Category Archives: iSkills

Getting started in Oxford Libraries

Are you new to the University’s libraries, or still unsure if you are getting the most out of them?  Maybe you are overwhelmed by the sheer number of different libraries and different types of services and materials at your disposal…

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 dates:
Monday 15th October 9.30-12.30
Monday 5th November 09.30-12.30

Reference management for the Medical Sciences Division: Endnote and Mendeley

Starting this week and continuing throughout Michaelmas Term, Bodleian Healthcare Libraries are running regular workshops for the Medical Sciences Division on the reference management tools Endnote and Mendeley.

These workshops are for students, researchers and staff in the Medical Sciences Division only  (please contact if you’re not sure of your eligibility).  The workshops cover the  main features of Endnote and Mendeley, including how to add and organise references and PDF documents and how to use these tools to create in-text citations or footnotes and to generate bibliographies.

Booking is essential!  Please follow the links below:



Are you finding the best materials for your research?

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

In Week 7 of Trinity Term we will be running another session of our 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 (Thursday 7 June 09.30-12.30)



Open Access Oxford – What’s happening?

Bodleian Libraries continue to 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 are on Thursday 31 May and Thursday 21st June
Each session is free, but online booking is required. To book a place on any upcoming Open Access Oxford briefing go to:
Bodleian iSkills: Open Access Oxford – What’s Happening?

We end Trinity Term with Open Access Oxford Week – a full week of events to bring you information, discussion and help on all things to do with Open Access.

Go to Open Access Oxford Week 2018 for the full programme in Week 8

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’.

Open Access Oxford logo



Are you making the most of e-books

The Bodleian Libraries has over 624,000 e-books, with titles in all subject areas, but do you feel confident in finding and using them? If you haven’t got to grips with e-books yet, or if you are using them but are not sure that you’re making the most of their full functionality, why not come along to our workshop iSkills: E-books on Tuesday 22 May at 14.00-15.30.  The workshop will cover finding e-books and how to use and manipulate them including borrowing entire e-books, downloading chapters, using e-books on computers, tablets and other devices and making annotations. Please note that this workshop will focus on e-versions of books whereas the subsequent workshop, iSkills: E-Book Readers will look at e-reader devices such as Kindle and Nook.

Attendance is free, but please Book your place online

The e-books workshop will be followed immediately by iSkills: E-book Readers which looks at the different devices available for reading e-books including Kindle, Nook, Kobo and the use of iPad and Android tablets as e-readers. The presentation will cover the pros and cons of each device and give you the opportunity to handle the hardware and try it out. iSkills: E-Book Readers will take place Tuesday 22 May at 15.45-17.00.

Attendance is free, but please Book your place online

Please note that these two workshops run consecutively for your convenience. However, you are very welcome to attend just one of them if you wish.

Keep up to date with emerging research – get information to come to you!

Keeping up to date with new publications, research papers, announcements from funding bodies and other news is an essential but time-consuming task.  Our workshop iSkills: Getting information to come to you takes the pain out of the process by introducing you to RSS feeds and email alerts. These technologies allow you to set up notifications so that, when key journals, databases or web sites publish new information in your research area, you are sent an alert via email or via an RSS feed reader. Participants will have the opportunity to set up their own RSS feed readers and/or email notifications during the session.

Please book online for:
Bodleian iSkills: Getting information to come to you (Tuesday 8 May 14.00-15.30)

Bodleian iSkills workshops for Historians in Trinity Term 2018

In Trinity Term Bodleian Libraries runs a series of workshops aimed at Historians. These workshops are also aimed at undergraduates looking for resources for their final-year thesis.  This term’s schedule is listed below.  All our iSkills course are FREE but online booking is required.  Please click on any title to link to its booking page.

Bodleian iSkills: Online resources for historians
Tuesday 1st May  14.15-15.15
A general introduction to the vast range of electronic resources which are available for all historical periods for British and West European history: including bibliographical databases, biographical / reference research aids, ebooks and ejournals, web portals, and collections of online primary source materials.
Presenter: Isabel Holowaty
Venue: IT Services 13 Banbury Road

Bodleian iSkills: Sources for US history 
Tuesday 1st May 15.30-17.00
Introduction to key information sources and collections for the study of colonial America and US history. The session will provide an overview of the primary sources available in Oxford and online, as well as guidance on locating material for your research.
Presenter: Jane Rawson
Venue: IT Services 13 Banbury Road

Bodleian iSkills: Information sources for African Studies
Wednesday 2nd May  10.00-11.30
This session will introduce key information sources for African Studies. You will be shown useful finding tools to locate relevant material via SOLO and how to search them, as well as important portals and gateways to libraries and archives of online primary texts. There will be time for a brief hands-on.
Presenters: Lucy McCann, Sarah Rhodes
Venue: Social Science Library, Information Skills Training Room

