Friday, March 23, 2012

DISCOVER: better handling of question marks

It is now much easier to search DISCOVER for a title that ends in a question mark. For example book and article titles like:

Whose Justice? Which Rationality?
Appendicitis: is surgery the best option?

DISCOVER normally treats a question mark as a wildcard representing 'any single character,'. So searching for 'option?' would find 'options' but not 'option' itself. And that certainly isn't what you would want if you had pasted a title into DISCOVER to find the full-text online.

Now DISCOVER will ignore question marks at the end of a word, so the searches above will work as expected.

A question mark within a word will still mean 'any single character' so 'speciali?e' will find 'specialise' or 'specialize'.

And if you search EBSCOhost databases, a question mark is still interpreted as 'any single character' wther it is at the end of a word or not.

If you really want a question mark at the end of a word in a DISCOVER search to mean 'any single character' then there is a way to do it - see the FAQ.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Telephone renewals only available during staffed hours

The Library's automated telephone renewals service is currently out of service.

However, you can still use the same phone number - 0151 794 5010 - to speak to a member of staff (see staffed hours), who will be happy to renew your books for you.

You can also continue to use My Library Record as normal to renew your books any time.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Tables of Contents in e-journal catalogue records

You may have noticed that many of our catalogue records for e-journals now include the tables of contents (TOC) of the latest issue, with links to each article. For example, take a look at Nature.

We pull in the table of contents using the publisher's RSS feed via the JournalTOCs service, which sprang from the ticTOCs service that we led.

This is an experimental service and we are aware of some glitches. In some cases the article links might lead to a site where we don't have access to the journal, even though we do have access to the journal elsewhere. We link to articles via EZproxy for off-campus access but this sometimes leads to an EZproxy error message because we try link to a site that EZproxy doesn't know about.

We are endeavouring to minimise the number of such dead-ends, but if you do get led astray then follow our main 'View this journal online' link to visit the site where we can access the journal online (though it is possible that we don't have access to the latest issues, especially if our main link leads to a full-text database from EBSCO or ProQuest).

We welcome your feedback about whether you find this service useful, and please let us know about any glitches and we'll try to put them right, within reason.

Friday, March 16, 2012

British Library 19th Century Books now online

Earlier this week the British Library announced the availability of its digitised collection of 19th Century Books through the JISC Historic Books platform, which is part of JISC eCollections.

We subscribe to JISC eCollections, so you can now access this collection of about 65,000 books that were digitised by Microsoft back when it was competing with Google to digitise the world's out-of-copyright books.

JISC Historic Books also hosts the content from EEBO and ECCO, and all three collections can be searched together. We still have access to EEBO and ECCO on their own platforms, at least until the JISC Historic Books interface improves sufficiently to render the other platforms unnecessary.

You will find JISC Historic Books listed in the library catalogue and LibGuides, along with the other two components of JISC eCollections: JISC Media Hub and JISC Journal Archives.

We do not have catalogue records for the individual books within JISC Historic Books, EEBO or ECCO, though JISC Collections do promise to provide these in the future.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Getting the best out of SciFinder

SciFinder is a research discovery tool that allows you to explore the scientific literature. You can explore one single source for scientific information in journals and patent literature from around the world.

Why use SciFinder?
  • Subject coverage is very broad and includes analytical and physical chemistry, applied chemistry, biochemistry and biology, chemical engineering, environmental chemistry, macromolecular chemistry, organic and inorganic chemistry, pharmaceuticals properties and reactions, toxicology.
  • Access current, high-quality scientific information, including chemical substance information, reactions and property values, anytime, anywhere.
  • Use Twitter to promote your work and make connections
  • Search patent records from the major patent offices (including US, European and World)
  • Capabilities for exploring substructures, similar structures and Markush structures
  • Plan your synthesis with the SciPlanner and experimental procedures
  • Answer sort by relevancy, Molecular formula, Molecular weight, number of citings
  • Annotate and Tag abstracts
  • Easy access via the web and also via your smart phone
  • Lots of exporting options, including Endnote
This relates to the Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities domain of the Researcher Development Framework.

Date: 21/03/2012
Time: 1:00pm - 2:00pm
Presenter: Vikki Vowles, Regional Marketing Manager, SIIL/CAS
Location: Taylor Room, Sydney Jones Library
Registration is required for this event

Humanities & Social Science Researchers: £100 Amazon Vouchers to be Won

Humanities and social science researchers – can you spare twenty minutes to help us understand the future of the monograph? You could win one of several £100 Amazon vouchers by completing the OAPEN-UK Researcher Survey at

OAPEN-UK is an Arts and Humanities Research Council and JISC funded project exploring the issues impacting upon the publishing of scholarly monographs in the humanities and social sciences (HSS). The project is working with Taylor & Francis, Palgrave Macmillan, Berg Publishers, Liverpool University Press, University Wales Press, research funders and universities, to understand the challenges and steps required to move towards an open access publishing model for scholarly monographs. Further information on OAPEN-UK is available on the project website:

In an open access model the monograph is made freely available – readers (or their libraries) do not have to pay to read it online, rather the costs of the publishing process (e.g. peer review, typesetting, marketing) are recovered through alternative routes such as research grants, institutional funding or perhaps through readers purchasing print editions or particular formats for their iPad or Kindle. Various models are being tested at the moment.

OAPEN-UK has two strands: an open access pilot gathering data on the usage, sales and citations of 60 monographs, and a wider research project which explores the environment for open access publishing.

We’re six months into the project and, following a series of focus groups, have identified some key questions for researchers – both as authors and readers. We invite you to complete the researcher survey: The findings from this survey will combine with interviews and surveys of other stakeholder groups to help us understand the big issues and priorities that an open access publishing model must accommodate.

To thank you for your help, if you complete the survey you will be entered into a draw for Amazon vouchers – we have three £100 vouchers, three £50 vouchers and three £25 vouchers available to win.

If you’d like any further information, please contact Ellen Collins ( The OAPEN-UK website also contains more information about the project, and our findings so far.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

New online listing of the papers of Professor F.E. Hyde, Cunard historian

The listing of the papers of Professor F.E. Hyde, Cunard historian, is now available online.

Professor Francis Edwin Hyde (1908-1978), author of the classic business history Cunard and the North Atlantic 1840-1973, worked in the School of History for more than 40 years, and held the Chaddock Chair of Economics 1948-1970.

The collection mainly comprises the notes and information used by Prof. Hyde to write his 1975 work on the history of Cunard from the 1840s through to the 1970s, comprising: items of Cunard History; biographical details; requisition and agreement; legal documents; finance; company business; finance; company business; correspondence and publicity and advertising.