Category Archives: Information skills

JSTOR Text Analyzer

JSTOR Labs have introduced a beta research search tool that is worth exploring.  You can upload or drag and drop a file into the search box and the Analyzer tool will analyze the keywords and then produce a list of JSTOR items that match those keywords.  You can even use your phone to photograph some text and upload that for analysis!.  This service is not perfect but you can improve its use as a bibliographic research tool by adding additional keywords, and ranking their importance.

You need a fairly significant piece of text to benefit from this tool, but you can drop in all sorts of files such as an assignment, work based report or journal article you are working on.  You will get mismatches and it will work better with some searches than other, but if you are struggling to retrieve content from your usual search strategies, why not see if this helps.

The University of Exeter has extensive subscriptions to the journal and book content on JSTOR, so not only will you get a list of results, you’ll be able to examine the full text of your matching documents in the majority of cases.

Find out more about this tool from JSTOR and read the announcement blog which outlines some search scenarios that the developers hope this research tool can assist with.  Alex Humphreys from JSTOR says

Thinking only of keyword search within an academic context: junior researchers sometimes flail and thrash as they figure out the right keywords for their search – they know what they want, but what set of jargon-y terms will help them find it? At the other end of the spectrum, more experienced researchers can find themselves caught in discipline- or citation-based siloes, unaware of what they are unaware of (until the peer review feedback comes in…). I think JSTOR Labs might have something to help with these problems.

I gave it a trial by uploading a recent Powerpoint file we used with law undergraduates during a session on planning and conducting legal research for dissertations and it did a pretty good job of extracting key concepts from the document and  finding related content.  I added some phrases to the prioritized terms and played with the weightings until I got the most useful sets of search results for my needs.  So, if you are going to explore, I recommend you use the tools to add and adjust the importance of your search terms.


This tool is in beta and the developers are keen to develop it, based on feedback from users so try it out and pass on any feedback to the 


Need help to find library resources? Book a 1:1 Library consultation

If you are struggling to make the best use of the library and information resources you can call on the Library Liaison Team for help.

If you are researching for an assignment or dissertation and don’t know where to start, then get in touch for some specialist advice.  We can help guide you to the most relevant resources for your research topic, and also help you build your online search skills so you can track down relevant information quickly and effectively.  You can then spend more time analysing and reviewing the materials in order to inform your assessed work.

Many students take advantage of a 1:1 Library session around dissertation time, when designing their research strategy.  However, you can get in touch at anytime – so don’t struggle away alone.  If you are not finding the information you need, just get in touch and we can set you off on the right track.

A huge amount of information is available to you via the Library and we want to help you make the most effective use of it.

Get in touch with us via .  Just suggest a time you are available for an appointment and let us know how we can help,  and we will book you in with one of the team. We can meet you at the Forum Library or the St Luke’s Library, whichever is more convenient for you.

And don’t forget that we have online support material available to you 24/7 via the Library and Research Skills module in ELE.


Liaison Faces Oct 2016

Focus on Business Resources

2_goi_3_goi_searchonlineA wide range of online resources are available to support study and research across all Business School disciplines.  This blog posts highlights some of the key resources that you may wish to explore, with forthcoming assignments and dissertations in mind.  Many more resources are available!

Electronic Library

Use the subject listing to explore resources relevant to Accountancy,  Business, Economics, Finance, and Management. Each resource in the listing has a brief description of the database content and coverage and this will help you identify resources which align with your research needs. If you need some more guidance, don’t forget that you have a comprehensive ELE module covering Library & Information Skills for the Business School.  This will guide you to recommended resources for the various Business School disciplines.

Library Catalogue

And don’t forget that a huge collection of books and journals, in print and electronic format, are accessible via the library catalogue.  This includes content from the Sustainable Organization Library collection, and major business information publishers such as Springer, Emerald, Sage and Palgrave, to name just a few!  Run a title or keyword search on the library catalogue to find relevant titles.

Library Article Search

You can also use the Library Article Search function to discover articles and dissertations on business related topics and jump straight into the full text.  This is a useful starting point for research for your assignments and dissertations and will help you decide which databases and resources to explore through more focused searching.

Online Search Skills Guidance

If you need guidance on effective online search skills, take a look at the Library & Research Skills module.  There you will find in depth support on identifying, working with and evaluating relevant information resources, plus hints and tips to help you design effective online search strategies.  Taking some time to enhance your search skills and techniques will pay dividends in the long run by equipping you to search and retrieve relevant information in the most time efficient manner.

