28 February 2014

Taylor & Francis: scheduled downtime

The Taylor & Francis online platform will be unavailable from Saturday 1st March 2014 at 16:00 GMT until Sunday 2nd March 2014 at 08:00 GMT.

18 February 2014

New Scopus Interface

If you have used Scopus in the last couple of weeks, you may have noticed a few changes to the search interface and the way your results are displayed.  The Scopus 10th anniversary release went live on February 1st.  Scopus say the "primary goal of the redesign was to ... minimize the number of steps a researcher needs to take to accomplish a given task".

Key changes in the new interface are:
  • Hover over items in your results list to see "Show Abstract" - visual noise is reduced in main results display
  • One click toggle between three most popular sort options: date, cited by, relevance
  • Easier export to key reference management packages, including one-click export once settings are saved
  • Clarified Author view, including "Follow this Author", so you can find out when an author publishes a new article
Find out more on the Scopus Blog.  If you have any questions about using Scopus, or any of our other databases, contact your Information Specialist.

14 February 2014

Undergraduate students - chance to share your views with the Library and obtain £25 Amazon voucher

  1. Would you like to help the Library to develop LibGuides for students, by sharing your views and suggestions? (You don't have to have used LibGuides to participate.)
  2. Are you free on Wednesday 26 February OR Wednesday 5 March between 14:00 – 15:30 to attend a focus group?
  3. Would you like the opportunity to obtain a £25 Amazon voucher for participating?
If the answer is Yes to all 3 questions then please email library@aston.ac.uk ASAP including:
  • your preferred date
  • your course
  • your year of study
  • info about your use of LibGuides (i.e. used / not used)
Please note: Closing date is 19 February or earlier if all places are allocated before then.  Places will be limited and allocated to students from different courses and year groups.  We will confirm places to successful applicants by Friday 21 February.

Best regards
Lydia Matheson
on behalf of Information Specialists

Proquest databases will be unavailable Sunday 16th February

On February 16, 2014 ProQuest will make improvements to its internal systems to accomodate a growing number of users and to reduce the need for future downtime.
To minimize the impact these enhancements will be installed during an eight hour window of typically low usage from Sunday 16th Feb 03:00amto 10:00am. 

During this time the following ProQuest products will not be available:
  • ProQuest: ABI Inform Complete
  • ProQuest Dialog
  • ProQuest Congressional
  • ProQuest K12 databases
  • ProQuest Genealogy databases
  • ProQuest Digital Microfilm
  • RefWorks

7 February 2014

New study spaces available on the 1st floor of the Library

On Wednesday 5th of February new study desks were installed on the 1st Floor of the Library.

There are now an extra 40 study spaces for you to use. If you are looking for a pleasant, quiet study environment try out the 1st Floor of the Library.  

If this floor is full and you need a quiet area to concentrate,  remember that there is silent study available on the 3rd floor of the Library.

6 February 2014

Please help the Jisc Identity Management Survey

Jisc is carrying out a study into the way that students and research staff in UK Higher Education access online academic resources such as journal papers, articles and e-books. This study includes a short online survey aimed at both students and academic/research staff.

It would be really help to the project if you could take the time to complete the survey.  The survey is straightforward and shouldn't take longer than 5 minutes to complete.  You can find more detailed information about the project on the project blog.

The URL for the survey is

If you have any questions about the survey or would like to be involved in further user testing please contact Stuart Church, http://www.pureusability.co.uk/ .

5 February 2014

Using doctoral theses in your research: a guide to EThOS

EThOS (http://ethos.bl.uk) is the national database for PhD theses, managed by the British Library. It's a fantastic resource for researchers, with over 100,000 UK theses freely available to download and use for your own research, and another 200,000 available to search and scan on demand. 

Join a free webinar to learn how EThOS works. Find out how to search for and download theses, and what to do if a thesis isn't available. If you're a PhD student, find out what will happen to your thesis once it's completed. We'll also explain how EThOS works with UK universities to support the whole research cycle, making the theses more visible and available for new researchers to use and build on.

The webinar will take place on the 13th February, 3:00pm and is a repeat of the webinar which ran in December, 2013
Register now to attend the webinar

Host: Sara Gould, Development Manager at the British Library, who manages the EThOS service. Sara will answer questions after the webinar.