librarians Association Mailing List @ LIS-BUSINESS@JISCMAIL.AC.UK, I find out lots of useful information, and sometimes stumble upon the  occasional nougat. Thursday was no exception. In collaboration with with lecturers from DCU business school, Jack Hyland (Business and Fiontar Librarian from the Dublin City University), has kindly created an online tutorial on writing a literature review for business Masters students.  Fortunately for us, it’s publicly available version and generously shared under a Creative Commons license (BY-NC-SA). I hope you find it interesting. It takes about thirty minutes to complete.