13 December 2012

Library Christmas vacation opening hours and book loans

Season's Greetings from Library Staff.  Over the Christmas vacation the Library is open as follows:

  • Monday 17 December to Friday 21 December the Library is open 08:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday 22 December to Sunday 23 December:  the Library is open 11:00 - 18:00
  • The Library will be closed Monday 24 December until Tuesday 1 January inclusive
  • Wednesday 2 January the Library is open from 08:00 onwards and will be open 24/6
Please see the Library web site for the Christmas Vacation and Spring Term opening hours:
Please remember you will need your uniCARD to swipe in at all times.

If you have books on loan, then please make sure you return them by Friday 21 December, or renew them each week online via My Library Record on the Library Catalogue. Books which can't be renewed can be posted back - fines will accrue on overdue books so keep an eye on your Aston University email.

Please note: the out of hours book return box is closed when the University is closed for holidays (from Monday 24 December until the Library re-opens on 2 January).

We wish you all a very good break. 

12 December 2012

Introduction to EndNote Web

Bob Green, from Adept Scientific, has recorded a 20 minute "Introduction to EndNote Web" video. EndNote Web is web-based bibliographic management software which can help you find and store useful references quickly and accurately, and create formatted citations and bibliographies in seconds.

This video will be a useful resource whether you're simply fact-finding or you're a new user getting started, and is best viewed in HD (720p).  The video starts from the EndNote Web login page (www.myendnoteweb.com) and you can register for your EndNote Web account using the Sign Up link on that page.  Note that if you are off-campus, you will first need to "Log in via your institutional login" to allow you to register.

 If you have any questions about using EndNote Web, please e-mail the Library Help Desk.

11 December 2012

Tips to save money on college textbooks

USA based ideas to cut the cost of buying textbooks - Blast Magazine. December 10, 2012 (accessed through Nexis UK, locate from A-Z list of Databases in SmartSearch).

4 December 2012

Dawsonera unavailable 10am-6pm on Saturday 8th December

This Saturday, the 8th December 2012, Dawson will be performing an essential upgrade on the dawsonera e-book platform and will require an outage between the hours of 10am and 6pm, GMT.

3 December 2012

RSC Going for Gold

The Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) have recently launched a “Going for Gold” scheme, where institutional subscribers to their journals packages are entitled to complimentary Open Access article credits.  In Aston’s case, this translates into 5 credits for Aston authors who wish to publish in RSC journals before the end of 2013.

The RSC publishes a broad range of journals, including many inter-disciplinary journals, so it is likely to have a wide relevance across SEAS and LHS.  Publication timescales can be very fast, particularly for the publication of communications articles.

One Aston author has already taken advantage of this initiative to make their 2012 article Open Access:

Lychnos, G., Amdouni, R., Davies, P. A. (2012). Concentrated seawater brines for use in solar-powered desiccant cooling cycles. RSC Advances, 2 (21), 7978–7982.

Allocation of credits will be administered by Georgina Hardy in Library & Information Services, so please contact her on g.c.hardy@aston.ac.uk for further information or to register your interest.

***Update: we have been advised by the RSC that we have 5 credits available (not 15 as originally thought)

28 November 2012

Thomson Reuters Q&A Sessions in December 2012

Do you use the financial numerical database Datastream? Are you working in the ABS Trading Room with Reuters 3000xtra database? Would you like further help extracting data?

Thomson Reuters are offering Question and Answer sessions for students using the Datastream and Reuters 3000xtra database. If you are having problems extracting data and would like advice please feel free to sign up for one of the Q&A sessions:

· Client trainers from Thomson Reuters will be holding online Q&A sessions to answer your questions regarding data on DataStream

· No need to have the product in front of you, just the question that you want answering

· No need to join a conference call, they will use Adobe chat… however, if you really want to talk to a trainer they will provide a number to call

· To sign up, email: knowledge.networkUKI@thomsonreuters.com stating the date, time and product session as well as your University email address.

Leave the rest to Thomson Reuters! They will email you with the login details for the 1 hour sessions.

Dates and Times are:


Tuesday 4th December 2012 –15:00

Tuesday 18th December 2012 - 11:00

Reuters 3000xtra

Thursday 6th December 2012 -11:00

Tuesday 18th December 2012 - 14:00

Malcolm Horne
Business Information Specialist

E-books display in ebrary

Have you noticed that e-books haven't been loading fully when you've tried to access them on the ebrary platform?

