Dissertation Festival 2021

From 8 – 19 March the Library is running an online Dissertation Festival. The events taking place during this two week period will highlight what the Library can do for you to help you succeed with your dissertation.

In this blog post I am going to focus on the sessions that might be of particular interest to dissertation students (undergraduates or postgraduates) in the School of History, Classics and Archaeology (HCA). However, to find all sessions available and to book on take a look at the Dissertation Festival guide.

The Dissertation Festival for HCA

Introduction to literature searching for your dissertation
Monday 8 March, 10:00-10:50
Being able to undertake effective literature searches is an important part of your dissertation or final year project. Knowing the strategies and tools with which to perform thorough searches to identify existing research and information about your chosen topic, allows you to connect your work to wider scholarly knowledge, demonstrate your understanding and put any research you have done in a wider context. This session for students in the College of Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences (CAHSS) will look at developing a search strategy, the resources available to you at the Library to search the literature and managing your search results.

Improve your research skills with SAGE Research Methods
Monday 8 March, 14:10-15:00
This session will give you an introduction to SAGE Research Methods, a database containing thousands of resources, dedicated to research methods across a range of subject areas. The session will cover content and tools you can use in order to improve your research skills and capabilities and build your confidence and experience in using the database for future study and research projects. SAGE Research Methods can be your guide in overcoming common research challenges – whether you want to conduct more effective literature reviews, construct a manageable research question, learn how to prepare data ready for analysis, disseminate your research more widely, or understand challenging research methods terminology. Participants will have plenty of time to ask questions, so that by the end of the session, everyone will be ready to start exploring the platform independently and confidently

How to use the Library remotely for your dissertation
Tuesday 9 March, 13:10-13:40 or Tuesday 16 March, 13:10-13:40
This session aims to help you access the library resources and services you need to work on your dissertation remotely. Find out about the full range of services available to you at a distance, and how to get the best out of the Library for your dissertation research.

Discovering Primary Sources: Decolonisation in Parliamentary Sources
Wednesday 10 March, 11:00-11:30
This session will delve into United Kingdom Parliamentary Papers, and illustrate search strategies to find resources related to colonial history, specifically to do with the Atlantic Charter and decolonisation of Ghana.
Primary Sources used for this webinar include: all collections available in UK Parliamentary Papers.

Using digital historical newspaper archives
Thursday 11 March, 10:00-10:50
Newspapers can be an invaluable resource when researching your dissertation topic. They can be useful to find out about key events, places and people. They can include opinion pieces, first hand accounts, war reports, law or court reports and parliamentary reports, incl. occasional reproductions of full text speeches. This session will provide an overview of the wide range of historical newspaper databases and other news sources available at the Library, including some hints and tips on basic and advanced search techniques.

Choosing a reference manager
*This session is no longer able to run. However, you can watch a recording of this Library Bitesize session: Choosing a reference manager.*
This session will provide an overview of three popular reference managers currently in use at the University: Endnote, Zotero and Mendeley. Topics include: highlights of each reference manager, the difference between online and desktop versions, compatibility with Word, and live demonstrations of how to create simple references using the software.

Using the National Library of Scotland for your dissertation
Monday 15 March, 13:10-14:00
In this Dissertation Festival session learn how to use the National Library of Scotland (www.nls.uk) and how their world-class collections can benefit your dissertation research. Many of the National Library of Scotland’s collections are available online and this introduction from their staff will provide an overview of their collections as well as practical information on how to join the Library and access collections and resources online.

Finding digitised Special Collections online
Friday 19 March, 10:00-10:45
Access to physical special collections are limited due to COVID-19. This session will help you locate digitised versions of rare books, archives and manuscripts online so that you can still make use of these vibrant collections in your research.

There are more sessions available over the two week period, 8 – 19 March, that may be of interest. So do take a look at the Dissertation Festival guide for a full schedule of events. You can also access some recordings and presentation slides from sessions from our semester 1 Dissertation Festival (Oct-Nov 2020) on the guide.

Caroline Stirling – Acaemic Support Librarian for School of History, Classics and Archaeology