Archive for August, 2010

Links of the week

Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

Here is a round-up of news items about info literacy, e-learning and the Virtual Learning Suite, as picked out by VTS staff and Twitter.

1. JISC content – new website showcasing their digital collection and archives

2. Print dictionaries are disappearing, according to the Guardian.  Online is growing.

3. We like ALT-C’s interractive conference programme.  The conference is in Nottingham, UK from 6-9 September

4. JISC Digital Media have new training events …………metadata, screencasts, video production and more

5. Harvard runs the SPARK blog which looks at all sorts of stuff around learning, but today’s post covers how to teach, train and learn with technology

6. The latest on technology and teaching modern languages… amongst other things  – the Languages for the 21st Century conference, organised by the Subject Centre for Languages, Linguistics and Area Studies.  Sheffield,  1-2 September

Internet for Archives – something different

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

The Virtual Training Suite isn’t just about subjects like  Mathematics or Business – we also have other approaches to research. For example, this summer we launched the new Internet for Archives tutorial. It’s written by Lisa Jeskins, Promotions and Outreach Officer at Mimas, and helps students to find their way round the complicated but rewarding world of archives.  Most students will get to know secondary sources like books,  journals and Google Scholar, but what about primary sources like letters, diaries or official records? It’s all explained here.

Key sources are described in the TOUR section of the tutorial – such as the amazing National Archives hosted by the UK government and Archives Hub which is a catalogue of many important archives.  As usual, the lesson is hammered home that you can’t find everything online and may have to go back to traditional resources in hard copy! Archives Hub has great news updates on newly digitised collections of exhibitions including brilliant photos.  Of course, there are many good local collections too, such as the Special Collections at Bristol University Library.  Often these allow guest visitors. The tutorial also covers social media  services for archives – there are blogs like Out of the Box from LSE, a wiki on the National Archives and some Twitter channels – see Archives Hub channel.

There are lots of specialist collections available too……..I have been researching some of my naval relatives and have browsed pages for the Local and Naval Studies Library in Plymouth, plus the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport. Increasingly these types of services are making more materials available in electronic form.

So, we hope that students and perhaps even some lecturers and librarians will find this tutorial a good guide to the latest in archives.

Links of the week

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Here is a round-up of news items about information literacy, e-learning and the Virtual Training Suite as picked out by @VTStutorials on Twitter.

  1. Books vs. e-books: tale of the tape does one have to win?
  2. RT: @rscsam: RT @chris_hall: Librarians fight back against publishers propose free & open index to academic literature
  3. Anatomy of a scholarly article
  4. Explore the Roadmap to Information Literacy by @CapellaU at
  5. Studywell resources from QUT in Australia covers #infolit & general student experience
  6. RT @teachlearn HE funding mapped: HEFCE English University Funding 2009-10
  7. Library Staff Report Their Use of Online Tools less email, more social networks 
  8. RT: @JorumTeam: See the six winners in the Jorum Learning and Teaching Competition: #jorumcomp10 #ukoer
  9. Google’s count of 130 million books is probably bunk
  10. Video tutorials on evaluating websites
  11. RT: @jiscdigital: “Why metadata REALLY matters for the future of e-books”

Anatomy of a scholarly article

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

Each Virtual Training Suite tutorial tells students about the scholarly publication process, points them to key journals in their field and refers them to key databases where they can find more articles, but what happens after they have found a relevant scholarly article?

Anatomy of a scholarly article

Understanding the anatomy of a scholarly article can be difficult for new students. Fortunately, a number of library and information professionals have produced great online guides to help them.

Capella University has a comprehensive Roadmap to Information Literacy that includes a chapter on Reading for Results. Their Anatomy of a Scholarly Article guide breaks down a typical academic paper.

The Anatomy of a Scholarly Article tutorial from NCSU Libraries is a nice interactive animation  that shows parts of a journal paper and describes their function.

For more information on how to critically engage with the contents of academic papers, the tutorial on the Anatomy of a Scholarly Research Article in the Health Sciences from the University of Vermont has a step-by-step guide to the various components of a scholarly research article. Although it is designed for the health sciences, much of the advice will be useful to students in other subjects.

Video tutorials on evaluating websites

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Evaluating websites is an important part of becoming information literate, but can videos help to get the message across to students?

There are quite a few videos on YouTube about evaluating websites and luckily some of them are from libraries and academic establishments.

Here’s a selection of some of the better ones …

Info Literacy 10. Evaluating Information Sources is part of the excellent series of Information Literacy tutorials from Bob Baker of Pima Community College.

It covers the criteria that you need to apply to evaluating both traditional and open web resources, including authority, timeliness, bias and accuracy/credibility of content.

Mainly a talking head interspersed with screen shots, tips to take away and occasional web search examples, plus  a list of cited resources, suggested readings and further details.

Top notch content delivered in a traditional manner.

Evaluating Websites from the Oklahoma City Community College Library is part of a series of screencasts available via their YouTube channel.

This tutorial looks at domain names and introduces the ABC and D of website evaluation (Authority, Bias, Currency and Documentation) to get students looking behind an online resource to see what is really there.

Evaluating Websites from the David L. Rice Library is one of a number of screencasts and library specific guides on their channel.

This tutorial illustrates the use of the 5 W’s: Who, What, Where, When, and Why to evaluate websites.

Using humour is always risky but some have tried and whether it is the Library Fairy, Elvis Presley or even a Randy Weasel there appears to be an eclectic cast of characters out there that can help you evaluate websites – happy viewing!