In order to fix this, ebrary have suggested that you clear your browser cache and update Java: www.Java.com? You could also try a different web browser. 
If you continue to encounter problems, please contact us.

23 November 2012

ebrary bookshelf items

The University has moved over to a new authentication system this term, and as a consequence of this, any items you may have saved in the bookshelf on the ebrary e-book platform have not been carried over to your new account.  The support team at ebrary are able to transfer these items over manually if you contact them at support@ebrary.com. They will need to know your Aston University network username as well as the username you see in the top right-hand corner of ebrary when you log in.

15 November 2012

Logging in problems: now fixed

**UPDATE: The logging in problems that we experienced this morning have now been fixed. Apologies for the inconvenience.**

There are currently some problems with the logging in system for our online resources. We are working to fix this as quickly as possible. This post will be updated as soon as things are working normally again. If you have any queries, please e-mail us

8 November 2012

Smarten up your searching!

If you are getting the results you want from the Library SmartSearch, great!  We're glad you're finding what you need.

However, when you're not getting results as relevant as you hoped, here are some tips for improving your search:
  • Enclose a phrase in quotation marks to find only those items where your words appear in the order you have typed them in:  "doing your literature review". 
  • Use Advanced Search to specify where your keywords should be found:
  • Search for word variants or alternative spellings by using wild cards: 
    organi?ational behavi*
  • Widen your search by using OR to link words which refer to the same concept: 
    "higher education" OR university
  • Make your results more relevant by forcing your keywords to appear near each other.  The near operator (Nn) finds words within n words of one another:  student N3 mentor
For more tips on improving your search, click on the Help Icon which you will see next to the search box.  Alternatively, e-mail the Help Desk.

Let us know your thoughts on the Library SmartSearch by providing feedback

31 October 2012

Feedback on LIS via your Staff-Student Consultative Committees

At this point in term, your Information Specialists are attending Staff Student Consultative Committees for Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate programmes, to communicate developments in Library & Information Services and to collect feedback from students. 

Developments which the Information Specialists will be raising include:

  • Your Information Specialists and Information Resources Specialists have been working hard over the summer to introduce the brand new LibGuides and Library Smartsearch. These replace the Library Catalogue and Aston e-Library with one place to search for resources and to receive support in using them.  Please let us know your comments on these.
  • We have also moved the books in the building to a more logical numerical sequence.  Books numbered 001 – 499 are now on Floor 2 and those numbered 500 – 999 are on Floor 3.  Please check the class/call number of the book you require via Library SmartSearch.
  • The Library building is now open 24/6 during term time throughout the academic year. 
  • A new self-service facility for loaning laptops is being trialled this week, and we hope to have this operating fully whenever the building is open within the next few weeks.

Staff-Student Consultative Committees are an important communication route for us to hear about both specific problems (such as availability of a core text book) to more general feedback about our services and facilities.

Please talk to your local student representatives if you have any issues you would like to raise at your Staff-Student Consultative Committee, or you are always welcome to contact us directly.

30 October 2012

Presidential election 2012 information

Don't be left in the dark about the forthcoming US elections.  There's a helpful blog by Heather Dawson at the LSE which will give you some links to find out how the US presidential vote system works.  Also there is a selection of links to major news services which are covering the elections.

5 October 2012

Missed your Library Matters Live?

Library Matters Live logo
Library Matters Live sessions have now finished for this year.  We hope those of you who attended found them a useful introduction to Library & Information Services (LIS). 

If you missed yours or you want a refresher, don't worry!  You can dowload the presentation slides and an audio tour for the Library from the Library Matters Live webpage.  There will also be staff members available to introduction you to LIS, demonstrate the Library SmartSearch and answer your questions in the Foyer of the Library from 11am to 2pm every day next week (8th - 12th October).  They will even have some left-over goodie bags, so you can get your free stuff from them!

And don't forget, you can always get help and support from the Help Desk on the ground floor of the Library.

Welcome to Aston University Library & Information Services, and good luck with your course!

