Library blog
for Researchers

Get up to speed with health research with a free online course

September 4, 2015 at 2:18 pm, by Sarah Smyth

Cardiff University is running a new MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on the FutureLearn platform from Monday 7 September. It’s called The Informed Health Consumer: Making Sense of Evidence.

This free course is aimed at a lay audience and will be useful for people who want to find out more about a medical condition or those considering studying a health-related subject at university. It will also interest those who want to improve their knowledge of a health-related issue.

Over four weeks, the course will:

  • Look at the factors that affect the reliability of evidence;
  • Provide practical help on how to find the best evidence;
  • Improve understanding of the terminology of health research;
  • Provide some simple tools to help judge whether it’s reliable.

To apply, visit the course homepage at

The Library Subject Team

Royal Society of Chemistry journals – new trial at Jordanstown and Coleraine

September 4, 2015 at 12:12 pm, by Sarah Smyth


A number of RSC journals not previously available at Ulster have been made available from the Portal on a trial basis.

The collection is comprised of 47 journal titles, including:

Journal of Materials Chemistry


Food & Function

Journal of Environmental Monitoring

Natural Product Reports

Access is via the A-Z Electronic Journals list on the Library & ICT tab and is limited to on-campus users at Jordanstown and Coleraine. The trial runs until 31st December.

More information about the trial is available from the Life & Health Subject Team.

Cut waste to save our seabirds

September 4, 2015 at 11:42 am, by Sarah Smyth

By 2050, 99% of all seabirds will have a piece of plastic waste in their stomach.

This shocking finding – published in the journal PNAS  by UCL researcher Erik Van Sebille and international colleagues – has prompted the authors to call for a halt in the “exponential” rise in global plastic production.

Read the full research report here.

Wilcox, C., Van Sebille, E., and Hardersty, V. D. (2015) Threat of plastic pollution to seabirds is global, pervasive, and increasing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, In Press. Available at: [Accessed 1 September 2015].

ScienceDirect Search Tips

August 17, 2015 at 2:17 pm, by Michael Carragher

Courtesy of the ScienceDirect blog, here are some tried-and-true tips to keep in mind before entering your next ScienceDirect search query:

  • Search terms are not case-sensitive, so it does not matter if you use lowercase or uppercase letters.
  • Entering singular nouns will also search for plural nouns and possessives. For example:
    • City finds city, cities, and city’s
    • Criterion finds criteria and criterion
  • Entering search terms using either US or UK spellings will automatically search for both spellings.
  • Multiple words set off by spaces will search for documents or images with both words.
  • You can use either quotation marks or curly brackets to search for a phrase, but the results will differ in these ways:
    • Searches in quotation marks (such as “heart-attack”) will be fuzzy searches – the search engine will search for plural and singular nouns, US and UK spellings, ignore symbols and punctuation, and allow wildcards.
    • Searches in curly brackets, such as {heart-attack}, will be exact searches. The search engine will look only for that exact phrase, including symbols and punctuation.

If you need any further help with ScienceDirect or any of our other resources, please contact your Subject Librarian.

Scopus Launches Article Metrics Module

July 30, 2015 at 11:47 am, by Michael Carragher

Scopus, the world’s largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature, has recently expanded the range of article metrics available.


In addition to the citation metrics which have been an integral part of Scopus from the beginning, the following metrics are now included in the Document details page when available:

  • Scholarly Activity – Downloads and posts in common research tools such as Mendeley and CiteULike.
  • Social Activity – Mentions characterized by rapid, brief engagement on platforms used by the general population, such as Twitter, Facebook and Google +.
  • Scholarly Commentary – Reviews, articles and blogs by experts and scholars, such as F1000 Prime, research blogs, and Wikipedia.
  • Mass Media – Coverage of research output in the Mass Media.

For more information, see the article New Scopus Article Metrics: A better way to benchmark articles or contact your subject librarian for further help.

National Chemical Database Service Video

July 17, 2015 at 3:12 pm, by Michael Carragher

The National Chemical Database Service have launched an introductory video, highlighting the range of services available.

‘Back to the drawing board’ for New Horizons team

July 16, 2015 at 10:21 am, by Sarah Smyth

pluto new horizons1

Scientists have begun receiving ground-breaking images from the New Horizons probe after its successful flight past dwarf planet Pluto.

Already the elusive bright mass on Pluto’s surface previously identified by observers has revealed itself to be a heart-shaped crater, probably caused by an impact. It’s likely that this distinctive aspect will be officially named after Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered the dwarf planet in 1930. Other features include a whale, doughnuts and ice mountains comparable to the Rockies.

Receiving and deciphering New Horizon’s images will take many months, but already the images are causing scientists to re-evaluate what we know about Pluto’s geology, volume and atmosphere.

Read more on the BBC website

NASA: New Horizons mission


Digital Repository of Ireland Launched

June 26, 2015 at 3:15 pm, by Michael Carragher


The Digital Repository of Ireland, a trusted national infrastructure for the preservation, curation and dissemination of Ireland’s humanities, social sciences, and cultural heritage data, was officially launched on Thursday 25 June 2015.

The Digital Repository of Ireland is built by a research consortium of six academic partners working together to deliver the repository, policies, guidelines and training. These research consortium partners are: Royal Irish Academy (RIA, lead institute), Maynooth University (MU), Trinity College Dublin (TCD), Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT), National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), and National College of Art and Design (NCAD). DRI is also supported by a network of academic, cultural, social, and industry partners, including the National Library of Ireland (NLI), the National Archives of Ireland (NAI) and RTÉ.

Service interruption to Dawsonera ebooks

June 16, 2015 at 9:59 am, by Sarah Smyth

Dawsonera logo

Dawsonera, one of Ulster Library’s e-book suppliers, is planning essential maintenance work this weekend.

Selected Library e-books will be unavailable from 14:30- 15:30 on Sunday 21st June.

E-resources from the Library’s other suppliers will be unaffected. If you experience problems or need further information contact your Librarian.

The Library Subject Team

Raising Ulster’s profile in healthcare engineering

June 15, 2015 at 10:15 am, by Sarah Smyth


Alan Kennedy, a PhD student from Ulster, has won a top award for wearable tech in the field of healthcare.

Under the auspices of the Nanotechnology and Integrated Bioengineering Centre (NIBEC) and supported by the Department of Employment and Learning, Alan’s sensor technology research will develop a low-cost, disposable solution for monitoring abnormal heart rhythms.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has awarded Alan a £10,000 scholarship in recognition of the value of his research.

Speaking about his award, Alan said:

“The £10,000 scholarship will be used to further develop my research for application in the global healthcare sector. As well as this it will facilitate international research visits with partnering institutes, allowing for collaboration with some of the world-leading experts in the area of wearable health technologies.

Congratulations from the Library Subject Team.