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The Critical Reading course aims to improve students' ability to read critically and evaluate sources, as well as giving helpful tips about productive reading, note taking and providing a checklist of questions to help them with their reading going forward. It is suitable for all students but aimed mostly at undergraduates.

Most people have online profiles and, as a researchers, your online presence offers many rich opportunities. It is helpful to be aware of tools and tips that can help you boost your visibility online, as well as common mistakes to avoid.

In this course, you will:

  • begin to develop your online research profile by making yourself visible to others in a way(s) that suits you.
  • learn what an ORCID is and how to obtain one.
  • learn what your Symplectic Elements account is for and begin to make it work for you
  • review your current visibility and consider the next steps

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

Copyright law is a complex field with direct relevance for researchers who need to protect their own intellectual work and use work written by others, and most importantly must avoid accidentally infringing copyright. This course provides you with basic knowledge you can apply to your research practice.

The course covers:

  • fundamentals of copyright and why it’s important
  • what to do if you want to use someone else’s work
  • how to protect and share your own work
  • how licenses can be used to make it easier to reuse works

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

The module covers the key things you need to know when depositing your electronic thesis to Apollo

  • How to ensure you meet all the requirements for submission
  • How to decide on the access level for your thesis
  • A demonstration of successfully depositing your work using Symplectic Elements.

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

This short interactive module introduces you to Cambridge University Libraries and explains how to find resources for your subject. This module has a focus on the Psychological and Behavioural Sciences Tripos, but will be useful for anyone who is new to Cambridge.

This online interactive course will give you advice on how to survive your first year at Cambridge. Topics include introductions to note making, referencing, writing essays, and managing your time.

The course is aimed at Part IA students, with a Science focus. However, the course is open to anyone who wishes to use it, and will be useful for any discipline, or as a refresher for those wishing to learn some new tips and tricks.

This course is based on a typical literature review lifecycle. You start by planning your search. You then carry out your search. Once you've found some results, you evaluate what you have found to see if it is relevant to your needs. You manage your results by saving them to a suitable place so you can come back to them. If you are interested in tracking changes in your field, you enact approaches to keep up to date with new research. And as your research evolves, you refine your search to reflect new concepts and new terms. And so the cycle continues.

While you may not be as focused on the longer term tracking of new research in your field, being able to plan, search, evaluate and manage effectively are additional skills which we will cover in this course. The course will be structured around the first four stages described above, with optional additional information about the last two stages for those who are interested.

This course is supplemented by live workshop opportunities throughout the academic year.

Literature Searching: A Guide for Undergraduates Self-taught Booking not required

This course is based on a typical literature review lifecycle. You start by planning your search. You then carrying out your search. Once you've found some results, you evaluate what you have found to see if it is relevant to your needs. You manage your results by saving them to a suitable place so you can come back to them. If you are interested in tracking changes in your field, you enact approaches to keep up to date with new research. And as your research evolves, you refine your search to reflect new concepts and new terms. And so the cycle continues.

While you may not be as focused on the longer term tracking of new research in your field, being able to plan, search, evaluate and manage effectively are key skills which we will cover in this course. The course will be structured around these first four stages, with optional additional information about the last two stages for those who are interested.

A course to take you through conference poster design, with tips and resources to help with the content and presentation in order to ensure you communicate your research effectively. The course will cover where to source good quality, free graphics, how to include references in your poster, and advice about how best to present it at a conference. The session will NOT involve hands-on creation of a poster.

UPDATE: Please note that this session is taking place remotely, not in the Medical Library as previously advertised. Please do not go to the Medical Library training room. You will be contacted by the training team with information about how to join the session remotely.

Please note: this session may be recorded. By signing up for the session, you register your consent for recording to take place. Please email librarytraining@medschl.cam.ac.uk if you have any questions about this.

A course specifically for University of Cambridge staff and students. Attendees will learn how to search medical/healthcare databases accessed with a Raven login (such as Medline and Embase) effectively and efficiently, to learn how to save searches and references, and to create and maintain a bibliography. This course is delivered at an introductory/refresher level, and assumes you have had no prior training in how to search databases.

All attendees are required to have a Raven login. NHS staff wanting to learn similar material should book onto our 'Getting the Best Results - Improving Your Database Searching' course instead.

UPDATE: This session is taking place in the Medical Library's training room, not online.

Before undertaking any piece of primary research it’s important to be aware of as much of the existing literature as possible. A systematic literature review can also be a research end in itself. And it’s not something to be taken lightly. But how can you be sure you’re being as rigorous as necessary? How can you manage the references you find, document the process, and also know when to stop searching?

This session assumes attendees have already had prior introductory training in literature searching. It is a prerequisite that you have attended either Introduction to Literature Searching (if you are a University of Cambridge staff member or student) or Getting the Best Results - Improving Your Database Searching (if you are an NHS staff member). Exceptions will be made if you received similar training from another department or university - please contact us if you have any questions about prerequisites.

