Category Archives: iSkills

Google for your research – how to find the good stuff!

Picture of a hay stack

A google search can return high quality academic materials for your research including both primary materials and scholarly papers and commentary. However, too often the high quality content is lost among thousands of irrelevant, spurious and even misleading results. Wading through the dross to find the academic needle in the haystack is time consuming and most people give up after scanning the first page (or at most the first two pages) of results, but of course there could be an outstanding piece of research on page 3, 10 or even 100 of your results list.

The good news is that by learning a few basic techniques you can hone in on the good stuff.       Come along to our iSkills workshop, Google for academic research on Thursday 1st March to find out more and to practice your skills with Google and also with alternative search engines such as DuckDuckGo.

This workshop will be aimed at DPhils and researchers in Social Sciences subjects.   Please book your place at:

Bodleian iSkills: Using Google for academic research (Thursday 1st March 10.00-12.00)


Research impact – how to find high impact journals and demonstrate your own impact

Looking for high impact journals and conferences? Need to demonstrate research impact? Wondering about your h-index?

Being able to identify high impact journals and to measure and demonstrate your own research impact and h-index are key skills which are increasingly important when applying for funding and in some case research positions.   One way of measuring impact is to count, track and anaylse citations to published works.   A number of tools exist to facilitate this but can be tricky to use.

Bodleian Libraries will be running a workshop ‘iSkills: Research Impact – citation analysis tools’  on Wednesday 21st February 14.00-15.30, to help you to use citation data to measure and demonstrate impact.  We will be covering  Journal Citation Reports, CiteScore Journal Metrics, Web of Science, Scopus, Google Scholar, Essential Science Indicators, Altmetrics and ORCID and will look at how to find highly cited journals and conferences as well as how to measure the impact of individual researchers including calculating the h-index.

This session is for researchers, research support staff and research postgraduates, especially in the Sciences and Social Sciences. Please be sure to book your place.

Finding stuff: scholarly literature for your research

Are you confident that you are finding the best articles, conference papers, books and theses to support your research?

This week we will be running another session of this very popular workshop from the Bodleian Libraries iSkills series, in which we explore a wide range of scholarly databases to help you to discover the best research materials. We will cover Proquest, eTHos, OCLC, EBSCO, Scopus, Web of Science and more, in addition to the Bodliean Library’s own SOLO database, and look at the most effective ways of searching for relevant journal articles, books, conference papers, theses and dissertations.  The workshop includes plenty of opportunities for hands on practice during which time you will be able to collect papers for your own research.

This workshop is FREE. Please be sure to book your place online:

Finding stuff: scholarly literature for your research (Friday 16 February 09.30-12.30)

tag cloud covering topics covered in this workshop

Working with sensitive or confidential research data?

Are you:
– Creating or using existing sensitive research data?
– Using suitable consent agreements?
– Protecting all your data?
– Aware of appropriate strategies?
– Documenting and creating metadata?
– Aware of the support at Oxford?

Our Bodleian iSkills workshops on working with sensitive research data will guide you through the issues and key principles to bear in mind when creating, using and sharing sensitive or confidential research data.  The workshops will be suitable for those using sensitive data either obtained from third party sources such as data archives or for those creating data as part of their research. They will be particularly suitable for DPhil students and research staff.  Please be sure to book your place online for:

Careful management of your data is vital for the health of your research project and having a robust research data management plan is increasingly required by funders.

A good research data management plan will ensure that:

  • you create, collect, store, structure and use your data in the most effective way for your particular research needs
  • your data is safely backed up and preserved for the future
  • you can make your data available to others where appropriate (and when mandated by your funder)
  • sensitive and confidential data is kept securely

Although having an effective research data management plan is really important, it can be difficult to know where to start.     Bodleian Libraries run a series of workshops covering elements of Research Data Management.  The next workshop in this series will take place on  Thursday 8th February and will introduce MANTRA, an online learning course covering best practice in research data management.  During the workshop you will have an opportunity to start the tutorial with help at hand from the Bodleian Libraries’ Data Librarian and to ask him questions about managing data for your own research project.  >Book a place on Bodleian iSkills: Get managing your data off to a good start with MANTRA

Data sources for research – discovery, access and use

Modern researchers need to have an up-to-date understanding of working with research data. This relates equally to the material they create themselves and that obtained from other sources. Academic institutions, funding bodies and even publishers are now expecting competence in these issues.

On Friday 2nd February Bodleian Libraries will be running a workshop to provide a grounding in the different ways quantitative and qualitative data is being made available to benefit researchers.  It will include an overview of macro and micro data sources available at the University of Oxford, including national data archives and specialist sources for business and economic data. It will also offer some pointers for further searching, introducing additional data services such as the Inter-University Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), Eurostat, Researchfish and the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative’s online interactive databank and global Multidimensional Poverty Index.  By the end of the session you will also have some insight into how your own future work could add to the process and become part of the research discourse.

Intended Audience: DPhil students and research staff (particularly in Social Sciences). This workshop will be most beneficial to those researchers planning to use secondary data sources (quantitative, qualitative and mixed) as part of their research or who wish to learn more about the potential of open data platforms and data archives.

Book now for Bodleian iSkills: Data sources for research – discovery, access & use
Friday 2nd February 14:00-16:00

The Workshop is FREE, but online booking is essential.


Effective database strategies for Modern Languages research

Are you finding the most relevant materials for your research in Modern Languages?

Language librarians at the Taylor Institution are offering a practical introduction to searching for scholarly materials to support your research.  The workshop will focus on building a search to fit your research question, identifying and using relevant databases and evaluating your results.

The workshop is FREE, but booking is required.  Please book online through the link below:
Bodleian iSkills: Effective database strategies for Modern Languages research
Tuesday 30 January 12.00-13.00  OR  Thursday 1 February 10.00-11.00


Open Access Oxford – what’s happening – monthly briefings

In order to be eligible for the next REF, the final peer-reviewed version of journal articles and conference papers (with an ISSN) must be deposited in an open access repository within three months of acceptance for publication. HEFCE’s requirements are designed to ‘increase substantially the amount of scholarly material that is made available in an open-access form’.

Bodleian Libraries run monthly briefings on open access publishing and Oxford’s position. These briefings are aimed at researchers and academics, research support staff, administrators and librarians. Key topics include:

• Introduction – What is open access?
• Key terms – Gold, Green, APCs
• How to find out about research council or funder requirements
• How to find out what your publisher will allow
• Green route – how to deposit in ORA
• Gold route and how to claim for APCs
• HEFCE policy for next REF
• New developments, including ORCID researcher IDs
• Where to get more help

Our next sessions will be held on:
Tuesday 30 January 12.00-13.00 (Radcliffe Science Library)

Tuesday 20 February 11.00-12.00 (Nuffield College, New Road) 

The session is free, but online booking is required. To book a place go to:
Bodleian iSkills: Open Access Oxford – What’s Happening?

Getting started in Oxford Libraries

New to the University’s libraries, or still unsure if you are getting the most out of them?

Come to one of our monthly workshops on getting started in Oxford Libraries. We will give you an introduction to Oxford Libraries including guidance on which libraries to use, accessing e-journals and other online resources, SOLO and other finding aids and making the most of Library services. This workshop will help you settle into using libraries at the University of Oxford with confidence.

Key topics:
•    Which libraries to use – finding out which libraries you may use and which cover your subject
•    Using SOLO to find printed and online books, journals and other materials
•    Using the Print, Copy and Scan (PCAS) service
•    Using your own laptop or device in the Library
•    How the libraries can help you – getting advice on searching, reading lists, current awareness, reference management, open access, research data management and more.
•    Opportunities for questions

Book online for Bodleian iSkills: Getting started in Oxford Libraries
Next available date:
Thursday 25 January 9.30-12.30

Managing research data and Data Management Planning (DMPs)

Good research data management is a vital component of academic practice. Part of this is the principle that the data used to develop the arguments and outcomes of your research should be effectively stored and managed during a project, preserved for the future and – where possible – shared with other academics.  As part of this term’s ‘iSkills workshops’ programme, Bodleian Libraries are running a set of FREE workshops on Research Data Management, the first of which introduces the University’s research data policy and outlines the practical impact this will have on your work. The services available at Oxford to assist you will be outlined. This session is not only essential during your current studies but will be invaluable if you plan to continue in research as a career.


Understand common dangers and pitfalls of digital data
Understand key principles of RDM and organising your data effectively
Produce a data management plan
Understand institutional, funder and publisher requirements
Understand issues around preserving data and cybersecurity
Be aware of ORA-Data, Github and other preservation services
Share thoughts and insights about the potential of data management in your own field
Access Oxford based tools for research data management

Intended Audience:  All DPhil students and research staff

Attendance is FREE, but booking is essential.  Please book your place online for:
Bodleian iSkills: Managing research data and Data Management Planning (DMPs)
Wednesday 24 January 09.30-11.30