Reading and Writing Innovation Lab Workshop Series

Smart Ways to Speed up Studying

Reading and note taking are essential academic skills that you develop throughout your studies and research. But did you know that there is a whole range of devices and apps that can help you read and write more efficiently and keep all your notes organised? Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) is also opening exciting possibilities for researching and writing, but understanding the limitations of current AI tech and where it is appropriate to use these tools for academic work is challenging.

Illustration of digital devices including laptop, mobile phones, calculator, plus notebooks and pens

Credit: Image created by AI using DALL.E.-3 on Microsoft Copilot

To help guide you through the landscape of apps, websites, gadgets and gizmos, we are delighted to announce that the Radcliffe Science Library will be hosting the Reading and Writing Innovation Lab Workshop series in Trinity Term. This Workshop series consists of three 90-minute sessions:

Hardware and software for more efficient reading: Choosing e-readers, tablets and reading apps

An exploration of digital reading technologies, covering both hardware and software. Participants will learn about various strategies for effective digital reading and gain hands-on experience with tools. Topics include choosing the right e-reader, understanding e-readers versus tablets, using digital handwriting on devices, and optimising reading and note-taking workflows with tablets and apps.

When: 26th April, 1pm – 2.30pm
Where: In person, Seminar Room, Radcliffe Science Library
Availability: Free. Booking required. Booking details HERE

Guide to the note-taking revolution: New tools for organising readings and reading notes 

An overview of contemporary note-taking tools, including OneNote, Notion and Obsidian. This session offers insights into effective note organisation strategies and workflows. Participants will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with different note taking applications. This workshop will also delve into the integration of note-taking with planning tools, and the emerging trend of audio note-taking.

When: 3rd May, 1pm – 2.30pm
Where: In person, Seminar Room, Radcliffe Science Library
Availability: Free. Booking required. Booking details HERE

Integrating AI into your Academic Practice Responsibly

A detailed look at the role of generative AI in academic practice. This workshop covers the process of assessing academic tasks for AI compatibility and choosing the most suitable AI tool. It also discusses the common tasks where AI is widely used in academia and the typical pitfalls to avoid. A useful session for those interested in integrating AI into academic work without compromising integrity.

When: 24th May, 1pm – 2.30pm
Where: In person, Seminar Room, Radcliffe Science Library
Availability: Free. Booking required. Booking details HERE

These workshops will be presented by Dominik Lukes from the University of Oxford Centre for Teaching and Learning’s Reading and Writing Innovation LabThe workshops are open to all University members, including undergraduates, postgraduates, academics and researchers.

All these workshops are free, but spaces are limited and pre-booking is essential. To find out more details and look at all the sessions, please visit our booking page.

Laptop, notepad and pen, cup of tea

Credit: Engin Akyurt, Pixabay

Check out our Resource of the Month – GeoRef

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.

This month’s selector is:

Rachel Scanlon

Subject Librarian – Physical and Applied Sciences
Subject Librarian for Computer Science, Earth Sciences, Materials and Statistics

Photograph of Rachel Scanlon

Rachel has selected the database GeoRef, available on SOLO

Brief description

From the American Geological Institute (AGI), GeoRef is the most comprehensive geoscience database available. It provides access to a wide range of geoscience literature from around the world in the form of articles, books, maps, conference papers and more.

The GeoRef database covers the geology of North America from 1666 to the present and the geology of the rest of the world from 1933 to the present. The database includes references to all publications of the US Geological Survey.

GeoRef logo and collage

Search functions

Along with the Basic Search function there is also an Advanced Search, though we recommend using the Multi-Field Search for ease of use. All these searches accept Boolean operators and allow you to conduct detailed keyword searches. GeoRef also has an excellent thesaurus function with more than 40,000 controlled vocabulary terms and the complete GeoRef indexing structure. If you find a Subject Heading in your results that you find useful you can click on that term and see all related results.

Who is this useful for?

This database is useful for students and researchers working in Earth Sciences, particularly geology, geophysics, geochemistry and seismology. It may also be of use to geographers or economists interested in petrology and mineralogy.

How can I access it?

The GeoRef 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).

Do you need a book or resource that we don’t currently stock?

We have a wide range of books and resources at the RSL – but if we don’t have what you want, we can try and source or purchase it for you, via our Recommend a Purchase scheme.

Photo (c) John Cairns

If a book or another resource that you need for your studies or research is not currently held in the libraries or online, we will be happy to find it for you, if we can. The Recommend a Purchase option is a valuable additional tool, and we welcome suggestions and recommendations from both students and staff.

You can submit a request via Bodleian Libraries website (SSO required) – but before submitting a request, do check SOLO to make sure the resource is not already available in Oxford. You can also use our inter-library loan service.

Our specialist subject librarians liaise with various divisions and departments to ensure we purchase books and resources that are useful and meet the requirements of both staff and students. When completing the form, please give us as much detail as possible about the book or resource that you are recommending – the more information you give, the more helpful it will be for us.

We can purchase print books and e-books where they are available. This can include out-of-print books, and foreign language material.

Your request will then be passed on to the relevant subject librarian for consideration, and you will be notified of the outcome in due course.


Credit: Arcaion, Pixabay

Have you tried BrowZine?

Have a browse on BrowZine. This helpful tool collates thousands of articles from multiple publishers and hundreds of platforms, making browsing quick and easy, and saving time searching for what you want.

