Thursday, 12 December 2013

How “Aberystwyth” inspired Nelson Mandela and the African Liberation Movement

As the world celebrates the life and death of the “giant of history”, Tata Nelson “Madiba” Mandela, it is worth reminding our readers how the musical legacy of a son of Wales inspired Mandela and South Africa’s liberation movement. Dr Joseph Parry, a Professor of Music at Aberystwyth University, wrote the hymn “Aberystwyth” in 1879. It was this hymn which inspired Enoch Sontoga, a Methodist teacher who composed “Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika” (Lord bless Africa), to the tune of Parry’s “Aberystwyth” in 1897. Nkosi Sikelel iAfrika later became a symbol of African unity and the national anthems of South Africa, Zambia, Tanzania, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

The Joseph Parry Hall, near the Old College, was named after the composer and you can find works by him in our Celtic Collection in the Hugh Owen Library.

Sahm Nikoi.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Did you know there was a version of Primo available for your mobile?

A lightweight version of Primo is now available at this can be accessed from a variety of mobile devices such as smart phones or tablets, allowing you to connect to the library service while on the move.

The simple intuitive interface allows you to search for books, journal titles and DVDs from your phone or tablet. Extra features are available if you log on with your Aber username and password allowing you to renew books you have on loan, track fees and fines or check you library PIN.

Friday, 29 November 2013

Understanding the Researcher

I am conducting a research project into better understanding the ways Researchers interact and view the library service (or don’t).

The aim of the project is to build an understanding of the different ways that researchers work and so develop an appreciation of their unique standpoint. By gathering the views of researchers from a variety of disciplines, at different career stages it is hoped a fuller picture can be drawn. This will allow the library services to better match those practices with relevant resources and training.

To achieve this I am undertaking a series of short interviews with willing researchers. The 11 questions only take 15-20 minutes and have already revealed many interesting insights into the way researchers work.  It is my hope to be able to gather views from all the departments at Aberystwyth University so that the different disciplines are equally represented.

If anyone would like to discuss this further, or arrange a time for the interview, please contact me at or my Manager, Lillian Stevenson at

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Penglais Postgraduate Centre

Postgraduates - are you aware of the Penglais Postgraduate Centre in the Llandinam Building, Penglais Campus? It is part of the on-going University investment in the dedicated postgraduate facilities across the campuses. It was opened in October 2013, and this high-class facility offers quiet study spaces of both an open-plan and private cubicle nature, a central printer for postgraduate usage, lockers for personal use, a seminar room equipped with visual display facilities, and a social lounge and kitchen area.

Registered postgraduates are entitled to make use of this space. Entry is by swiping your Aber Card at the entrance. Hopefully this excellent study space will enhance your studies at Aberystwyth.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

The official opening of the Elystan Morgan Building

A post by Lillian Stevenson, Academic Services Manager and Law Librarian.

Tours of the Thomas Parry Library and displays of rare law books in the University Library as part of the official opening of the Elystan Morgan Building on 20th November 2013

It was wonderful to meet Lord Elystan Morgan, alumni, local solicitors, members of Senate and many others at the official opening of the Elystan Morgan Building, the new home of the Department of Law & Criminology in Llanbadarn.

Bracton De Legibus 1569 - one of the rare law books from the University Library
on display for the official opening ceremony of the Elystan Morgan Building.

It provided an ideal opportunity to show guests the Thomas Parry Library which is adjacent to the Elystan Morgan Building. The Thomas Parry Library houses the law and criminology collections from the former Law Library and has group study rooms, training room, computer room and of course, library and IT help on hand.

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Plagiarism Versus Good Academic Practice

Below you can view the video of a talk given to undergraduates by Karl Drinkwater on 10th October 2013. It covers the basics of what plagiarism is and how to avoid it by adopting good academic practice.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

FAME Workshop

Thomas Parry Library Training Room
Wednesday 27th November 2013
1.30 – 2.30 pm

“FAME contains comprehensive financial information on active and inactive UK and Irish companies. The expert searching options on FAME give you access to over 300 search criteria, Boolean logic and other functional options resulting in a flexible information solution for researching UK and Irish companies and industries. “

  • Invitation open to all interested staff and students.  
  • Training provided by Christina Nobbs from Bureau Van Dijk (FAME supplier)
  • Examples of how FAME is being used in other Universities
  • Please come along with specific questions/queries.

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Open Access Week 2013

OPEN ACCESS WEEK – 21/27 October 2013

In association with Open Access Week, we would like to highlight CADAIR, Aberystwyth University’s own open access window to AU staff and student research, giving access to peer-reviewed papers not hidden behind a subscription wall.

Today Cadair is populated with articles through AU’s research management system PURE which sends articles appropriate for Open Access to Cadair once any embargo periods have passed.  From the CADAIR start page, staff papers can be searched using author names or keywords, or browsed by Department/Communities or by more specific subject collections.