1 October 2012

Library Matters Live

If you're not sure when to attend Library Matters Live, look at the timetable.  If there's a problem with that time, then attend any of the sessions.  There's a session on the hour, almost every hour, until Friday 5th October 2012.
Fill in an evaluation form after your Library Matters Live session for a goody bag and your chance to win a prize!

26 September 2012

Visit us in The Hub!

Every lunchtime, 1pm to 2pm, in Welcome Week and in the first week of term, one of your Information Specialists will be guests at The Hub.

Why not drop in to see us to ask any questions you have about the Library and Information Services?

We can provide you with more information about the Library Matters Live sessions for new students, show you the brand new Library SmartSearch and LibGuides, or help you carry out a preliminary literature search for your final year dissertation.

We'd love to see you!

21 September 2012

Library Update for All Students

Aston University Library Welcomes All New and Returning Students

Library Matters Live  All new students are invited to attend a Library Matters Live session which takes place in Fresher's Week and Week One of term.  You can see the timetable on the Library website.

Opening Hours Image
From 1 October 2012, the Library will be open 24/6 throughout term-time.

Library SmartSearch logo

You can use Library SmartSearch to find books, journals, articles and electronic resources.  We will be holding drop-in help sessions in the Library foyer throughout Week One.  Library SmartSearch is complemented by a series of LibGuides containing listings of recommended resources for each subject for finding information such as books, journals and databases.  

My Library Record icon
You can renew your books and check your Library Account via My Library Record.  You can also renew your books using the self-service machines in the Library.

Location of Books
Most of the books are on the second and third floors and some have moved location over the summer.  Books numbered 001 – 499 are on Floor 2 and books labelled 500 – 999 are on Floor 3. Please check the class number / call number on Library SmartSearch, pick up a floor plan in the Library or ask staff for help. 

Help Desk
If you have any queries, please ask a member of staff in the Library at any time.  
During term-time, the Help desk is open 09:00 - 18:00.  Email: library@aston.ac.uk     Tel: 0121 204 4525

Web links

17 September 2012

Library SmartSearch

Library SmartSearch replaces the Library Catalogue and Aston e-Library as the new way of searching for printed and online resources.  You can link to Library SmartSearch from the Library home page:

Library SmartSearch is complemented by a series of LibGuides containing listings of recommended resources for each subject for finding information such as databases, journals, books and web pages.  You can link to LibGuides in your subject area from the Library web site:

For help and enquiries please call the Library Help desk on 0121 204 4525 or email library@aston.ac.uk

14 September 2012

Problems with Web of Knowledge access

While these problems persist, we have temporarily set access for the Web of Knowledge to go via the proxy server. You can access this route via the LibGuides A-Z list of databases.

We are currently experiencing some problems with access to Web of Knowledge.  We are aware of this and are in contact with them to rectify the problem.

Contact us if you are having problems library@aston.ac.uk

7 September 2012

Library SmartSearch Teaching Bite

Introducing Library SmartSearch, the brand new way of searching for information.  Search and access quality resources in one place.  The next LIS Teaching Bite for academic staff will take place on Wednesday 12th September in the Library Seminar Room.  Lunch from 12.30, Seminar begins at 1pm.  Email library@aston.ac.uk or just turn up.  Encourage your colleagues to come along, all members of staff involved in teaching are welcome!

29 August 2012

Online article formats: HTML vs PDF

This month, IEEE Xplore is starting to make their articles available in HTML format, as well as PDF format, with a view to having this complete for all articles by the end of 2014.

A PDF of a journal article is a great format for printing and downloading, and you see the article in the layout and design in which it will have appeared in the printed journal.

However, the HTML format, provided in addition to PDF by most major publishers, has a number of advantages:
  • Use browser functions to change the text size, copy quotations and find keywords
  • Navigate easily between sections of long articles
  • Explore figures, equations, and multimedia files (something the Royal Society of Chemistry have excelled in with their Project Prospect)

21 August 2012

LabVIEW now available

LabVIEW is system design software built specifically for tasks performed by engineers and scientists. This software enables users to create flexible and scalable test, control and embedded design applications.

LabVIEW software is now available for you to borrow from the Library Help Desk, for you to install on your own computer.   There is a version for windows (two DVDs) and one for the Mac (one DVD), which can be borrowed as one day loans (until 1pm the following working day).  If you are a part-time, placement or distance learning student, we can issue these for 7 days.