Browzine logo

BrowZine enables seamless access to all the electronic journals licensed by the Bodleian Libraries since 2005 – and it has also been integrated with SOLO, so with one click on an article you can download a pdf of it, go to the article on the web, and view the contents page of the journal issue.

Browsing couldn’t be more convenient with BrowZine. It breaks down journals into familiar subjects – and you can just click on each subject to see a list of categories within that subject. Look at all the journals under your specialist area, or select a category within it – and there are subcategories too so you can break it down into further specialisms to focus your study and research interests.

Just to give a little taster, on the BrowZine homepage you can see a list of subjects, such as Earth and Environmental Sciences:

If you click on Earth and Environmental Sciences, you will see categories such as Geosciences:

If you click on Geosciences, you will see subcategories such as Geomorphology:

Additional Features

Set up a personal account on BrowZine so that you can gain access to additional features. Use My Bookshelf to track your favourite journals, and use My Articles to save your favourite article, so you can return again and again to your favourite items quickly and easily.

BrowZine has access to all the electronic journals that the University of Oxford has subscribed to since 2005. For older articles and journals, you can browse SOLO or just click on See All in BrowZine and it will open that journal in SOLO.

Have a great break!

Term is finishing up and the break is fast approaching. We hope you have a restful and relaxing break – but if you need to get in a bit of work, we have plenty of tips on how to access the RSL and our resources.

Girl reading ebook

Credit: Anna Demianenko, Unsplash

 Opening hours 

We are moving to vacation opening hours from Week 9, Monday 11 March.

The Library will be open:

Monday – Friday: 9am–7pm
Saturday: 10am–2pm 
Sunday: Closed 

Full details of library opening hours can be found here

While you’re away

While you’re away from Oxford, we have a wealth of online resources to enable you to continue your studies remotely.


You can access the full text of many resources via SOLO when logged in with your Single Sign-On (SSO) ID – look for the green Online access icon to find these.

If a book you need is not available as an ebook, then we may be able to purchase one – complete the book recommendation form to put in your request.

SOLO database logo

Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO)

ORLO provides 24/7 access to reading lists from a range of devices via your Oxford Single Sign-On ID.



All e-journals can be found on SOLO and BrowZine. BrowZine provides access to journals licensed by the Bodleian Libraries from 2005 onwards.

Browzine logo


All of Oxford’s databases are accessible via SOLO (filter by Databases under Resource Type) and also via Databases A-Z.

A-Z database


LibGuides list key subject-specific resources, including e-books, e-journals, databases and other resources available online. Check out our subject-specific LibGuides.

LibGuides logo

Happy holidays!

Check out our Resource of the Month – CAB Abstracts

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:

Ollie Bridle 

Subject Librarian – Life Sciences and Non-clinical Medicine
Subject Librarian for Biochemistry, Biology, Forestry, Pharmacology, Plant Sciences and Zoology

Photo of Ollie Bridle

Ollie has selected CAB Abstracts by CABI, available on SOLO

Brief description 

CAB Abstracts is an applied life sciences database, providing over 10.4 million records. If you are researching topics touching on forestry, agriculture, crop science, environmental sciences or nature conservation and biodiversity, CAB Abstracts can be a fruitful place to search for literature. Here’s why:

  • It has wide, international coverage, with material from over 120 countries in 50 languages
  • Every record is provided with an English language abstract
  • Extensive grey literature content is included – including bulletins, annual reports, field notes and technical reports
  • Each record is professionally indexed with terms from the CAB Thesaurus to make comprehensive topic searching easier
A forest bathed in dappled sunlight

Credit: Manfred Antranias Zimmer, Pixabay

Who is this useful for? 

This resource is useful for students and researchers at any level who are researching topics in applied life sciences. It is particularly useful for those researching topics in forestry, agriculture and environmental sciences.

How can I access it? 

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

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 – 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 –

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).


Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO)

ORLO (Oxford Reading Lists Online) logo

  1. Reading Lists:

    Reading lists are collections of materials such as books, chapters, journal articles, and more, recommended by your tutor for your studies. These lists can be distributed in print or electronically through platforms like email, Canvas, or ORLO.

  2. Oxford Reading Lists Online (ORLO):

    ORLO is an online system for accessing reading lists at the University of Oxford. It offers features such as checking the availability of print items in the library, accessing full-text electronic resources using ‘View Online’ buttons, and aiding time efficiency in your studies.

  3. Accessing ORLO:

    You can find your course’s reading list through the ORLO homepage or your course’s Canvas site. If your course isn’t on ORLO, you can contact your Subject Librarian or email for assistance. Note that most ORLO lists are private and require an Oxford Single Sign On (SSO) for access.

    Two students are sitting at a desk reading text books

    photo (c) John Cairns

  4. Tips for Using ORLO:

    • Download and Export: You can download an ORLO list in PDF format with retained links or as a RIS file for citation management.
    • Reading Intentions and Notes: Set private reading intentions to plan your studies and add personal notes to items.
    • Filter and Search: Use filters and the search bar to quickly find specific readings or types of resources.
    • Save Lists: Save lists to your profile for future reference, even after the academic year ends.
    • Report Broken Links: If ‘View Online’ links are broken, you can report them and get notified when they’re fixed (click the three dots on the far right of the reading list item and select ‘Report broken link’).
    • View Other Formats: Check book details and explore alternative editions through SOLO.
    • Access Digitised Content: Some lists include digitized chapters or articles from Bodleian Libraries, accessible through ‘View Online’ buttons.

For more information see the Bodleian Libraries page on Reading Lists.