Online library induction for CIPS

This week I met with the new cohort starting on the CIPS Professional Diploma at the University of South Wales.  I really enjoy meeting new Business School students face-to-face and sharing information about our library services .  However, as it is not physically possible to ‘meet and greet’ every single new student, I needed a way to transfer my induction materials into an online format to share with those I miss.

To help me to achieve this objective, I recently attended a CyMAL: Museums Libraries and Archives Wales training course about ‘Using Multimedia Resources’, led by Internet expert Phil Bradley.  One of the resources he introduced us to, that particularly struck me as having great potential, is Vuvox Collage; described by its developers as adynamic media creation suite [that] enables everyone to easily turn their photos, videos, text and audio clips into interactive stories”.

In my first experiment, I transferred the images from my CIPS PowerPoint slides to Vuvox.  After watching their ‘getting started’ tutorials, I found it incredibly simple to add my photos, to create cut-outs (see my silhouettes of a female student and a red postbox as examples), and to add hot-links for students to click on to get more information.  Furthermore, it was really easy to share my creation via social media, and in the Library and Student Centre’s news feed on Unilife.

Posted in Logistics, Part-time and Distance Learners, Procurement, Social Media, Supply Chain Management | Leave a comment

McDonald’s, McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut

Do you want to measure a company’s performance against its competitors in the United Kingdom, perhaps the performance of McDonald’s against Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut?

The comparison of multiple companies and league positions is now very quick and easy to do using the Key Note benchmarking tool.

Three ways to generate a Key Note benchmark report:

1. Directly from a market report

Choose a Key Note market report that interests you, for example, Restaurants 2013.  Check the report’s chapters to see if the following League Tables option is offered (look out for the lightning symbol):

League Tables

If it is, click on it, and then on the next screen you will see an option to Export to Benchmark.  From the list generated, you can add or delete companies to refine as required.

NB. Restaurants 2013 allows you to compare and contrast McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and Pizza Hut to name but a few!

2. Create your own list of companies using List Builder

In Key Note’s Company Information section, there is a List Builder tab.   This allows you to select criteria (e.g. company type, principal activity, SIC code, turnover, trading office address, etc.).  Once the output is defined, the Benchmark button will compare the performance of up to 200 selected companies.

3. Using company numbers 

If you have a list of company numbers assigned by Companies House, Key Note’s Company Information section also has a Benchmarking tab.  Simply type in a list of company numbers and submit.  There is also a short Key Note video describing how to use the benchmarking tool more precisely.

Finally, all benchmarking reports can be viewed online or exported to Excel.  If you stumbled across this blog post because you are either a Mike Stock or a Fast Food Rockers fan, here is the link to The Fast Food Song (official video) on YouTube… which is another learning experience in itself!

Posted in Companies House, Company Information, Key Note, Market Research | Leave a comment

Online Access to IDS

What is IDS?

IDS (Incomes Data Services) is an independent research organisation that provides information and analysis in key areas across the employment field.   According to their publicity, their “expertise in HR, employment law, pay and executive compensation has been used by thousands of businesses and by government, trade unions and tribunals for over 45 years”.

The latest news from the library…

From May 2013, all HR, employment law, pay and executive compensation information and analysis from IDS will be available in one place at IDS Online (UNI login required), and replaces our print subscriptions to ‘IDS HR Studies’, ‘IDS Employment Law Brief’ and ‘IDS Pay Report’.  The university’s new subscription via Thomson Reuters provides access to four services:

  1. HR in Practice – Analysis of HR policies, procedures and best practice from many named organisations across all sectors of the economy.  Includes full-text access to ‘IDS HR in Practice’ (formerly known as ‘IDS HR Studies’) from 2003*.
  2. Employment Law – Comment on all aspects of employment law for legal and HR professionals. Employment law content is written by an in-house team of employment lawyers and writers, who provide a bank of case reports, forthcoming UK and EU cases, and news alerts.  Includes full-text access to ‘IDS Employment Law Brief’ from 2007*.
  3. Pay & Reward –News and analysis on the latest developments in pay and conditions.  Pay settlements are monitored, and the latest trends in pay awards across the economy and by sector are reported.  Includes full-text access to ‘IDS Pay Report’ from 2010*.
  4. Executive Compensation – Up-to-date information on all aspects of pay practice for directors, managers and professionals, providing market trends for specific job functions, new ideas for reward strategy and benchmarking data.  Includes full-text access to ‘IDS Executive Compensation Review’ from 2010.

