Tag Archives: keeping up to date

End of term tips: Borrowing books over the Winter break

Don’t forget! The Library’s opening hours will change over the Winter break:

Monday 16th December until Monday 23rd December 2013

Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

Tuesday 24th December 2013 until Wednesday 1st January 2014 inclusive

Both libraries are closed.

Thursday 2nd January until Sunday 5th January

Thursday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday & Sunday CLOSED

Monday 6th January until Sunday 12th January 2014

Monday – Friday 09:00 – 17:00
Saturday & Sunday 08:30 – 21:00

How long can you borrow books for?

If you want to borrow books over the holidays, our loan periods will be changing and – good news! – you can borrow books for longer! Just remember to bring them back, and you can always check your account online while we’re away for Christmas.

Undergraduate normal loansIssued from Fri. 6th December due by Fri. 17th January 2014
Postgraduate normal loansIssued for six weeks from date of loan
One week loansIssued from Sat. 7th December due by Thurs. 16th January 2014
Three day loansIssued from Wed. 11th December due by Wed. 15th January 2014
Staff journalsIssued from Fri. 20th December due by Thurs. 2nd January 2014
Postgraduate journalsIssued from 15.30 Fri. 20th December due by 11.00 Thurs. 2nd January 2014
Rolling loans & Music A/V – Undergraduates, Postgraduates & StaffIssued from Fri. 20th December due on Thurs. 2nd Jan. 2014
Short loans (Advanced Booking Items)Issued from 9.00 on Fri. 13th December due by 16.00 on Tues.14th January 2014

Setting up a ProQuest Account

  1. Go to the E-Resources A-Z list: http://eresources.rhul.ac.uk/kb/Main_Page
  2. Go to any of these ProQuest databases: ProQuest Historical Newspapers, ProQuest Entrepreneurship, British Periodicals, FIAF International Index to Film Periodicals, Guardian and Observer, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, John Johnson Collection, Literature Online (LION), New York Times, Periodicals Archive Online, PRISMA: Publicaciones y Revistas Sociales y Humanísticas (via Senate House)
  3. On the home page click the My Research (or on some databases My Archive) link
  4. On the log-in page click on the Create a My Research account link. This will take you to a registration page. You will need to enter a username and password and an email address to register. Once you have done this an email will be sent to you with a link which you will need to follow to confirm registration. Once you have registered you can sign in each time you visit the site to access your personal account and searches.

Note:  If you have not logged into ProQuest through your institution for a period of 76 days, you will be notified by email that your My Research account will become inactive after 90 days.

RSS Feeds

What are RSS feeds?

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary. An RSS feed is a way for you to receive updates to different websites without having to visit them. You can also use RSS feeds to publicise information about your own work.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU


How do they help me, as a reader?
  • Save time
  • Keep Up to date
  • Everything is in one place

 

You will know if a page has an RSS feed as you will see a button (usually orange) similar to these:RSS logoRSS iconRSS XML icon

Clicking on one of those orange symbols will give you the URL (web address) for the RSS feed.


So how do I get started?
  • To receive a single feed by e-mail: look out for a “subscribe by e-mail” link on the website you want to watch.
  • To watch a handful of feeds you could create a start using an aggregator such as Google ReaderNewsGator’s suite of readers (including one for smart phones),Feedreader and FeedPixel.com.
How do I find RSS feeds that I want to look at?
  • Check if websites/online journals you use a lot have RSS feeds (look out for the orange logos).
  • Collect RSS feeds as you find them.
  • Search an RSS directory. You may find that your feed reader has its own directory, or you can do an Internet search for “RSS feed directory”.
  • When you run a search online, such as on Google or in a library-provided database of scholarly content, look out for the option to create an RSS feed for that search so that you will be alerted when new items matching your search criteria are found. You may have to explore advanced options or settings to set such a feed up.
  • If there is no RSS feed for a page that you think would be really useful, programs like Feedity can be used to create an RSS feed for that page.

 

I have an aggregator. What now?

Now you need to subscribe to some feeds. With either a web based aggregator or a desktop reader usually all you need to do is:

  • Click on the RSS or XML logo button on the web page you find interesting.
  • Copy and paste the URL (i.e. the Web address) from the rss feed page into your aggregator.
  • Some browsers/browser extensions will recognise that there is an RSS feed on a page and offer you an RSS button in the toolbar, which will link to your RSS feed reader for you and add that feed to your collection.

When feeds start to appear in your aggregator, clicking on the headline will take you to a page with more information.

