Posts about: Library Basics

Information sources for architecture-related subjects

10 July 2018
Tracy Breheny

Tracy suggests some architecture-related information sources that you can use.

Studying architecture or an architecture-related subject?  There are lots of sources of information you can use to help with your research.  All of these sources can be accessed via Library Search.

Useful books include:

  • Architecture:  Form, Space and Order by Frank Ching

Key journals (both print and electronic) include:

  • Architect
  • Architecture Today
  • Architectural Review
  • Azure
  • Building Engineer
  • Building Magazine
  • Built Environment
  • Construction News
  • Detail
  • Domus
  • Dwell
  • El Croquis
  • Journal of Architecture
  • Journal of Architecture and Urbanism
  • L’Architecture d’aujourd’hui
  • Mark
  • Metropolis
  • Modulo
  • Urban Design

Key databases include: 

More architecture-related resources can be found here.

Useful websites include:

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects)

Don’t forget, you will also have your online reading lists which you can consult for more detailed lists of module-related textbooks and other sources of information. read more

Creating accessible documents with SensusAccess

26 June 2018
Tracy Breheny

Tracy talks about making documents accessible using SensusAccess.

Students and staff can use SensusAccess to convert documents into a range of alternate media including audio books (MP3 and DAISY), e-books (EPUB, EPUB3 and Mobi) and digital Braille.

SensusAccess can also be used to convert inaccessible documents such as image-only PDF files, JPG pictures and Microsoft PowerPoint presentations into more accessible and less tricky formats.

To use the service:

  1. Upload your file.
  2. Choose the type of file you would like returned.
  3. Enter your University email address. A link to your converted file will be emailed for you to open or download.

Information on different types of files

Conditions of use

You can make an accessible copy if you own the copyright (e.g. it’s your own work), have permission from the copyright holder, if the copyright has expired, or if it’s for someone with disability. If you use SensusAccess, so you need to agree to the following terms and conditions: read more

Getting the most out of Google Scholar.

22 May 2018

Do you want to know how to link Google Scholar to Library Search, find the most recent papers or see how an idea has developed over time? Do you want to save papers to your Google Library or set up alerts for your research topic? The Library has written a handy FAQ that covers all this and more.Google scholar logo

We need your help and in return we’ll pay you!

14 May 2018

Student Video Presenter

We are looking for outgoing, confident individuals to be filmed talking about their experience of undertaking assessments at University. We expect this will take approximately 2 hours and are looking for 10 people to do this. We may also like you to give us feedback on a selection of Skills for Learning materials.
Apply now…

Student Production Assistant

We are looking for a motivated and creative individual to help us film and edit resources for new Skills for Learning material. We would like you to produce a series of talking head style videos. Equipment and video editing software will be provided as will a selection appropriate people to appear in the videos. We are offering two posts who will work 15 hours each. Start date and hours of work negotiable but must be in the next few weeks.
Apply now… read more

Exams… preparation is the key!

4 May 2018
Tracy Breheny

Tracy tells you how to find past exam papers to help with your exam preparation.

Got exams coming up?  Looking over past exam papers can be really useful when preparing for an exam.   The Library has a collection of past exam papers which are all available electronically.

To find past exam papers, you need to:

  1. Go to our past exam paper webpage here:
  2. Type in a couple of keywords to limit your search; often words from the module title bring back useful results.
  3. You will then be presented with a list of past exam papers we have access to that match your search. When you find the one you would like to look at, click on the title and you will be able to open it.
  4. If you are off-campus, you will be requested to sign in with your network username and password to view them.

Want to see how to find them?  Check out this video:

If you have any problem accessing past exam papers, please contact your Academic Support Librarian for further help:

There is also lots of help with exam preparation and revision tecniques available on our Skills for Learning webpage here: so take a look! read more

Exercise, sleep and study – you need to get the balance right

30 April 2018

Daley O’Neal is back with some more advice about living well for learning.

Last week I blogged about the relationship between exercise and staying well for your studies, something that is particularly important as we approach exams and assessment deadlines. Exercise and the resulting release of endorphins helps you to manage the feelings of stress and anxiety associated with the pressure of studying. The problem is that when you are studying hard you may not be getting enough sleep. The temptation to work into the night and get up early can lead to significantly reduced sleep levels. Drinking that extra energy drink, or your 5th cup of coffee only provides temporary relief from exhaustion. read more

Managing exam stress and anxiety levels with exercise – it’s all about the endorphins!