The major exception to this are the AU theses, for which the records and associated files are loaded directly to CADAIR.  Thesis records are gathered together in the CADAIR Postgraduate Publications collection but can also be found in the relevant departmental collections. 

Most major academic publishers (e.g. CUP, OUP, Wiley, Elsevier, Sage) will now allow either gold open access publishing or green open access depositing of papers in their journals. Gold open access papers are funded for by authors paying “Article Processing Charges”, otherwise known as APCs in advance of publication, allowing all readers to read the paper on the publisher’s website with no subscription charges.  Major journals therefore often now contain both open-access papers (open-to-all) and standard papers which are open only to subscribers or subscribing institutions. Aberystwyth University has received some APC funding for gold open access publishing from the HE Funding Councils.  If you wish to make enquiries about using these funds to support your research papers being published on “gold open access”, please contact

Wednesday, 16 October 2013

e-books via ebrary

Screen shot of ebrary logo
E-books are proving to be an excellent and practical alternative to paper books, allowing greater access on and off campus to vital study materials 24 hours a day.  Ebrary is a fantastic new resource for students of all disciplines.  Paper is close to the heart of many, but ebrary makes it easy to access, use and annotate e-books and will win over many who previously avoided them.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

A new collaborative research agreement


A new collaborative research agreement has been signed between the National Science Foundation and the RCUK designed to help support international research partnerships between the US and the UK,  It will enable a simplified and flexible process for researchers wishing to apply for UK-US collaborative research funding, with proposals being submitted to either the NSF or RCUK (using the standard year-round responsive funding streams) depending on where the greatest portion of the research is to be carried out. Successful projects will receive funds from both agencies, with the NSF funding US researchers, and RCUK funding UK researchers.

Initial implementation will be focused on the NSF Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE) in partnership with ESRC, AHRC and BBSRC

Details at:

Steve Smith
Academic Services Group
Hugh Owen Library

Monday, 5 August 2013

International Legal Information Invitation

Originally published in  Aber News Issue 13 - May page 13, Aber People 

"In February 2013, Lillian Stevenson, Academic Services Manager and Law Librarian represented the British and Irish Association of Law Librarians (BIALL) at the Joint Study Institute held at the University of Melbourne, Australia.
The keynote address by Michael Kirby, Australia’s longest serving High Court Judge (now retired) highlighted the part Australia played in establishing one of the first Legal Information Institutes (Australasian Legal Information Institute [AustLII]) which provides free access to legal information.

Friday, 12 July 2013

Walk-in Access to Electronic Resources

A wide variety of fascinating online information resources have been made available to anyone visiting the Hugh Owen Library, not just to staff and students.  There are 27 different resources which can all be accessed through a simple interface on a dedicated Walk-in Access computer on the ground floor. We are delighted to provide selective access to these academic resources, many of which carry an expensive subscription, thanks to the terms and conditions within the publishers’ license agreements. You can explore a huge range of current and historical information, for study, hobbies or just for fun.

If you have an interest in History, Times Digital Archive, provides access to complete editions of The Times newspaper from 1785 (the year of the 1st balloon flight across English Channel) through until 1985 (the year of the Live Aid concert which raised over £100 million for African famine relief). A simple search can reveal a varied assortment of articles on the news and views of the last 200 years, or be limited to a search of the news on a particular day. You can browse through the headlines and (often amusing) adverts of yesterday.

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Meet Your Academic Services Librarian #10

This year we will do a series of posts introducing you to the members of the Academic Services Team. This time it is the Graduate Trainee in Information Services.

Dan Smith
Library Graduate Trainee 2013/14

I’m Dan Smith and make up 50% of the Library Graduate Trainees employed by Information Services for the 2013/14 academic year. My time is split between four sections/teams within the library: Collections, Acquisitions & Resource Management; Academic Services; Lending and E-services & Communication. This gave me the opportunity to gain a wide variety of practical experience into the day to day running of an academic library, while giving the library a raw recruit, to try and train.

After my first brush with education ended at the age of 18, I worked for local government and was involved in the administration of teacher training throughout Powys. After a few years of arranging training for others, I started to think of returning to education myself and finally settled on the idea of trying to find a career which would allow me to order and sort things, so librarian. 

Tuesday, 4 June 2013

Collaborative research event with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies & Bangor University

Feedback from participants.
" The students still talk about it saying how much they enjoyed their visit and the welcome they were given.  Thank you [Lillian Stevenson, Academic Services Manager/Law Librarian] once again for arranging the event."

Thursday, 16 May 2013

New resource trial – ICLR Law Reports

The Library now have access to the Law Reports from the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR) for a year’s trial. This unique resource holds 78,000 full text reports and over 86,000 index cards and contain all case reports published by ICLR since 1865. According to the ICLR “The Law Reports are the official series cited in the High Court and Court of Appeal, and are the authority preferred by judges”. For further information see:

You can access the reports on campus by going to then click on the red button ‘Go to ICLR Online’ in the top right. Off campus access is available via VPN 

The Library is interested in your feedback on this resource. Please email Lillian Stevenson with your comments.

