How to Never Pay for Access to Journal Articles

As we get closer to the start of the new year, the Academic Subject Librarians are starting to hear from students who are looking for help accessing content for their research. This post offers some tips for what do when you’re struggling to find that key article that everyone is citing…

First, as a member of the University, you never need to pay for access to academic journal articles. If you start your research on Google Scholar, find an article that looks great, but hit a paywall, try searching for the title of the article on the library website—we offer access to many, many thousands of journal articles. What we don’t have ourselves, we can often borrow for you!

Second, try installing a browser extension called Lean Library—it links up with our website and steers you towards links to access content that we pay for, but that would otherwise appear to be behind a paywall if you aren’t regularly logged into or using our site. If you are being really thorough, you might then want to…

Third, double check our library’s journal holdings. Despite the vastness of the internet, not all academic research is easily available online. For instance, you might want a digital copy of an article that was published in 1992, but the publisher has only digitised articles from 1995 to the present. A search of our journals via Electronic Journals or Browzine is an easy way to quickly check for access issues of this sort. Don’t worry if our library doesn’t offer access to an article, because we might be able to obtain it from another library for you–this is called interlibrary loans.

Finally, if a search of the internet, our websites, and our journals turns up nothing, you can request an interlibrary loan by filling out our request form. Select the type of material you want to find, ‘journal article,’ from the drop-down menu. Interlibrary loans are free for you and delivered straight to your inbox—article loans tend to arrive within 3-5 working days. The article is then yours to download, keep, and use in your research.

And there you are–in three or four steps, you have gone from not being able to access materials you need for your research, to having what you need at your fingertips.

If you are struggling to access academic content or have any questions about how to find research materials, remember that your academic subject librarian is always here to help. We can speak with you about your research by appointment (a perfect option if you have several articles you’re trying to track down or if you’d like a refresher on what databases or journals might be useful for your topic). You can also email us questions about finding material.

Best of luck with your research!

A Celebration of Women in Medicine

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts about the lives and stories of women. This first post is by George Grant, library assistant at the Ross Library. Thank you for writing for us, George! We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

The role played by women in the history of medicine is a storied and contentious one. It is defined by the struggle against the formalised and male led medical field which often side-lined and overlooked the important role of women. From the Renaissance writers who tactfully avoided the works of classical female medical practitioners, to the role of the church in labelling medicine/wise women as witches, women have, at least in Western Europe, been forcefully kept out of the more formalised aspects of medicine. This began to change in the mid-nineteenth century, with the rise and growth of movements advocating for the improvement in women’s legal and education rights. These movements led many women to question their position in society and to push into fields that had previously been closed to them.[1] The following three short biographies show how, in this period, women were able to make significant headway into the professional medical field by gaining medical qualifications against significant opposition. They worked to inspire each other and train the next generation of female doctors. As it stands today, over half of GPs in the UK are women. This staggering change in less than 200 years was built on the foundations laid by these women and others like them[2] Continue reading “A Celebration of Women in Medicine”

Google AND the Library

Google and the Library

Librarians can give you many reasons why our resources are considered preferable to those you might find on the open web – such as the resource’s reliability, relevance and the review process, to name a few.

While, yes, we librarians love to extol the virtues of the Library and would prefer our students, staff and researchers make use of our wonderful (and not inexpensive) print and electronic resources, we are aware that many people find using Google for their research easier and, dare we say it, quicker!

Continue reading “Google AND the Library”

In Defence of the Trashy: The Significance of Popular Romance Novels for Women’s History

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring posts from authors around the university about the lives and writings of women. Our second post in our series is by Rebecca Norman, a third year student on the BA History course. She explains the topic of her dissertation and how it helps us understand the lives of lower and middle class British women. Thank you for writing for us, Rebecca! This post has been guest edited by School of History and Heritage administrator, Emily Hanson. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post. 

When my grandpa found out I was writing my undergraduate dissertation on Denise Robins’ popular romance fiction, he commented that:

‘You don’t need to be paying to read that rubbish at University, your grandma has plenty on her kindle!’

Somehow, in his initial pride that his granddaughter was studying a ‘proper’ subject like History at university, he had not envisioned me carrying out a research project on what is widely regarded as ‘trashy’ fiction; but I’m about to finish off 10,000 words on the gender identities constructed and communicated in popular romance novels of the 1930s.

Continue reading “In Defence of the Trashy: The Significance of Popular Romance Novels for Women’s History”

1900: The Woman’s Exhibition

March is women’s history month and the library blog is celebrating by featuring guest posts from authors around the university about the lives and writings of women. Our first post in our series is by Emma Fox, a third year student on the BA History course. She explains the topic of her dissertation and offers advice to students beginning to think about theirs. Thank you for writing for us, Emma! We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post. 

For my dissertation, I have been writing about the Woman’s Exhibition held in 1900 at Earl’s Court. This was one of many commercial exhibitions held by London Exhibitions Ltd under Imre Kiralfy who was known in both Britain and the USA for his spectacles and shows. My dissertation explores the exhibition’s representations of women and if and how these appealed to the public.

Continue reading “1900: The Woman’s Exhibition”

Google VS Library

Google vs Library image

A student told me yesterday that it is quicker to use Google rather than the Library.  It felt like I had to do a full-on sales pitch for the next hour extolling the virtues of the Library resources.  I felt I partially succeeded.  The student listened and decided they would like to investigate further.

So why use the Library resources when Google is such a handy option?

What’s the big deal about the Library?

To do academic research, your tutors will expect you to go beyond Google to find good quality, scholarly material.  Your search on Google does not go through a review process.  Anyone can publish on the web.  The Library resources are carefully reviewed and selected by Librarians based on their reliability, relevance to your studies and add value to your academic research.

Your Subject Librarian has organised Library sources into a Subject Guide to help you easily decide which databases and journals you need for your research.  Internet sources are not organised and there are too many pages for any search engine, like Google, to organise by subject matter.

Use the Library to find print and e-resources specific to your subject area and find a wealth of material including academic articles, news items, technical information, magazines, images, statistical data and more.  Many of the databases that the Library subscribes to are indexes to millions of articles from an array of different disciplines.

No one is saying don’t use Google.  Use it for information on corporations and other organisations, for news and current awareness, for researching a well-known event or individual or to find opinions on a topic.  Use Google ALONGSIDE the Library resources.  They can complement each other.

What about Google Scholar?

Again, it can be a great source when used in conjunction with the Libraries’ article and other databases but not on its own.  Yes, it has scholarly articles but it also includes other material that is untrustworthy and you may miss out on articles in full-text.

So….check out the Library Subject Guides and find out who your Subject Librarian is so that they can get you started on where and how to search effectively for your individual topic.  It might well save you the time you thought you were saving on Google.

Look at your subject guide here: https://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/?b=s

Find out who your Subject Librarian is here: https://guides.library.lincoln.ac.uk/asl

365 Books to Celebrate Black History Month Year-Round

October is Black History Month and Black history happens every day. To celebrate this, the library has put together a list of 365 books by authors of colour from our catalogue and e-book collections.  The list was inspired by the website Black History 365 and the list of 365 Books By Women put together for International Women’s Day by the New York Public Library. It has been assembled through searches inspired by the Black British Writers wikipedia category page, as well as the African-American writers catalogue page. It also draws lists of books by Black and BAME writers published online, such as this one from Stylist. We hope you find it interesting!

Our More Books service is open for students and staff to request the purchase of items we do not have in our collections, so please do get in touch if you notice any errors or omissions.

Continue reading “365 Books to Celebrate Black History Month Year-Round”

Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing

This year has been the first year the University of Lincoln Library has participated in Erasmus+ International Staff Training Week programmes for librarians. It’s been absolutely wonderful to read and hear about the fantastic experiences my colleagues Oonagh and Ella had on their staff exchange trips! This is the third and final post in our series about GCW librarians’ experiences of Erasmus programmes around Europe.

Introduction

My Erasmus programme, ‘Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing’, took place at the Freie Universität Berlin, a large and prestigious research university, with 11 departments, around 38,000 students and 336 professors. The Freie Universität (Free University) was founded in 1948 by students and staff who felt they could not learn and teach as they wished in the Soviet sector of the city. The programme consisted of a general day of introduction, three days of sessions and activities specific to the four international programmes running concurrently (libraries, career services, personnel development, and internationalisation), and a final morning of wrap-up and goodbye. It was an extraordinary week and I am delighted to share it with you.

Welcome: 17 June 2019

Tucked away in one of the university buildings on Otto-von-Stimson Straβe is the Ristorante Galileo, where all participants in the international programme were treated to a welcome and an excellent lunch. Dr Herbet Grieshop, head of the Office of International Affairs, introduced us to the international scope of the Freie Universität. I was impressed by the way the university prioritises the internationalisation of non-academic staff, providing them with a package of training and external activities including intercultural training, language instruction, and staff exchanges which leads to a certificate and formal recognition by the university. Continue reading “Libraries on the Move: Innovating Services for Research, Learning, and Publishing”

Visiting the libraries of the future

Recently, I was given the opportunity to visit the University of Helsinki as part of the International Staff Exchange Week (ISEW).

This was part of the erasmus+ opportunity in which individuals from different areas of academia and academic support meet to share ideas and best practice. After encouragement from our Erasmus officers within the University, I applied to the staff exchange week in Helsinki. After putting in my application, I was quite surprised to have been offered a place as I am a newly qualified librarian working in my first post-degree role.

Continue reading “Visiting the libraries of the future”

Online Resources for Women’s History

March is Women’s History Month and the library will be celebrating with a series of posts on resources for the study women’s history. We would love to hear your comments and questions about the posts: please tweet us @GCWLibrary, email us at library@lincoln.ac.uk, or tell us your thoughts in the comments section at the end of the post.

Why use online resources to study women’s history?

In my previous post, I introduced two of the library’s databases for studying women’s history. These databases are available by subscription–the University Library pays for them, and all staff and students at the university are able to access them. In this post, however, I will introduce some databases that are freely accessible to all. There is no one reason for using an online database as opposed to one built by subscription. Historians who study women’s lives have (and still do) push back against the stereotype that there’s no evidence for women of the past, which has led to a concern with gathering and sharing sources to enable research. Sometimes research touches on the concerns of past or contemporary communities and so researchers want it to be freely available to all who are interested, or sometimes research involves participants and investigators outside of the university and so for practical reasons an online resource is best. Online resources can be built with or by primary and secondary school students and teachers in mind. And sometimes an open access online database is simply the best resource available for a particular subject you are interested in!

Continue reading “Online Resources for Women’s History”