Category Archives: Databases

Resource of the Week: MediaPlus

It has been awhile but this week’s resource is MediaPlus.

MediaPlus is a collection over 100,000 videos, audio clips and still images that cover a variety of subjects: everything from archaeology and medicine to history, philosophy, music, drama and performing arts, media studies and the social sciences.

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Material on MediaPlus is freely available for use and can be downloaded, edited and shared. Just create a personal user account to start saving clips and creating playlists!

For example: Say you were researching the history of the steeplechase . A quick search brings up a number of options including this film dating from 1924 of steeplechases in nearby Eton.

Whether you just watch the film for some background to the sport or you take a screenshot to insert in your dissertation or you make a clip to show during a presentation- the possibilities with MediaPlus are endless!

Need guidance? Excellent YouTube tutorials are available that show:

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MediaPlus can be found on the Library Website under A-Z Databases.

For further guidance contact your Information Consultant.

Happy browsing!

Resource Of The Week: Digimap

digimap-rgbThis week’s resource is the wonderful Digimap.

We subscribe to 5 Digimap collections: Ordnance Survey, Historic, Geology, Environment and Marine.

To begin, you just need to visit the Digimap site and log in as shown in the video below (turn on subtitles for captions):

You will then need to register to use the collections. Details of how to do this can be found on Digimap’s support pages. you will need to read and accept the terms and conditions of each one.

Each collection has two options:

  1. Roam – this is the easiest option. With Roam, you can view, annotate, print and save maps.
  2. Download – if you need to download data to GIS or CAD.

Which collection you need to use will depend on what information you need from the map. For example, if you want to know the rock types in a certain area, you will need to use the Geology collection. If you want to know how a city developed in the 20th century, you would choose Historic. The best way to discover the differences is to have a go using the collections by trying a Roam search for Poole in each one.

Digimap has an excellent YouTube Channel, with videos to help you get started.

If you have any questions about using Digimap, please contact Emma Burnett.

Have fun using Digimap!

Resource of the Week: Naxos Spoken Word Library

This week’s Resource of the Week is Naxos Spoken Word Library.

This database is made up of 100s of audio books covering a wide range of areas such as fiction, history, business, drama and much more. You are able to browse by collection, author, recent additions or search for an author/title.

The audio books are available to stream online and many copies are available in abridged and unabridged versions. You can also save your place in the audio book by setting up boomarks.

There are also audio books available in French, German and Portuguese.Capture1

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Resource of the Week: London Low Life

This week the resource of the week is London Low Life.

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This is a fascinating resource which gives you an insight into life in London during the 18th, 19th and early 20th Century. Included in this resource are digital images of rare books, interactive maps, essays and online galleries.

Explore this resource and see London as you have never seen it before!

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Resource of the Week: KNOVEL

Resource of the Week is *insert drum roll here* Knovel!Knovel 1

It is totally the go-to resource for engineers, but it is also excellent for those studying biology, physics and computer science! This electronic resource provides technical information with specialised search tools and has three elements: an epic e-book collection, a nifty equation solver and a materials property database.

The e-books

Knovel’s e-books cover a wide range of subjects from biochemistry & biology to electronic engineering and nanotechnology. You can browse the different subjects we subscribe or search for items on a specific topic using the search box.

Its power lies in its ability to search the full text of books – so if you searched LibrarySearch for example, the search terms you entered will just be matched to title words or the subject headings, so you’d need to keep your searches simple and broad. With Knovel however, the search you put in will be matched with the content in the e-books, so you can be pretty specific and you’ll be taken straight to the part of the book it is on.

The equation solver

This is totally a hidden gem! You can find the equation solver under the ‘Tools’ heading at the top left hand side.

Knovel Equation solver

It contains hundreds of equation worksheets combined with browser-based calculation software with export capabilities. You can browse by subject and filter by keyword once you’ve picked a subject.

