What can the library do for postgraduate research students? A lot!

Photo from the back of a PC room showing librarian Clare Boucher in action

One of our library training sessions – librarian Clare Boucher in action!

I was lucky enough to get to meet some of our new postgraduate research students at an introduction to the Postgraduate Research Skills Development programme run here at Swansea University. It was a good opportunity to promote all the different kinds of support we can offer here in the library. We teach some sessions on the Skills programme but help and resources are also available online (on our Blackboard site and our website) and in person, via a one-to-one meeting with subject librarians.

What can we help a research student with? A lot!

  • The resources they need for their research: not just books and articles (accessed via our iFind systems) on their subject but also more general resources such as books on research methodology, resources on how to create research posters, our DVD collection, the Wellbeing collection, our thesis collection to see examples of other PhDs.
  • Accessing material we don’t have in stock here or subscribe to: our document supply service can help or the SCONUL access scheme can be used to visit other libraries.
  • Reference management software: we run regular sessions on EndNote and EndNote Online (the software recommended at Swansea University) but there are also other free options such as Mendeley or Zotero that can help manage references and PDFs.
  • Working smarter: this could mean getting some extra search tips or database skills, setting up an efficient current awareness stream and alerting services, apps or tools to make your research more mobile or easier.
  • Thinking about publishing? We run sessions in collaboration with academics on publishing your first book and your first journal article. We can also advise on open access, journal impact factors, copyright, creative commons licenses…email us on iss-research@swansea.ac.uk.
  • Developing an online academic presence: registering for an ORCID, the pros and cons of academic social networking sites, using social media to publicize your research, building a professional web presence (or at least monitoring what is being said about you!). We have sessions and information on all these and more!

All research students are encouraged to come and meet with one of their library team at any point in their studies – details are on the Subject Support website pages – or contact the dedicated Research Librarians on iss-research@swansea.ac.uk. We’d be glad to discuss all or any of the above topics!

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