Wednesday 20 September 2017

Improvements and new features in Primo

Here's a quick recap:

Expanded Advanced Search available in all search tabs

Search suggestions - give them a try, see what happens!

Find the Information Skills pages

After finding a book, click Shelf View to see the books sitting on the shelf next to the one - they might also be useful for you

Contact for further information or to arrange a demonstration.

Friday 14 July 2017

DG Research and Innovation Expert Group on Altmetrics Report

The EC Directorate Research and Innovation's Expert Group on Altmetrics was set up to consider how to advance Article-Level publication metrics (altmetrics) in the context of the open research agenda, to review different altmetrics measures in relation to more established methods of measuring research output, how to remove the current barriers to open research/open science and to recommend infrastructures to help embed open research in academic culture. Their report "Next-Generation Metrics: Responsible metrics and Evaluation for Open Science" recommends that the EC should provide clear guidelines for the responsible use of metrics to support open research in the next Research Framework programme (FP9) that research should be undertaken on the potential for gaming any new altmetrics proposed for FP9 before their introduction.

Tuesday 27 June 2017

Aberystwyth LibTeachMeet 2017

This year’s theme at the Aberystwyth LibTeachMeet was ‘Information Literacy in the Age of Fake News’ a challenging issue facing libraries and their readers. The CILIP Information Literacy Group kindly sponsored the event.

Librarians and information professionals working in higher and further education were amongst the attendees and it was apparent that we all faced similar issues in student engagement, especially when promoting information literacy. Customer Services and Academic Engagement Managers, Nia Ellis and Elizabeth Kensler opened this year’s TeachMeet. Nia and Elizabeth reiterated that fake news posed a considerable threat to information literacy and they hoped that this TeachMeet would inspire some innovative ways to combat it.

We began with ‘The One Armed Bandit of News’ icebreaker, where I put our attendee’s fake news detection skills to the test. Loosely based on a certain long running satirical news show, two humorous headlines were shown and it was up to the attendees to decide on which they thought was the ‘real’ headline. The icebreaker proved that even as information professionals it can be somewhat difficult to sift fact from fiction.

The first talk of day was An Alternate History of Alternative Facts presented by myself. I spoke about the different types of fake news and discussed a few downright sinister examples from history, explaining that fake news is by no means a recent phenomenon. Our next speakers were Dr Amy Staniforth and Simon French of Aberystwyth University with Facts Matter: Truth, Memory and Metadata. Simon and Amy examined the “librarians’ agenda” when providing accurate information and metadata. The talk inspired a rather heated, but good natured debate about the ethics of censorship in libraries. 

Next up, Julie Archer and Tom Francis of Aberystwyth University presented a historical case study of Professor Herman Ethè, a shameful episode in Aberystwyth's history. Tom an acquisitions librarian, who has also written a play about the ill-fated professor, gave a detailed account of the larger than life character who found himself at odds with the local townsfolk. Julie, Records Manager and Archivist delved deep into the Aberystwyth University archives to show the wave of anti-German hysteria, which had taken hold of the town following an intense propaganda campaign in the First World War. Our first external speaker of the day was Catherine Finch, who had joined us from Cardiff Metropolitan University. In DuChamp’s Bicycle: teaching students about keywords in searching, Catherine demonstrated an effective exercise she uses to get students to think about keywords in relation to searching on the internet.

Our second external speaker was Jacinta Jolly of NPTC Group of Colleges. Jacinta kicked off the after-lunch talks with a perspective from further education, reviewing critical literacy teaching. Jacinta discussed the perennial issue of student engagement with initiatives and demonstrated some effective strategies to encourage students to take part. She finished her talk with a fun ‘kahoot!’ critical thinking quiz, which motivated some friendly competition amongst the attendees. Finally, Joy Cadwallader subject librarian at Aberystwyth University presented Embedding in the curriculum: first steps in fake news. Joy discussed some future ideas for teaching fake news including using musical clues, the choice of the Fleet Foxes rounded off the day nicely!