We hope that this service will be welcomed by everyone at the university with an interest in HR and/or employment law.

* An archive of journal issues not available online will be housed at Treforest LRC.

Posted in Case Studies, Employment Law, Human Resources Management, Incomes Data Services | Leave a comment

Business Source Premier, SPORTDiscus and other EBSCO databases

Updated: 24 December 2o14

EBSCOhost logo EBSCOhost is the registered trademark of EBSCO Publishing.

All EBSCOhost databases, including those that are well used by Business School such as Business Source Premier and SPORTDiscus, have now been enhanced by the university’s library services to improve access to full-text (where available).

Business Source Premier logo  sportdiscus

The basic premise is, that by running SFX (self-extracting technology) in the background, we provide direct links between EBSCOhost’s journal citation indices and the full-text of articles on publishers’ websites or other databases (subject to a subscription being in place).

This means that if EBSCOhost does not immediately offer you a link to the document required, you no longer need to write down the citation, and then check our e-Journal collections and/or the Library Catalogue, to see if the university has access to a publication.  FINDit does the work for you!

The following screenshot shows a sample record on EBSCOhost’s SPORTDiscus.  EBSCOhost do not provide a direct link to full-text on this occasion.  However, by clicking on Check FINDit for full-text the necessary checks will be run automatically on your behalf.

netball1

The results (as shown in the screenshot below) include a match to the full-text article if available online.  If this line is not included, click on the Library Catalogue link to see if we have print access in one of our libraries.  Finally, if neither an online nor a print subscription exists, there is an option to pursue an Inter-library Loan request if the article is deemed essential for your research.

SFX example

We hope this will speed up the process of tracing full-text for you!

Please note that SFX is only available for former University of Glamorgan staff, students and researchers at present, but work has started to eventually provide the same service for former University of Wales, Newport.

Posted in Business Source Premier, Inter-library Loans, Library Catalogue, Sport Management & Sports Development, SPORTDiscus | Leave a comment

Museum of Social Media

Did you know that Wiley-Blackwell has created a Museum of Social Media?

The exhibits in this virtual museum allow you to learn about the rise of social media, find out about the latest books (please let your Information Librarian know if you would like the library to purchase any of these titles), and browse more than 200 free multidisciplinary articles from Wiley journals that examine social media’s impact on the world.

Find out more about the museum on YouTube (1:35).  Please see my Pinterest board for a selection of books on social media already available in the university’s libraries.

Posted in Books, Information Librarian, Social Media | Leave a comment

A new look for CIPD Case Studies Extra

CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) has recently moved their Case Studies Extra service into a Virtual Learning Environment.

CIPD Case Studies Extra* is described as an interactive learning experience.  The resource is relevant for use as a part of CIPD foundation, intermediate and advanced level qualifications, and on both undergraduate and postgraduate HRM and business degree programmes.

Benefits include:

  • Video content featuring interviews with leading practitioners
  • Clips from CIPD training DVDs
  • Practical, downloadable quizzes
  • Regular updates and new case studies
  • Podcasts
  • Links to current stories from People Management, CIPD’s official magazine
  • Access to the CIPD HR Profession Map, which can also be used as an online self-assessment tool by CIPD members
  • All areas of subjects covered (including International HR)

* A quick clear of your browser’s cache/search history will avoid you being directed to the old site.  When logging in to this resource via FINDit, an additional CIPD login is required.  Please look out for the ‘Ideal’ password details provided.

Posted in CIPD Case Studies Extra, Human Resources Management | Leave a comment

A new way to access Companies House reports

Key Note has recently enhanced  its ‘Company Information’ interface by adding access to original Companies House documents.  Data from the past 15 years is now available and includes:

  • Annual Accounts & Interim Accounts
  • Annual Returns
  • Change of Directors or Secretaries
  • Changes to Registered Office
  • Changes to Shares & Capital

An example scenario would be if a student needs to research a particular company for an assignment, or maybe for a forthcoming job interview.  I have chosen a name of a company – The Welsh Rugby Union Ltd – at random from the Wales Top 300 list published by the Western Mail in assocation with Glamorgan Business School.

A search for this company on Key Note produces the following information: overview, profit and loss statement, balance sheet, ownership, appointments, cash flow, key ratios and account notes.  Click on the orange ‘Accounts & Annual Returns Docs’ button to see additional reports from Companies House.

