AskUs and Chat


AskUs is a new question and answer/FAQ style database containing information about Goldsmiths Library itself. The database was launched over the summer and since then we have been busy adding some of the most commonly asked questions about the library, so that you can easily search for and find the information you need to efficiently make the most of the library. This ranges from ‘how do I renew my books?’ through to ‘how can I become a SCONUL user?’

AskUs buttons

Embedded on the library homepage, the AskUs box allows you to input your search and it will try to match the keywords with relevant Q&A’s in the database. A drop down box will appear with these suggestions, allowing you to click the most relevant one to your search.

AskUs Question

If you cannot find what you are looking for you can click ‘AskUs’ and you will be taken through to a page to submit your question for a personal response by a librarian. We aim to answer your questions as quickly as possible, including at the weekends.


chatAnother feature of the AskUs system is our Chat. Chat is staffed by the library team and it allows you to get live one-on-one help. We aim to staff this around the clock, though there may occasionally be times where due to staffing constraints we are unable to be available. In this case we suggest you submit a question via ‘AskUs’ for a personal response.

The Chat box on the homepage will let you know if a member of staff is available. If you click on the ‘Chat is online’ button it will launch a separate window with the chat feature. You can choose to chat anonymously or input your name; the system will then let a member of staff know you are waiting to chat.


Open Access Week

This week is open access week, so here is a little introduction to the open access movement in the UK and our institutional repository Goldsmiths Research Online.

At its core, Open Access aims to make academic research free at the point of use for researchers and the public. The main reason for this in the UK is that most research is funded through various channels by the government and therefore by tax payers. By charging subscription fees for access to this research, publishers are essentially asking users to pay for the research twice and this is what Open Access aims to avoid. To facilitate this, last year the UK Government accepted the proposals set out by the Finch  report, including the Open Access “gold” model as standard for publicly-funded research. Gold open access means publishing costs are paid up-front and articles are published in open access journals.

Open Access also allows the free exchange not only of research results, but also all of the data collected that led to those results. PhD Comics have made a simple but effective video explaining all the benefits of Open Access:

Goldsmiths Research Online (GRO) serves as an archive for all the academic outputs of the College across all departments. GRO aims to facilitate “green” open access, which involves archiving an article after it has been published in a traditional journal. Depending on the publisher, there is sometimes an embargo in place before the article can be made open access, and usually only a pre-print version of the article can be archived. You can use GRO to look for the research outputs of your tutors, check on the top ten downloaded articles from GRO and even download most PhD theses submitted since 2010. GRO is our institutional repository, but you can also find repositories by subject (openDOAR), and even repositories specifically for the publication of datasets (figshare).

Find out more:

Directory of Open Access Journals

Jisc Open Access

Goldsmiths library guide for researchers

Goldsmiths Information Skills Tutorial (GIST)


Goldsmiths Information Skills Tutorial (GIST) is a new tool created by the library, inspired by the Glasgow School of Art library’s excellent InfosmART project. The main objective of GIST is to guide you through the research process from start to finish and to give you the skills that will make academic research easier. We’ve broken the project down into four key areas; PLAN, FIND, EVALUATE and USE. See below for more detail about each.

GIST is more than just descriptive. It also has a substantial interactive element. Each module has quizzes or games so that you can test what you’ve learned. So soon enough, you’ll be able to demonstrate a knowledge of instructional verbs and what they mean, as well as knowing what constitutes plagiarism.

GIST is a VLE-based project, so you’ll need to access it from the Library pages from the VLE or via this link. Please use your campus log-in details to log-in (e.g. those you use for email). We hope you find it an invaluable resource for your research and that you revisit it often. Please leave feedback if there’s something you particularly like or if there’s something we can improve.

PLAN – this is the first stage of the research process. We’ll discuss why you need information, what your assignment title means, the kinds of information that are available to you and which are most appropriate.

FIND – the next stage will help you find the information you need once you’ve identified it. For instance, we’ll show you how to find various types of information (e.g. books, images, multimedia), how to access both print and electronic journals, how to use databases to find articles, how to design effective search strategies and how to use the Internet.

EVALUATE – in this stage, we’ll explain the importance of evaluating the material you’ve found. We’ll discuss the key criteria you need to consider when evaluating resources, how information is published and how to evaluate unconventional resources (e.g. websites, audiovisual materials).

USE – after the first three stages, you’re almost ready to start writing. However, even though you’ve identified, found and evaluated your information, you still need to use this information properly, according to academic standards. Here, we’ll cover citation and referencing, plagiarism and copyright issues.

E-Resource of the Month – Cite Them Right


What is Cite Them Right?

Cite Them Right is an electronic resource for guidance on citing and referencing to avoid accidental plagerism. It will help you reference almost any possible information type, ensuring that you can create full and accurate citations and bibliographies for your assignments. It covers many different referencing systems including Harvard, APA, MLA, MHRA, and Vancouver. The print copy is now in its 9th edition (2013) – we have many copies in the library.

How do I access Cite Them Right?

Go to the E-resources A-Z list. Click on the G icon if you’re on-campus and click on the W icon if you’re off-campus. You’ll then be asked to log-in via Shibboleth. Enter your ITS log-in details (what you use to log into PCs/Macs, e.g. css01fb), not your campus log-in details (e.g. what you use for email/VLE). It should then take you to the Cite Them Right homepage.

Searching Cite Them Right

On the homepage, you can get a brief overview of the resource with the embedded Youtube video. Otherwise, you can use the basics tabs across the top of the page to navigate the different resources types, e.g. books, journals, digital and the Internet. Click on a tab for more detailed information, e.g. clicking on books asks you for which type of book (printed, electronic, chapters from a book). You’ll then receive a citation order and instructions/examples of how to cite the resource. You can even try yourself. Alternatively, from the homepage, use the search bar. Enter a resource type, e.g. website or Youtube, and pick the correct option from the search results. You can filter these search results by citation style.

It’s worth noting that there are also numerous examples of online referencing software that can help with referencing. These will allow you to save information from the resources you use, e.g. books, websites, newspaper articles, into a library and then automatically create citations and bibliographies from them. We recommend Zotero as the simplest and most effective to use. Please ask your subject librarian for help using Zotero.

Library 5 a day

Welcome to the Goldsmiths library blog and welcome to the library. The blog is here to provide virtual support with reminders and tips which can be delivered straight to you if you subscribe to the blog, Twitter or Facebook,

This term we’ll be focusing on getting started in the library with your library five a day. These are the things you should remember every time you come to the library and will help your visit go smoothly and leave more time for studying!

1. Your Goldsmiths card – This is your student card, library card and Pcounter card. You need it to get into the library (and other buildings), borrow books and print/copy.

If you lose it, you won’t be able to borrow books. Please go to the security office in RHB to get a replacement.

2. Library Pin – You’ll need this to renew your books online from home, and to keep track of your due dates and any fines. It’s usually your date of birth in 6 digits (DDMMYY) but if it doesn’t work, ask at the library help desk and we’ll let you know what it is.

3. Self-service Machines – All of the books in the library are electronically tagged and can be issued by you using the self-service machines. There are two at the front of the library and three by the help desk.

self service

You can also look at your account and renew your books from here

4. ITS Username for E-Resources – Your ITS username not only allows you to log on to college computers, it’s also what you’ll need to use our extensive list of e-resources. including our latest addition, Cite them Right.

5. Ask Us – Not only can you ask us anything at the help desk and enquiry desk, you can now chat to us online!


Or use our “Ask Us” database for answers to frequently asked questions.

Stay tuned to this blog or follow us on Twitter and Facebook to keep up to date with the latest library news and tips!