There was plenty of commentary and photos shared on twitter thanks to our own dedicated hashtag #AberLTM17. I would like to thank the CILIP Group for kindly sponsoring this year’s TeachMeet and our attendees who had travelled from the length and breadth of Wales. I would also like to thank our speakers who delivered excellent, thought provoking presentations.

Keep your eyes peeled for Aber LibTeachMeet 2018!

Tuesday 30 May 2017

Resource of the Month: European Sources Online

European Sources Online is an extensive online database which forms part of the University’s European Documentation Centre.
It provides access to the latest information on the European Union, including primary and official documentation on policies, institutions and countries.The ESO database also provides access to;·        Thousands of selected EU documents and statistical records
·        EU publications, news articles and website links
·        Bibliographic records to important academic texts and journal articles
·        Unique Information Guides which explore key topics within Europe
·        Information on current and past issues affecting EU citizens

European Sources Online can be accessed from the University network at
For further information, the European Sources Online’s FAQ page can be found at
If accessing European Sources Online away from campus, you must connect via the University’s VPN:

Thursday 20 April 2017

Resource of the Month: Nexis

Nexis is an online full-text database which searches regional, national and global newspapers from over 100 countries, business and industry trade magazines, business news and company information.

• This resource is often used to aid businesses as it provides insights into over 30,000 trusted and invaluable sources of business and news information. These range from global news articles, to company records and additional legal information.

Why the resource is useful for students;

Nexis helps to prepare for job interviews and careers – the database can be used to gain insight over others within the current job market. This is through the ability to monitor and obtain crucial information about specific companies and job sectors.

It can be used to aid research for assignments and dissertations – the vast database allows users to research and reference approved news sources, business statistics and bibliographic references within their work.

• The resource’s varied document types can be used to aid research within a wide range of degree subjects – the main types of accessible documents include;

UK and international news sources
Business and trade publications
Company profiles
Company, country and industry reports
Market insights
Biographical data
International and emerging market sources
US public records
Legal information

Access Nexis from the University network at:

If accessing Nexis away from campus, connect via the University’s VPN:

Nexis training resources including video tutorials and downloadable guides can be found here:

Contact for further information or to arrange a demonstration.

Wednesday 5 April 2017

Forum for Responsible Research Metrics

In 2015, an independent report entitled "The Metric Tide" chaired by Prof James Wilsdon of the Science Policy Research Unit (Univ Sussex) drew attention to the rising pressure on universities, research funders and policymakers to use quantitative metrics in the assessment of research quality and productivity.  In the opinion of many academics and information professionals, however, the current levels of understanding of  the ways in which such measures are calculated, described and used is not high and can lead to inappropriate conclusions being drawn and unintended negative publishing behaviours developing.

To address these matters, the Forum for Responsible Research Metrics has been set up by a partnership of HEFCE, RCUK, Universities UK, Wellcome and JISC in September 2016 to develop the understanding, transparency and flexibility of research metrics as applied throughout the UK research and funding communities. Under the chairmanship of Prof David Price, Vice-Provost (Research) at the University College London, the Forum will advise all UK higher education funding bodies as to how research metrics might best be used in assessing research outputs and environments, Such advise will have particular relevance in terms of the consultations currently taking place on the structure of the next Research Excellence Framework (REF) exercise scheduled for 2021.

Steve Smith
March 2017

Thursday 9 March 2017

Resource of the Month: Web of Science

Web of Science is an online resource available at Aberystwyth University.

It gives access to thousands of easily searchable scientific journals, publications and citations within its Master Journal List.

How the resource can help students;

  • Helps to aid research for assignments, dissertations and exams – The database offers easy access to the latest academic research, texts and bibliographic references.
  • The database covers a wide range of subjects – Its core collection of scholarly journals covers not only science subjects, but also social sciences and arts and humanities.
  • Various other worldwide databases can be accessed within the Web of Science collection – these include the U.S. National Library of Medicine’s MEDLINE database, the BIOSIS biosciences database and the Russian Science Citation Index.

Types of accessible documents within the database include;

  • Journal articles
  • Book chapters
  • Biographical items
  • News items
  • Bibliographies

Web of Science can be accessed online from the University Network at: 
or from or connect from the Primo Resources A-Z tab under W.