Key online resources

For news and comment

Economist – Full text access to The Economist (including illustrations) from 1991 onwards. For earlier content use the Economist Historical Archive which offers a fully searchable complete facsimile edition of The Economist since its launch in 1843 – Full text in depth coverage from the Financial Times of UK and international business, finance, economic and political news, from 2004 onwards. Earlier content is available via the Financial Times Historical Archive

Nexis UK – Full text of news and business information from around the world. Includes UK national and regional newspapers, major newspapers and newswires  from around the world.

Factiva – A full text comprehensive news database from Dow Jones and Reuters. Major world newspapers and business magazines are included, plus TV and radio transcripts

Online Support – Using News Resources for Research

If you are new to using news resources for research, take a look at the Using News Resources for Research online guide.  This will introduce you to the full range of news content available to you at the university and provide search guidance on the key services, highlighted above.

For journal articles

Business Source Complete – a business research database that provides selected full text for over 3,300 journals and is updated daily. It also provides financial data, books, monographs, major reference works, conference proceedings, case studies, investment research reports, industry reports, market research reports, country reports, company profiles, SWOT analyses, faculty seminars (videos), and more. Subjects covered include: accounting, economics, finance, marketing and management.

ProQuest Business Package – a combined business and social sciences research collection. It offers full text and bibliographic details for thousands of journals, dissertations, conference proceedings, working papers, trade publications, industry reports and much more. Subject coverage includes; accounting,banking, business, economics, entrepreneurship, finance, management, marketing, operations and political science.

EconLIT – the American Economic Association’s electronic database and the world’s foremost source of references to economic literature. The database contains more than 1.1 million records from 1886-present.

Emerald Insight – full text ebooks and journals covering business and management topics, published by the Emerald Group.  Use the “Only content I have access to” feature if you wish to limit your searching to full text content only.

For Company Information & Accounts

Fame – information for companies in the UK and Ireland. The database contains information on 3.8 million companies, 2.8 million of which are in detailed format. The database also contains information on 4 million inactive companies available for historical research.

Orbis – standardised global company and financial information. Orbis is a global database which has information on 171,235,666 companies. Orbis includes advanced search and analysis software so you can identify and evaluate companies around the world.

Zephyr – Zephyr is a comprehensive database for corporate finance research. It contains information on M&A (mergers and acquisitions), IPO (initial public offerings), private equity and venture capital deals and rumours – and now it’s updated hourly. It is linked to the FAME database.

PI Navigator – A financial and capital markets database providing access to over 14 million global company filings including annual reports, M&A (Mergers and Acquisitions), IPOs (Initial Public Offerings), bond prospectuses and news announcements. This is a particularly useful resource for accountancy students who might be looking at individual company accounts and want to read notes/find explanations for ‘oddities’, rather than just ‘crunching data’.

For Market Research

MarketLine Advantage – A market research database offering access to a unique mix of company, industry, financial and country business data, for every major marketplace in the world. It includes extensive global coverage of industries with 4000 industry profiles and 30,000+ companies within 215 countries.

Key Note – the leading provider of market intelligence in the UK, on the UK, to the UK and has been providing commercially relevant market insight and analysis to the business and academic world for 35 years.  However, note that reports updating ceased in May 2016 so these reports will diminish in relevance and use over time

Passport GMID –  from Euromonitor this resource has global industry data, market research and country reports. It also has detailed company profiles for the top international players in services and industry, compiled in a standardised format for cross analysis. It supports a wide range of courses, including international business and marketing, economics, social sciences, humanities, international relations, travel and tourism, hospitality management and food marketing. Over 205 countries are researched, both developed and emerging markets. 

For Research Methodology

SAGE Research Methods – an online research methods library with over 1000 full text books, journal articles, reference works and instructional videos covering qualitative and quantitative research methods.

Need More Help?

Liaison Faces Oct 2016

If you have any questions relating to to making the best use of Business research resources, just get in touch with the Liaison Team.

We can provide support by email, phone or in person.

1:1 appointments are available if you wish to come in and discuss your business research in detail.

Just email the team to book a session.




Sage Research Methods – New Look!

SAGE has launched a new platform for its online SAGE Research Methods, based on customer and useSAGEr feedback.

