Camera, action… essay?

Whether you want to create video clips from television and film materials, now including all of Sky Arts, for use in your presentations and digital projects or author entire video essays, Learning on Screen is your new best friend.  Check out their helpful, bitesize videos on logging in and getting started right through to their introductory series on producing your first video essay.


Posted in Services, Subjects: Creative Arts

Looking into the law? Get your expertise certified!

A-Level Law Unlawful Act Manslaughter A01 Template | Teaching ResourcesGetting certified in the use of the law databases LexisLibrary, WestlawUK and HeinOnline looks good on just about anybody’s CV but it is practically a necessity for anyone looking to work with the law.  Your friendly student reps Sara and Freya are here to help you every Monday evening and will be hosting basic and advanced certificate training sessions on a regular basis.  Speaking of which…

Join Sara Abreu to learn how to pass the Westlaw Advanced Certification session next Thursday, 22 October from 4:30 – 6:00 pm online through Google Meet.  Here is the meeting link.

Hope to see you there!

Posted in Services

Rediscover what the Discovery Service can do

The Discovery Service searches across many library resources, allowing you to carry out a single search and find relevant materials from lots of different ejournals, ebooks and other databases brought together in one Google-style search results list.  Click on the big blue “Search” button in the top-right corner of the Library website and the Discovery Service is the first search box on the next page.

The Discovery Service offers powerful tools to refine and narrow your search until you find just the most relevant materials to inform and support your arguments for assignments and wider learning.  If you have not used the Discovery Service before, this video introduces its key features.  For many subjects, the Discover Service is a great place to start looking for information, although if you are studying Design, Engineering and Law you would be much better off looking to your Subject pages on the Library website (under the Subjects menu) to find specialist resources dedicated to your subject that are not included in the Discovery Service.

Discovery (and searching) beyond the basics

The Discovery Service has some very powerful tools and features that are not necessarily obvious at first glance.  This video explores these in more detail.  It also explores a new and powerful way of looking for information on obscure and specialist topics called a ‘building blocks search’ strategy.  This approach can be used in any database for any subject and is often useful for uncovering information when your search returns either too many or too few results when you try a simpler search. Read more ›

Posted in Services

The joy of having a sustainable routine

Easier said than done, a sustainable routine helps keep you healthy, happy and able to stay on top of your studies.  A relaxing bedtime routine leading to enough, regular sleep is the bedrock on which a successful life is built.  You may also find that sleep helps solve life’s most intractable problems.

Staying hydrated and eating well, with a variety of different fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources to provide your body with everything it needs and plenty of slow-release energy helps you keep going throughout the day, concentrate better and remember more.

Getting in a healthy routine early on makes everything easier.  Cooking, making lunch for the next day, washing up, washing yourself and your clothes, studying, relaxing, playing, sleeping… your routine will later carry you through tough times and make life as a whole that much more manageable.  If you find you are struggling to cope, chat to the Student Wellbeing service for advice and support.

Posted in Services Tagged with:

Becoming anti-racist

Looking toward a more equitable future, we must begin to evolve from simply ‘not being racist’ to actively being ‘anti-racists,’ intentionally addressing the question, “How do we become active contributors towards the eradication of racism and its effects on both our workplaces and communities?”

~ Denise Pirrotti Hummel

Take steps towards embracing anti-racism

Download a free ebook on holding courageous conversations.

Sign up for a free webinar on becoming actively anti-racist running from 5.30-6.30 pm on Tuesday 27 October.

Posted in Thing of the Day Tagged with: ,

Loanable laptops return to the Library

YLaptop Lockersou can now borrow any of our 400 laptops from the lockers behind the IT Help Desk to use in the Library building for up to 12 hours.

Full details on how to borrow a laptop and the associated terms and conditions are available in this article from MyPort.

Posted in Services

Decolonising higher education


While the University takes decolonisation seriously and is taking active steps to make its library collections and curricula more inclusive and representative of a wider range of authors who are women and/or representative of different ethnic and cultural perspectives, the following post remains the personal opinion of the post author and does not necessarily reflect the views of the University.  

