Learning Support News Student and library services Update for academic staff - june 2021

Spotlight on the Serials Review

What is it?

No, it’s nothing to do with Cornflakes, Weetabix or Cheerios (other cereals are available)! The Information Provision Allocation (IPA) is divided into 2 parts – serials and books. Each year in conjunction with academic staff, the Academic Librarians review the serial subscriptions – in other words those resources which are purchased on an annual subscription basis, primarily journals and databases.

Why do it?

As new courses are validated and existing ones change and develop, so the serials we subscribe to need to reflect the teaching and research needs of staff. We also check that we are achieving value for money with the resources we subscribe to.

These are some of our best used resources:

When does it happen?

The serials review takes place each year from around May – July. The process varies from School to School but if there is a particular journal or database that we don’t currently subscribe to, then now is a good time to have a conversation with your Academic Librarian. Of course, we don’t have unlimited funds and often changes to journal subscriptions have to be done on a “one in one out” basis.

Get involved.

So have a chat with your Academic Librarian about the key databases and journals you require for your teaching and research and we can feed that into the serials review.

A Note about Ebooks

During lockdown ebooks became a vital resource for students. With the hybrid teaching model we asked you to revise your reading lists so that they prioritised resources such as ebooks. Providing access to ebooks does come with challenges though. Not every book is available in ebook format – for example Kindle versions are not available for library purchase. Also, the Library will have to pay the “institutional purchase” price and that price can be substantially more (in some instances 500% more) than the cost for a personal purchase. There is ongoing discussion across the higher education sector about this issue. This provides a useful summary if you want to know more:

The 2020/21 academic year has brought about a inevitable shift towards using online resources. The reading lists on RLO received over 100,000 views, so its more important than ever to make sure they are up to date and relevant for your students.

Here are the top ten most viewed lists for this academic year.

Be aware. We will performing the annual rollover for Reading Lists Online this month. Please do not edit, publish or make any changes to your lists in RLO between 11-16 June while we prepare for the new academic year. You will receive an email from your Academic Librarian after 16 June explaining what you need to do to ensure students have access to resources.

Box of Broadcasts

Continuing our feature on resources available from Student and Library Services. This month we are focusing on Box of Broadcasts (BoB).

What is it?

BoB is the largest online off-air television and radio recording service for education and research in the world. BoB allows staff and students to record and catch-up on programmes from over 75 free-to-air channels; and search a growing archive of over 2 million programmes for personal study, teaching and research. In addition, you can schedule recordings in advance, edit programmes into clips and share your content with other BoB users.

My BoB is your personal area of BoB, where everything you record is automatically stored and it’s where you will find your clips and playlists. You can also organise your recordings by creating playlists, making them either private or available for authorised users to view.

Benefits to you:

  • All the content in BoB can be used as a teaching resource.
  • Create clips to use in lectures or share with students.
  • You can embed programmes and clips from BoB into BlackBoard. To embed a programme or clip, simply click the ‘share’ button under the player window, then copy and paste the link marked ‘embed’ into your BlackBoard site. Each item must carry acknowledgement of the source and title.
  • Add specific BoB content to your Reading List Online.

Please be aware it is each user’s responsibility to ensure that the materials made available are used strictly within the terms and conditions permitted by the licence. Find out more here

The newsletter will be taking a break over the summer but we will be back in September.


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