SAGE Research Methods is the ultimate methods library with more than 1000 books, reference works, journal articles, and instructional videos by world-leading academics from across the social sciences, including the largest collection of qualitative methods books available online from any scholarly publisher. The site is designed to guide users to the content they need to learn a little or a lot about their method. The Methods Map can help those less familiar with research methods to find the best technique to use in their research.

You can learn more about the service from the online help pages or watch an introductory video.

The new platform will deliver the following benefits:

  • A unified platform for text and video content, providing users with a multimedia research experience
  • A fully responsive site that will work well with all mobile phones and tablet devices
  • Improved discoverability of content, both from within the platform and from external sources
    • We have improved the internal search, meaning better and more relevant results. The Methods Map has been improved, allowing users to explore method concepts with greater ease. The browse options have been enhanced to align with user needs – allowing browse by discipline, content type, and method topic.
    • We have cleaned and improved the metadata that feeds our MARC records and external vendor feeds, and we have made numerous improvements that should help us to appear higher in external search results
  • A focus on modern, enjoyable design for students, faculty, researchers and librarians, based upon extensive user-testing

The new site is live and can be accessed via the library catalogue or the Electronic Library.

Library & Research Skills Training for 2016/17


learnTo help teaching staff who are pulling together modules for 2016/17, we have scoped out the Library Information & Research Skills Training on offer.

All Induction and Introductory training is now fully available online.  Please feel free to drop the links into your induction programmes and set aside time during your early teaching week programmes for students to follow the online material.

Specialist training, covering more in depth use of resources and advanced search skills,  will continue to be delivered face to face and/or through online support materials.  Please get in touch with us, on , if you would like to discuss or book any sessions.

We also continue to offer 1:1 research consultations for personalised support.

Full details of the teaching support on offer is outlined below.

Just get in touch with your Library Liaison Team if you need any further information or to discuss and book in training sessions for the coming academic year.

Library Information & Research Skills Training 2016/17

  Library Induction 

Online Self Study Package 

Audience:   All new students

Content:      An introduction to library facilities and resources.  Includes self- guided tour of
library and facilities and introduction to library catalogue and database searching.

Usage:          Recommended for induction week. If you wish to build library induction in to your introductory modules we suggest you allocate 1 hour for completion of online and tour in your teaching programme


  Building Library & Research Skills

Online Self Study Package 

 Audience:   All new students

Content:      A package of content to help students build their research skills and make the most use of UoE resources. Includes interactive demos, videos and tasks.

Usage:         Recommended during introductory period for undergraduate and postgraduate models. If you wish to build time for this in to your introductory modules we suggest you allocate 1 hour for exploration of the skills support material in your teaching programme.

Students should be advised to return to the module throughout their studies, and particularly during assessment and dissertation periods where additional support around literature searching, source evaluation etc. would be valuable.


PGR Researcher Development Skills

Online Self Study Package  

Audience:   PGRs

Content:      A range of online training packages tailored to postgraduate research use of library resources. Includes:

  • Getting Yourself Known
  • How to access Library electronic resources
  • Researching companies and organisations
  • Staying current
  • Copyright for Researchers

Comprehensive online guidance is also available on
open access and referencing and referencing software, including Endnote.

Usage:          Self paced learning for PGRs.


Specialist Library & Research Skills Training

Library facilitated face to face delivery
and / or online support materials

Audience:   All levels

Content:      As agreed.  Specialist training to suit needs of module.

`                    Previous examples include face to face training covering:

  • Law Dissertations & Research Papers: Planning and conducting legal research
  • Scientific literature searching for medical scientists
  • History MA: Advanced Search Skills for Effective Library Research

Previous examples of online support materials includes:

Usage           As required to suit module. The delivery can be through face to face teaching sessions or through the development of online support materials.

1 hour is recommended for a dissertation module covering search skills and demo of key databases.  Longer sessions can be scheduled, depending on needs of module.

These specialist sessions are not recommended for induction periods when they may lead to information overload. They are typically most effective around dissertation time or as students move into years 2 or 3 when more in depth engagement with online resources is required.

Available:   Contact   to agree content and lecture slots.   

1:1 Research Consultation

Face to face meetings in Library or Staff/PGR office, or via phone

 Audience:   All staff / students

Content:      Tailored to needs of individual. Opportunity for staff or students to meet with Liaison Librarian for help or advice on making the best use of library resources.

