An introduction to Library services and support (webinar)

Supporting materials

  • Slides/materials: slides
  • Online session materials: GoToMeeting

Practicalities

  • Group: any (supported by web conference tool)
  • Length: 30 minutes with questions
  • Room: NA
  • Discipline: any
  • Level: any (exec ed here)

Learning outcomes

After engaging with this support, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different search tools
  • Develop strategies for assessing the appropriateness of sources to use in your assignments
  • Discriminate between good-quality academic sources and other sources

Suggested online resources

  • Knowing where to look
  • Being critical

Session content

This session is an introduction to Library services and resources, as well as a first webinar session for this cohort — the aim is to get attendees used to engaging with the Library via webinar as well as understanding the services and support available. URLs included in this plan to enable them to be sent to attendees live via GoToMeeting chat.

Introduction

The University of Manchester Library is incredibly well resourced — our electronic collections are particularly strong, meaning you will have access to the resources you need wherever you are.

But we are more than just books and articles! We offer support throughout your studies. My Learning Essentials is the Library’s award winning academic skills programme — here you can learn about structuring your essays or why it’s important to reference correctly. You can find a wide range of online resources to help you develop your academic skills. My Research Essentials supports our researchers with everything from research data to publishing in academic journals. Specialist Library Support helps you with the more technical aspects of your studies — whether that’s using referencing software or accessing company data our experts can help.

Academic writing

One area you may wish to access our support is in your academic writing — you will write both traditional essays and more reflective pieces. My Learning Essentials can help you with this!

Finding information

Another is in finding information for your studies. The interdisciplinary nature of this course means that you may need to access both health and business information — Specialist Library Services can help here.

In your particular context you will want to find both academic and professional information sources — we can help you with both! Try starting with Library Search (https://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/search-resources/) or Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.co.uk/) when looking for academic sources. Google’s advanced search (https://www.google.com/advanced_search) is really useful for finding reports from particular organisations, such as the government or NHS.

Given the interdisciplinary nature of your studies you might found a number of them useful — the business and management guide for literature on leadership; the nursing and midwifery or medicine guide for health sciences information.

Google advanced search allows you to search specific domains (such as .gov.uk) and for particular file types (such as PDF) which makes it useful when searching for reports from those organisations. You might also use a tool like Factiva to find news and trade news (professional publications) — you can access it here: https://www.librarysearch.manchester.ac.uk/discovery/fulldisplay?docid=alma9922776374401631&context=L&vid=44MAN_INST:MU_NUI&search_scope=MyInst_and_CI&tab=Everything&lang=en

For many students, at all levels, ‘being critical’ is something they find difficult. Whether it is having the confidence to evaluate your sources or simply understanding what it means to be critical, we can help. A good place to start is our being critical resource: https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/learning-objects/mle/being-critical/story_html5.html

In your reflective writing you might want to think about how a particular theory relates to your context — what are the limitations of the theory in practice?

Being critical

When writing a literature review you need to evaluate the information you have found — which is most relevant to your position? Which illustrate both sides of the argument? Which show both the academic and professional perspectives? Have a look at our finding the good stuff (https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/learning-objects/mle/evaluating-sources/story_html5.html) and literature review (https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/learning-objects/mle/lit-review/story_html5.html) resources.

Referencing

Referencing is another thing that can worry students. It is important to remember what you are trying to do when referencing — ensure your reader knows where ideas, figures or quotes have come from. The way to achieve this is by being accurate (give the correct information) and consistent (ensuring that the information is given in the same order).

The Library’s guide to Harvard referencing gives you examples of how to reference lots of different types of source and the information you need to include: http://subjects.library.manchester.ac.uk/referencing/referencing-Harvard

The Library can support you with using referencing software. You can find some of the software available here: http://subjects.library.manchester.ac.uk/c.php?g=64326&p=413447

Mendeley is the tool that both I and your course conveners would recommend: https://www.mendeley.com/ Manchester Business School Harvard is the style we recommend using.

Help and support

Have a look at our My Learning Essentials Online resources before our next webinar — they’ll be used to back up our support throughout and allow you to do things in your own time.

Our next webinar support sessions:

Thursday 8th August, 14.00:

Finding and evaluating information

Thursday 15th August, 14.00:

Beginner’s reference management with EndNote Online

There are a number of ways to seek support after the session so please get in touch!

SCONUL question, questions and wrap up.

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