ORA AI Collection

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning have existed as areas of research for many years but recently these areas have come to the forefront in research in many different disciplines. There are many departments and groups across the University of Oxford that are using and developing AI tools in their research. Many of these research projects have practical applications in medicine, the environment, business and many other areas of society.

Image shows many bubbles cascading out from a central, larger sphere.

Image created by Nidia Dias as part of the Visualising AI project launched by Google DeepMind. Free to use under the Unsplash License

The Bodleian Libraries have recently launched the ORA (Oxford Research Archive) collection on Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning available from the homepage of ORA (Oxford Research Archive), the institutional repository for the University of Oxford.

The ORA AI collection gathers AI-related research on many journal articles, conference papers, working papers, preprints, and more – produced by the members of the University of Oxford and mostly available in full text on ORA. The ORA AI homepage also provides links to Oxford AI-related research activities and to research information included in a range of other platforms.

Image shows the sillouette of a human head with scientific symbols.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC 4.0

To mark the launch of the ORA AI collection, an event showcasing current research on AI and Machine Learning from DPhil students and early career researchers will be held on the 19th March, 10 -11.30am in the Taylor Institution.

Laptop Tables

Have your say!

We know you want more seats in the RSL, and we are working on it, but with some of those seats you’ll need tables. We have two different laptop tables that we are testing and we’d appreciate your feedback.

Both tables are height adjustable but have slightly different styles.

Table 1 has a round shape and a solid base.

Two images, one showing a person sitting at a laptop table, the other showing a person standing at a laptop table.

Table 2 has a square design.

two images, one showing a person sitting at a laptop table, the other showing a person standing at a laptop table.

 Give us your feedback by adding a vote for the table you like, use the whiteboard near the tables. You can also leave a comment.

Photograph of a whiteboard with the text that reads, New laptop tables? Help us choose. Add your vote or grab a post-it and leave your comments. Below that are spaces with headings Table 1, Table 2 and Comments.

Cast your vote!

If you have any further comments or suggestions you’d like to make about laptop tables you can reply here or email enquiries.rsl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

LGBTQ+ History Month

As LGBTQ+ History month kicks off there is a range of informative and enriching events happening throughout the University.

We’d like to take this time to highlight two scientists from the LGBTQ+ community who are represented in the portraiture around the RSL.

Christopher Strachey was a computer scientist, leader in the field of programming languages and pioneer of early video games. See his portrait in the RSL and read more about this amazing figure on our blog.

Our colleagues in the archives have an amazing collection of his working papers and lectures that can also be consulted.

Oliver Sacks is one of the few scientists whose work became well-known through his published accounts of neurological case stories, particularly the adaptation of his book ‘Awakenings’ into a film starring famous American actors. He was also a man who lived at a time when he had to hide his homosexuality for fear of imprisonment or chemical castration. We are grateful to his foundation for allowing us to include this eminent Oxford alumnus in our portraiture. Read more about him on our blog.

Book Display 

We have also put together a small book display that you can view in the break out area. The collection highlights the great work of LGBTQ+ scientists and their allies in history such as combatting AIDS or representing the LGBTQ+ community in data. Other titles provide advice for LGBTQ+ scientists or are interesting reads about the lives and experiences of the community.

Photograph of a book case displaying a selection of LGBT+ related books.Beyond our small display, Bodleian Libraries has created a reading list of LGBT+ resources. There are many great books and websites there that you may find useful to learn more about LGBTQ+ issues and history.


Book cover of "How to Survive a Plague: the story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS" by 'David France.France, D. (2017) How to survive a plague : the story of how activists and scientists tamed AIDS. First Vintage books edition. New York: Vintage Books.

Print Book available in the RSL – WC503.7 FRA 2016. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "Succeeding in academic medicine: a roadmap for diverse medical students and residents" by John P SanchezSánchez, J. P. (ed.) (2020) Succeeding in academic medicine : a roadmap for diverse medical students and residents. Cham, Switzerland: Springer.

Print Book available in the RSL – W21 SAN 2020. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "Heart, Brain and Mental Health Disparities for LGBT People of Color" by James J GarciaGarcía, J. J. (2021) Heart, brain and mental health disparities for LGBTQ people of color. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan.

Print book available in the RSL – WA305 HEA 2021. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "The Emergence of Trans: Culture, politics and everyday lives" by Ruth Pearce. Pearce, R. (2020) The emergence of trans : cultures, politics and everyday lives. Igi Moon et al. (eds.). Abingdon, Oxon ; Routledge.

