Category Archives: Research

News and Information for Postgraduates

ESDU – New Engineering Resource

esduESDU is an engineering knowledge base which provides validated design methods, data and software tools to help solve complex engineering problems. It covers a wide range of engineering disciplines, including Aerospace, Automotive, Mechanical, Structural and Process Engineering.

Note that you will need to accept the Academic Terms & Conditions each time you log in to the EDSU service.

The University of Exeter has access to the full ESDU packages which encompasses:

Online guidance is available to help you get started.


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 


The Open Science Framework (OSF) for data and project management

The Open Science Framework (OSF) for data and project management is a science-focused tool that can manage their all kinds of research data during a project and also deal with other types of data created during a project, e.g. steering group minutes, presentations, interview permissions.
Some of the advantages are:
– Very quick start up time– it’s possible to get a project up and running in a couple of minutes.
– Possible to upload and categorise all kinds of data and files. For example, ‘methods’, ‘hypotheses’ and ‘communication’.
– Ability to store versions of data – revisions to each file can be stored.
– Different files can have different levels of permission.
– Ability to create public versions of parts of projects, with citations.

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.

Eurostat website – free and easy access to European statistics

Eurostat provides free access to its data. It publishes harmonised statistics on the European Union (EU) and the euro area and offers a comparable, reliable and objective portrayal of social and economic trends. Eurostat collects data from national statistical authorities according to EU-wide methodologies. Data are, therefore, genuinely comparable.

Use the compact guide, free to download online, to find out more.

Information online is updated daily.  Data are subdivided into nine themed and a set of EU policy indicators.

The homepage shows at a glance the wide range of information provided, and highlights news and themes of current interest.  You can then us the tables, databases and tools to delve more deeply in order to access the data you require.


Multilingual user support is accessible via Eurostat’s Help Tab

Google Books NGram Viewer and Parli-N-Gram

Google Books NGram Viewer

The Google Books Ngram Viewer charts frequencies of words or sentences found in the sources drawn from Google Books.  You can use it to  track the popularity of words and phrases over time so it can be a very useful content analysis tool.  As with lots of Goole products, it is also very simple to use

For in depth information anout the way it operates and advice on searching take a look at the Google Books Ngram Viewer information page.

You can run simple searches or construct more complex searches, depending on your research needs. Here is an example of a simple search run to look at the emergence and use of a few ‘management speak’ jargon terms.


You can search online to find plenty of examples of graphs that users have been generating using this tool.  This article from Marshall Kirkpatrick presents his selection of 10 fascinating word graphs.

It is a very powerful tool, and its value as a research tool was discussed in a 2011 Science article. Researchers have flagged its limitations as well as its value, so it is worth being aware of these issues as you do your own research and decide what conclusions you can draw from the data.

A brief discussion of the pitfalls of the tool are online from An in depth discussion of the limitations were addressed in a Plos One article.


The Parli-N-Gram tool is similar in function.  This tool enables you to search and analyse content across Hansard.  You can identify the frequency of appearance of words and phrases in the record of parliamentary debates.

The data is refreshed weekly, usually on a Wednesday following Prime Minister’s Questions.

Find out more from the Accountability Hack 2014 slideshare.

Here is an comparison of the term ‘justice’ appearing in the parliamentary record of All MPs and of Tony Blair.


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

New look for ‘Defining Gender’ resource.


Defining Gender  explores the study and analysis of gender, leisure and consumer culture; one of the most vibrant areas of social, cultural and intellectual research, transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries. This exciting collection of original primary source material from British archives will enrich the teaching and research experience of those studying history, literature, sociology, education and cultural studies from a gendered perspective.

The broad range of thematically organised documents from selected libraries provides an excellent opportunity for comparative study and research. Manuscripts, printed works and illustrations combine to address the key issues from both masculine and feminine perspectives. They are indexed to provide ready accessibility for students across all five sections.

A wide range of different types of content is available, encompassing; ephemera, pamphlets, college records and exam papers, commonplace books, diaries, periodicals, letters, ledgers, account books, educational practice and pedagogy, government papers from the Home Office and Metropolitan police, illustrated writings on anatomy, midwifery, art and fashion, manuscript journals, poetry, novels, ballads, drama, receipt books, literary manuscripts, travel writing, and conduct and advice literature.

