How does the RAU Library support PhD and higher level research?
The RAU Library recognises that it plays a critical role in supporting research in subjects and disciplines relevant to the University. It also recognises that technological developments and the ready availability of online resources have changed both how research is done, and the services that an academic library can provide to its research community. The RAU library welcomes the benefits these changes have brought, has adapted to them and seeks to exploit their potential to the full.
We recognise that the facilitation of the use of other libraries’ offerings is important. Therefore we are members of Sconul Access: www.sconul.ac.uk/sconul-access and we actively promote the use of this reciprocal scheme for printed content. Some digital content may be available from public libraries or from the British Library. See, for example, http://www.bl.uk/eresources/main.shtml
We have also signed up to Eduroam www.eduroam.org/ , a service that allows students, researchers and staff from participating institutions to obtain Internet connectivity when visiting other participating institutions.
We recognise that we cannot provide comprehensive access to all scholarly literature. Therefore we provide a very efficient inter-library loans service to researchers primarily via the British Library’s Document Delivery Service. We now provide secure electronic delivery of inter-lending materials direct to researchers’ desktops. Please see the Inter Library Loans guide in the Library or on our Gateway pages.
We recognise that researchers often place a high value on electronic journals. We endeavour to meet this need in a number of ways:
We recognise that libraries need to make their print and electronic resources visible to the research community, and that librarians act as both custodians and managers of their resources. Inadequate cataloguing or poor metadata often mean that potentially useful resources could be overlooked. Therefore we have therefore endeavoured to make as many of our resources as possible ‘visible’ through the library catalogue Heritage Cirqa http://catalogue.rau.ac.uk/heritage/ and through our EBSCO ‘one-stop’ Discovery Service which we have branded as Find it @ RAU.
We have also improved access to electronic resources via the Library’s Gateway pages: https://gateway.rau.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=420
In addition, the library facilitates access for researchers to Endnote Online (formerly EndNote Web) through our subscription to Web of Science. Endnote Online allows the researcher to access their password-protected reference library anywhere, anytime; download references from most online sources; organise references and share them with colleagues; automatically format references in the accepted RAU style etc.
We recognise that we have a responsibility to provide expert advice to the research community. The digital environment has radically altered the way researchers ‘do’ research, and we are able to offer guidance and skills training to researchers. We can also help to bridge the gap between finding and gaining access to research resources, which is an increasing problem for researchers using a limited range of search tools such as Google Scholar. Such resources often uncover things that are not then easily accessed because, for example, they sit behind a subscription barrier. Retrieving the object in question is often not easy and may take time. The librarian is well placed to meet this challenge. Therefore we offer one-to-one sessions for researchers at point-of-need and we are also happy to welcome them into literature searching workshops delivered to postgraduates where many of the skills are readily transferable.
Facts & figures
The RAU Library provides:
In a 2015 internal survey, 100% of PhD students rated the RAU Library as ‘Satisfactory’ or better. 60% rated it as ‘Excellent’, and 80% as ‘Good to Excellent’.
To find it more go to Gateway – Library – Library Policies – Library support for PhDs.