Available as an ebook.

Book Cover of "Pride Parades: how a parade changed the world" by Katherine McFarland Bruce.

Bruce, K. M. (2017) Pride parades : how a parade changed the world. New York: New York University Press.

Available as an ebook.

Book Cover of "Black On Both Sides: a racial history of trans identity" by CR Snorton. Snorton, C. R. (2018) Black on both sides : a racial history of trans identity. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.

Available as an ebook.

Book cover of "Sexuality: A graphic guide" by MJ Barker.

Illustrated by Jules Scheele.

Barker, M.-J. (2021) Sexuality : a graphic guide. London: Icon.
Print Book, RSL Wellbeing Room – HQ21 BAR 2021 (WBR).

Find it on SOLO.

Book cover of "Queer" by David Getsby.Getsy, D. (ed.) (2016) Queer. London: Whitechapel Gallery.

Print Book available from our Offsite Storage. Find it in SOLO.

Book cover of "Queer Data: Using gender, sex and sexuality data for action" by Kevin Guyan.

Guyan, K. (2022) Queer data : using gender, sex and sexuality data for action. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Print Book available in the RSL, HQ73 GUY 2022. Find it in SOLO.

Check out our Resource of the Month – ACM Digital Library

The RSL has a huge collection of physical and electronic materials. We have so much that we wanted to shine a spotlight on some of our items whether recently added or an existing collection item. The resources are recommended by our knowledgeable subject librarians who are excited to show off parts of the collection for their subject.

Text that says resource of the month over small images of books, computer equipment and scientific equipment

This month’s selector is:

Rachel Scanlon

Photograph of Rachel Scanlon

Rachel has selected ACM Digital Library by the Association for Computing Machinery, an association of computing professionals including educators and researchers, available on SOLO.

Brief Description

The ACM Digital Library brings together full text access to the full range of ACM publications including journals, conference proceedings technical magazines and books. It also includes publications from select publishers with over 3.5million publications in the library.  ACM is the world’s largest computing society and their content covers the latest developments in areas of

  • Security and privacy
  • Computational theory and algorithms
  • Machine learning and natural language processing
  • Software engineering and programming
  • And more.

The ACM journals also have great open access credentials. Oxford has agreed a read and publish deal with ACM that allows all Oxford affiliated corresponding authors to publish open access in all gold and hybrid ACM journals. Research articles and conference proceedings are covered. Authors are asked to use an Oxford email address. Please choose CC BY and list Oxford as your affiliation.

Person standing in front of a screen showing the faces of many different people.

ACM provides great opportunities for networking and collaboration.

The people section is a great resource for finding experts and potential collaborators. There are filters on geography and subject so you can find the best people to work with.

The conferences section has proceedings from more than 170 computing conferences, symposia  and workshops with content from renowned experts in various computer science disciplines.

Image of ACM Digital Library website home page.

Who is this useful for?

Researchers, DPhils and postdocs in the field of Computer Science particularly those looking to find collaborative colleagues. It is also useful for other scientists looking to develop skills and knowledge in computing.

How can I access it?

This database is available through SOLO. To access it off campus use the VPN or sign in to the journal platform with your Single Sign On (SSO).

Research Data Management

Making your Data do More

Scientific research often revolves around dealing with data. This could be analysing existing data for new insights, tracking down data in publications or online databases, or creating entirely new data sets through lab, clinic and field work. It’s the data that helps you test hypotheses and provides the supporting evidence for conclusions in published papers and theses.

Graphic of various graphs and charts showing different data

Data comes in many forms

Data comes in all different forms from DNA sequences and mass spectrometer readings to interviews with patients, software code and rock samples. Whatever the data, making sure you have good systems in place to manage that data can help ensure that your data is :

Safe – keeping backups and storing data securely can help prevent loss of vital research and avoid running into legal problems when dealing with sensitive data.

Reusable – making sure that data is well documented and in standardised formats can ensure that it continues to be meaningful and reusable by yourself and others.

Shared – Although not all research data can be shared, making data available in online repositories and archives can help speed up scientific research and save money by removing the need to recreate existing data sets and allowing others to analyse data in new and different ways.

Preserved – Archiving data in repositories can ensure that data being generated now can be fully available to the scientists of the future.