Further Information

Academic Productivity – http://www.academicproductivity.com/2006/howto-rss-feeds-for-academic-use/

Navigating New Media Frontiers – http://chronicle.com/article/Navigating-New-Media/47962/

Educause Report on RSS – http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7024.pdf

Twitter: Keeping Up to Date

You have probably heard of twitter. I expect you have seen stories about celebrities tweeting and how news stories are broken on twitter but …

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a microblogging site. In plain English this is somewhere people can post information in 140 characters. Other people can then follow them to see their updates. People on the site then follow It is a skill to distill an idea into 140 characters!

How do I use Twitter?

Firstly – how you use it is up to you. Twitter is all about sharing, learning and gathering but you can be an observer or right in the middle of the conversation. Whatever suits you.

There are a lot of terms that you will hear used when people talk about Twitter. Twitter has a glossary but some key terms include:

# or hashtag: used to mark words or topics in a tweet. If you click in the hashtag you will see other tweets mentioning the same topic. This can be especially useful for tags for a conference or about a news story.

@ this is the symbol before the username I.e. @RHUL_library is our twitter username (or handle)

Mentions: when you want to mention a company or publicly message someone you can use their Twitter name.

Retweet: this is when you forward a tweet to other users. (abbreviated to RT)

Trending topics: when a topic is being discussed a lot on twitter it trends.

Why should you be on Twitter?

Learn about business – Find out what influential people in your subject area are thinking

Networking – start conversations and get to know your peers.

Keeping up to date – often Twitter is the first place people find out about major news events. It is also very useful if you commute or have to travel at all as this post I did illustrates.

Sharing – not just funny pictures of cute animals or you tube videos of dogs chasing deer but ideas, information and opinions (be careful on the opinions bit though. Tweets have a long lifespan).

Get answers – if you are stuck with something ask Twitter and often the answer will appear. There are a lot of clever people on Twitter.

Entertainment – Twitter is full of jokes, funny videos and quick wit. Follow celebrities, especially comedians and you will laugh a lot.

Compliment / Complain – had great service?

Tweet about it and let others know when a brand does well. Had bad service? Same applies. Also most companies take Twitter seriously so they will respond to complaints as they are public.

What do you have to do?

Nothing! If you want you can register for an account, follow people and not interact at all. However this won’t give you the best experience.

One top tip is to put up a photo. It doesn’t have to be you but it is good if it is. Otherwise you’ll just be an egg. Also put something in the profile, again it could just be “I like chocolate” but it makes you more “you”. If you want to get followers put in key words such as your subject area or location.

Unless you have protected your tweets anyone can follow you and you don’t have to follow them back but you can block people if you don’t want to see what people are saying.

Twitter works best when you take part in it. You need to interact with people on there otherwise you’re basically the person sitting in the corner listening in on other people’s conversations but turning away when people try to talk to you. It can be daunting sending that first message to someone you don’t really know but what’s the worst that will happen? They might ignore you but unless they’re a celebrity who gets hundreds or thousands of messages it’s unlikely (and if they are a celebrity they might just reply if what you say is relevant).

Twitter allows you to interact with people, you can retweet, reply to and ask questions of people you might ordinarily have no contact with but remember to be polite – say hello and introduce yourself.

This blog post gives some good points on Twitter etiquette but here’s a top 5:

1. Give as much information as possible in your Twitter Bio – so people know who you are and if they want to follow you.

2. Credit people when you share links or informatio – you don’t want to plagiarise do you?

3. Don’t just tweet your every move  – how boring would that be in real life? (and if for some reason you are tweeting more than usual i.e. at a conference warn followers so they can mute you (Muuter .com allows you to mute people or keywords)

4. Don’t expect anything in return for information  – it is all about gving not receiving.

5. Say Thank-you – if you receive information or someone retweets you then it is polite to say thank-you.

Of course if you don’t want to know the results of a TV show, football match or the Oscars you need to avoid twitter, much like that episode of Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads where they spend the day avoiding the football score.

Get Tweeting (and don’t forget to follow us – @RHUL_library )

 

Google Reader

What is Google Reader and what are RSS feeds?

  • Use Google Reader to keep up with websites that have frequent updates, e.g. blogs.
  • Google Reader uses stuff called RSS feeds – found on loads of websites.
  • If you see this symbol, you can add the site to your feed reader:  RSS Symbol

This video explains Google Reader in Plain English.

Why bother?

  • Create feeds from your searches on some databases and see them in Google Reader
  • Efficiency: you only have to check one place
  • Remember sites of interest to you
  • Basically, you’re personalising the internet