All posts by Helen

Blind Date with a Book

Do you judge a book by its cover? Put your trust in fate and take a chance on a blind date.


We have collected together some mystery titles for you take away with you  – Fiction in Founders and Non-Fiction in Bedford.

To meet your blind date:

  • Come to the libraries from 24th Mayheart lonely
  • Choose a blind date book from the display.
  • Issue it using the self issue machines
  • Take it home and unwrap it.
  • Tweet us about it! As we all know, blind dates don’t always go well but some can lead to true love.
  • Help others with an honest review… #blinddatewithabook

Founders display20160523_160941

Online Reading Lists at Royal Holloway

The College and Library have been investing in an Online Reading List System  to help you get to the resources on your reading lists.

Search box for OnlineReading Lists

We currently have over 400 lists inputted for 2015/16 and we are adding to it daily so keep checking if you are a student in:

  • Classics
  • Criminology
  • Biological Sciences
  • Drama
  • Economics
  • English
  • Geography
  • History
  • Law
  • Management
  • Maths
  • Media Arts
  • Philosophy
  • Physics
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Psychology

Currently not all modules in these departments will have lists but if you want to see if yours does search using the main search box on the Reading Lists Homepage (

Reading List example

If you are an academic and would like to get involved with the system please contact the Reading Lists Team on

Here are a few tips to get you started:

  • Click on the title of the item in your list to view further details about an item, where it is held in the Library, or to see if it is available.
  • You can sort your list by importance (e.g. ‘Recommended for student purchase’, ‘Essential’ reading, ‘Recommended’ reading etc.) or by resource type (‘book’, ‘journal’, ‘article’ etc.)  by clicking on the ‘Grouped by section’ button at the top of the list. This might help you to manage your time and plan your reading more effectively.
  • To print out your list as a PDF, just click on ‘Export’ at the top of the list and then ‘Export to PDF’.This will give you a downloadable PDF version which you can then print out.

For more information and FAQs see this blogpost:

FAQs about the Online Reading List System from Students

Online Reading Lists: Student Support

Online Reading Lists FAQ

Search box for OnlineReading Lists How do I access my Reading Lists?

Login to the Student Portal. Choose the Course Information tab and find the link for Reading Lists Online under the Useful Links menu. Alternatively follow the link here Reading Lists Online

I can’t find my reading list in Reading Lists Online

Your lecturer will be able to provide you with a reading list. Contact and let us know the module that you are studying. We can arrange with your lecturer to add the list to Reading Lists Online

My lecturer has given me a list, but it is not the same as the one on Reading Lists Online

Contact We will contact your lecturer to ensure that any changes made to your reading list are updated on Reading Lists Online.


All the copies of the book I would like to read are out on loan

If all copies are out on loan try the link ‘Find other formats/editions’

Book availability

If there are extra copies of older editions, or published by different companies, they will be listed for you. There may also be an electronic version of the title. If there are no other copies, you can reserve the title through the library catalogue.

There is a book on my reading list, but it is not available in the library

Check Library Search to see if the book has recently been purchased. It may be that the reading list has not yet been updated. If the book title does not appear on the library catalogue, this means the library does not have the book in stock at present. These titles will be ordered as a matter of priority.

How do I know if an electronic version of the book is available?

Both the electronic and print versions of titles should be listed together on reading lists online. You will need to click on each link to access the version of the title you prefer.


The link to an article or journal is not working.

Contact with the module code and the article or journal title which is broken.


The link to a website is not working

Contact with the module code and the link that is broken.


What is the Preview function?

Google provide a preview for some titles. This allows you to read the contents pages, and sometimes a selection of the text, but you will not be able to look at the full text. You can use this to assess the usefulness of the book. Google do not provide previews for all texts.

If you have any other questions that are not already covered on this list please contact


Reference managers – something to suit everyone.

Reference managers – something to suit everyone.

Reference managers or bibliographic management systems look after the references to all the information you need for your work – books and book chapters, journal and conference papers, newspaper articles, web pages, film and sound recordings, manuscripts. They store these, ensure that you do not mislay any, and when you need to, create your reference lists in the style you are required to use. They can save time and are an essential academic tool.

In this post I am comparing the five best known systems, with the aim of bringing out the particular advantages of each one.