2 August 2012

Thomson Reuters Q & A Sessions in August 2012

Do you use the financial numerical database Datastream?  Are you working in the ABS Trading Room with Reuters 3000xtra database? Would you like further help extracting data?

Thomson Reuters are offering Question and Answer sessions for students using the Datastream and Reuters 3000xtra database.  If you are having problems extracting data and would like advice please feel free to sign up for one of the Q&A sessions:

·         Client trainers from Thomson Reuters will be holding online Q&A sessions to answer your questions regarding data on DataStream  
·         No need to have the product in front of you, just the question that you want answering
·         No need to join a conference call, they will use Adobe chat… however, if you really want to talk to a trainer they will provide a number to call
·     To sign up, email: knowledge.networkUKI@thomsonreuters.com stating the date, time and product session as well as your University email address.

Leave the rest to Thomson Reuters! They will email you with the login details for the 1 hour sessions.

Dates and Times are:

Tuesday 7th August, 2012 –14:00
Monday 13th August 2012 - 14:00

Reuters 3000xtra
Wednesday 8th August, 2012 -10:00
Wednesday 29th August 2012 - 15:00

Malcolm Horne
Business Information Specialist

25 July 2012

Impact Factors 2011

At the end of last month, Thomson Reuters announced the release of the 2011 Impact Factors, available via the Journal Citation Reports (part of the Web of Knowledge).

The 2011 Impact Factor for a journal title is calculated as the average number of citations received in 2011 by articles published in that journal title during 2009 and 2010.

One interesting feature of the 2011 release was the exclusion of 51 journal titles due to "anomalous citation patterns" - it appears Thomson Reuters believed these journals to be engaging in practices designed to artificially inflate their Impact Factors.

For more information on Impact Factors, or guidance on finding out what the Impact Factor for a particular journal is, please contact your Information Specialist.

20 July 2012

A "most read" journal article from Aston author

A review paper in the Open Access Journal of Vision, authored by Dr Martin Juttner (LHS) and colleagues from the University of Munich, is among the most read articles of this online journal.

Strasburger, H., Rentschler, I., J├╝ttner, M (2011). Peripheral vision and pattern recognition: A review. Journal of Vision, 11 (5), 13.

Since its release in December the paper has been accessed more than 2000 times.

You can read the article online at the Journal of Vision.

19 July 2012

Article-level citation data: why and how?

At a conference I attended a few weeks ago, Anna Dickinson from the REF team at HEFCE gave an overview of the REF for a group of librarians supporting research.  One of the key points she made was that none of the sub-panels assessing submissions for REF will be using journal title-level citation data (e.g. Impact Factors or similar) to assess submitted research outputs, but that 11 of the 36 sub-panels will be provided with information about article-level citation data, including contextual data for that subject area.

So, a journal article submitted to one of the 11 sub-panels will be supplied to the members of that sub-panel with details of how many times that particular journal article has been cited in the literature, and the number of citations that a "top" journal article in that subject area might expect to receive.

If you want to find out what the article-level citation data for a specific journal article is, then you will need to use Scopus, the citation data provider for REF.  Search for the article of interest in Scopus, and you will see the "Cited by" information in a box on the right hand side of the page.

For more information about the use of citation data in the REF, including information about which panels are using this data and how the contextual citation data will be calculated (not yet available at the time of writing), see the REF 2014 web page.

4 July 2012

Open Access (OA) News

Public sector already saves £28.6 million through use of OA but greater access would provide even greater benefits.
Open Access to research materials has had high profile recently.  The UK Open Access Implementation Group (OAIG) has released two reports that say open access (OA) to published scholarly research offers significant benefits to the UK.
Their findings show that the UK public sector already saves £28.6 million by using OA and that both the public and voluntary sectors would see further direct and indirect benefits from increased access to UK higher education research publications. The UK public sector spends £135 million a year, made up of subscriptions and time spent trying to find articles, accessing the journal papers it needs to perform effectively. Every additional 5 percent of journal papers accessed via OA on the web would save the public purse £1.7 million, even if no subscription fees were to be saved, say the reports.
The UK's voluntary and charitable sectors also benefit from OA to academic research and survey respondents quote the most frequent barrier to accessing research as cost (80 percent.
These reports also notes that making more research free at the point of access, and easier to search across, could produce significant savings, and could also lead  to better decisions based on all the available evidence. This would offer benefits back to researchers, boosting the impact of their research by increasing its reach outside the academia.
The reports make a number of recommendations around increasing awareness of OA in the public and private sectors. These include promoting the value of the information produced as a result of public research funding and exploring ways of improving relationships between academic researchers and workers in other sectors who rely on their research to do their jobs well.
More information here or you can read the reports Benefits of Open Access to Scholarly Research to the Public Sector.
Inspire - eNewsletter May 2012

