Coming up: iSkills Research dissemination; Research Toolkits

Happy New Year, and welcome to a new term of iSkills and Referencing workshops.  We kick off in Week 0 with a session addressing the difficulties of disseminating research in the current UK ‘Open Access’ environment.  This is followed in Week 1 by our very popular series of Research Skills Toolkit workshops.

iSkills logoBodleian iSkills: Help! I’m an author get me out of here (A discussion about evolving research dissemination for Oxford authors and journal editors) (Thu 11 Jan 13.00-14.00) Week 0
This presentation and discussion focuses on research dissemination difficulties encountered by Oxford researchers, and invites authors and journal editors of the collegiate University to contribute their views. The current UK open access (OA) environment is extremely complex, and the concept of OA as a ‘good thing’ is being lost. Inefficient processes are unavoidable; an astonishing amount of money is changing hands; numerous new journals are being produced; OA policies and funding are regularly reviewed and open to change; and all the while, research dissemination is evolving. Authors are caught in the middle of a complicated, and sometimes conflicting, mixture of requirements from funders and publishers. Many researchers want to use new models to distribute their findings and discuss them with peers. University research support staff attempt to filter policy requirements and simplify instructions and procedures for authors, whilst supporting them in using all forms of dissemination. The event will comprise a presentation followed by time for questions and discussion.
Who is this session for?  Oxford University Researchers

Research Skills Toolkits in Week 1
Are you using the smartest tools and strategies to get your research organised? Need to brush up on your IT and information skills for research?  Why not come to a Research Skills Toolkit? These free 2-hour workshops introduce key software and online tools for your research, hone your searching and information skills and introduce you to subject specialists. Topics on offer include: finding articles, papers, conferences and theses;   keeping up to date and current awareness; using Endnote to manage your references; manipulating images using Gimp; managing your thesis with word; analyzising data with Excel pivot tables; podcasting with Audacity; plagiarism and how to avoid it; your thesis, copyright and ORA; finding highly cited journals and measuring research impact.

Each toolkit is subject specific to a Division. Choose one of the 2-hour sessions listed under your area of study, and book your place!

Social Sciences 16th January 10.00-12.00 Book your place
18th January 14.00-16.00 Book your place
Humanities 15th January 14.00-16.00 Book your place
17th January 14.00-16.00 Book your place
19th January 10.00-12.00 Book your place

Or visit for list of dates and times.

Christmas closure: 22nd December – 1st January

The library will close for Christmas at 5pm on Thursday 21st December, and reopen at 9am on Tuesday 2nd January.

For those readers who have borrowing privileges, any books checked out or renewed from Wednesday 20th December will be due back on 2nd January.

We’d like to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! See you all in 2018!

VHL Christmas tree

Trial until 24 December: San Francisco Chronicle, 1865-1984

We now have trial access to the San Francisco Chronicle, 1865-1984, via Readex’s America’s Historical Newspapers platform. Access is available via OxLIP+ until 24th December (use your single sign-on for remote access).

Though it was Northern California’s “newspaper of record,” the San Francisco Chronicle’s influence was so far-reaching that it was known as the Voice of the West. With colorful reporting and commentary on news ranging from the aftermath of the Gold Rush to the effects of World War II to the counterculture boom of the 1960s, the Chronicle offers an unparalleled glimpse into the issues and events that shaped the West Coast for over a century.

Founded by two teenage brothers with a $20 gold piece borrowed from their landlord, the San Francisco Chronicle soon boasted the largest circulation of any West Coast newspaper. In its early years, the paper relied on a mixture of advertisements, anecdotes and satire by the likes of Mark Twain to capture life in the wlid boomtown of San Francisco. As the first transcontinental railroad came to town and capitalism and corruption boomed in equal parts, the Chronicle made it a mission to expose crooked politicians and support honest ones. This practice resulted in a shootout in the paper’s office that killed one of the founding brothers. The Chronicle dutifully reported the news.

By the turn of the century, the San Francisco Chronicle was so successful it was able to provide firsthand reports from the Klondike Gold Rush, sponsor free concerts in the streets and send reporters to cover sporting events as far away as Reno. When the 1906 earthquake devastated the city, the Chronicle kept publishing. Its coverage of the stock market crash, the Great Depression and labor strikes won the paper its first Pulitzer. Later in the 20th century, the paper became known for colorful columnists like Herb Caen and the original “Dear Abby,” as well as its astute observations of the counterculture movement, gay rights and the onset of the AIDS crisis.