If accessing Web of Science away from campus, connect via the University's VPN: 

Video tutorials can be accessed here:

Web of Science's Quick Reference Guide can be found at: 

Contact for further information or to arrange a demonstration.

Monday 6 March 2017

A new resource for Students and Staff: Globe on Screen

We are thrilled to announce that we have recently acquired access to an exciting new online resource, available on the Drama Online platform. Globe on Screen allows access to 20 Shakespeare productions filmed live at the Globe Theatre in high definition and surround sound.

See the full list here.

You can also find the plays when searching in Primo. Simply search for the production you require, filter by online access and find the video option. Finally, click the View Online tab and click the Globe on Screen hyperlink to take you to the production. If you are watching from home, remember to have your Aber VPN set up! 

Please contact for further information or to arrange a demonstration.

Thursday 23 February 2017

Links to digitised documents to be added to Aspire Reading Lists

As of Tuesday 28th February, reading lists requiring articles and/or chapters to be digitised will be processed in a new way to streamline the service for students.
Digitised readings e.g. books chapters or journal articles for seminars etc. are currently deposited in a folder in your Blackboard module called Digitised Documents.
From 2017-2018 you will be able to click through to digitised documents from the corresponding items in the Aspire Reading List.
  • Find the Aspire Reading List in the left menu of your Blackboard module.
  • You may need to enter your Aber username and password to access the first document you open
In the new process, links to digitised articles and chapters will be pasted directly into the corresponding items in the Aspire reading list by library staff who will then republish the list. Subsequently when a student clicks on the article or chapter in the Aspire reading list in Blackboard, they will click through directly to the digitised document.
This change is taking place on a rolling basis. If you publish a new reading list, or re-publish one for which nothing has been digitised for this academic year, it will get the new treatment. If you re-publish your list to get a few extra digitisations for a module that is currently running, library staff will add the readings to the existing Digitised Documents folder in the Blackboard module.
Module co-ordinators will want to bear this change in mind when updating Aspire lists for the new academic year, particularly where they may have added notes to students in the lists and/or in Blackboard referring students to the Digitised Documents folder. Follow these instructions to add further articles or chapters to Aspire lists for digitisation.
Contact your subject librarian or 01970621896 if you have any questions or would like a quick demonstration.

Wednesday 15 February 2017

Resource of the Month; Box of Broadcasts

Box of Broadcasts provides access to over one million free on demand television and radio programmes for learning, research and teaching purposes.

Why the resource is useful for students;
  • Box of Broadcasts provides recently aired and older archived television and radio shows which are available to record and view on demand.
  • Box of Broadcasts’ on demand programmes are now available to access and view anywhere across multiple platforms – compatible devices include desktop, iOS, Android and Windows mobiles.
  • Programmes from over 60 Freeview television, radio and foreign language channels are available to view and record – these include BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, S4C, Sky News and BBC Radio Cymru.
Visit Box of Broadcasts at:

If accessing Box of Broadcasts away from campus, connect via the University’s VPN first:

Watch this video tutorial about how to use Box of Broadcasts:

Contact for further information or to arrange a demonstration.

Wednesday 4 January 2017

New resource IBISWorld – Now Available!

Aberystwyth University has recently purchased IBISWorld

IBISWorld provides industry data for over 400 UK industries with an easy to use search and user friendly reports.

This resource is useful for anyone;

Preparing for interview/job success – find out more about the industry sector the company is operating, competitors, major players and gain a better understanding of the workings of that industry.

Research for assignments/dissertation – IBISWorld provides all the information needed to help understand the operating conditions, and long term outlook of major and niche industries.

Industry Statistics – each industry report provides data and analysis on each industry, explained with clear graphs and data charts. The data charts can easily be exported into Excel and the data is great for SWOT, PESTLE and Porter’s Five Forces analysis.

Each industry report provides;

Detailed performance data and analysis on the market
Supply chain information
Operating strengths and weaknesses
External drivers
Major player market strategies
Industry profit
Cost structure benchmarks

Access IBISWorld online at (no password needed if accessing from the University network).

Video tutorials can be found here:

If accessing IBISWorld away from campus connect via the University VPN: