Category Archives: Research

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.

MediaPlus

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:

MediaPlus2

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

For further guidance contact your Information Consultant.

Happy browsing!

Promoting your research using Google Scholar for your own citations

Google Scholar

My Citations is a  feature which provides a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, create graphs of your citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it appears in Google Scholar results when people search for your name .

"Bibliography" by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.
“Bibliography” by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.

It is very quick to set up and simple to maintain – even if you have written hundreds of articles, and even if your name is shared by several different scholars. You can add groups of related articles, not just one article at a time; and your citation metrics are computed and updated automatically as Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. You can even choose to have your list of articles updated automatically – but you can also choose to review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles at any time.

First, create a regular Google account, or sign in to the one you already have. It is a good idea to use a personal account, not your university account, so that you can keep your profile for as long as you wish, even if you change jobs.

1. Once you’ve signed in to your Google account go to Google Scholar, select the link to My Citations. There are three stages to complete.

The Citations sign up form will ask you to confirm the spelling of your name, and to enter your affiliation, interests, etc. We recommend that you also enter your university email address, because that would make your profile eligible for inclusion in Google Scholar search results.

 

2. On the next page, you’ll see groups of articles written by people with names similar to yours.
Click “Add all articles” next to each article group that is yours, or “See all articles” to add specific articles from that group. I
f you don’t see your articles in these groups, click “Search articles” to do a regular Google Scholar search, and then add your articles one at a time.
3. Once you’re finished adding articles, you will be asked what to do when the article data changes in Google Scholar. You can either have the updates applied to your profile automatically, or you can choose to review them beforehand. In either case, you can always go to your profile and make changes by hand.
Finally, you will see your profile. This is a good time to make a few finishing touches – upload your professional looking photo, visit your email inbox and click on the verification link, double check the list of articles, and, once you’re completely satisfied, make your profile public.
5. Once your profile is public you can be searched for by name. Your profile will display the articles which have been collected by Google Scholar, the number of citations they have received (citations indices), and a map of your H-index.

You can also search for others by name, or by name of institution or place in the My citations screen: (NB note also the My Citations – Help feature). Run a search on ‘Royal Holloway’ (or any other institution) and see who else has registered on My Citations.

If you notice some of your articles are not in your Google Citations profile, you can sign in to your Citations profile, and select ‘Add” option from the pull down Actions menu. Search for your articles using titles, keywords, or your name. To add one article at a time, click ‘Search articles’ and then ‘Add article’ next to the article you wish to add. Your citation metrics will update immediately.

If your search doesn’t find the right article, click ‘Add Article manually’. Then, type in the title, authors etc and click ‘Save. (NB Citations to manually added articles may not appear in your profile for a while).

Helen

Getting better search results

We just received an email on narrowing down search results – “I’m searching for books on the idea of performance but I always get thousands of results which are based around performance meaning how well something is performing such as a business etc. Do you have any suggestions for how I can search for more relevant materials?”

So I thought it might be useful to put the answer into a blog post – as we’ve all been there.

Things to Try to get better search results

1. Change your keywords.

If your search for ‘performance’ brings back unrelated items, try changing what you search for. Synonyms might include ‘drama’, ‘theatre’, ‘performing arts’ etc.

Try adding more keywords e.g. ‘audience participation’, or a particular theorist, theory or performer you’re interested in.

LibrarySearch and other databases have list of subject headings – click on these to find more examples of keywords.

moreoptions
Where to find the subject headings in LibarySearch

 

Select the headings which are relevant, and choose the checkbox to include or exclude them from your search.
Select the headings which are relevant, and choose the checkbox to include or exclude them from your search.

2. Combine your keywords.

Databases will accept certain combinations of words and use them to make your search more effective.

3. Change the database.

LibrarySearch is pretty general – if you’re after items on a particular subject, go to your subject guide and try the Finding E-resources link for a list of more specific databases.

4. Who’s cited what?

When you finish a recommended article, or book, go to the back and take a look at what they referenced when writing it – then look these up and carry on!

You can also use Google Scholar to see who’s cited the article or book you’re reading now – and see what they said on the topic.

Look for the ‘Cited by’ part, and click it to get information on other articles and books.

Click 'Cited By' to see other articles which reference this one above.
Click ‘Cited By’ to see other articles which reference this one above.

Try LibrarySearch to get hold of articles or books, and if it’s not there, don’t panic – we can get it!

