Tag Archives: Students

Meet the Library Liaison Team: Emma Burnett

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

I’m Emma Burnett and I work as an Information Consultant within the Library’s Academic Liaison team.


How long have you been at Royal Holloway Library?

Just over 3 years.

What is your role within the Library?

I work with several departments (Economics, European Studies, Geography, Philosophy, Politics & International Relations and Social Work) and try to ensure that the Library has the resources they require. Another key part of my role is providing information literacy training. Information literacy is a skill for life, not just for University. It involves recognising your need for information, having the ability to know where and how to access that information, managing the information once you’ve found it and using it in an ethical manner. For more information, please see http://libguides.rhul.ac.uk/infolit

Have you always worked in Libraries?

Since I joined the real world, after taking a post-university gap year to see the world, yes.

What did you want to be when you were little?

I wanted to be a vet! I’ve always loved animals, especially cats. I have 2 gorgeous cats at home.

Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

I don’t really have any heroes but I do very much admire Margaret Atwood. I’ve seen her speak a few times and she’s got such an incredible mind.

What did you study?

I hold a degree in European Studies from the University of Hull, which included a year in Italy. I also have a Masters in Librarianship from the University of Sheffield.

Do you have a favourite book, and why?

I have many favourites! Remains of the Day is one of them. I studied this at A Level and think it’s a beautifully written novel. Also a great film (if you haven’t ever seen it, you can watch it for free on BoB https://learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand/index.php/prog/000809CD?bcast=94981462).

If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

Completely drawing a blank here, sorry! My favourite superhero(ine) is batgirl, as she was a librarian too 🙂 batgirllibrarian

What project/event are you most looking forward to in the upcoming year? (Library related!)

Teaching information skills sessions in our new library training room.

Describe working in the library in 3 words

Lots of tea!

What advice would you give to a new student?

Use the Library’s vast array of resources! These are a huge privilege of being at University so take advantage of them and you’ll reap the benefits in your studies.

Check out the Subject Guides to find out who your librarian is, and read more interviews here.

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


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.

Your Librarians


Did you know that every subject has its own librarian? The Liaison Team is here to help you with queries, finding books, searching databases, visiting other libraries, referencing, and general library questions too. We’re a pretty friendly bunch, and we’re easy to contact – so drop us a line if you’ve any questions to ask!

Helen: Head of Academic Liaison, European Studies, Geography, Politics and International Relations

Russell: Classics, Criminology & Sociology, Geography, History, Modern Languages, Music

Kim: Drama and Theatre, English, Media Arts, Royal Holloway International, Management, Politics & International Relations, European Studies, Philosophy

Adrian: Biological Sciences, Earth Sciences, Computer Science, Mathematics, Information Security, Psychology, Economics, Social Work

Nancy: Research, Open Access, Physics

For more information, and contact details of your librarian, visit the Library’s Subject Guides, and check out the series of interviews we did last term.

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!

Metropolitan Museum of Art books

New York’s famous Metropolitan Museum of Art has a catalogue of 1,300 books published in the last five years available for free via Google Books. Current book titles that are in-print may be previewed and fully searched online, with a link to purchase the book. The full contents of almost all other book titles may be read online, searched, or downloaded as a PDF.

Check out this list of full-text items freely available online!

The Met is a great source of Art history material – a perfect Resource of the Week for LibraryLovesArt Month!


Web of Science – new interface

Web of Science was the first major database made available for online searching by students themselves. It launched in the U.K. back in 1990 as BIDS (Bath Information and Data Service, as it was based at Bath University.)

Despite the name, Web of Science (WoS) contains something for everybody. It includes the Science, Social Science, and Arts and Humanities Citation Indexes.  Clearly it cannot cover everything in such wide areas: 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 core journals, without anything that will be too obscure or hard to find. For undergraduate work that will usually be 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.

The latest WoS interface has a black banner with orange lettering, very like the new RHUL style.  Perhaps we were ahead of a trend? Beneath it the search form has been reduced to a single search bar, like Google’s (and LibrarySearch). For more complex searches you can click “Add another field”.

It is still possible to narrow your search to just some of the indexes, to save time and reduce unwanted results.  Just click on “More settings” to see the indexes and deselect those that are not needed by unchecking their boxes, as in this example:

WoS science search

In the search above, the inverted commas around “honey bees” specify that we only want those two words together as a phrase.  The asterisk after disease* is a “wild card” which will also search for ‘diseases’ or ‘diseased’.

Notice in the black banner 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  lozenge which previously appeared under every result has disappeared.  Don’t worry, just click on the solid block labelled “Full Text” and the familiar blue button will reappear.

WoS search results

The range of saving buttons above the search list has been replaced by a single block labelled “Save to EndNote online”.  But it has a down arrow beside it.  Click that, and you will get more options, including “Save to EndNote desktop” and “Save to RefWorks”, the main supported options at Royal Holloway.

If you liked the old interface, don’t be put off by the solid blocks of the new one, everything still works as it did.  Whether you are researching for a first year essay or a doctoral thesis, WoS is a good place to start.


Adrian Machiraju

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 loans Issued from Fri. 6th December due by Fri. 17th January 2014
Postgraduate normal loans Issued for six weeks from date of loan
One week loans Issued from Sat. 7th December due by Thurs. 16th January 2014
Three day loans Issued from Wed. 11th December due by Wed. 15th January 2014
Staff journals Issued from Fri. 20th December due by Thurs. 2nd January 2014
Postgraduate journals Issued from 15.30 Fri. 20th December due by 11.00 Thurs. 2nd January 2014
Rolling loans & Music A/V – Undergraduates, Postgraduates & Staff Issued 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

Royal Holloway celebrates Open Access Week with doctoral students

The third week of October, 21- 27 October 2013, Royal Holloway celebrated International Open Access Week. More specifically, on 22nd of October the College’s Library Services planned an event dedicated to its doctoral students, entitled “Make your research stand out”.


The event turned out to be very popular, which mostly reflects the students’ interest in open access. If you are new to the open access concept, you can find plenty of information about open access on the library’s webpages.

We invited two guest presenters to this event; Tom Pollard, a PhD student at University College London and an open access advocate, who explained why he is supporting open access and how open access helps him by either acquiring access to research papers or ensuring his own research is open and available to everyone in the world.  Tom’s presentation can be downloaded from here.

Martin Donnelly, from the Digital Curation Centre, touched upon the importance of Research Data Management (RDM) and presented the drivers and best practices for managing research data. His presentation is available here.

The library staff gave a short presentation on the routes to open access, the RCUK Open Access Policy, which affects RCUK-funded students and the library services available to help. The presentation is also available online.

We are pleased that this event was so popular and we will be planning more open access events in the future.

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

The Library in 3 words: The Liaison Team

Some of the Library liaison team were asked to describe working in the Library, in only 3 words.
It was a lot easiest for some more than others!

We hope you are enjoying our videos- there are many more to watch!



Meet the Library Liaison Team: Russell Burke

We wanted to find a way to introduce the Academic Liaison team to all students, both new & returning so we have created a series of videos for you to watch!

Here, Russell was interviewed about himself, his role and much more!

Russell is the Subject Librarian for Classics, History, Modern Languages, Music.

Find out more about your subjects through our subject guides.