Reliable – Data management can improve confidence in the reliability of data and help to demonstrate ethical research practice and research reproducibility.

Citable – Just like a journal article, a dataset can be cited. By sharing and making data sets citable you’ll get credit and recognition for data as another valuable research output in its own right.

Research data management helps you embed sound data management practices into your work. However, getting started can be a bit daunting. Fortunately, the University of Oxford provides you with a whole range of support in this area.

Working together, the Bodleian Libraries, IT Services, Research Services and other groups around the University provide the resources, tools, information and training you need. To help provide guidance to researchers, the University has recently published its latest University of Oxford Research Data Management Policy. This policy is supported by the redeveloped Research Data Oxford (RDO) website which now offers improved access to all the information you need about research data management at the University.

If you’re new to research data management, start here for a gentle and friendly introduction – https://researchdata.ox.ac.uk/new-start-here. Or, even quicker, you can watch the one minute introduction to Research Data Management below.

Still got questions? No problem! We have a dedicated team that can answer research data management questions – researchdata@ox.ac.uk

Other Bodleian Libraries

Spaces, spaces, where are the spaces?

Since the RSL reopened in October 2023 we have had record numbers of students through our doors. We’re very pleased to have so many people using the library but we’re aware that this busyness has a downside. We’d love to fit everyone into the RSL but we only have so many seats (226 for now). We’re looking into possibilities to get more seating in the library but in the short term we have some suggestions.

Book a group study room

If you are working with friends or colleagues consider booking one of our group study rooms. The group study rooms can be booked up to 10 weeks in advance.

Photograph of Group Study Room 1 showing a desk surrounded by 6 chairs with a screen on the wall.

If you are working alone, you can book one of our individual study carrels by emailing enquiries.rsl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk

Avoid peak times

The library tends to get quite busy between 11 and 3pm. You could try coming earlier in the morning, we open at 9am. During term we are open until 10pm so consider an evening session of study.

Photograph of several students in the RSL reading room.

Photograph by John Cairns.

Try one of the other Bodleian Libraries

As wonderful as the RSL is we just can’t fit everyone, but there are 25 other wonderful Bodleian Libraries that you can try. As a member of the University, you have access to all the Bodleian Libraries. A full list is available on the Bodleian Libraries website along with a list of all the different group study rooms available. The list includes information on room size and how to book so check it out.

We have also highlighted some of the Bodleian Libraries sites that are near the RSL so you don’t have to walk too far.

Bodleian Law Library

The Law Library isn’t just for lawyers. Located a few minutes from the RSL in the St Cross Building, the library has four spacious floors of study spaces including individual study carrels and group study rooms which can be booked online. The main entrance to the Law Library is at second floor level via a set of 36 steps, but there is an alternative entrance at the front of the building for those who can’t use stairs. More information on how to access the building is available on the their website. During term the Missing Bean café is open in the St Cross Building.

Photograph of students and desks in the Law Library taken from above. By John Cairns.

photo (c) John Cairns

Social Science Library

Located next door to the Law Library, in the Manor road building, the Social Science Library (SSL) hosts a range of well-lit seating areas. The library is located all on one floor so it is accessible to most people. The SSL also has two bookable group study rooms and ten soundproofed study carrels. The carrels work on a first come, first served basis. There is a café in the Manor Road building also has a café and comfortable seating are on the first floor. During term, the SSL is also open until 10pm.

Photograph of a workspace in the Social Science Library with white desks and bright pink chairs.

photo (c) John Cairns

Taylor Institution Library

For those who prefer a more classical library, the Taylor, established in 1845 is an excellent choice. Enter on St Giles through the majestic columns, to gain access to five floors of library space. The main entrance has ramp access but due to the age of the building some parts of the library are not accessible. More details are available on the website.

Photograph of a student at a desk in the Taylorian Institute reading room.

photo (c) John Cairns

Exterior photograph of the Taylor Institute, Ashmolean Museum.

Image By Philip Halling, CC BY-SA 2.0

Vere Harmsworth Library

Our home away from home. We shared a space with the Vere Harmsworth Library, located in the Rothermere American Institute, for over 3 years. Now that the RSL has moved out there is even more space available. They also have group study rooms that can be booked online and seating areas across multiple floors.

