New Business School Library website

It’s hot off the web press – the all-new Business School website for Library resources.  It includes many illuminating sections on recommended books, journals and websites, as well as new helpguides.  This site replaces the old subject pages formerly located on the Portal.

We are always interested in your feedback so there is an interactive poll located on the homepage – feel free to comment!

Tourism Help Guide

An updated guide to help you locate useful tourism information including local statistics and web specific information.

Finding Information for Tourism 12 13

Euromonitor International – Passport GMID is now live!

The Library has recently upgraded Euromonitor International to the Passport GMID version, which means you can access daily industry news, select relevant articles and analyse the latest business and marketing information. You are also able to access all the daily country and consumer articles and detailed reports by accessing any of the homepages within the countries and consumers tab.  A useful feature is to compare various products in a number of countries, and choosing factors like currencies, exchange rates, and year-on-year growth (%). Such data would greatly enhance your marketing research.

There are a variety of help videos available to enhance your understanding of GMID .

If you need any support in using this database then please email: businesslibrarian@lincoln.ac.uk

Passport GMID User Guide

Book of the Month: Stephen Bailey’s Academic Writing for International Students of Business (2011)

For international students, it’s sometimes hard to understand UK academic culture when beginning their studies.  October’s Book of the Month, Stephen Bailey’s Academic writing for international students of business (2011) proposes a logical framework from which to draw success from academia. Often the simplest methods are the most successful. Indeed, there are formulas available for anyone willing to incorporate them into their personal writing style, such as identifying problems and finding solutions (problem > solution A > arguments against solution A > solutions B and C….).  Acquiring these easy solutions that are liberally peppered throughout the book, would not only help international students, but boost UK students (and staff) writing styles too.

For instance, I found the section on organising paragraphs the most useful, whilst earlier chapters seemed light and too practise-centred, but that, as they say, is all in the design, structurally planned to hook the reader into digesting the entire book.  Organising paragraphs into topic sentence > example 1 > Example 2 > might sound mechanical, too formulaic, un-natural even, but it’s a good beginners technique; building blocks on which to build more sophisticated techniques later on.  Dealing with a single topic, constructing a paragraph of no less than for or five sentences, understanding the visual appeal of a well-determined structure, offering the first sentence as introducing the topic, while adding definitions, examples, information, reasons, restatements and summaries; guiding the reader through clearly presented arguments, are keys to unlock your academic potential.

Planning and precise note-taking is central to organising an effective, clearly presented essay. Having the patience and dedication to craft this technique no doubt becomes easier with practise.  Take the art of summarising a topic by drawing an idea-packed mindmap or spider-gram, cohesively linking key ideas together into a readable structure, makes writing effective. Likewise, organising an argument around defining potential drawbacks > benefits > discussion > economic > ethical > social > discussion is another useful formula. Creating balance of impersonal phrases (‘it is widely accepted that’) versus minority viewpoint (‘some people believe that’), adding counter-arguments and your personal position without sounding too subjective, to add colour and interest weaves depth into an academic critique.

If you would like to read more, and perhaps develop your academic writing, then copies are available at 808.06665 bai on the second floor of the GCW. The Library has a large established, and perhaps under-used, collection of essay writing on the second floor (808 on the second floor). I certainly have benefitted from occasionally using the collection and appreciate it as a rich source of guidance, both for myself (well, you be the judge!) and supporting students in their studies. To develop your creative writing beyond Bailey’s book, then I would recommend Fairfax and Moat’s marvellous The Way to Write (1981), a beginners guide to good writing skills found at 808.066 fai. For an entertaining read,  the great Keith Waterhouse’s Waterhouse on Newspaper Style  is well worth reading for an insight into British journalism. There are plenty of other invaluable books in the academic writing section to expand your writing skills, like Derek Soles ‘The Academic Essay’  available at 808.066 sol.

 

Finding Business information help guide

Finding Information for Business 12-13

This updated Business guide includes all the major resources at The University of Lincoln, referring in particular to the new Library website found at http://library.lincoln.ac.uk. We are currently upgrading all our help guides for the Business School to incorporate the changes listed in an earlier blog post called ‘What’s new in the Library‘.

What’s new in the Library?

What’s New in the Library

This is a short PowerPoint presentation about the summer developments in the Library, including the new Learning Development room, a new Library search engine, extra study spaces and speedier PCs, et al.

How to locate databases on the new Library website

By way of explanation, I’ve produced a step-by-step guide on how to find resources, such as business databases, on the new Library website. It’s a slightly different approach than last academic year, but it is easy to use and should enhance your research.

Simply go to the website address at:

http://library.lincoln.ac.uk/

On the right hand side of the screen you will see ‘Find it at Lincoln’

Within this box you can either search for research material such as journal articles and books, or just search the library catalogue (just tick the box underneath the search box). If you want to search specific resources then select ‘more resources’ below the search box. On the left hand side of the screen you will see ‘Resources’:

 

 

 

From the Resources section you will be able to search for a journal title (via the electronic journals a-z) or investigate databases, such as FAME or Mintel, by following the relevant links.

Welcome from your Academic Subject Librarians

This short introductory video of Martin Osborne and Daren Mansfield, Academic Subject Librarians for the Business School, took an incredible 18 takes to complete – which is the reason why we’re celebrating at the end! You may have to raise the volume on your computer…

Herzlich willkommen!

It was very good to meet several German students from the distance learning centre at Hamburg for a library induction yesterday.  They are studying in Lincoln for two weeks only, with another cohort arriving at the end of the month.

As Academic Subject Librarians for the Business School, Martin Osborne (on the left) and myself, Daren Mansfield (the other chap), wish you Viel Glück on your course!

