Posts about: Information Skills

Library Resources for Nursing Students

24 April 2017

The library subscribes to a number of databases which specialise in your subject area. They are not available freely via the web, so you won’t be able to find the resources we have here by using Google. They give you access to quality, up to date, peer-reviewed material such as journal articles, case studies and research papers.

To begin with, you may want to search for books using Library search. If you want to do an in-depth search for journals relating to a particular topic you might find it easier to search within a subject database.

It’s a good idea to familiarise yourself with these databases and learn how to use them. They’re a great source of information and will be useful throughout your time at Salford.

 

Key Databases

CINAHL stands for the Cumulative Index of Nursing and Allied Health Literature. Designed specifically for academic institutions, it is a multi-disciplinary database of over 1200 peer reviewed midwifery and nursing journals and publications dating back to 1982. It is part of the EBSCO collection of databases. We have a number of user guides and support videos here.

Medline

British Nursing Index is a leading database for support of practice, education, and research for nurses, midwives, and health providers in the UK or following UK practice. It provides references to literature in the most relevant nursing and midwifery journals. Also included are relevant nursing articles from selected medical, allied health, community and health management journals.
Coverage is mainly titles published in the UK from 1994 to present.

Intermid, Internurse and MA Healthcare

Alexander Street Video – great resource for all subject areas

11 April 2017
Andy Callen

Andy describes how Alexander Street Video might be a useful audio-visual resource for you.

Do you need to get hold of video material for your study or teaching, but it’s not on Box of Broadcasts or in the Library’s DVD collection?

Try Alexander Street Video, an online collection of non-fiction video material for educational use, potentially useful across all subject areas. It includes:

  • News clips from ITN
  • Instructional videos for teachers
  • Over 1,000 films on psychology and counselling
  • Numerous documentary films on artists and designers.

Access Alexander Street Video from the Databases link on Library Search, OR directly from search.alexanderstreet.com. Your Network username and password are required.

Any questions? Contact me at mailto:A.Callen@salford.ac.uk.

Fake News

7 April 2017

Be a savvy news consumer – Joanna gives some useful reminders.

Fake news has become a hot news topic! We all want our news to be accurate, truthful, and honest, so how do you sort out truth from lies, or identify exaggerated stories, or facts reported out of context?

The simplest strategy is to make sure you get your news from a variety of sources – don’t get stuck in your own media “bubble”. Be critical and analyse any news you share on social media.  We all have a responsibility not to spread lies.

There are no hard and fast rules, but here are some things to think about –

  • Beware sensational headlines. Not every shocking headline is associated with fake news – but it’s a warning sign.
  • Be very cautious about stories intended to prompt an extreme emotional response, particularly anger. Verify the story from other known, reliable sources.
  • Check whether other “mainstream” news sources are reporting the story.
  • Take a look at the domain name. Does it suggest a bias, or potential unreliability?
  • Check out the “About us” tab, or look at the contact details. Is the content attributable to a “real” person, or an identifiable organisation? Do they have a particular agenda? Look for more information about the author or organisation.
  • Look for supporting evidence. Use a fact checking site if appropriate (FullFact.org Factcheck.org, Politifact.com, Snopes.com etc). Follow up links to research studies, or data sources. Ask yourself if they are authoritative. Look for other reports about the same study. Remember fake news doesn’t have to be “made up”. Facts reported selectively can be dangerously misleading.

Looking for more?

For a more comprehensive overview of Fake News and how to spot it, check out the University of Rhode Island’s excellent resource

News Literacy and Alternative Facts: How to Be a Responsible Information Consumer

And Remember –

As University students you should routinely evaluate all the resources you use for your own research and assignments, particularly anything found via internet sources.

  1. How up-to-date is the information? Is it still current?
  2. Is this information source going to help me write my essay? Is it relevant to my topic?
  3. Is this “the right sort” of information – is it suitable for academic purposes? Is the author an expert in this subject area? Is the information reliable and accurate?
  4. Why has this information been written? What is its purpose? Is there any bias I need to take account of?

Planning and writing your assignment – your 5 steps to essay success!

20 March 2017
Amy Pearson

This time of year is all about assignments. Amy has shared the Skills for Learning 5 steps to essay success!

It’s that time of year again when deadlines are looming so we thought we’d share with you our 5 steps to essay success.

  • Step 1: Analyse and Plan
  • Step 2: Search and Evaluate
  • Step 3: Read and Make Notes
  • Step 4: Write your Essay
  • Step 5: Review and Submit

Read on to learn more about each step!