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Sources for Courses: Drama Online

Particularly useful for students of Drama and English, Drama Online is a growing collection of plays that includes contextual information and several unique online tools that can assist you with close study.

Alongside a hefty compendium of dramatical works, the website offers expert guidance in the form of scholarly notes, contextual information, and overviews of the main concepts and issues explored. The wide range of dramatical texts on the site are provided by Bloomsbury in partnership with Methuen Drama, Faber and Faber, and Arden Shakespeare.

Some plays are also accompanied by relevant images and production stills, and each play has been made searchable to help you easily find navigate and find specific passages. Each text also includes an easily exportable citation, and is presented in a clear and accessible format that makes reading a pleasure.

The subscription also gives the use of two sophisticated online tools, providing an innovative digital environment that helps you engage with the plays more deeply.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Collaborative research event with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies & Bangor University

Purpose: A half day event for researchers from Aberystwyth University and Bangor University with an interest in law, criminology and international relations.

Venue: Aberystwyth University; E3 Centre for Legal Practice, Hugh Owen Building

Date: Wednesday afternoon 17th April.

Programme of activities
Time    Activity
12.45    Refreshments on arrival – Law Conference Room

1.15      Richard Ireland, Senior Lecture Law & Criminology and Bill Hines, Honorary Fellow and  former Law Librarian at Aberystwyth– spotlight on some lesser known library treasures and research resources held in the Library of Aberystwyth University.

2.00-3.00  Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) showcasing their services and resources for researchers, to include:
  • The development of the Eagle-I portal on IALS website to guide researchers on quality information on the internet
  • Foreign, international and comparative law sources at IALS Library: a guide to our collections, both print and electronic
  • The Electronic Law Library at IALS: an outline of the many databases on offer onsite and offsite
  • Benefits for researchers of using IALS
  • BAILII: the British and Irish Legal Information Institute
3.00-3.15   IALS registering staff and students to use their library in Russell Square, London and their electronic resources.

3.15   Tour of the Law Library and library resources at Aberystwyth University (Lillian Stevenson, Academic Services Manager/Law Librarian) for our Bangor University visitors.

PS: We have received feedback for this event.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sources for Courses: Welsh Newspapers Online

This versatile online resource allows you to discover millions of articles from the National Library of Wales' rich collection of historical newspapers, letting you search and access over 250,000 pages from 24 different newspaper publications up to 1910.

Newspapers represent a very important source for the study of recent history, and this project allows for easy access to over 600,000 pages completely free of charge.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Primo Journal Article Recommender

When you are searching for journal articles using Primo Central, the fast article finding service, you may come across a tab that shows related articles.This function recommends articles that it thinks might be of use to you, as based on scholarly usage statistics.

To use the service, sign in to Primo, select Primo Central from the drop-down list next to the search box and click on the Recommendations tab in the search results.

The Article Recommender operates like those on commercial sites such as Amazon, which is able to provide personal book recommendations based on your search and purchase history.

In this example, opening the Primo listing of the journal article titled Economics in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Scienceyields a list of recommended similar articles.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Sources for Courses: BBC Your Paintings

An enormous new online collection of around 212,000 oil paintings is now available. This initiative is a joint project between the BBC, the Public Catalogue Foundation, and participating collections and museums from across the UK.

The collection consists mainly of paintings in the public sphere, including a few pieces of art not normally viewable by the general public.

The project aims to make searchable this collection of oil paintings by enlisting the help of the public in tagging the paintings with details of their content.This helps make the database useful as an academic resource by allowing students to look for specific features in the art they are studying.

The website also includes 'virtual tours' that consist of podcasts exploring the favourite paintings of well known figures and art historians.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Meet Your Academic Services Librarian

This is a series of posts introducing you to the members of the Academic Services Team.

Amy Staniforth

My name is Amy Staniforth and I came to libraries and archives via academia. After an undergraduate degree in American and Canadian Studies at Birmingham University – with a year at University of California Santa Barbara (!) - and an MA in Literature and Environment at the University of Nevada, Reno (the first place to offer the MA programme) I did my PhD in African Studies back in Birmingham. Texts and environments of all sorts are always at the heart of my interests – from locally inspired detective fiction to museum displays and the National Geographic’s reporting of the discovery of human ancestors in east Africa – and I love to help people see the potential source material all around them.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Sources for Courses: Bomb Sight

Bomb Sight is a website that transforms records previously only available in The National Archives into an interactive format, granting far greater accessibility to this important historical information. These WW2 bomb census maps from between 7/10/1940 and 06/06/1941 were previously available only in the Reading Room of The National Archives.

The website presents you with a map detailing the locations of specific bombs, and gives information regarding the bomb type and the location in which it fell.

Bomb Sight by University of Portsmouth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.