Undergraduates and taught postgraduates typically book appointments around assessment or dissertation periods.

Staff and PGRs typically book appointments on joining the University or when help is required to research a specific research problem

Usage:          As and when required

Available:   Individuals can book an appointment via

Using news sources for research


newsNews sources can be invaluable research resources. There are various types of news sources you can choose from, including:

  • newspapers
  • newsreels
  • newswires
  • news magazines
  • news monitoring services etc.

They provide contemporaneous accounts of events as they emerge and unfold, affording a snapshot of developments at a point in time.

By using news archive services, you can also engage in historical research by tracing commentary on issues over time, to identify and track changing political, economic and social trends. For example, when did global warning first emerge as a ‘hot topic’ in the press? Who are the major pressure groups and organisations debating this agenda? How has terminology in this area developed and changed over time?, etc.

The availability of news resources online allows for very effective and comprehensive searching, in a way that was impossible with print or microfilm / microfiche editions of the newspapers when research could be a very long, laborious and somewhat haphazard process.

new online guide introduces you to the main news sources that are available to you through the University of Exeter.  It touches briefly on print and microfilm news materials so that you are aware of the full range of news content available to you. However, the majority of the guide concentrates on online news services as these are the key tools for any researcher who wishes to conduct comprehensive news research. We look at our online services for current news, archival news and also audiovisual sources.

Take a look at the guide which is available within the Library & Research Skills module on ELE.

If you have any feedback on the guide, please get in touch with us on

Copyright for Researchers Guide

A new online Copyright for Researchers Guide is now available.  The guide is aimed at PGR students and addresses issues such as using third party materials responsibly during the compilation phase of the thesis process, as well as at submission time when the thesis is made available on an open access basis in ORE, the institutional repository.

If you are a PGR student grappling with copyright issues, login and work through the tutorial in order to build your knowledge and confidence in applying copyright law to issues that arise in the research process.

The guide is available online here.  An online quiz is also available so you can test your understanding of the materials.

For those of you interested in wider IP issues, you can use the IPEquip materials that are flagged in the training guide to broaden your knowledge into these other areas of Intellectual Property,  You can work through an online suite of training modules and assessments to gain  CPD accreditation & IPO certificate on completion.

We hope this training guide will address the major copyright issues that arise for PGR students, but please get in touch with the if you need further guidance.


Even more resources! Thinking beyond your subject.

Anyone doing research needs to find the best range of sources of information. We all get used to using the main journals, databases and resources for our own subject. Increasingly, though, we choose projects which cross over into other subject areas – cosmetic surgery marketing might combine sociology, health and marketing topics, while children’s attitudes to money could include psychology, education and economics. Programmes such as Grand challenges can take you even further into interdisciplinary areas, as you work with colleagues from across the University to address real-life issues.

So where can you look for additional sources? Google will help you find useful information, but you may discover that we don’t have access to the full text. To save time you could explore what’s available via Exeter’s subscriptions on the Electronic Library.

As an example, let’s look at Business resources – these often overlap with other subject areas including Geography, Psychology, Politics and Law. Two of the best general databases are Business Source Complete and ProQuest Business. Both have the full text of over 3,000 journals covering subjects relevant to Business Studies, along with news releases and reports. They are easy to use and anyone can log on via the Electronic Library – just select Business as the subject area and click on Find resources.

Other more specialist databases cover company information, finance and market research. If you need help in finding out which databases to use have a look at the pages on Researching Business Online on our subject guide. This has details of all the main databases and includes links to online tutorials if you need help.

Through the Electronic Library you have access to all of the Library’s resources – not just those aimed at your own courses. Why not explore, and see what else you can discover?

Know how to request books from Penryn?

To request books located at Penryn Campus Library, you need to do the following:

  • Find the item on the library catalogue

Penryn item

  • Click on the link “View record details on Penryn Campus Library catalogue” – this will connect to the Voyager catalogue for Penryn
  • Click on the link on the right hand side “Request for Streatham user”
  • Log in using your IT username and password
  • At the bottom of the page giving details of the book, press the “Submit Request” button
  • You will receive an email to say your request has been successful

Penryn catalogue 2

  • A message will appear on the screen if it is not possible to borrow the item. This will appear for reference books, DVDs and journals which are not borrowable from Penryn.
  • Once the book has arrived here, you will be notified by email. Please pick this up from the library desk on Level 0