 

 

 

Step 1: Analyse and PlanStep 1: Analyse and Plan

When you are given a question or task to complete you need to make sure that you understand what you are being asked to do and then plan how you will approach it. If you don’t answer the question being set you are more likely to get a low mark. With this in mind, the first step to essay success is to ANALYSE and PLAN. This involves analysing your task, making a plan and identifying useful words that describe your topic. You need to make sure that you pay attention to the instructions you have been given, be clear about the topic you have been asked to explore and any restrictions to the scope of your answer.


Step 2: Search and EvaluateStep 2: Search and Evaluate

Next you need to search for information and evaluate the usefulness of what you find. You need to think about what you already know and where you could search for information. A useful way of evaluating sources is to ask yourself these questions:
1. How up-to-date is the information? Is it still CURRENT?
2. Is this information source going to help me write my essay? Is it RELEVANT to my topic?
3. Is this “the right sort” of information – is it suitable for academic purposes? Is the author an expert in this subject area? Is the information reliable and ACCURATE?
4. Why has this information been written? What is its PURPOSE? Is there any bias I need to take account of?


Step 3: Read and Make NotesStep 3: Read and Make Notes

Now you have your materials together, it’s time to start getting the information that you need from them. There are different ways to approach this task depending on what you are reading. If it is books then you might want to start by looking at the chapter headings to decide which will be most useful. If it is a journal article then it is a good idea to read the abstract first as this help you decide whether it is worth reading in detail. Next you need to read the introduction as this will tell you about the main argument of the article. Read the conclusion next for a summary of the main ideas and finally if you still think it is relevant you may want to read the rest in detail. Make sure you annotate and summarise as you read.

 


Step 4: Write your EssayStep 4: Write your Essay

By now you should have a good idea about how you are going to answer the question. It is a good idea to re-visit your plan as it may have changed as a result of all the research and reading you have done! Give some thought to how you will structure your essay – it will need an introduction, a main body and a conclusion. The introduction tells the reader how you will answer the question. The main body is the ideas and analysis to support your argument, it is your opportunity to critically analyse the topic. Finally, the conclusion tells the reader how you have answered the question. Don’t forget to paraphrase, summarise and reference correctly as you write.

 


Step 5: Review and SubmitStep 5: Review and submit

Leave plenty of time to proofread your work paying particular attention to spelling, grammar, the question, word count and references and citations. When you are happy with your essay and confident that you have done your best to answer the question you can submit it.

 

 


Learn more

  1. Have a look at our 5 Steps to Essay Success online resource for more detail about each step.
  2. Read our study guides:
    – Writing your assignment
    – Reading and note making
    – Spelling and apostrophes
    – Proof Reading
  3. Book on to the Planning and Writing your Assignment workshop

LS:N – reminder of a great resource in Design

20 February 2017
Andy Callen

Read why Andy thinks LS:N is a great electronic resource.

Just wanted to remind you about the excellent electronic resource for all Design subjects, LS:N Global. LS:N is a trend prediction database that complements the use of WGSN (for Fashion) and Mintel (general business reports). It is extremely useful for business information and analysis, it has up-to-date and easily readable articles that can inform your written work, and great illustrations to inspire your creative work. LS:N is also potentially very useful for other subject areas such as Business and Management.

It’s the kind of database that is best explored by clicking on all its links, but particularly recommended are:

  • The Search function if you’re looking for a particular topic; there are also Filters to limit your search further. Try a search for youth to get results on youth fashion and the importance of youth trends in influencing design.
  • The Trends link for the consumer trends that drive innovation and change in design.
  • Inform for the opinions of industry experts, which would be especially useful for your assignments.
  • There is a Glossary at the bottom of the screen that gives you definitions for the terms used in the articles.

You access LS:N from www.lsnglobal.com  or from the A-Z list in Databases, from Library Search (the Library Catalogue). Please note you will need your Network username and password to access it off campus.

Any questions? Please contact me (Andy Callen) at A.Callen@salford.ac.uk .

It’s Hedgehog Day

2 February 2017

hedgehog

Today, 2nd February, is Hedgehog Day, and this little fellow has been brushing up on his Skills for Learning.

He is doing his best to Get Ahead.

He has set up his device for learning, found his reading lists, learned how to find information for his assignments, improved his writing skills, and now knows how to reference the information he has used. What a great start to the semester!

Don’t you think he looks a bit tired now though?

Information sources for Journalism – useful databases

27 January 2017

Databases for Journalism students 

Library Search is a great way to start a search for information on a particular topic, but if you want to use a specialist database, we have a huge range of sources that can provide you with information.  The list below is just a small selection.