5. Ask your Librarian!

Whether it’s a presentation or PhD thesis, you can always arrange a meeting with your librarian to go through the subject and searching with you, so don’t be afraid to ask.

Spring Term Library Workshops

Happy New Term! And with it comes new training workshops from the Library.

Last year, in the Autumn Term we saw 6547 students – that’s equivalent to all of the students in the Arts and Sciences faculties put together!

We’ve had some really nice and positive feedback on our sessions too…


 

[I] would definitely like to attend more of these workshops after attending this one

[The Librarian] who gave the workshop was very articulate, concise and knowledgeable.

this course showed me how to navigate [the Library website] efficiently to get to the parts that I need.

I thought everything we covered was of use.


But that’s not all – we’re always looking to  improve the workshops, so we’re keen to hear suggestions for more sessions, or changes we can make too.


I would be interested in attending a workshop on the more advanced features of EndNote.


So the workshops are great, but what’s on offer this term? All of our training can be found on the Training page of your subject guide, and you will need to register to attend (but this is free and easy to do – email us if you have any trouble).

Working on a dissertation or essay? Come to our Search Our Stuff and Find It Faster workshops on 17th and 26th February and practice search techniques.

New to referencing and bibliographies? RefWorks is a great resource for undergraduates, and EndNote is a powerful postgraduate referencing tool – come along on 28th January or 5th February to find out more. And if you’re already using RefWorks, but have questions, come to our Question and answer session on 11th March.
If you’ve only got half an hour to spare, or think RefWorks and EndNote aren’t for you, come to Bedford Library on 3rd March and get acquainted with free Zotero referencing. Researchers might find our half hour session on social referencing site Mendeley useful too.

Every Tuesday throughout Spring Term, Bedford Library room 2-03 hosts our Bitesize, subject specific workshops.

Something missing? Send an email to library@rhul.ac.uk and request a session!

What is the USC Shoah Archive?

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute’s Visual History Archive contains 50,000 digitized 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 artifacts pertaining to the interviewee’s family and wartime experiences.

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

In April 2013, the Visual History Archive expanded to include a collection of 65 audiovisual testimonies of survivors and witnesses of the 1994 Rwandan Tutsi genocide. Conducted in two countries (U.S.A. and Rwanda), and two languages (English and Kinyarwanda), this initial collection of 65 Rwandan testimonies was accomplished in collaboration with Aegis Trust and the Kigali Genocide Memorial.

In February 2014, 12 audiovisual testimonies of survivors of the 1937-38 Nanjing Massacre were integrated into the VHA. These testimonies are in Mandarin and were conducted in Nanjing, China through a partnership with the Nanjing Massacre Memorial Hall.

It’s a unique resource, and Royal Holloway Library is the only place in the UK with access to the collection – which means that researchers often come from far and wide to view the videos.

How do I use it?

There is a link on the Databases A-Z, under U, and once you’re on the site, you will need to create an account in order to log in, search, and view videos.

  1. Follow the link to the website
    • If on-campus, no login is needed to access the website
    • If off-campus, you will need to sign in with your Royal Holloway computer username and password
  2. Once on the website, you must register to create a personal username and password
  3. Due to high bandwidth, videos to be viewed must be downloaded to Royal Holloway’s servers rather than viewed directly from USC website.
    • Some videos already downloaded and available for immediate viewing; just click on the videos marked “Viewable now” to watch
    • Others must be requested for download. Because our server space is limited, students must get tutor’s permission before requesting a download.
  4. Once requested, the video will be added to Royal Holloway’s servers and will be available to view after 12-48 hours. Videos can only be viewed on campus, but you are able to log in and make a request for a video to be downloaded from any off-campus PC.

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.

Shut Up and Write 2014

After last year’s popular Shut Up and Write sessions for Postgraduate Researchers, we’re running the same programme this year, and we’d love to see you there.

It’s a pretty simple concept.. you turn up, you sit down, you write.. Then afterwards you get the chance to meet other PG students and staff in your own dedicated space.

It’s a great chance to crack on with some work, and then chat to those in a similiar situation.

Booking is essential as spaces are limited.

Monday September 15, 2014 from 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM in the Archives Reading Room (Founder’s Library)

Tuesday October 14, 2014 from 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM in the Archives Reading Room (Founder’s Library)

Monday November 17, 2014 from 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM in the Archives Reading Room (Founder’s Library)

Tuesday December 9, 2014 from 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM in the Archives Reading Room (Founder’s Library)

Tuesday January 20, 2015 from 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM in the Archives Reading Room (Founder’s Library)

Tuesday February 17, 2015 from 1:45 PM to 4:30 PM in the Archives Reading Room (Founder’s Library)

This year we’re thinking about adding another date to the schedule for a new Shut Up and Cite workshop – dealing with all of your referencing worries. If you’re interested comment below, and we’ll keep you posted!

As ever, if you’ve got a subject enquiry, contact library@royalholloway.ac.uk to contact your Information Consultant.

Research Support from the Royal Holloway Library

The Royal Holloway Library website offers an extensive number of pages to support doctoral and post-doctoral students with their research needs. A novice doctoral student should start from the main research support page, where the content is divided into four categories:

  1. Open Access
  2. Research Data
  3. Copyright
  4. Other resources

main

Open Access

The term open access refers to digital, free of cost and free of most copyright restrictions content made available online, provided that an internet connection is available. There are two routes to open access; the open access journals and the repositories. Open access has many benefits for doctoral students, both when they search for research results as readers and when they are the authors of research outputs as well. More information regarding these benefits and the general concept of open access can be found on the open access main page.

The past five years many funders worldwide adopt open access policies. In the UK the Research Councils UK (RCUK) have introduced almost a year ago their open access policy, demanding the open accessibility of all research results emerging from RCUK –funded projects. Doctoral students, whose studies are funded by the RCUK need to comply with the policy’s terms. Further information on the RCUK policy and how doctoral and post-doctoral students can comply with the policy is found here.

In the UK the concept of open access is gaining gradually support from all major research funders. This past March, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) that organizes the Research Excellence Frameworks (REF), a system that assesses the quality of research in the UK, has introduced its own open access policy. Although this policy does not affect doctoral students during their studies, it will influence the way they publish and disseminate their research results in the future, provided they follow an academic career. The Open Access Team in the library has created guides to assist academics to comply with the forthcoming REF assessment.

Open Access to Thesis

Royal Holloway supports open access and recognizes the benefits it has to doctoral students. For that reason, on 2010 the College introduced a policy requesting from all doctoral students to deposit an electronic version of their doctoral thesis to the College’s research information management system, Pure.

Research Data

We are currently working on redesigning our support pages on research data management. The pages will include advice on the best practice in planning for data collection, safe data storage and sharing, and publishing data after project completion. At the moment, check the research data page for general information on data management, College’s work in this area and the external training available. In addition to the web information, we are also planning for training sessions on data management for the next term – so please follow the updates to find out more on the upcoming events!

Copyright and Licenses

Knowledge on copyright is very important for doctoral students, both because they will often use work owned by someone else, but also because they will have to be able to protect their own work. Students can find information regarding copyright in two sections in the library website. A general page on copyright, which provides the basics on the topic and relates mostly to teaching support, can be found here.

The page Copyright and Licenses, under the Research Support section of the website, can be of interest to those who would like to know more about the publisher’s copyright transferring agreements, Creative Commons licenses, and helpful tools that one can use to comply with funders’ open access policies.

Other resources

In this section you can find out about the available research support related training sessions offered by the library. We have also mapped some important classmarks to point you books and other material relating to research support.

Contact Us

At the Library we love to answer questions and we are here to help you as much as we can. For questions relating to research support please email us at openaccess@royalholloway.ac.uk. Also, do not forget to check our Open Access FAQs page.

Using Reddit for research

Psychology Phd Student Hannah Bowers has kindly shared her experience of using Reddit for research.

I initially used reddit to recruit people with IBS for an online questionnaire about emotion processing and had a really positive response. I ended up with over 280 respondents, at least 93 of which were from reddit. I found posting on the ibs ‘subreddit’ the most successful, despite it being a quieter subreddit. Popular pages like r/health and r/samplesize tend to get a lot of posts, which means yours can get buried. r/ibs however has relatively few posts, yet still an audience of around 1,800. This means whenever you post, it jumps straight to the top of the page and into every subscribers ‘front page’. This combined with the very specific target audience, is why I think it was so successful.
reddit 1

Using reddit meant users could comment on my recruitment post, and I could see positive and negative reactions to my research, both of which gave me a really great insight into why people were or weren’t taking part.

When recruiting, many redditors asked for me to share my results. When I did, this was met with a few people who felt my findings perpetuated the idea that IBS is ‘all in the head’, despite my efforts to make it clear this isn’t what I was suggesting. This really helped me as a researcher to understand the kind of stigma people with IBS face and it allowed me to open up a dialogue, which then informed how I disseminated my findings to other populations with IBS.
reddit 2.jpg

Overall my experience with reddit has been great, and I would recommend it to all researchers (so long as you have a thick skin).

Library Sessions for PGR students

by neil conway on Flickr.

Library sessions for PGR students will run from 19th June until 7th August from 2-4 every Thursday in the Tea House (in the Foyer of Bedford Library). They will be quite informal with plenty of opportunity for questions and participants to exchange ideas.

Tea, Coffee and cake will be provided and if you have children they are welcome to come (we will have some colouring crayons and paper available) – please email libraryliaison@rhul.ac.uk if you are bringing children.

Booking is currently open for the first three sessions. We will be opening booking for the following 5 once we have confirmed speakers and dates.

Please check our training page for information about booking the later sessions.

Focus on an Archive Researcher: Eve Smith

 

Eve Smith is a first year doctoral candidate in the Drama and Theatre department.

Roy Waters as a young manAbove: Roy Waters as a Young Man

Since August I have spent a lot of time sat in a room on the third floor of The Founder’s Building, looking out over the quad and listening to the clock chime the hours away. This room houses the archives of RHUL. It is due to one of the collections within the archive that I received a place to study for a Collaborative Doctoral Award with the Drama and Theatre Department and the Victoria and Albert Museum in January 2013. This collection is called the Roy Waters Theatre Collection and helped to inspire my PhD which is concerned with collectors of theatrical ephemera and the private and public spaces occupied by the collection. The Roy Waters Theatre Collection is a result of Roy’s collecting over a period of forty years. It contains an enormous number of objects related to the theatre such as playbills, posters, autograph letters and photographs, with a particular emphasis on ephemera concerning Oscar Wilde and Noël Coward. The notion that the archive is solely a resource for history students is a great misconception: the breadth and wealth of information contained in the Roy Waters Theatre Collection is an invaluable source for any drama student at RHUL. Indeed, the archives also contain Gay Sweatshop Theatre Company collections and RedShift Theatre Company collections amongst others. Similarly, Blythe House in West Kensington holds the theatre and performance archives for the V&A and is another fantastic archival resource for drama students that I often use.

At this point in my studies, I am more interested in who the collector is, and the motivations for collecting theatrical ephemera rather than the actual content of the collection itself. Since the summer, therefore, I have been working on the personal papers contained within Roy’s collection. Eighty boxes hold Roy’s old bank statements, family trees, diary entries and personal photographs. I have found this research absolutely fascinating and, at times, very amusing (Roy’s diaries and newsletters demonstrate his wonderful way with words and his weakness for gossip!) Roy died in 2010 and it is a privilege to be able to read through the personal papers of a man who, unfortunately, I never had the opportunity to meet. I am now aware of intimate details concerning Roy’s health, his friendships, his daily routine and, vitally, his motivations for collecting. Working with such collections in the archive, and particularly handling such objects, allows the researcher to feel a surprisingly strong connection to the past and develop a genuine relationship with the person behind the collection. This in-depth exploration of Roy has greatly enriched my own research on collections and collectors and I genuinely look forward to going up to the archive to see what I will discover next.

The scale of a collection can be daunting. Roy’s collection is very large. The material housed in just the very first box of Roy’s personal papers is so dense that I sometimes doubt I’ll ever get through all eighty of them! It is therefore incredibly useful to have a defined purpose or research question in mind when accessing the collections. Without this there is the real possibility of spending hours and hours looking through beautiful objects or reading hundreds of diary entries without any clear idea of what it is you hope to discover. Although this makes for a pleasant afternoon, you may come away with little idea of how this has impacted upon or benefited your research. It is also really important to access the online catalogue for the collections before you start work in the archives. The catalogues contain hugely detailed descriptions of the boxes within the collection and the contents found within them. This is a fantastic way to hone in on the specific objects that may be valuable to your work as well as providing a more general overview of the contents of a particular collection.

The romantic image of the dusty, silent archive may not be entirely accurate but there is something rather special about opening up a box and untying the cream ribbon from the individual folders to explore what is housed inside. I think that this is where the appeal of the archive really lies: the possibility of discovering something that has the potential to hugely inform, enrich, and even subvert your research. Whatever your subject area or research topic, the archive is an invaluable resource. Start by exploring the catalogues online to see what the collections at RHUL contain: you never know what treasures you may stumble upon.

 

You can find out more about our Roy Waters Theatre Collection in this online exhibition.