This table summarises it all:

Endnote RefWorks Zotero Mendeley Endnote Basic
Installation Installed on public PCs in College, and can be installed on any College owned PC or Mac. This is a web service which is not installed, but will work on any machine with an internet connection and an up to date web browser. Installed into Firefox, Chrome or Safari, or as a stand-alone program. Runs on the local computer, but can be synced to the cloud. Both stand-alone and on the web, but for the full capability the software needs to be installed. A web version of EndNote, which an be used on its own or as an add-on to a full EndNote installation.
Home use You have to purchase a copy to use it on a privately owned PC or Mac, but a large discount is available to RHUL members. There is no charge for RHUL members to use RefWorks on any machine, and alumni can continue to have a free account. Free with 300Mb of cloud storage, larger stoirage amounts require a subscription. Free with 2Gb of cloud stirage Free with capacity for 50,000 references.
Use with databases Results from all of our databases can be imported. Results from all of our databases can be imported. References on any web page, including our databases, can be imported. References from all of our databases can be imported.. References from all of our databases can be imported.
FindIt button No Yes No No No
Organising references Can have any number of Groups Can have any number of folders Can have any number of groups. Can have any number of groups. Can have any number of groups within the 50,000 reference limit.
Citation formats Over 6,000 recognised styles 500 recognised styles 6,750 styles, selected and downloaded from an online repository. Thousands of cloud-sourced reference styles are available. Many of the most popular reference styles are available but not quite as many as Endnote.
Citing references Can control the numbering and formatting of citations in a long document Can insert citations into a document and format them, while you are connected to the internet. Can insert and format references, whether or not you have an internet connection at the time. Can insert and format references, whether or not you have an internet connection at the time. Depends on an internet connection to insert and format references by itself.
Main distinguishing feature EndNote is the most powerful, locally based program for formatting lengthy documents. RefWorks provides the full power of a reference management system from anywhere on the internet , on any machine, requiring no installation. Zotero is exceptionally quick and neat at importing and exporting single references from the web. Mendeley’s social features enable it to suggest new references building on ones which you have already stored. EndNote Basic can be used on its own or as an ideal adjunct to using the full EndNote on a computer, enabling you to use it anywhere, and then sync with EndNote on the College PCs to do your writing.


EndNote is a powerful program running on PCs and Macs. It can import references from nearly all internet information services, such as databases and library catalogues. The recent X versions also have a viewing pane where full texts .pdf of the reference, if available, can be viewed alongside the reference.  There is a plug-in for Word on both PCs and Macs which enables references from EndNote to be imported directly into a piece of writing as itis written, and the program will reformat even lengthy documents from one referencing style to another in front of your eyes. Over 5,000 different reference styles are available.  With such a long established commercial system, the online help is slick and comprehensive.

Royal Holloway has a site license for EndNote, and the latest version, EndNote X7, is installed on all public machines. It can be installed on any other College owned machine on campus. For installation on privately owned machines it is necessary to buy a personal copy from Adept Scientific at a discounted price, which amounts to a discount of about two thirds on the public price.

For more help with Endnote see the pages on our subject guides.


EndNote Basic

EndNote Basic is a web based version of EndNote, produced by the current owners of EndNote, Thomson Reuters.  It requires no installation, has a clean and simple interface, can import references from any service whioch will export to EndNote (which is almost everything), and provides free storage of up to 50,000 references.  There is a plug-in for Word on PCs and Macs to enable you to insert citations into your writings.

EndNote Basic is ideally used as a travelling assistant for an EndNote installation, with which it readily synchronises whenever your EndNote computer is connected to the internet.  Thomson Reuters have to be careful not to spoil the market for their premium product, so the range of reference styels available is limited to the few most popular ones.  Howevr, these will be enough for most users, especially students, and it is a likeable system with a  particularly clean and simple interface.

For more help with Endnote Basic see the pages on our subject guides.


RefWorks provides full strength features in any fairly up to date web browser, from any machine anywhere on the internet.  It imports references singly or in long lists from other information sources by direct “push”, and nearly all the e-resources we subscribe to support it.  Without any installation, references can be added from a RefWorks account to your work on any machine and in any word processing software, and then formatted in any of over 500 referencing styles over the internet.   If you do have Word on your own PC or Mac, there is a plug-in which can be installed in these to give a local service very like EndNote’s.

For more help with RefWorks see the pages on our subject guides 


Zotero was developed as a free add-in to the Firefox browser, but there is now also a stand-alone desktop version, and connectors to enable it to be used with Chrome and Safari.  It adds an icon to the browser toolbar, which can be clicked to extract references from a web page.  It is quick, simple, and very effective for grabbing references one at a time.  although based in a browser, Zotero natively stores references in a folder on your computer,  it can now synchronise your library with its own cloud server, which allows Zotero installations on different computers to be kept in sync, but installation on each computer is required to use it.  Storage of up to 300 Mb, enough for many thousands of references without full text attachments, is provided free, but larger amounts of storage, necessary if it is desired to keep the full texts with references, have to be paid for at between $20 and  $120 per year.