Databases

    • Academic Search Premier – general full text journal article resource, good for a wide range of subject areas.
    • Arts & Humanities Index – titles include both scholarly journals and selected trade and consumer titles relevant to applied arts and cultural studies. Subject strengths include music, theatre, film and cultural studies.
    • Broadcast – a weekly online (and print) magazine covering the UK TV and radio industry. Useful for broadcasting news, commissioning, analysis and opinion.
    • Box of Broadcasts – provides access to an archive of TV and radio programmes from UK broadcasters. Allows you to request recordings of programmes yet to be broadcast (from the next 7 days).
    • Business Source Premier –journal articles, reports and books on business topics
    • Communication & Mass Media Complete – covers all aspects of communications, including media technology and social impacts.
    • Performing Arts Periodicals database – journal articles on all aspects of artistic performance, including film and broadcasting.
    • Nexis – full text press articles from regional, national and international newspapers and magazines.
    • Web of Science – despite its name this is a very useful and comprehensive resource for all social science topics – often worth checking.
    • Public Information Onlinecontains information from the Westminster and the UK’s regional parliaments/assemblies, plus a range of non-parliamentary material.
    • Westlaw includes articles from legal journals. (Remember to select Journals before you search, unless you are also looking for other legal material.)

 

Historical sources

  • Periodicals Archive Online – collection of full text journal backfiles from 1891 to 2000; useful for providing access to older material.
  • British Pathe – digital news archive, enabling the viewing of Pathe news clips from 1896 to 1970. Useful for and documentary.

To identify other relevant databases and get guidance on searching for information in a particular subject area, check out the Subject Support – Skills for Learning

Curate. Don’t drown in a sea of information. Organize.

18 January 2017

curate

Welcome to day 3 of national Bring Your Own Device for Learning Week. Here at Salford we are offering a short online course to help you make the most of your mobile device, as well as on campus activities all week. There’s no need to book, just follow the link below and participate as much or as little as you like.

Day three

Today’s theme is curating – how to stay on top of the latest developments in your area, and how you can organise your documents, ideas and notes. Drop in to Mary Seacole, room 187, between 12:00 and 13:00 today to find out more.

There’s so much information, it can become overwhelming. Why not explore ways of using your devices and applications to filter, store, organise and manage information effectively?

Note taking
Evernote
One Note

Document reader
Feedly (helps you keep on top of news and literature in your field)

Bookmarking
Pocket (save webpages to view later, even without an internet connection)

Referencing
RefMe
Mendleley

For more apps, check out this curating shelf.

Don’t forget the twitter chat this evening, between 20:00 and 21:00 (UK time) to share your experiences so far. Check out: #byod4lchat

Can’t join in but want to get your device set up for learning? Try our online guide

Need some human help? Turn up with your device at Clifford Whitworth library, first floor, between 12 and 2, Monday to Friday. No need to book, pop along with your device and we’ll help you get started.

Have you tried Box of Broadcasts?

10 January 2017

bob

Students/ researchers/ teaching staff, if you’re looking for audio-visual resources for your research, need something visual to illustrate a presentation, or want to make clip of a television programme to include in a lecture, look no further than Box of Broadcasts (or BoB for short). BoB is an electronic resource for playing back and recording tv and radio programmes for educational purposes. You can access it from the Databases link on SOLAR, then choose Box of Broadcasts from the A-Z list; or from http://www.learningonscreen.ac.uk/ondemand. You’ll need your Network username and password to access it. You can link to it from PowerPoint, Word or BlackBoard, and you can now label your own clips. It is useful across all subject areas, and is a great resource for watching feature films if we don’t have a particular film in the Library’s DVD collection.

BoB is fairly intuitive to use at a basic level, but please see our guide if you need further help.

Goodbye Bankscope, hello Fitch Connect.

20 December 2016

The Library has subscribed to Fitch Connect as a replacement source of bank data for the obsolete Bankscope.  Fitch Connect provides

  • Coverage for over 30,000 global banks (active and inactive).
  • 19,000+ active bank financial statements with the most coverage of emerging and frontier markets
  • Up to 500 data items per bank for summary and in-depth analysis.
  • Timely coverage: Annual and interim financial statements for the largest 3,200 banks (by total assets) are collected within hours of filing availability.
  • Accuracy: Double verified financial data used by Fitch credit analysts.
  • Fitch current & historical ratings.

A username and password are required to use the database.  To request these, you must use your University of Salford e-mail account to contact emeaclientservices@fitchsolutions.com

Use the Screener menu to search for Banks using the name of the company or other criteria such as market sector, region or accounting standard.  The homepage has a collection of videos to help you get started.