Book of the Month: Easy Peasy Chinese: Mandarin Chinese for beginners

Since leaving school many years ago, embarking on several languages other than my native English tongue is an occasional hobby, ranging from Spanish, Greek, Polish and Turkish, but all have been carried out with the same predictable short-term enthusiasm and lack of commitment.  So, what caught my eye this month from selecting August’s Book of the Month was the hugely optimistic title: Easy Peasy Chinese: Mandarin Chinese for beginners (2007) by Dorling Kindersley, as though learning a language which is so different than English, is as easy as a walk in the park, or perhaps a pleasant afternoon spent in Beijing’s Shisanling National Park. You might be surprised by this colourfully illustrated book, which is accompanied by a jaunty CD that you’ll have to play several times to get a sense of this language. The trick, if there is one, is to pay attention to the CD and refer to the book without being distracted. If you’re learning a language whilst driving the car then it’s easy to drift off, and you’ve jumped from learning simple tones to the 43rd track bartering for fish at a Chinese market! Without pressing pause and replaying CD tracks it’s easy to skip some key learning. It’s also advisable to borrow other Mandarin Chinese books to support the CD, such a phrasebook listing days of the week, numbers and so forth. If you’d like to start learning Mandarin Chinese as I am trying to, then the book is located at  495.18 eas on the first floor of the Library. 祝你好運 (zhù nǐ háoyùn) – good luck in Mandarin Chinese!

Welcome back Helen!

We are delighted that Helen Williams has returned to work after her maternity leave following the birth of her daughter, Orla, and we thank Cheryl Cliffe for her stirling work while covering her role in the interim.

Helen supports the subjects of Law, IMDP, the work-based programmes and HRM.

She is currently entrenched with emails, and is looking forward to the busy induction period.

Book of the month: Gary Bradt’s Ring in the Rubble (2007)

Change can appear dark at times but if we  look at things differently, we may be able to gain light from another perspective. July’s elected Book of the Month, Ring in the Rubble, a management ebook that borders on a self-help guide for business people, starts with a moving account of the author’s son life-threatening birth, and how a golden ring can be found in the midst of when things fall apart; even when you see your life turning to rubble around you.  Gary Bradt’s Ring in the Rubble (2007)  is about discovering opportunities that lie within every situation and overcoming the fear of failure. An intrepid CEO echoes this Tolkien philosophy to her staff:

Folks, government regulations, shifting technologies, industry consolidation, and geopolitical uncertainties have reduced our best-laid business plans to rubble. However, my experience says that buried within the rubble is a golden ring of opportunity. Finding it will catapult us far ahead of our competition. I believe it’s our job as leaders and as an organization to find that ring. So, how do you recommend we proceed? (Bradt, 2007: 5)

A traditional management response might be to benchmark organizations, develop a list of competencies, design a training programme and invite attendees.  Yet the choice is stark.  According to Bradt (2007) to not search for the ring is certain failure in a ‘go for it’ culture , but to aggressively search for the ring is to win. Capitalism turned hunt-game. Not for the faint-hearted or skeptics.

The underlying premise of The Ring in the Rubble applies to your personal life as well, whether you’re ‘facing a new marriage, divorce, birth, death, or illness, it’s not the change itself that dictates the results we get, it’s how we perceive and handle that change that makes all the difference’ (Bradt, 2007: 7). How we face disruption and cope with a mounting workload effectively styles the type of manager you are, and this book challenges the reader to bravely examine established self-perceptions.

The non-solipsistic mantra of chapter 6 appealed to me: ‘Repeat after me: You are not the center of the universe’.  Forfeit the ego….if only! Another illuminating chapter (chap. 8) is ‘What to do when the rubble is deep, your patience is short,  and the odds are long’  starts with the author’s brother Jeff buying a new home and finding a solitary woman in a house full of paint, caulk and junk in every room: 

“Do you mean to tell me that you’re cleaning the whole house by yourself?” he asked her incredulously. “No,” she replied blithely, “I’m only cleaning the room I’m in.” This woman clearly had developed a strategy for dealing with what I call our Everyday Rubble’. (Bradt, 2007: 104). Concentrate upon one job at a time, taking one step at a time.  It might be my ignorance of management theory and Buddhism, but the book may be simply re-packaging mindfulness into the business world, a zen philosophy contemporarily taught by Thich Nhat Hanh. Bradt (2007: 104) explains that to tackle everyday disruption equates with success:

Everyday Rubble accumulates from all of the small yet typical disruptions in our perfectly planned days. Traffic jams, cancelled flights, unexpected meetings, client crises, bulging workloads beyond the norm, unexpected days with no babysitter—all sorts of things can contribute to our pile of Everyday Rubble.

Rethinking failure as something which should not avoided, not to entertain risk avoidance, over-turning the aspiration to acquire top grades, and recognising that the fear of failure holds us back, is a refreshingly bold concept. Is this an anti-scientific method? Children just try things without fear of failure or embarrassment. It’s just learning. Thomas Edison tried thousands of times before he perfected the light bulb.  Bradt (2007: 116) views risk avoidance as nonsensical:

We don’t share ideas in meetings for fear of sounding stupid; we don’t float that new product idea for fear it will be rejected; we won’t even order new items on the menu at lunch for fear of being disappointed! That critical inner voice in our heads holds us back from trying anything new where failure is a possibility.

Being yourself is something which we could all learn from, and not taking yourself too seriously in the process. If you would like to read further, just search the catalogue for Ring in the Rubble and ‘log into ebook here’ near the bottom of the screen.