Data search

Data search allows you to search for property data of thousands of materials including metals and composites. You can find the link to the data search function under the search bar on Knovel’s homepage.Data search

You can search by material name, property name or both then manipulate the data easily. You can specify numerical values and/or ranges plus units of measurement. The results are usually presented in tabular or graphical form and some of the graphs are interactive, allowing you to manipulate the data further.

I find that it is really this search tool that make Knovel the bee’s knees of science e-resources!

For further help and guidance, don’t forget to check out Knovel’s own help pages and of course you can always contact your very own sciences librarian (me!) here: Leanne.workman@rhul.ac.uk

Resource of the Week: Web of Science

Web of Science (WoS) is a bibliographic database; that is, a database which shows what has been written on a topic, but does not necessarily provide you with full-text access. Despite the name, Web of Science (WoS) contains something for everybody. It includes the Science, Social Science, and Arts and Humanities subject areas. WoS cannot cover everything in such wide areas as those: in fact, it only covers about 5% of the journals published. However, it covers the core titles, the journals which are most cited in each field each year.

This makes it an excellent first choice for exploring a subject. You get to see what has appeared in the main journals for that subject area, and it does not include anything that will be too obscure or hard to find. For undergraduate work, this is ideal! Researchers have the further option to search for papers which cite the key papers on their topic, to see how the field has progressed.

SEARCHING

The search form is a single search bar, like Google and LibrarySearch. What WoS does, even better than Google, is help you make better, more relevant searches by clicking on “Add another field”. This option allows you to build a really clever search string using combining words such as AND to make your results more specific, or OR to broaden your results. (NOT is also very handy if you find you’re getting a lot of irrelevant results, e.g. you’re searching for AIDS the disease, but you’re finding a lot on hearing aids, using NOT hearing will exclude those irrelevant results!)

An example search using the above combining terms:

WOS Example search

Note the quotation marks around “United Kingdom”, which specifies that we only want those two words together as a phrase.

Notice in the black banner at the top that we are searching “Web of Science core collection” but there is an orange arrow by it. Clicking that gives the option to search other databases, in particular Biosis Previews, which lets you search the largest single life science database from 1969 to 2008. You can also choose “All databases” to search them all at the same time. This makes WoS the core resource for biologists.

When the results appear, the FindIt@RHUL tab appears underneath each result. Click on this and it will take you to a LibrarySearch page to see if we have access to the full-text.

REFINING YOUR SEARCH RESULTS

Below shows the results for the above example search terms. Looking at them, you may notice that they really do not seem to be that relevant to my search terms. You’ll notice at the top of the results there is a ‘Sort by’ option and it shows that these results have been ordered by the date they were published, not by relevance to my search terms:

WOS Search results

By clicking on the drop down button and selecting ‘Relevance’, the results now listed appear more relevant to my search terms:

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On the left hand side, you can refine your results further by searching for an additional keyword within these results. On the right hand side, you can see there is a ‘Times Cited’ option. This shows you who else has referenced this article and may lead you to find other useful articles on the same topic.

(You can even sort the results to show those articles cited the most times, but beware: they may may not necessarily be cited for the right reasons! Other researchers may have found a flaw in the author’s research!)

SAVING YOUR SEARCHES

You can create yourself a free account to save your searches and relevant results. You can also send the results to a Reference Management Tool such as EndNote Online, RefWorks or other similar tools.

You’ll notice that above the results, there is a “Save to EndNote online” option. This is because the owners of Web of Science also own EndNote(!), so do not be put off if you prefer another reference management tool! Click on the arrow beside this option and you will find more options to save your results.

This is very much a whistle-stop guide to Web of Science and its various functions! If you have any questions about WoS or want to learn more, please do contact us: library@rhul.ac.uk

Happy researching y’all!

Resource of the Week: Eighteenth Century Drama

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Eighteenth Century Drama is a new resource at RHUL and contains a vast amount of primary sources and information relating to the theatrical world in the 18th Century.

