Posts about: Information Skills

Lights, camera, action.. information sources for film

9 April 2020

Finding films to watch

Those of you with subscriptions to Netflix, Disney, Sky etc. will have access to a huge number of mainstream films.  However, the Library also provides some excellent sources for films old and new, both mainstream and more alternative.

Box of Broadcasts – This is a treasure trove for film buffs.  It’s a vast collection of programmes broadcast on TV and radio over the past 20 years or more.  Many thousands of films have been aired on TV, and the recordings are available in this database.  This blog describes how to use Box of Broadcasts to find a particular film. read more

Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Finding newspapers using the Library

21 February 2020
Tracy Breheny
Tracy talks about newspapers, why they can be useful and explains how you can access them.

Newspapers can be a useful source of information when undertaking your research.  They can contain useful historical and current event information and commentary, as well as being interesting to read! Depending on what you are studying, there can benefits to reading and using newspaper articles in your research:

  • They can allow you to see what people thought and how people viewed an event when it happened;
  • They can provide multiple points of view and different opinions about a topic or an issue, and sometimes offer comparisons.
  • They can help you to look at the historical detail of an event, the context around it and they can enable you to follow things over time;
  • They can contain commentaries or retrospective articles about events.

Whether used as a primary or a secondary source, newspapers can provide valuable information. However, they can contain bias or be reflective of one side of an argument, so you need to bear that in mind and critically evaluate information you’re not sure of if you are using it for your academic work. read more

Referencing: an introduction

29 October 2018

Anne introduces referencing.

Even if you are still quite new to university you have probably already heard words like “referencing” and “citations” – and heard that they are VERY IMPORTANT.

But what is referencing, and why do you need to do it?

Research is a major part of university education, and it is expected that you will read, understand and discuss the writing of others. It is essential that you acknowledge what you have read to protect yourself against accusations of plagiarism, show the research you have done, and allow your tutors to identify your own ideas and understanding of your subject.

This is what referencing means.

To find out more, watch our Citing it Right video. Click the image to play.

referencing-player

 
Students on most taught courses at Salford are required to reference using the APA 6th style. There are links to PDF guides plus online examples on the Skills for Learning Referencing and Plagiarism pages.

To learn more about referencing come to a workshop – and if you need more help you may book an appointment with your Subject Librarian or Study Skills Consultant.

We want you to do well in your studies!

Sage Research Methods Videos

9 May 2018

Looking to undertake some research this year? Need some expert help and guidance? SAGE Research Methods is the essential online resource for anyone doing research or learning how to do research. With more than 800 books, reference works, journal articles, and videos, it provides information on writing a research question, conducting a literature review, choosing a research method, collecting and analyzing data, and writing up the findings. SAGE Research Methods’ coverage spans the full range of research methods used in the social and behavioral sciences, plus a wide range of methods commonly used in science, technology, medicine, and the humanities.

You can

  • Embed videos onto your blackboard sites
  • Choose from different types of videos, from case studies, interviews and tutorials
  • Helps you to write up methodology for publication in the best research journals

Why not watch this short video for an overview of this great resource

https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/sage-research-methods

 

You can access this content from both on and off campus here.

Using Dictionaries and Encyclopaedias

12 January 2018

Want to use something better than Wikipedia for your assignments? Anne suggests some alternatives.

When you get given a new assignment do you head straight to Wikipedia to find out what the words mean?

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing – if you’re going to research a topic and write about it you need to know what it is, right? However, Wikipedia is a crowd-sourced resource – meaning you don’t know who has written the information, or more importantly, if they know what they’re writing about.

The Library provides online access to a wealth of dictionaries and encyclopaedias, and other publications such as directories and handbooks, which are known as reference works.

They are usually arranged in alphabetical order and provide short, factual articles to give you a brief overview of a topic – just like Wikipedia, but from a reliable, academic source.

what you can find in an encyclopaedia

  • A dictionary is a book providing definitions of words and phrases. It can be a language dictionary or a specialist subject dictionary. You can use dictionaries to help you understand the words and concepts in your essay question.
  • An encyclopaedia is a book, or set of books, giving information on either many branches of knowledge or a specific subject. You can use encyclopaedias to get an overview of your subject before you move on to more detailed research.
  • read more

    Finding pictures the legal way (1/3)

    21 June 2017

    When you’re looking for pictures to illustrate or enhance your academic work, how do you search? Do you ‘copy and paste’ from the internet, as a student recently told me? Or simply type your search term in that old reliable, Google?

    Unless you’re careful, searching like this can contravene copyright law and potentially get you into legal trouble. Whenever you find an image through a regular Google search, there’s a good chance that it either:

    • has a license which forbids you to use it, or
    • has no license at all

    Assuming that you didn’t ask for prior permission to use the content, it’s illegal to use it if either of these two cases applies.

    Fortunately, there are various ways to search for images that are OK to use in your academic work, for presentations and in your professional life. Here are the two simplest ones.

    1. If you want to use Google, here’s how to search for pictures on Google the legal way:
    • Go to Google and type in your search term.
    • Do an image search.
    • Click Tools
    • Click Usage Rights
    • Select ‘licenced for reuse’
    • All the pictures that display are fine for you to use.

    2) Another option is to use the inbuilt creative commons image search within Microsoft Word and PowerPoint (in versions 2013 and 2016). From within your document, go to the ‘Insert’ menu on the ribbon and select ‘Online Pictures’.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    This will take you to a Bing search engine which will return Creative Commons (ie safe to use) images for you.

    Sometimes, the results from Google and Microsoft alone may be disappointing. Next time: some alternative safe search engines for pictures that will give you brilliant results.

    Explore ESDU

    15 June 2017

    Need engineering design methods and data? Anne shows you where you can find these.

    Do you need access to design methods and data for aeronautical, mechanical or structural engineering?

     

    little logoESDU (Engineering Sciences Data Unit) provides data, software tools and design methods that have been monitored, guided and rigorously tested and validated by technical committees comprised of leading experts from industry, academia and government organisations from around the world.

    In short, this is information you can trust.

     

    What’s more, you won’t find this information on Google or Wikipedia – in in many cases the data and information is unpublished and only available through ESDU.

    When you are designing or building something, you don’t want it to fall apart, do you?

     

    Access ESDU through Library Search.

    Go to sign in if you are working off-campus.
    ESDU2

    When ESDU opens read the Agreement and click the Yes, I accept… button.

    Not sure where to start?

    ESDU5

    ESDU4

    Once you are familiar with the types of information you can find on ESDU, try using the Search box to find the things you need.

    Want to watch a good film? – Try Box of Broadcasts

    12 May 2017

    Did you know that you have access to an enormous number of films via Box of Broadcasts?

    By Joanna Wilson
    Academic Support Librarian

    Box of Broadcasts (often referred to as BoB), contains recordings of TV and radio programmes, including recordings of lots of films.

    Whether you want to explore the work of a particular director, watch a film from your favourite genre, analyse a classic film, or just take a break from your studies, you can check whether a film is available to you via BoB.

    Connecting to Box of Broadcasts –

    Go via Library Search, which gives access to all the Library’s resources.

  • Connect to the University’s Library Search (via this link, or use Google by searching for Library Search Salford)
  • Sign in to Library Search with your network username and password
  • Type Box of Broadcasts in the search box.
  • Box of Broadcasts should be the first item in the results list. Click on the online access link.
  • If you haven’t used BoB before you will be asked to set up a profile – it’s quick and easy, but make sure you use your university email address.
  • read more

    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.
  • read more

    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.
  • read more