Bodleian iSkills: Archives and modern papers for Social Sciences and History
Wednesday 9th May 14.00-16.00
The Bodleian’s Weston Library has a  wealth of resources covering almost all aspects of modern Brigish society and culture.  This session will introduce key finding aids and get you started with the research skills needed to make the most of these resources.  You will have an opportunity in the session to handle some actual examples.
Presenter:  Michael Hughes
Venue: Weston Library, Horton Room

Bodleian iSkills: UK Parliamentary & Government Materials—an Introduction    
Wednesday 16 May 10.00-11.30
A general overview of the main sources for finding and accessing historical UK parliamentary material, pre-1800 and post-1800 including sources for government publications both in print and in electronic format, including: Parliamentary proceedings—Hansard, Journals of the House of Commons and Lords; Legislation; Government and departmental papers.
Presenters: Hannah Chandler and Andrew Milner
Venue: Social Science Library, Information Skills Training Room

Bodleian iSkills: Sources for Medievalists
Wednesday 6th June 09.30-11.45
General overview to a range of e-resources relevant for British and Western European medieval studies:  including bibliographical databases, biographical/reference tools, web portals and collections of online primary source materials of Anglo-Saxon sources, Greek/Latin texts, chronicles, charters, literary works and manuscript sources.
Presenters: Sue Usher, Hilla Wait, Charlotte Goodall, Eva Oledzka, Isabel Holowaty , Helen Scott
Venue: Social Science Library, Information Skills Training Room



Moving from research question to literature review in the Social Sciences

Plan an effective and structured search for your dissertation or thesis.

tag cloud covering topics covered in this workshop

A well-constructed set of search terms and an understanding of online search engines are prerequisites for maximising the amount, quality and relevance of resources you can identify for your literature review.  In this session researchers will use their own research questions to build a search and apply it to a range of databases. Techniques for structuring a search will be explained, an overview of key online resources for the social sciences will be given, major search tools will be explored, and strategies for approaching large results sets and sourcing papers will be discussed. This practical workshop will involve paper exercises and online activities using attendees own research topics.

We are running this free workshop for all DPhil Students and Research Staff in the Social Sciences. Please book online for:
Bodleian iSkills: Moving from research question to literature review in the Social Sciences (Tuesday 1 May 09.30-12.00)

Your thesis, copyright and ORA – do you know what to do?

If you are an Oxford DPhil, you are probably aware that you are required to deposit a digital copy of your thesis in the Oxford Research Archive (ORA).    Once deposited, your thesis will be embargoed for a short period, but after that it will be become publicly available as an open access thesis.

Making your thesis open access brings lots of benefits not only to other researchers and the public who can benefit from your research, but also to you in terms of raising your visibility and impact.  However, it also carries responsibilities. In particular, if you have included materials such as pictures for which you are not the copyright holder, you will need to get permission to reproduce them.    You may be surprised to learn that this not only applies to the more obvious items like pictures, but also to materials that you have authored yourself (e.g. journal articles) if the copyright belongs to a third party such as a publisher.  Our top tip is to be aware of copyright issues as early as possible in your research, as getting permissions as you go along is usually much easier than leaving it until you have finished your thesis.

In addition, if your thesis includes sensitive or confidential material, you may need to apply for a dispensation from consultation for the whole or part of your thesis so that it does not become public.

To find out more about how to handle copyright and sensitive data in your digital thesis, and how to prepare it for depositing in ORA, come along to Bodleian iSkills: Your thesis, copyright and ORA on Monday 30 April at the Radcliffe Science Library.     Please note that although the session is free, booking is essential.

Book now for Bodleian iSkills: Your thesis, copyright and ORA (Monday 30 April 14.00-15

Screen shot of ORA home page.00)

Research Data Management workshops

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 the ‘iSkills workshops’ programme each term Bodleian Libraries runs the following set of FREE workshops on Research Data Management, covering data management planning; institutional funder and publisher requirements; sources of specialist data available at the University of Oxford and elsewhere; working with sensitive or restricted data; issues around preserving data and cybersecurity, confidentiality and informed consent; and where to get support.  These sessions are intended for Postgraduates and Researchers.  Click on any link for further information and to book a session.

Managing research data and Data Management Planning (DMPs)
Thursday 26 April 10.00-12.00

Data sources for research – discovery, access & use
Friday 4 May 10.00-12.00

Introduction MANTRA for Research Data Management
Friday 18 May 14.00-15.00

Working with sensitive research data in the Social Sciences and Humanities
Wednesday 30 May 14.00-16.00

Working with sensitive research data in the Sciences and Medical Sciences
Monday 4 June 14.00-16.00