There are 3 main parts to Eighteenth Century Drama:

  • The Larpent Collection of plays – collection of 2,500 plays submitted for license between 1778-1824, and the diaries of Larpent’s wife and professional collaborator, Anna.
  • The London Stage, 1660-1800 – this section documents theatrical performances in 18th Century London, compiled from playbills, newspapers and theatrical diaries.
  • Bibliographical Dictionary – lists London performers, from well -known names to little known musicians and performers.

This is a brilliant resource that really gives you an insight into the theatrical world of the 18th Century.

Access this resource via our eResources A-Z page. Find out more about this resource and take a tour here.

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Resource of the week – Box of Broadcast

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Box of Broadcast (BoB): On Demand TV & Radio for Education

Our resource of the week this week is Box of Broadcasts (BoB).  BoB allows users to record items broadcast on over 65 free to air channels including BBC channels, ITV, Film 4, and 10 foreign language channels.

You can request up to 10 items a day to be recorded and added to BoB. The 9 most popular channels are listed first and programmes aired on these will be immediately recorded and added to BoB. If you would like programmes from other channels you can  request these within 30 dys of broadcast. You can also request programmes up to seven days in advance.

BoB is therefore a really good catch up service and there is no need for a TV license as the University has a license which allows students to access content via BoB.

BoB also has an archive of over 2 million broadcasts that date back to the 1990s, these include TV programmes, documentaries, films and radio broadcasts. You can also make your own playlists and create clips.

Access BoB via our eResources A-Z page.

Contact your subject librarian if you would like more information about this resource.

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Holocaust Memorial Day: the Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive

For Holocaust Memorial Day 2017, we would like to tell you about the USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive. This resource came about due to the film Schindler’s List, and its importance cannot be overstated.

The Shoah Archive contains 50,000 interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust. Interviews are approximately two and a half hours long and some are supplemented with photographs, documents, and artefacts pertaining to the interviewee’s family and wartime experiences. Interviews are in a wide range of languages.
Interviewees speak on the following topics:

  • Jewish Survivors
  • Rescuers and Aid Providers
  • Sinti and Roma Survivors
  • Liberators and Liberation Witnesses
  • Political Prisoners
  • Jehovah’s Witness Survivors
  • War Crimes Trials Participants
  • Survivors of Eugenics Policies
  • Homosexual Survivors

As well as Holocaust testimonies, the Archive also includes testimonies from the Armenian Genocide that coincided with World War I, the 1937 Nanjing Massacre in China, the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, the Guatemalan Genocide of 1978-1996 and the Cambodian Genocide of 1975-1979.

It’s a unique resource and researchers often come from far and wide to view the videos.

How do I use it?
This resource is only available on campus. There is a link on the Databases A-Z, under V, and once you’re on the site, you will need to create an account in order to log in, search, and view videos. Once on the website, you must register to create a personal username and password.

Searching the archive
Searching is easy, you can search on a topic, for a name, and use links in the videos to skip to particular sections relevant to your interests. The USC Shoah Foundation has a YouTube Channel with lots of information, but we’ve collected searching tips in this playlist.

Have you used the archive? Do you think it would be useful in your research? Contact library@rhul.ac.uk for more information, or leave a comment below.

Mass Observation Archive Online

The library now has access to the Mass Observation Archive online.

Mass Observation Archive Online is an online archive of British social history from 1937- 1972, with a focus on the World War Two period (1939-1945). The Mass Observation research project involved the scientific observation of public attitudes and opinions. Mass Observation online is an online archive of the original research documents created by the University of Sussex library. There is a large amount of help information available here.

Key features

  • File reports on a range of subject areas (1937-1972)
  • Day Surveys and Diaries recording every-day experiences and opinions of the general public (1937-1945)
  • Directives recording opinions of the general public on pre-determined research topics (1939-1945)
  • Books and Essays published by the Mass Observation project
  • Other personal papers collected by the Mass Observation research project

Subjects who might find this useful

  • History
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Sociology
  • Criminology
  • Media Arts
  • Geography

To read about using the physical archive you can view this post by one of our librarians who used it in her MA.