26 April 2018

Daley O’Neal from the University Sports Centre has written about the connection between exercise and managing exam stress and anxiety.

“To keep the body in good health is a duty… otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear.” Buddha.

One of the prevalent feelings for many around exams is anxiety. That feeling of unease and apprehension can leave you worried or fearful about the exam process and your results. All of these feelings are perfectly normal during the exam period.

Did you know that exercise can help you to manage these feelings?

  1. Exercise is a proven method to help facilitate a person’s ability to perform, succeed and accomplish goals, which of course, is exactly what you want to do in an exam!
  2. Studies around Social Cognitive Theory have indicated a strong relationship between exercise and managing anxiety levels. Undertaking regular levels of physical activity can positively impact on our coping mechanisms and helps us to regulate our emotions.
  3. While exercise cannot solve all the complex issues and causes of anxiety, it is a proven mechanism for increasing levels of self-belief within challenging situations, positively impacting our self-confidence and resilience levels.
  4. Engaging in physical activity on a consistent basis creates a release of endorphins in the body, which provides the platform for increased levels of self-confidence. This endorphin release also improves mood and feelings of self-worth and accomplishment.

This graphic might be taken from a BBC page about improving children’s intelligence, but it’s never too late to start you know! Just look at the brain benefits of exercise…

Do you currently exercise?

Is your current level of exercise maintainable?

Here are a few pointers from the Sports Centre on how we can help to manage stress and anxiety levels as we head into this busy exam period.

  1. Exercise consistency and sustainability are of vital importance, and two of the most fundamental elements of ensuring that you can remain physically active. Regular exercise should play a fundamental role within your everyday life .
  2. Ensure to remain active throughout the exam period. The endorphins released through short bouts of exercise may provide that added benefit for you.
  3. Breaking away from your studies just to go for a brisk walk could be the perfect tonic for success!
  4. Ensure that you are adequately hydrated, and that you are getting the required amounts of protein to help you recover from your workouts.

Need help?

Our fitness instructors are always around to help you develop a personalised, long-term plan.

And finally…

Always try to make a conscious effort to remain active and dedicate time to prioritise your own health. As you head into the exam period and beyond, physical activity will play a fundamental role in helping you achieve your learning goals. read more

Scanning something? Do you want a PDF, TIFF or JPEG?

20 April 2018

Did you know that when you scan something using the University’s printing/scanning devices, you can specify the format for the file – PDF (the default), TIFF or JPEG?

It’s very easy.  Here’s how –

  • Select ‘Scan-to-me’
  • Select ‘Job Details’
  • Pick the format you want for your file

Exams: Top tips for top marks!

20 April 2018

Make the most of your revision…

  • Make sure you are revising the right thing! Be clear about what sub-topics will be covered on each exam. If you aren’t sure check – there’s no point revising something which isn’t likely be on your exam!
  • Stuck in revision hell? The good news is short regular bursts of revision are a lot more effective than marathon revision sessions.
  • Make use of time which would otherwise be wasted like a bus journey or waiting for an appointment.
  • Revised lots but suffer from mind blanks in exams? Revising using flash cards and key words will help you recall information more easily. For long answers practice making mind maps including the subtopics and possible examples you plan to use. For multiple choice exams and short questions complete the questions you are confident with and revisit ones you are unsure about.
  • Use past papers. These help you familiarise yourself with the structure and content of the exam. They also enable you to check gaps in your knowledge.
  • In your exam read the instructions carefully – spend plenty of time reading the exam question before you commit to writing your answer. Underline/highlight and circle the key elements of each question to be sure you know exactly what is being required of you. If you are writing a long answer, make a short plan.
  • Calculate how long you need to complete each section of your exam and stick to these timings!
  • read more

    Getting the most out of Library Search

    16 April 2018
    Tracy Breheny

    Tracy tells you how to use Library Search smarter!

    Trying to find sources for your academic work can be difficult, time consuming and overwhelming.  Sometimes, even deciding where to look can be tricky!  But fear not, help is at hand!

    Library Search can make your academic life easier by helping you to find a range of reliable and trustworthy sources for your work.  It contains a wealth of information to help you make the most of your studies, including books/eBooks, journals/eJournals, articles, databases, past exam papers, the University’s research, the University’s Archives and Special Collections and more. read more