Students sitting at desks in the Vere Harmsworth Library. e Vere

Weston Library

It’s the big building at the end of Broad Street, you can’t miss it. Along with the three main reading rooms there are further sofas and comfortable seating outside the reading rooms. Every floor is accessible by lift or stairs so everyone can use the space. Excellent for those who enjoy silent study. If you need a break from studying you can pop down to the café or check out the excellent exhibitions in Blackwell Hall.

External photograph of the Weston Library by James Brittain.

Image credit: James Brittain.

Photograph of the Weston Library Manuscripts Reading Room by John Cairns.

photo (c) John Cairns

These are just a few of the many sites available across the Bodleian Libraries. Try exploring them all and see which is your favourite.

New Resource – Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Text reads New resource over a range of scientific, computer and book related imagesNew online resource

Exciting news for all those interested in the field of Biology and Experimental Psychology, we have now arranged access to a new online resource, the Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science by Shackelford and Weekes–Shackelford.

What is it?

This comprehensive, twelve volume reference work reflects the interdisciplinary influences on evolutionary psychology and serves as a major resource for its history, scientific contributors and theories.  It offers the full breadth of an area that is the forefront of behavioural thinking and investigation.

Photograph of four different humanoid skulls with annotations.

This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY

Who is this for?

This resource will be of interest to Students and researchers in Biology and Experimental Psychology.

How can I access it?

This book is available through SOLO.  To access this off campus use the VPN or sign in to the journal platform with your Single Sign On (SSO).


RSL Wellbeing Programme

Supporting the wellbeing of our students is a core part of the role of academic libraries, and one that we feel very passionately about here at the RSL.

Our Wellbeing Room is a welcoming space for students and staff to take a break and concentrate on their wellbeing by doing some colouring, jigsaws, Lego or just relaxing on a bean bag.

Photograph showing four students sitting at a table completing a jigsaw puzzle.

photo (c) John Cairns

We have regular activities taking place to help student wellbeing.

Daily activities:

  • Quiet Time: 4-5pm in the Wellbeing Room
    We dim the lights and play calming nature videos for you to enjoy peace and quiet.
  • Drop in sessions: 2-4pm in the Wellbeing Room
    Your time to try any of the activities on offer, including jigsaws, reading, origami, knitting and more. The room will never be booked at this time.

Weekly activities:

  • Lego Lunch: Wednesdays 1-2pm in the Wellbeing Room
    You bring your lunch, and we provide the Lego. Eat, chat and create!

Monthly activities:

  • Nature Walk: First Monday of the Month 1-2pm. Meet in the Wellbeing Room
    Join us on a gentle nature walk around some of the University Parks.

We also have special activities taking place throughout the year, in cooperation with our University Partners and special guests! So far these have included themed crafting events (with snacks), some lovely therapy dogs, origami and more!

Photograph showing two students sitting on the floor stroking a golden Labrador Therapy dog.Keep an eye on our blog for updates on upcoming events, and follow us on Twitter/X @radcliffescilib.

If you have any suggestions for wellbeing events please let us know by emailing rsl-wellbeing@bodleian.ox.ac.uk, or replying here.

Booking Rooms at the RSL

At the Radcliffe Science Library, we have five group study rooms and a seminar room available for any reader to book for academic purposes.

We recently launched a new room booking tool to book any of our group study rooms. We are using this tool as part of a pilot along with our colleagues in the Social Science Library and the Vere Harmsworth Library. The aim is to make booking rooms as quick and easy as possible.

To book any of our group study rooms using the new room booking tool, use the search options on the page to check availability and place a booking for your chosen times. Use the Search by Space tab to select a room and browse for available times.

When booking a room please use your Oxford email (email ending ox.ac.uk). If you don’t have have an Oxford email address, please email enquiries.rsl@bodleian.ox.ac.uk with details of your requested booking, including the date, start time, finish time and the number of attendees.

Screenshot of Room Booking Tool with the 'search by space' option selected.

Other spaces in Bodleian Libraries

Even though we think the RSL is great there are many other great libraries in Oxford. The Bodleian Libraries website has a page on all the group study rooms available across Bodleian Libraries. It includes seating capacity and information on how to book. Hopefully, that will make finding a space to work with your group easier.

RSL Portraiture – Mary Lucy Cartwright

Mary Lucy Cartwright – mathematician (1900-1998)

About Mary Lucy Cartwright:

Further Resources:

Find the full list of the pioneering members of the scientific community featured in our portraiture on our previous blog post.