The content is organised under the following thematic areas

  • Conduct and Politeness
  • Domesticity and the Family
  • Consumption and Leisure
  • Education and Sensibility
  • The Body

The service has just been relaunched on a new platform, with updated layout to ease navigation. The new-look site showcases the same unique documents with additional functionality:

  • New document listing with ability to sort and filter documents
  • Revised metadata and increased searching capabilities for effortless browsing
  • New interactive chronology with direct links into the resource and individual documents
  • Updated editorial content such as Biographies which have been updated with links to primary source materials

This resource is available via the Electronic Library and the Library Catalogue.


When you login, choose the Introduction menu bar option for access to information about the resource, including a tour. Use the Explore option on the menu bar  to start browsing or searching.

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.


Digital Library 2015 New Resources

newIn addition to all the individual print and electronic books and journals that were added to Library collections during the course of last year, a number of significant online resources have been made available.

The Library announces all new online resources via the E-Library blog as soon as they come online, but as we head into a new academic session we thought it useful to highlight the significant online purchases made to date during 2015.

All resources are accessible via the Library Catalogue and Electronic Library.

E-book Packages


  • Anthropology 1993-2013 Archive & 2014 Collections
  • Classical Literature Archive 1994-2012
  • Classical Studies & Archaeology 2013 & 2014 Collections
  • History 2014 Collection
  • Literary Studies 2013 & 2014 Collections
  • Philosophy 2013 & 2014 Collections
  • Shakespeare Archive 2003-2012 Collections

Brill: International Law & Human Rights 2014 Collection

EBSCO: Education Ebook Collection

Elgar: Law 2014 Collection

Health Press Facts: ebook collection


  • Business & Management 2015
  • Economics & Finance 2015
  • History 2014 & 2015
  • International Relations & Development 2014 & 2015 Collections
  • Literature 2015
  • Media & Culture 2015
  • Politics 2014 & 2015 Collections
  • Social Sciences 2014 & 2015
  • Theatre & Performance 2013-2015 Collections


 Journal Packages

ACM Digital Library

American Physiological Society – Journals Digital Library

  • Upgrade to full package: all 10 APS journals plus 2 review journals

Annual Reviews

Brill Journals Package: Humanities, Social Sciences, International Law and selected Sciences

British Periodicals Collection III – ‘Great Eight’ illustrated periodicals of early 19th Century

Environment & Planning journal archive: A-E (from first issue through 2003)

IOS Press Journals

JSTOR Arts & Sciences XII, XIII & XIV Collections

Maney Journals Package

  • Archaeology,Conservation & Heritage Collection
  • History, Literature and Culture Collection

Nature – additional content

  • New titles: Protocols & Reviews Molecular Cell Biology
  • Archives: Nanotechnology, Photonics, Physics

Palgrave Macmillan Journal Package: Health, Business & Social Sciences

Progress in Human Geography & progress in Physical Geography: journal backfiles

Research Synthesis Methods

SIAM Journals

Taylor & Francis Journals Backfiles: selected content from HASS / STEM areas

Wiley Journal Backfiles: Humanites, Social Sciences and Sciences & Medicine


Research Databases / Resources

Agcensus: agricultural census dataset

American Film Scripts Online

BMJ Best Practice

British Online Archives – Papers of Charles Bradlaugh

Dictionary of Irish Biography

Drama Online

Empire Online

Encyclopedia of Language & Linguistics

First World War Archives: two new modules added:

  • Propaganda and Recruitment
  • Visual Perspectives and Narratives


Loeb Library of Latin texts

Marketline Advantage

Oxford Bibliographies Online: Classics

Oxford Handbooks Online

  • Business & Management
  • Classical Studies
  • Criminology
  • Economics & Finance
  • History
  • Literature
  • Philosophy
  • Politics
  • Religion

Oxford Islamic Studies Online

Oxford Legal Research Library

Proquest Dissertations and Theses

World Treaty Library


News & Newspaper resources

Artemis Primary Sources: brings together Gale’s primary source collections for cross searching. The resources integrated into Artemis are:

  • Eighteenth Century Collections Online (ECCO)
  • Nineteenth Century Collections Online (NCC)
  • Burney Newspaper Collection (17th-18thCentury Burney Collection Newspapers)
  • Nineteenth Century British Library Newspapers
  • Nineteenth Century UK Periodicals Online
  • Financial Times Historical Archive
  • Illustrated London News Historical Archive
  • Times Digital Archive
  • Times Literary Supplement Historical Archive

Daily Mail Historical Archive 1896-2004

Foreign Broadcast Information Service Daily Reports 1941-1996

Proquest Historical Newspapers:

  • Chinese Newspaper Collection
  • Irish Times and Irish Weekly
  • Times of India