Decolonisation – what it is and why we should all care about it

Racially mixed group of students socialising in the Library Coffee Shop (prior to social distancing measures).We all have an original nature, with our own authentic wants and needs.  We act spontaneously.  Then we meet other people.  Very soon, who and what we want to become and even who we believe ourselves to be becomes influenced or even defined by others.  Such internalised messages can become self-limiting, and the friction between the self-concept imposed from without and a person’s true nature within can be painful and may even result in mental ill-health (Dykes, Postings,  Kopp, & Crouch, 2017, p. 179).  For repressed groups, such as women and Black, Asian and minority ethinicity (BAME) people, the messages received about who a person is and what they should be are often harmful and repressive.  These groups are systematically shown that that they do not matter to society, not least through the lack of BAME role models and the abrogation of their cultural heritage.  BAME women suffer intersectional repression and are among the hardest hit.

Systems of oppression overlap and interact.  BAME people of sexual, ethnic, racial and religious minorities, and women in general, face particularly severe intersectional repression.  For example, women, BAME people, and in particular black women, are seriously underrepresented in both higher education and libraries in general.  Even in librarianship, where most professionals are women, the number of women, and in particular black women, reaching leadership roles is vanishingly small.  Such intersectional oppression makes it even more difficult for them to find acceptance and thereby to learn to accept themselves.  The near complete lack of BAME representation in staff makes services less approachable for BAME students, while the lack of BAME representation in the scholarly literature makes examples used in learning harder for BAME students to relate to taught content.  Lack of representation imposes psychological hurdles to achievement at all levels and generally makes their lives harder, more stressful and more tiring.  To grow up BAME risks being defined and limited by those around you and to see the world through a lens not of your own making.

Read more ›

Posted in Thing of the Day Tagged with: ,

4 referencing top tips Cite Them Right might not tell you

When it comes to referencing these days, it is usually pretty straightforward.

Click the  Referencing@Portsmouth icon icon on the Library website and then on Cite Them Right, log in (if you are not using the VPN – but seriously, if you can use the VPN you really, really should, it will save you so much time), and so long as you know what it is you have read, you will find ‘copy and paste’ examples of how to reference everything.  If you don’t know what sort of thing you have read, just chat to a librarian online (click on the online chat button on the library website) and share the link with us – we will explain everything from there.

What is not so obvious is how to get to the end of your essay with enough information to make sure you can just go through the sources you have used and reference them all without frustration and worry.

Getting all your ducks (ahem! references) in a row as you do your research makes referencing a lot easier at the end.

1. Build a skeleton reference list as you go

If you use an online resource of any description, especially a website, be sure to copy the URL before you leave and save it to a working reference list in a Google Doc or somewhere similar, together with enough information to identify it.  This will save you a lot of time and frustration later when you come to write up your reference list because online sources are famously difficult to find again when you want them and you cannot cite an online source without a link to it!

Read more ›

Posted in Thing of the Day Tagged with:

Get certified and get ahead with free law database training

Do you want to learn how to search law databases like a legal professional, using unique tricks and tips to get to essential legal evidence faster and more confidently?  Would you like help getting certified, to prove to future employers that you are capable and knowledgable in the use of these databases?  How about getting a helping hand in getting ahead with vacation scheme and training contract applications?
You don’t have to be studying law to join in!  Being able to find legal evidence is useful for everyone and many of the skills you will learn will transfer helpfully to researching other subjects and using other electronic resources.
Posted in Services Tagged with: , , , ,

New eresource: Politics Trove

In addition to the Sage Catalyst e-textbook package, we now have online access to 36 key Politics & IR textbooks from Oxford University Press in a package called Politics Trove.  This is a fantastic new resource for anyone interested in the broad sphere of politics.  You can find a series of videos explaining how to use all the features of Politics Trove on the Politics subject page.  If you are studying Politics, you will find many of these ebook titles linked from your online reading lists.  You can also find them individually by searching the Library catalogue or EBSCO Discovery Service, or you can explore the entire ebook collection by searching for Politics Trove.

The ‘Cite’ tool – a word of caution

The Politics Trove “Cite” feature suggests references that do not follow APA (7th ed.) style.  We recommend you do not use this feature.  Instead, follow the advice from Cite Them Right, the Library’s new and improved referencing advice tool.  If you have any questions or want advice using Cite Them Right, library staff are very happy to help.  You can email, chat online or call us 24/7.
Posted in Services, Subjects: Social Sciences