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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.

Narrative CVs provide space for candidates to elaborate on their contributions to the research community that go beyond traditional outputs such as publications. The hope is that, by encouraging candidates to provide evidence for, and selection panels to consider, qualities that promote good research cultures, such as open research practice, we will start to select candidates who demonstrate this in addition to their traditional research contributions. What does this mean for researchers at Cambridge? This session will introduce some of the current formats of narrative CVs being used or considered by funding bodies in the UK and Europe and the implications for researchers, and recruiters and selectors of researchers who might use them. Since the format is still very much under development in the sector, the session will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss and feed back on what they see as the benefits and challenges of narrative CVs. The workshop leaders will feed the outcome of this session into relevant discussions happening nationally around the development and adoption of narrative CVs.

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.

Copyright Clinic new Mon 1 Nov 2021   13:00   [More dates...] [Places]

Confused by copyright? You don’t have to be. Feel free to bring along your copyright questions to this regular monthly session and we’ll do our best to offer you a quick diagnosis.

This is an open group drop-in session via Microsoft Teams. An invite will be sent prior to the session.

If you would like to arrange a one-to-one session, please email the Research Support Team at:

1 other event...

Date Availability
Mon 6 Dec 2021 13:00 [Places]
Depositing your electronic thesis: a how to guide Mon 25 Oct 2021   14:00 [Places]

Finished your PhD thesis? It’s time to submit.

Unsure of your access level options? Confused about any third-party copyright in your thesis? Then this session is for you.

The final step after completing your thesis is to deposit an electronic copy into the University’s Repository, Apollo. This training session will cover how to ensure you meet all the requirements for submission, how to decide on the access level for your thesis and finally a demonstration of successfully depositing your work using Symplectic Elements.

The Graduate Self-Assessment tool is intended for those in the Humanities & Social Sciences and Arts & Humanities schools. It is the first step in an online module designed to help you to assess your own skill-set, identify target areas for improvement and make decisions about what to do next. The tool is recommended for all first year postgraduates, but will be available for you to return to check on your progress.

Once you have completed the self-assessment exercise a number of options for developing your skills will become available to you, ranging from reading articles to signing up for relevant face-to-face workshops.

We encourage students to take the survey about once a year, but it is particularly useful for those who are just starting their PhD and for those who are just entering the final year of their PhD.

You will need to click here to gain access to the self-assessment tool.

This live session is designed to build your skills in reading and assessing research articles for your Part II studies in Biological Sciences. We will cover how to approach reading for different purposes, apply different reading strategies, and critically evaluate articles. We will also spend some time on managing what you’ve read (or not yet read) and writing your literature review, including how to select items to include and reference them properly. There will be activities and discussions throughout the session so you can try your new skills and ask any questions you may have.

This session is for students taking a Biological Sciences route (NST and PBST) for Part II.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Mon 8 Nov 2021 14:30 [Places]

Please note that this session is for Postdoctoral researchers at the University of Cambridge

Academic publishing is currently undergoing rapid transformation across the scholarly disciplines. Based on the move to openness, researchers are exploring new forms of immediate and rapid dissemination through preprint servers and reaching wider audiences through open access books, journals and repositories. But what should this future look like and how can the University support researchers to get us there? This two-hour workshop will explore some the transformation underway in scholarly communication, taking into account potential issues that may arise such as access to funding, research assessment and career progression. Participants will be asked to discuss and advise on how the University can best support research communities to openly disseminate research.

Using a reference manager is one of the best ways to look after all of the reading, notes and research that make up undergraduate study in a biological sciences subject. A really good reference manager can even take some of the pain out of referencing in essays and assignments, making sure you don't miss a thing while working to a deadline.

This session will introduce Zotero, an open source reference manager tool. Using live demonstrations, discussions, and troubleshooting common referencing issues, the session will give an in-depth look at how Zotero (and tools like it) can help you manage your work in the first year or two of your degree, ensuring that you don't lose any essential resources and are well equipped with a useful tool for when you start having to do research work for your Part II studies.

1 other event...

Date Availability
Fri 29 Oct 2021 15:00 [Places]

This session introduces participants to the concept of research data, all the forms that it can take as well as negotiating the management of different data depending on their type.

Topics such as effective storage, handling sensitive data, and developing best practice approaches to avoid data loss during a project will be covered. The session will also explore how to create a data management plan (DMP) and the support available, as well as providing an overview of useful tools and services both within the University of Cambridge and beyond.

How to get the most from your lectures new Self-taught Booking not required

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.

Need to create a conference poster but are not sure where to start? This session will introduce participants to the fundamentals of designing an effective and engaging poster that is perfect for communicating research ideas. The session will look at good design practice, where to source free high quality graphics, as well as deciding what you should (and maybe shouldn't) include in your final poster.

How to Write When You Don't Want to Write new Wed 3 Nov 2021   14:00 [Full]

Do you feel you often experience 'writer's block' where you can't seem to start or make good progress with your writing? In this class, we will discuss ways of mitigating and getting past writer's block, particularly through seeing blocks as opportunities for writing.