You can browse the newspaper by date, or search the full text from the initial screen. Individual issues may be read page-by-page and can also be downloaded as PDFs.

Please send any comments or feedback to

Vacation opening hours start 4th December

From Monday 4th December the library will revert to vacation opening hours: Monday-Friday, 9am-7pm only. We will be closed at weekends until Hilary Term begins in January.

The library will close for the Christmas break at 5pm on Thursday 21st December and will reopen on Tuesday 2nd January.

iSkills coming up: Google, Archives, Research data, Getting started, Referencing

iSkills logoBelow we list the FREE workshops offered by Bodleian iSkills for Week 4.  Please follow the links below to book your place on any of these:

Bodleian iSkills: Google for academic research (Monday 30 October 14.00-16.00)
Google is often dismissed as being irrelevant to the academic literature search. However, changes to the nature of the dissemination of scholarly research and official information in recent years mean that a wealth of relevant information can be accessed via standard Internet search engines such as Google. Too often however such information is lost amongst thousands of irrelevant, spurious and misleading results. Based on an understanding of how the Google search engine works this practical workshop will show you the basic techniques to quickly filter out high quality academic material from Google searches. Given concerns about the privacy costs of a ‘free’ search within search engines such as Google, alternative search engines will also be explored and compared, including DuckDuckGo.
Who is this session for? All DPhils and Research Students in the Social Sciences

Bodleian iSkills: Archives and modern papers for Social Sciences and History (Tuesday 31 October 14.00-16.00)
The Bodleian’s Weston Library has a wealth of resources covering almost all aspects of modern British 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. We will look at identifying relevant material in Oxford and elsewhere; considerations when working with archival material; types of archives and modern papers; and how to find out more. You will have an opportunity in the session to handle some actual examples.
Who is this session for? Students in History and Social Science subjects; researchers and other Bodleian Libraries readers considering using special collections

Referencing: Refworks for Sciences and Social Sciences (Wednesday 1 November 09.15-12.15)
RefWorks is an online tool which allows you to manage your references, insert them into your work, automatically generate bibliographies and easily switch between citation styles. This introduction is open to all but the section on importing references will focus on Science/Social Science examples.
Who is this session for? All University members and alumni.

Bodleian iSkills: Managing research data and Data Management Planning (DMPs) (Wednesday 1 November 14.00-16.00)
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. This session 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.
Who is this session for? All DPhil students and research staff.

Bodleian iSkills: Getting started in Oxford Libraries (Thursday 2 November 09.30-12.30)
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.
Who is this session for? Anyone who would like an introduction to Oxford Libraries.

Referencing: Zotero (Friday 3 November 14.00-17.00)
Zotero is a reference management package that enables you to build libraries of references and add citations and bibliographies to word processed documents. This introduction covers the main features of Zotero.

iSkills coming up: Referencing, Open Access, Altmetrics, Ebooks, Getting information to come to you

iSkills logoWeek 3 is International Open Access Week, and included in the Bodleian Libraries iSkills programme for the week are updates on Open Access publishing at Oxford and measuring research impact with ‘Altmetrics’.

Below we list the FREE workshops offered by Bodleian iSkills for Week 3.  Please follow the links below to book your place on any of these:

Workshops in Week 3

Referencing: RefWorks for Humanities (Monday 23 October 14.00-17.00)
RefWorks is an online tool which allows you to manage your citations/references, insert them into your work as footnotes or intext citations, automatically generate bibliographies and easily switch between citation styles. This introduction is open to all, but the section on importing references will focus on Humanities examples.
Who is this session for? Postgraduates, researchers.

Bodleian iSkills: Open Access Oxford – what’s happening? (Tuesday 24th October 12.00-13.00)
A briefing on open access publishing and Oxford’s position: Green vs. Gold; funder mandates and publisher policies; Oxford Research Archive (ORA) and Symplectic; OA website/ helpline; what’s new.
Who is this session for? Research support staff, administrators and librarians, researchers and academics.

