Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Library unified catalogue consultation: by student request, plus Waterstones vouchers available

A new trial unified library catalogue is now available at Developed on the back of staff and student feedback the ‘Unicat’ allows you to search for books and journals across both university libraries but, we hope, in an improved way from the existing HYENA cross search. The new Unicat provides drop down search options allowing you to search:

  • across Hull and York University Libraries
  • your preferred site plus only what is available electronically via the other University library
  • for the e-holdings only of both University Libraries.

The Unicat also displays the list of your results on a single screen.

The Unicat is still a work in progress and we would very much like user testing and feedback so that the Library technical teams can fine tune. Please send any feedback you have via the form provided at As a thank you for feedback we will be conducting a draw for two £10 Waterstones vouchers later in the term.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Reference management workshops and resources - use them!

The rejigged York Skills Guide for reference management has a new nice 4 min video, and collapsible sections on Paperpile, Mendeley, and EndNote
Next week's Digital Wednesdays is on reference management focusing on Mendeley and Paperpile. Mendeley is a great all-rounder. It’s not as good at collecting as Paperpile, but it does have a built-in PDF annotator, and it works with Word

... and of course Hull has nice bibliograhic online resources too, focusing on EndNote and RefWorks.
The University Library has workshops on Using EndNote this Friday, and again on December 6th, as well as one of Referencing with Harvard or APA on Tuesday next week.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Trial of JBI SUMARI tool to support systematic reviews

JBI SUMARI (System for the Unified Management of the Assessment and Review of Information) allows you to 'develop, conduct and report on systematic reviews of evidence related to the feasibility, appropriateness, meaningfulness and effectiveness of health care interventions or professional activities.' 

Trial access to this, and other associated Joanna Briggs tools, are available via the University of York until 14th December 2017

To access the trial go to and login using your University of York account. Select JBI SUMARI and login using your Ovid Personal Account (or create one if needed). Select the Green Wolter Kluwer/EBP Network Account option and you are ready to start.

We are very interested in knowing if this tool is valuable to staff and students undertaking systematic reviews. Please send any feedback you may have to 

For further information on SUMARI go to There are also some video tutorials on using the software at Copied below is a summary of the resource from

The System for the Unified Management, Assessment and Review of Information (SUMARI) is the Joanna Briggs Institute's premier software for the systematic review of literature.
It is designed to assist researchers and practitioners in fields such as health, social sciences and humanities to conduct systematic reviews. SUMARI supports 10 review types, including:
  1. Reviews of effectiveness
  2. Qualitative research
  3. Economic evaluations
  4. Prevalence/incidence
  5. Aetiology/risk
  6. Mixed methods
  7. Umbrella/overviews
  8. Text/opinion
  9. Diagnostic test accuracy
  10. Scoping reviews
It facilitates the entire review process, from protocol development, team management, study selection, critical appraisal, data extraction, data synthesis and writing your systematic review report. Essentially, it is a word processor, reference management program, statistical and qualitative data analysis program all in one easy to use web application.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

SPSS, stats, maths: where do I go??

We have had a couple of queries lately regarding maths, stats and SPSS support at the universities so here's some info for anyone else interested:

At the University of Hull have a look at the information and support at . You might also be interested in signing up for a SPSS workshop at

If at York see for support and information for SPSS and for more general support see information about the Maths Skills Centre at

(Image from, CCO licence)

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

How to lie with *ahem* use numbers

This post linked to here is interesting from several perspectives.

Read as a cheat sheet for what not to do as a researcher - but maybe as a politician?...
... and a reminder of what to be on the lookout for when assessing the works and words of others.

Numbers have power, handle with care!

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Navigating and getting library links in Google Scholar

Google Scholar is really useful, but I hate the so-called "advanced" search interface, I cannot combine my searches and thus use any intricate search strings in Google Scholar to try and filter through the immense amounts of information out there systematically and not just by whatever happened to be on the first two screens...

But the powers that be at Google Scholar have at least made some of the interface easier to navigate by introducing the drawer as an eased access to various features. The drawer contains the settings, which is handy for getting your library links. The library links is what lets you go directly through the pay-wall to the full text via your Hull, York login (for those items one or both university libraries have bought access to).

Go to the drawer top left (three horizontal bars left of the colourful "Google Scholar"), go to settings (the cog-wheel now visible to the right of the ever colourful Google Scholar), click Library links, search for University of York and University of Hull, tick them and click "save". Lo and behold you should now have blue links appear to the right of some of your search hits in Google Scholar saying something boring but useful like "Full Text @ York" or "Find@Hull". Tadaaaa....

But don't forget all the wonderful paid for search resources where you can refine your search results to get fewer, more useful hits ;)

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

"Bad Science makes Big Headlines"...

We have been meaning to put this up for quite a while, since it is increasingly an issue. This specific post from Huffpost is from back in February, but is an ongoing issue and has been from time immemorial.

It is a very nice little piece on critical thinking in academic, journalistic and everyday life.

"... neither academic publishing nor scientific journalism are immune to misleading headlines and invalid findings. If journalists can be fooled by bogus or simply bad science, how is a layperson supposed to sort out the hype from the help?"

The author Steven N. Austad goes on to present six down to earth tips on how to discriminate muck and treasure.

Get more help on information skills, critical thinking and source evaluation included ;)