For fomatting references, Zotero has some 6,750 styles availabe in an online repository.  It makes inventive use of the clpboard for exporting single references in the selected style: just copy an unformatted reference from your collection, and it will be fully formatted when pasted into any other program.  Complete bibliographies can be generated in .rtf format whoich any word-processot will accept.  There are now the usual plug-ins to give an experiencve like EndNote in Word for PCs or Macs, OpenOffice and LibreIOffice.


Mendeley is a newer and increasingly popular system with some novel features. The software is free and versions are available for Windows, Macs, Linux, and iPads. In use it looks very much like EndNote.  Your personal database can also be accessed and added to in a web version, and a comfortable 2Gb of storage is available online.  Fully formatted bibliographies can be generated in .rtf format, and there are plug-ins to enable easy citing in Word  and LibreOffice.

The unique attraction of Mendeley is its social features.  If you agree, your references are added (anonymously, of course) to a vast open database which enables them to be seen and shared by others.  Whenever you add references to your Mendeley database, Mendeley will on request suggest other references which other users of your reference have also added.  These can be added with a click, without having to locate them oneself.

And there’s more.

There are so many systems now that this will not be finished if we attempt to cover all of them.  Papers and RefME are other newer arrivals.  BibTeX  is used quite widely, especially by physicists and mathematicians, as it works with the LaTeX system for producing documents that includes complex formulae. If you need it, the chances are that nothing else will quite do the job.

Spoilt for choice?

It is remarkably easy, once you are using one system, to switch to another if you decide that you prefer it.  All of them will export references in the standard .RIS format that any other reference manager will import. If you can’t decide which system to try, just start with any of them.  Any one will be better than keeping your references in a Word document or a spreadsheet, let alone a notebook, and having to format them y ourself every time you use them.


Marketline profiles major companies, industries and geographies, MarketLine is one of the most prolific publishers of business information today. They were primarily a Market Research company but they have  expanded their offering to include the following:

The Financial Deals Tracker provides information on mergers & acquisitions, private equity, venture finance, & private placement transactions; IPOs; and partnerships – across the various industries and countries covered by MarketLine.

The Company Prospector is a list builder tool that enables you to generate prospect lists for specific industries and geographies, and perform competitor and vendor analytics on them.

The Company Report Generator too enables you to generate customised company reports including analytical texts and charts on demand.

The Industry & Advisory Prospector is an analytical tool that draws from the Financial Deals Tracker and allows you to custom generate lists of advisory & investment firms operating in specific industries.

They are an excellent resource for Company Information.

This short video introduces some of the things Marketline does:

To access Marketline go to the E-Resources A-Z list and go to M.

Searching by keyword

  • To search for information using a keyword, type your selected word(s) into the empty search bar and click on Go.
  • You will be taken to a results page containing all content matching your keyword search.
  • Arrange your results using the Sorted by button at the top of your results list.
  • Click on the arrow to sort by relevance, publication date, or title (which lists the results alphabetically).
  • Alternatively (or in addition), you can refine your search results with an additional keyword search or by using the list in the right-hand column of the page.
  • You can narrow by industry, geography, subject, topic, company information, or publication date.
  • To further refine your search results to one information type (news; financial deals; opinion; reports & briefs; databooks; companies; countries; or industries), click on the relevant tab running across the top of the page.
  • The tabs are color-coded and change color when you hover your mouse over them.
  • To retrace your current search trail, click on the small drop-down arrow at the top left of the page, next to the text that reads ‘Your search has returned’.
  • This will reveal the various search parameters that you have selected for that particular search (this is known as a breadcrumb trail).
  • You also have the option to view your results as a list or as a group using the two-sided button at the top right of the page. ‘List’ will sort your results according to the parameters you have chosen using the ‘Sorted by’ button, while ‘group’ will arrange your results by information type.


  • Depending on the information type, MarketLine Advantage allows you to download content in one of three formats: PDF, Excel, or PowerPoint
  • Once you have clicked through to your chosen information item, your download option(s) are reflected at the top left of your screen.
  • Click on the button and select to download or save the file to a location on your computer.

Euromonitor Passport

Passport is a global market research database providing statistics, analysis, reports, surveys and breaking news on industries, countries and consumers worldwide.  Passport connects market research to  analysing market context, competitor insight and future trends impacting businesses globally. Passport covers more than 200 countries and regions. It is useful for company information too.

Passport covers the following areas:

1) Industry data – multi-country relational database of market and category sizes, market shares, distribution patterns, sales forecasts and other measurements relevant to each sector.