Bodleian iSkills: Altmetrics – beyond bibliometrics (Tue 24 October 14.00-15.00)
Moving beyond the traditional bibliometrics of Journal Impact Factor and the author H Index, this 1 hour session discusses alternative metrics used to analyse and inform publishing researchers which draw on online social communication tools. Many scholarly papers are stored online in reference management software, or discussed online via mediums such as Twitter or blogs – learn how to mine this rich source of impact data for metrics on your papers and the papers of key researchers in your field. You will have spotted Altmetric information within our library catalogue, SOLO. We welcome Natalia Madjarevic, Head of Implementations and Support at for this fascinating update.
Who is this session for? Doctoral Students, Post-docs & Early Career Researchers in the Sciences, Social Sciences and Humanities.

Bodleian iSkills: E-books (Wednesday 25 October 14.00-16.00)
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? This workshop will cover finding e-books and how to use and manipulate them.
Who is this session for? Anyone who is interested

Bodleian iSkills: E-book readers (Wednesday 25 October 16.00-17.00)
Reading on E-Book Readers such as Kindle, Kobo or Nook and using apps for iPad and Android devices is increasingly popular, but how useful are these devices for academic work? This workshop will look at a range of devices and apps on the market and will cover key features to look out for when considering purchase. The workshop will also include an opportunity to try out a range of devices including i-Pad; Samsung Galaxy; a range of Amazon Kindles; Kobo; Nook; Smart Phones.
Who is this session for? Anyone who is interested.

Bodleian iSkills: Getting information to come to you (Thursday 26 October)
Keeping up to date with new research is important but time consuming! This session will show you how to set up automatic alerts so that you are notified about new articles and other publications and when key web sites are updated. Participants will have the opportunity to set up RSS feed readers and/or email notifications during the session.
Who is this session for? Postgraduates, researchers and academics.

iSkills coming up: Getting started; Your thesis, copyright & ORA; Referencing; Literature reviews

iSkills logoWelcome to the new academic year, and to a new term of iSkills and Referencing workshops. The workshops are run by Bodleian Libraries, they are free, and they are a fantastic opportunity to develop your research and study skills. The sessions range from Open Access publishing; measuring research impact; managing research data; reference management tools, finding relevant material for your research, and more. To view the full programme, visit the LibGuides website. Courses are free, but online booking is required.

Workshops in Week 1

Bodleian iSkills: Your thesis, copyright and ORA (Tue 10 October 10.00-11.00) Week 1
Oxford DPhil students are required to deposit a copy of their thesis in ORA (Oxford University Research Archive). This session will focus on copyright and other issues that DPhil students need to take into account when preparing their thesis for upload to ORA.
Who is this session for? Doctoral research students

Bodleian iSkills: Getting started in Oxford Libraries (Thu 12 October 09.30-12.30) Week 1; repeated in Week 4
An introduction to Oxford Libraries, covering guidance on which libraries to use; accessing e-journals, other online resources, SOLO and other finding aids; and making the most of Library services.
Who is this session for? Anyone who would like an introduction to Oxford Libraries.

Workshops in Week 2

Referencing: Choosing and using software (Tue 17 October 09.15-12.15) Week 2; repeated in Week 5
Formatting your in text citations/footnotes and bibliography correctly for your thesis or publication is a chore. Reference management software makes it easier and saves you time. This introductory session gives an overview of how reference management works, explores the pros and cons of a wide range of reference management packages and gives you the opportunity to try out five different packages so that you can work out which one is best for you. The packages included are RefWorks, EndNote, Zotero, Mendeley, ColWiz and Papers.
Who is this session for? Postgraduates, researchers.

Bodleian iSkills: UK parliamentary and government materials – an introduction (Wed 18 October 10.00-11.30) Week 2
Of vital help to all history students is this general overview of the main sources for finding and accessing historical UK parliamentary material, pre-1800 and post-1800. We look at 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.
Who is this session for? History, Politics and other Social Science students, in particular anyone just starting their Postgraduate studies

Bodleian iSkills: Moving from research question to literature review in the Social Sciences (Thu 19 October 10.00-12.00) Week 2
This 2-hour workshop will be invaluable for researchers hoping to find suitable literature for their literature review, for which a well-constructed set of search terms and an understanding of online search engines are prerequisites. This workshop will allow researchers to 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.
Who is this session for? All DPhil Students and Research Staff in the Social Sciences