Tag Archives: Dissertation

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!

Library loves…Dissertations

April is the final push to many dissertation deadlines, and we know that this is a very busy time. For those of you finishing, or even for those of you just starting, this month is about all things dissertation (not forgetting projects and portfolios too!).

Here’s a list of things the library can help with:

  • More Books: if you need a book, just fill in the book suggestions form. In the Autumn Term we bought over 100 individual titles based on your requests, and it’s never too late to ask.


  • Visiting other libraries: if you want to borrow/visit another UK university Library, SCONUL is a great national scheme that allows you to do so for free. Fill in the online form, and take your approval email with your RHUL RCS card to other libraries taking part in the scheme and you’re in!
  • Inter-Library Loan: did you know you can request to borrow books, journals, journal articles, even doctoral theses from other libraries? There’s lots of information here, and if you’re after something in particular, this can be great.
  • Referencing and bibliographies: referencing is important, but it can be time-consuming. We know you’d rather spend that time reading up and writing, so don’t forget that the Library can help with referencing styles and referencing tools – in fact, we’ve a whole guide dedicated to it! Keep watching the blog for in depth information on the different tools available so you can choose the best one for you and your dissertation.


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


  • Opening hours: Bedford Library is already open 24/5 (8.30 Sunday – 21.00 Friday, 8.30 – 21.00 Saturday) but from Sunday 20th April to Friday 30th May the library will be open 24/7. This is a very busy time for us, so please take care of the space, and yourselves: keep things clean, free up study spaces for others if you don’t need them, keep the noise down, and remember to go home from time to time!
  • Space to Study: if you’re looking for another place to study on campus, be sure to check the Space to Study webpages. We’ve teamed up with departments across campus to free up more study space you can use when inspiration strikes, and the list will continue to grow!
  • Your Librarians: every subject has its own librarian, and our job is to help you find information, get hold of the right books and journals, and help you with those tricky bibliographies. Drop us an email, or pop into Bedford Library for a chat – it’s what we’re here for!

And finally – don’t forget that there’s another department dedicated to helping you write the best essays and build the best study skills. Visit the Academic Support webpages for access to the online skills4studycampus course, help with time management, essay structure, and much more.

Follow the #librarylovesdissertations hashtag and click on librarylovesdissertations tagcloud on the blog for further updates.

Best of luck!

Top 5 tips for getting ahead with your Dissertation this summer

1. Master search techniques

Plan your search strategy at the start and you will be able to find lots of relevant resources which will save you time in the long run.

  • What exactly is the topic you are searching for?
  • What are the main concepts or keywords for your topic?
  • Are there any similar words that describe each of these concepts?
  • How might you combine these keywords together to search? 
  • Use tricks like Wildcards and Truncation to search effectively. There is more information on this here.  
  • Look at the Cited by and Cited references for what you have found – save time by using the references in good research to find more good research. 

There is lots of help in the Library Space on Moodle about this.

This video shows you how to Search Smarter and Search Faster:

 2. Evaluate your resources

You have mastered your search techniques but you now you need to think whether your results are good enough. This presentation will give you some guidance in how to evaluate information.


3. Check Senate House

You have access to all the eresources provided by Senate House Library along with those provide by RHUL. You need to register but this is easy to do and instructions are here.

You can search through their websites or you can connect to Senate House through Google Scholar. There is more information on this in this post.

4. Use the library

The library is your best friend at dissertation time. You can come in or use our virtual enquiry services to ask questions. Keep an eye on the Blog and Moodle for new training being offered. But most importantly use the Library Subject pages to find out which resources are best for your subject.

5. Manage your references and Get organised

Managing your references using RefWorks

RefWorks is an online bibliographic management program which enables you to capture, save and organize references into your own personal database. As a member of RHUL you can access it via the library homepage link to E-resources A-Z. It enables you to:


     Capture and save references generated from online databases

     Automatically generate a bibliography in your document

     Insert citations directly into your research (i.e. word document)

     Format your references in a wide range of citation styles


RefWorks includes a comprehensive set of online self-help tutorials, or you may wish to sign up for the one of the RefWorks sessions that the Library regularly runs or try the self-study start up guide:


Use tools like Evernote and Dropbox to organise your notes.

Getting Started Videos from the British Library

Have you used the British Library? If you haven’t but are interested in going there and (to quote them) exploring the world’s knowledge these videos will give you tips before you go (so it is a little less scary).

It is a great resource for researchers, staff and dissertation students.

1. Registering with the library

2. Using the Reading Rooms 

There are a few rules about using them so this is a great video so you know what to do before you go.

3. Exploring the Collections – Researcher

4. Exploring the Collections – Designer

Even if you don’t want to use it I’d recommend visiting the permanent Treasures of the British Library exhibition (see Jane Austen’s writing desk, The Magna Carta and Gutenberg Bible or any of their temporary ones.