Key Note screenshot

Screenshot reproduced with kind permission from Key Note Limited.

Posted in Companies House, Company Information, Key Note | Leave a comment

Using virtual pinboards

I love the fact that the Learning Resources Centres at the University of South Wales (formerly Glamorgan) are enhanced by online resources (databases, eBooks, electronic journals, etc.).  Access to quality resources is more efficient and widespread than ever before.   Furthermore, the online nature makes it easier to market through the various channels available at the university, as well as through Twitter, Netvibes, WordPress, etc.

I have been thinking about ways to market our physical collections to those that are less likely to visit our libraries, and was delighted to hear about Pinterest.  This website allows you to organise and share all the beautiful things you find on the web on a ‘virtual pinboard’.  It seems to be commonly used by people planning weddings, decorating their homes, organising favourite recipes, etc.   I like the fact that you can browse pinboards created by others in order to discover new things, and thus be inspired by people who share your interests.

So, how can Pinterest help me in my role?  Well, I have been experimenting with creating some pinboards to promote books to Glamorgan Business School.  I have created several boards so far – one of my first attempts was to gather some titles about the topic of  ‘social media’:

pinsm

My second thought was to create boards to promote new acquisitions for library stock – this time ‘Logistics & Supply Chain Management’ and ‘Women & Self-Employment’:

pinlog

pinwom

I can now share these virtual book displays using the online tools available to me, and hopefully attract new people to our libraries in the process.

Posted in Books, Enterprise, Leadership, Marketing | 1 Comment

My Everest Base Camp Trek

I would like to take this opportunity to thank my University of South Wales (formerly Glamorgan) colleagues for sponsoring me on my recent trek in Nepal (22 April-11 May 2012).  At the last count, £23,572.34 has been raised by Welsh Women Walking for Marie Curie Cancer Care and Tŷ Hafanhttp://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/WelshWomenWalkingEBC.

Everest Base Camp

Welsh Women Walking at Everest Base Camp with Richard Parks and our fantastic Sherpa team (L-R: Pasang, Jacquie, Jayne, Pemba, Mandy, Angie, Barb, Izzy, Gwenda, Debbie, Lakpa, Jasmin, Siân, Sally, Emma, Mingma & Richard)

 

How it started

Just after Christmas, the founder of Welsh Women Walking heard Richard Parks of 737 Challenge fame speak at an event at the Institute of Directors in Cardiff.  She was so inspired by his achievements (Richard is a former international rugby player, turned adventurer due to injury) that she pledged to help him raise £20,000 for charity.   Richard immediately offered to take a small group of us to Everest Base Camp and we had just 4 months to prepare; not only with fundraising, but also with increasing our fitness levels.  We set out a plan that involved getting out into the hills as often as possible, and some of us even dared to join a gym.  We also set up visits to the surprisingly joyful Marie Curie and Tŷ Hafan hospices in Penarth and Sully to see where all money raised would be going.

The trail

The heartland of Nepal is far from any roads.  The only way to get there is by walking up and down endless hills.  Many of the trails have been used for centuries, and they offer some of the most spectacular and beautiful scenery I have ever seen.  As Lonely Planet (2006, p.323) suggests “…there is absolutely nothing like waking up on a crystal-clear Himalayan day and seeing an 8000m peak towering over you”.  The trails are busy with trekkers, yak teams and their herders, and local people passing by, including porters  carrying incredibly heavy loads of unexpected items.  There are many villages where trekkers can pause for lemon or ginger tea, light meals such as dal bhat, or find lodgings for the night.  The Nepali highlanders, with their warm and outgoing nature, and devotion to Buddhism, made our trek even more interesting and enjoyable.  We walked clockwise around every single ‘Stupa’, prayer stone and prayer flag we passed, span every prayer wheel three times for luck, and listened solemnly whenever our Sherpa guides prayed or chanted.  As we progressed, the air got thinner, vegetation became sparser, and it inevitably got colder and more uncomfortable.

Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS)

We took great care to acclimatise by slowing our rate of ascent.  We started the trek from the Tenzing-Hillary airport at Lukla (2,860m) so we were already at a high elevation.  At Everest Base Camp (5,364m), we would be at an altitude where the oxygen content of the air is about half that at sea level.  Lack of oxygen at altitudes above 2,500m affects most people to some extent.  Effects can be mild or severe, and occur because of less oxygen reaching muscles and the brain.  The heart and lungs then compensate by working harder.  On Day 1, I was the first in our group to display symptoms, in my case a lack of coordination (a ‘drunken walk’) and dizziness.  After being confined to a complete rest day in Namche Bazaar (3,440m), I made a full recovery and luckily had no further problems.  During my rest day, I had the misfortune to experience a phenomenon known as Cheyne-Stokes breathing.  I awoke to find that I was unable to breathe for maybe 5-15 seconds… but it seemed much longer!  A few of the others experienced different symptoms later on in the trek.  Mostly headaches, loss of appetite, nausea and breathlessness, but there were a lucky few who remained completely unaffected.

Everest Base Camp

It is impossible to put into words how we felt about reaching our destination, and sadly three of our group didn’t make it.  For those that did, it was an almost spiritual experience.  We had a rendevouz with the Jagged Globe Everest summit team, and a slap-up lunch to look forward to, so that gave me the strength to get there although I was exhausted.  And the setting was beautiful!  Colourful tents perched on the glacial moraine of the Khumbu Glacier, stunning ice formations, abundant prayer flags, and the sight of climbers as small as ants making their way down the notorious Khumbu Icefall.  Both Eastern and Western climbing teams rested themselves in their tent areas, and we had the privilege to meet a young Bangladeshi who was hoping to be the first woman from her country to climb the 7 summits.

Katmandhu

Sadly the trek had to come to an end, but we were glad to experience the rich air again on our descent, and a couple of days of R&R to recover.  Katmandhu is exhilarating – the sights, sounds and smells overload your senses. I enjoyed joining the crazy traffic albeit from the back of a taxi, wandering down the narrow winding streets of the medieval old town, eating stone baked pizza at the world famous Rum Doodle’s Bar, and doing my Michael Palin impression by sidling up to Saddhus at the Hindhu Pashupatinath Temple and visiting the Buddhist temple at Swayambhunath.

My photographs of the trek are available at http://flic.kr/s/aHsjziRn43.

Reference:

Mayhew, B., Bindloss, J. and Armington, S. (2006) Nepal. 7th edn. Footscray: Lonely Planet Publications.

Posted in Information Librarian | 2 Comments

Exams, past papers and revision tips

Updated: February 4, 2015

Exam-papers-online

A common question being  asked in our libraries at the moment is how to access past exam papers.   Our online collection of Exam Papers can be accessed on and off-campus (UNI login required).

Many of the Business School’s main papers are accessible for the previous five years (2009/10,  2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13 and 2013/14), and are arranged in the Faculty of Business and Society section by module code.

If the exam paper you require is not listed, please send an email to lrsupport@southwales.ac.uk to let us know which module code you are looking for.

The following extract about how to best use past exam papers is taken from our Student Development and Study Skills Service guide to revising for exams:

  • Get as many past papers as you can, as early as you can – it is more useful if you do this during the early stages of your revision.  Don’t worry if you can’t understand most of the subject areas at this stage.
  • Work out what the standards are.  For example, use the old exam papers to give you an idea about how much you’ve got to cover in an answer in half-an-hour, or how much to cover in a complete exam of three hours, and so on.  If you’re on a new course, ask for specimen papers as a guide to the format and structure of the exams you should expect.
  • Try to work out the marking scheme.  As you become able to answer old exam questions, make lists of points which you think may have scored marks.  Also, try to work out the most likely causes of losing marks on the questions – in order to avoid such things yourself later.
  • Get to know what the questions may be – even before you know any of the answers.  The more you’ve tuned in to the nature of likely questions, the more receptive you are to the answers as you come across them in lectures, reading and studying.
  • Do some ‘question-spotting’.  Note the trends.  Note things that come up frequently.  Also look for things that haven’t come up recently and which might be “due” for another airing.  Remember, though, that question-spotting is a gamble – don’t invest too much in it!
  • Break the old exams questions down.  Break them into lots of short, sharp questions because the aim is to be able to answer every part of the question.
  • Find out what questions you’re best at.  This might help you decide what to concentrate on and how to organize your revision to maximize your strengths.

Education Drop-in Centre (2013) Revising for and taking exams. Available at: http://studyskills.southwales.ac.uk/studyindex/revandexams/ (Accessed: 7 January 2015)

Reproduced with kind permission from the Student Development and Study Skills Service, Student Support and Library Services, University of South Wales.

Posted in Education Drop-in Centre, Exam Papers | Leave a comment