UPDATE: Please note that this session is taking place remotely, not in the Medical Library as previously advertised. Please do not go to the Medical Library training room. You will be contacted by the training team with information about how to join the session remotely.

Please note: this session may be recorded. By signing up for the session, you register your consent for recording to take place. Please email librarytraining@medschl.cam.ac.uk if you have any questions about this.

Note making (as opposed to note taking) is an active practice of recording relevant parts of reading for your research as well as your reflections and critiques of those studies. Note making, therefore, is a pre-writing exercise that helps you to organise your thoughts prior to writing. In this module, we will cover:

  • The difference between note taking and note making
  • Seven tips for good note making
  • Strategies for structuring your notes and asking critical questions
  • Different styles of note making

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

New for 2024, an orientation tour for Cambridge Library staff - UL, Faculty or College.

The UL is unique: a national, legal deposit library with an amazing collection of around 8 million items - over two million of which you can browse on our open shelves. This tour will replicate what we show new users during orientation tours. If you have never been to, or used the UL before, it may provide useful information and context for your own library inductions.

Plant Sciences Library Induction new Self-taught Booking not required

The Plant Sciences Library is located in the main Department building on the Downing site. This online induction will tell you all about the library, the services offered, and how to get support from the Librarian and the Biological Sciences Library Team.

This online course follows the whole process of public a monograph or other academic book, from making the initial decisions, to what to do once you have the finished book in your hands.

You’ll learn:

  • key considerations when turning your thesis into a monograph
  • how to choose the best publisher for you
  • how Open Access monographs work
  • how to write a great proposal
  • what to expect from the peer review and publishing process

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

This online module covers the basic skills you need if you are preparing to publish in academic journals.

It will help you to:

  • plan a publication strategy and choose the right journals for you
  • avoid the snares of predatory publishers
  • navigate the peer review process
  • understand Open Access publishing and what it means for your publications

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

As a researcher, you will collect a lot of data. Whether that data takes the form of spreadsheets, recordings, images, bibliographies, or something entirely different, it's crucial that you manage it well throughout your projects. Doing so will help you to work more efficiently, avoid data disasters, and build your professional reputation.

In this course, you'll learn:

  • how to store and backup up data
  • how to organise data
  • what to do with protected data (personal or commercially sensitive)
  • why sharing data is important and how to do it
  • how to write Data Management Plans

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

Research Metrics (online course) Self-taught Bookable

Data, Metrics, Key Performance Indicators... these terms are everywhere these days, as we increasingly seek hard data to monitor and improve the quality of many of the things we do. Research metrics can be very useful, but they also come with important caveats, so we need to be responsible in how we use these tools.

In this module, you will learn:

  • the meaning of common metrics such as Journal Impact Factor and H-index
  • what are the main limitations of metrics
  • a better, responsible approach to using metrics

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

Being a researcher can mean juggling lots of different things. You might be wrestling with funding, or promoting your work, or finding the most up-to-date research, or even where to begin with writing up that data management plan you probably should have done a few weeks ago!

This course will introduce you to each of these concepts through a short video, a bit of reading, and a quick exercise to give you some time to explore and reflect on your own research needs. By the end of the course you will hopefully have a better idea of what your funder wants from you, how you can begin promoting your work, what techniques you can use to get that really useful research, as well as having already started writing up your data management plan.

All of our content will be self-guided but the Biological Sciences Libraries Team (email: sbslibraries@lib.cam.ac.uk) will be on hand throughout to have an online chat with you if you have any further questions or want to explore something further. If you have any technical issues or need any course content in a different format, you can contact George Cronin (Library Manager for Biological Sciences) at gmp36@cam.ac.uk who will be able to help.

Have you ever searched for articles on a topic and returned thousands of results... or none? Are you always defaulting to Google Scholar and wondering if there’s a better way of doing things? Are you starting to look into a new topic and feel overwhelmed and unsure where to start? Then this online course is for you.

We will look at the three stages of a successful literature search:

  • planning a strategy and identifying the right key words
  • searching using the right tools and maintaining accurate records
  • evaluating results and refining search parameters

You will receive the URL for the course in the confirmation email after booking.

This short interactive module introduces you to Cambridge University Libraries and explains how to find resources for your subject. This module has a focus on the Medical and Veterinary Sciences Triposes, but will be useful for anyone who is new to Cambridge.

This short interactive module introduces you to Cambridge University Libraries and explains how to find resources for your subject. This module has a focus on the Biological Sciences strand of the Natural Sciences Tripos, and is suitable for anyone who is new to Cambridge.

Cambridge University Library is one of the top research libraries in the world and holds over 8 million items. If you are a member of Library staff at a college, department or faculty library and would like to give your students introductory tours of the UL, then we would love to help you gain the knowledge and confidence to do that.

Email us today (research-skills@lib.cam.ac.uk) to get started. We can give advice via email or by telephone (including sharing our tour notes and guidance) or we can organise a one-to-one tour for you with an experienced member of UL staff. We will guide you through the orientation tour route that we use for our own tours and can answer any questions that you may have.

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