Make more of our library resources

Do you want to discover more about how to use library resources, services and databases?

find resources

Then sign up to one of our drop-in sessions where you can:

  • Get hands-on experience of using our databases eg. CINAHL; MEDLINE: Cochrane: PSYCHArticles; SPORTSDiscus; Summon
  • Learn how to get the most out of the databases
  • Improve your search skills and techniques to get better results

Sessions take place in Seacole 271, and are running from now until April.

Simply book your place via moodle (Open Sessions at City South) 

^Posted on behalf of the Learning, Teaching & Research Team, Seacole Library

Summon searching: a how-to guide (part 2)

Today our peer mentor continues looking at how to search Summon effectively. Part one here.

Hello again! Welcome to the second half of the series on Summon. Previously, we looked at how to utilise Summon to search for journal articles using different filters. While those tips are essential to find reliable results, there is a second part that will also benefit your searches on Summon. This is the Advanced Search.

Summon 1

This is what the Advanced Search page looks like. We will go through the different sections step by step.

Summon 10

Continue reading

Summon searching: a how-to guide (part 1)

Today our peer mentor looks at how to search Summon effectively for full text, peer-reviewed journal articles.

Welcome to Summon: BCU’s answer to Google. Summon 2.0 is the easiest way to access all the resources available to you as a BCU student for your research. While Google can throw up a whole manner of content, most of it is unreliable for academic research. On the other hand, Summon contains academic resources from a wide variety of databases to cover all courses. This blog post will introduce you to Summon and show you how to utilise it to get accurate results for your search.

Summon 1

The most common use of Summon within the university is searching for online journal articles. Journal articles are perfect for any type of assignment or research. Unlike big, chunky textbooks, journal articles focus on a specific area of research and generally focus on the author’s own current study. Another positive aspect of online journal articles is that you can access up-to-date research so you can be confidence in their relevance to your assignments. Finally, by using journal articles in your work, you are showing that you are going further than your reading list and using a wide range of reading giving you a greater understanding of the topic.

However, how do you go about using Summon to search for journal articles?

Continue reading

February Peer Mentor drop-in session – Summon!

On Thursday 9th February our Peer Mentor Isaac will be hosting a new session, designed to follow-on from the last drop-in session.

This session will look into the advanced features of ‘Summon’ and how to find the best results. There will be a secondary focus on the Libguides website which has been prepared by the Librarians to guide students in a particular area of study, containing popular online resources such as specific databases, the most useful books on the subject, as well as research assistance.

February Drop-In Session Poster

December LPM Drop-In Session

^Posted on behalf of Isaac Paul

Red Library iCity tile

If you’ve attended a library induction or spoken to us at the Help Desk, you’ll know we always advise you to access library services, particularly electronic resources such as journals and ebooks, via the red tile on the iCity home page.

But why? Well, it comes down to authentication. When you’re logged into iCity, the databases you want to access know that you belong to Birmingham City University, and therefore know what content we’re subscribed to.  The best way to ensure you’re logged in correctly is to use the iCity tile to access the resources. Simple!

We know it can sometimes be a bit complicated when it comes to knowing which route to take to find electronic resources in the first place.  We get asked lots of questions like ‘what is Summon?’ and ‘what are databases and why are they different to Summon?’.

Databases such as Emerald and CINAHL are repositories for journals, reports or other information. They are often collected together by subject types (humanities, arts, health etc.) and you can access them directly via our iCity pages using the A-Z of Resources. You can search within each of these databases for the information you need. Summon is a handy search engine which searches across many (but not all) of these databases. If you’re not sure where to start, for most subjects we say ‘start with Summon’ as it’s great for subject searches and will help you become familiar with the various databases we subscribe to. There are exceptions, such as law, where you will need to learn how to use your subject specific databases when you start your course, but we’ll teach you how to do this in your library sessions!  When you become familiar with the resources for your subject, and as you advance through your course, you will learn the best ways of finding information via each route.

So, how can the red library tile help you? We’ve made some changes, so when you click the ‘Summon’ tab you can either search directly in the box, or click the link which takes you through to the A-Z of Resources. Easy peasy!

new summon

For more information about how to find journal articles and how to search using Summon, visit our Library Help site.