28 June 2012

Mobile device enhancements on Cambridge journals platform

The latest release of Cambridge Journals Online functionality includes new developments for mobile devices.

Mobile Device Twinning
Using your Aston University instiutional access, you can now twin your mobile devices with the Cambridge Journals platform, so that you can access subscriptions when off campus. Devices can be twinned via the Cambridge platform while on Aston's WiFi network, or remotely by using the ‘Mobile Device Twinning’ option on the Cambridge platform, which provides a twinning code that can be entered into the device. Further information is available on Cambridge's blog.

Kindle Button
A ‘Send to Kindle’ button is now displayed at article level. When clicked, a box is displayed into which the reader can enter their Kindle email address. CJO will then send the article to the reader’s Kindle, where it will appear in the home screen when the device is synced. Further information is available on Cambridge's blog.

27 June 2012

Book moves on 2nd and 3rd floors

We are moving the books around on the 2nd and 3rd floors this summer, in order to balance the stock on the floors and make better use of the space available. There will be some inevitable disruption while this work goes on, for which we apologise, but we will try to keep it to a minimum. If you have trouble finding items, please ask at the Help Desk.

19 June 2012

Research Bites 2012 announced!

The programme for the Research Bites 2012 seminars has now been announced.  These short, informal seminars are held on Wednesdays at 1pm throughout July and August, and feature topics relevant to researchers at all levels.  Whether you want a quick refresher on a single topic or a comprehensive updating of your information and research skills, you will find something for you.

Topics for this year's seminars include:
  • Which are the best journals to publish in?
  • Making EndNote work for you
  • Don’t mind your own business: business intelligence & market research
  • Copyright and intellectual property

You can find the full programme and more details about each topic on the Research Bites 2012 webpage.

11 June 2012

Access to the British Pharmacopoeia

There is currently a problem with off-campus access to the British Pharmcopoeia Online.  They are working on this but in the mean time to access the BP off-campus please use the proxy server.  On-campus access should not be affected.  Please contact the Library if you experience any problems library@aston.ac.uk

14 May 2012

Mendeley or Zotero?

The University of Cambridge, Judge Business School have published a very helpful comparison between Zotero and Mendeley.  You can decide for yourself which application would be more helpful to organise your references.  Read it here

You can, of course still use EndNote or EndNote Web!

8 May 2012

Book Citation Indexes - 3 Month Trial

The Thomson Reuters Book Citation Index fully indexes over 30,000 editorially selected books in the sciences, social sciences and humanities (with an emphasis on the social sciences and humanities), from 2005 to the present. 10,000 new books are added each year, and all are indexed at the chapter level.  This new resource is intended to extend the discovery and analysis capabilities of the Web of Knowledge by including comprehensive book citation data.

For a brief introduction to the Book Citation Index, see the 3-min recorded training provided by Thomson Reuters or read the factsheet.

The Book Citation Index has now been enabled on a three month trial basis (from 7 May) and is accessible via the Web of Knowledge.  If you are off campus, access the Web of Knowledge via Aston e-Library.

If you have any comments about this resource, feel free to leave them below.

4 May 2012

Opening Hours on Bank Holiday Monday 7 May

Dear students, 
The Library is open 24 hours on Bank Holiday Monday 7th May but the Help desk will be closed.  Library laptops will not be available.  There will be limited support for photocopying and printing.   Please remember to bring your uniCARD at all times to swipe in as you are required by the University to visibly display your card out of hours.  The Library Attendants will not be able to let you in during evenings, weekends and the Bank Holiday if you do not have your uniCARD.  Your safety and security is important to us, so please also make sure you look after your belongings in the Library at all times.

Thank you,
Public Services Team