Through discussing certain myths about academic writing and healthy ways of conceptualising the writing process, you will become familiar with techniques for freeing up your writing and making steady progress on your dissertation and other writing projects.

Interactive Induction: Beat the UL Challenge new Mon 25 Oct 2021   11:00   [More dates...] [Places]

Do you have what it takes to beat the UL? Assemble a team to take on the challenge!

A self-led Library induction with a difference! Solve a series of puzzles which will lead you all over the UL, while teaching yourself to navigate the building and our physical collections. Have fun, learn how to use the UL and you will receive a small prize on completion!

Teams of up to 6 players can participate - if you want to play with your friends you'll need to make sure you all sign up to the same session. All players must be registered users of the University Library.

Want to make it even more interesting? Let our staff know on the day if you would like to be timed for a chance to top our Beat the UL leaderboard! You can complete the challenge as many times as you like, but only your first attempt will be timed!

2 other events...

Date Availability
Wed 27 Oct 2021 11:00 [Places]
Fri 29 Oct 2021 11:00 [Places]
Introduction to Web Archives for research use new Tue 26 Oct 2021   14:00 [Places]

The Internet has been available since the early 1990s and has been a repository for almost all human thought. It is, however, a highly ephemeral resource with websites in regular change and frequent deletion. A web archive attempts to capture, preserve, and give access to archived websites at regular intervals. This session will introduce web archives and their potential for academic research at all levels.

Know Moore About: Avoiding Information Overload new Tue 26 Oct 2021   13:00 [Places]

Does your desktop have multiple files labelled ‘FINAL’? Do you struggle to locate important information in your emails? If the answer to these questions is yes then this is the session for you.

In this session we will look at the basic components of good information management including back up strategies, where to store your information and how to organise your files so you can find what you need when you need it. We will also help you to build a plan for your project which means that you will always stay on top of your information.

Make your life a little bit easier and book a place now.

Know Moore About: CopyWRONG to CopyRIGHT new Tue 2 Nov 2021   13:00 [Places]

Confused by copyright? You’re not alone! The good news is that we are here to help you navigate from copy-wrong to copy-right.

This session will introduce the basics of copyright, outline how you can use the work of others in your own and how to safely share your work at the end of a project. We will also look at Creative Commons licences and how these can help you understand and grant permission to use work.

Become a copyright expert and book a place now.

Glossophobia (the fear of public speaking) is something that impacts many of us. However, the ability to design and deliver an effective presentation is a valuable skill both in academia and beyond. Join us for this gentle introduction to the most common mistakes people make and how you can avoid them.

In this session we will look at the process of pulling together an eye catching and accessible set of slides, capturing the attention of your audience, preparing for the unexpected and crucially how to overcome your nerves. At the end of the hour you will be able to put together and deliver a perfect presentation, whatever topic you choose.

Note that this is a theory only session – we won’t make you actually give a presentation (unless you are so inspired that we can’t stop you!).

Hone your skills and book a place now.

Once you have shared your research you need to know about what type of impact it’s having. How many people are reading it (or not) and what does this tell us about our future plans? And should we just rely on numbers anyway? (spoiler alert: nope!).

This session offers an introduction to modern metrics as one element of a wider system to measure success. Learn about traditional metrics, newer methods such as Altmetrics and why there is more to impact than just numbers. We will also discuss the move towards the responsible use of metrics and how research active staff at any level can get involved.

Learn about which measures really matter and book your place now.

Congratulations – you’ve published your research! But what are you going to do now? Although it might be tempting to move onto the next project you need to ensure that people are able to find, read and use your outputs. Not only can this help to increase the readership of your output but it can enhance your reputation and lead to more opportunities.

This session will guide you through the decisions you need to make to create a promotional strategy that works for you. We will look at how to build a successful online profile, where to (legally) share your work and where to spend time creating a targeted output.

Learn how to build a personalised promotional strategy and book your place now.

The world of publication is changing. There are more ways to share the outputs of your research than ever before and at the same time there is an increasing emphasis on sharing these outputs openly.

This session will guide you through the essentials of publishing and sharing your research outputs (both formal and informal) to ensure maximum exposure for your work. From choosing the best format and publisher to avoiding problem publishers this session will outline everything you need to know including an introduction to open access.

Learn how to make the most of open publication and book a place now.

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.

Literature Searching Clinic new Mon 8 Nov 2021   13:00   [More dates...] [Places]

Do you feel like you’re searching for resources on your topic but coming up empty-handed? Let your Physical Science Research Support Team help you with the best advice on building a successful literature search for your project and how to keep track of what you find. This session will give you the opportunity to ask your literature searching questions.

This is an open group drop-in session via Microsoft Teams. An invite will be sent prior to the session.

If you would like to arrange a one-to-one session, please email the Research Support Team at:

1 other event...

Date Availability
Thu 11 Nov 2021 13:00 [Places]

This session will help prepare you to begin your literature review. You will learn strategies for searching for relevant material, how to troubleshoot common search problems, and how to stay up to date with new publications in your field.

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