2) Country reports – in-depth analysis reports on both developed and emerging national markets. Each report provides qualitative commentary on sales trends, new product and marketing developments, consumer preferences, national company and brand competition and market strategies, and the views and assumptions underlying national sales forecasts.

3) Global reports assessing the key issues affecting international market performance, with a focus on important developments by product sector and big picture competition strategy.

4) Company profiles – analytical profiles of the top international players in the industry, compiled in a standardised format for cross analysis. 5) Comment – articles and presentations on key themes and discussion topics around the dynamics of the category.

This video (aimed at their corporate clients) describes what Passport does.

How to use Passport


(You can access Passport from the library subject guides,  the Eresources A-Z or by searching for Euromonitor Passport on Library Search)

Search by Keyword

You can search by Keyword from the main page by entering your keyword in the search box in the top right hand corner.

Keyword search

The symbols next to each result indicate the type of content found e.g. statistic or
category briefing report.

results passport

Tree Searching

If you click on search in the top left hand corner something called tree searching appears.

tree results

tree searching

Using the search tree involves :

  • Choosing a category e.g. alcoholic drinks. By clicking on the + you can be more
  • specific within that sector e.g. beer and/or cider.
  • You then choose world region or countries.
  • You can then run your search or decide to only display the data/statistics.

If you run your results you can then choose to filter the results by category, geography,
statistics or analysis and date.


Industry Searching

Under Industries, select the sector you’re looking for. This where you’ll see various options:

Industry search
You can then start to think about the different types of data you might be interested in for the
alcoholic drinks market. E.g:

  • Which countries are largest by size?
  • Which ones might grow in the future? (so you can get predictions based on the research)
  • Which are the top companies in this sector?


The Dashboards visualise Passport data and help users see the information in a different way. You can explore trends in a visual format using the interactive world map. This data can also be downloaded using the options above the map.


Searching for companies or brands

Clicking on Search to reveal different options. If you click on Companies or Brands you can be more specific with searching.

tree results

Printing and Saving.

Depending on the report type displaying you’ll see different options. You can either open the file in excel, export as a PDF or save to My Pages or print.
By creating a separate account with Passport you can set up alerts via emails or RSS feeds
and return to saved saved or downloads.


Further help

Once logged into
the platform please see the help section which has some good FAQs and videos. Further
information is also available on their social media accounts:

  •  Global Market Research Blog:
  •  @euromonitor



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).

Senate House Drop Box

Drop box on campus

There is a drop box on campus at the University of London book depository where Royal Holloway students and staff can return books which they have borrowed from Senate House library. The drop box is located just outside the main entrance at the top of the stairs and there are a few things to note:

  • Senate House books can be returned to the drop box between 9am and 4pm
  • Items will be taken off users accounts on the same day, after 4pm
  • Fines money cannot be taken at the Depository, and nor can fines disputes be dealt with there

For directions to the depository, use the campus map to find building 39 (Library depository).

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 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.


JSTOR (short for Journal Storage) is a major source of journals for the Arts and Humanities. If you are studying in these areas you will often find that academic journal articles you need are here.

Login using the link on the Databases A-Z page.

If you are off campus you can use the login above and enter your Username and Password or use the VPN (More information here).

What is JSTOR?
•JSTOR is a research and teaching platform for the academic community to publish, discover, and preserve scholarly content.
• JSTOR includes over 1,400 leading academic journals and primary source materials valuable for academic work, including the most current issues of 174 journals.
• The entire archive is full-text searchable, includes images and multi-media files, and is interlinked by millions of citations and references.
• Founded in 1995, JSTOR is a service of ITHAKA, a not-for-profit organization.

JSTOR have PDF guide which is a useful quick reference on how to do things.

How to do a basic search

When you first log into JSTOR, you will see the Basic Search box.

Enter your keywords and click the Search button.

How to do an advanced search

To get to Advanced Search, click the Search pull-down in the menu at the top and select Advanced Search.

You can enter your keywords and combine them with AND, OR and NOT, quotation marks, and parentheses, just as you would in Basic Search.

  1. Use the pull-down menu to the left of the search box to select AND, OR or NOT
  2. Include links to external content – includes search results that have full-text content in another database or on the web. You can leave this option selected but it might lead to things we don’t have access for.
    Include only content I can access – eliminates search results with no full-text in JSTOR.
  3. Item Type allows you to narrow do your search by whether you want an article, an ebook, a pamphlet, etc.
  4. Date Range allows you to limit your search to items that were published in a certain time period
  5. Check off the disciplines (subject areas) that you want to search down at the bottom of the Advanced Search page.
  6. Language lets you restrict your search to only documents in English (or another language).

There are also the following short videos to help you:

How to search:

This video shows how to use the Advanced Search feature:


Keeping up to date: