You said, we did!

The team at Nuffield College Library are always working to improve the library, ensuring that it is both a physically comfortable space to work in and that the service we provide meets the needs of our readers.


The library whiteboard (which, as you can see, is currently displaying details of our most recent improvements) is a great way to get in touch with us, so if you are ever struck by inspiration, or have a question for us when we’re not in, please write it on the whiteboard and we will get back to you asap.

You said: Please can we subscribe to the New Yorker?

We did: The library now subscribes to the New Yorker magazine. The most recent issue can be found in the magazine rack in the first floor Current Affairs Room – older issues can be found on the shelves in the Small Reading Room, and shelved in the second floor tower room at shelf mark qPer N.

new yorker

You said: Can withdrawn magazines be offered to readers before they are recycled?

We did: Magazines such as Der Spiegel, L’OBS, the London Review of Books and the New York Review of Books are now placed in a box next to the magazine rack when they are first withdrawn – please help yourself!

withdrawn magazines

You said: Some of the reading room furniture is not very comfortable…

We did: The library now has a portable height adjustable desk that can be used to transform our existing tables into standing desks.


We have also invested in some comfy alphabet cushions – please feel free to move the cushions or the desk to wherever you are working within the library (we only ask that you don’t remove them from the library itself). The cushions are also providing a little light relief by acting as brain teasers, as staff and readers try and think of new anagrams from the letters of ‘Nuffield Library’! Sam the cat is a fan too, and has been making great use of the cushions to achieve a cosier nap.


If you have any further suggestions, requests or comments, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Library staff are always happy to have a chat, so do stop us when we are around the library or at the enquiry or circulation desks. Otherwise, you can write us a message on the whiteboard (found on the ground floor), email, leave us a comment here on the blog, or get in touch via our social media channels: Facebook (@nuffieldcollegelibrary), Twitter (@nuffieldlibrary), and Instagram (@nuffieldlibrary). We hope to hear from you soon!

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World Book Day 2017

To celebrate World Book Day 2017, the library team have written about the books we are currently reading when we’re not at work. We hope our choices will inspire you to get reading and to share your current reads with us.

Liz Martin, Librarian: The Ribbons Are For Fearlessness: A Journey, by Catrina Davies

A shy introvert  from Cornwall decides that an excellent way to cure a broken heart would be 9781783721627-270x414to travel with her friend in a half-converted ambulance (as a campervan) to the North Cape in Norway. The friend dies unexpectedly and suddenly before departure, but she decides to do the trip solo anyway, busking to fund her trip with a cello and a very small repertoire.

She gets there, as they always say, after many adventures.

On the way south  she learns to surf in the Lofoten Islands (having always just watched her ex-boyfriend surf in Cornwall) then she carries on travelling south through Europe to Portugal, with many moving encounters on the way, and some bizarre situations.

Her heart recovers, she grows, she gets braver, she breaks an arm, her cello playing improves and she returns to Cornwall changed. I really don’t want to give this book the clichéd label of ‘inspirational’ (even though it is!) but it is a frequently jaw-dropping read.

‘A memoir  about a woman struggling to make sense of death and in the process transmuting grief into meaning. It is also a tale of female courage and discovery.’ (Monique Roffey, author of With the Kisses of his Mouth)

This was a serendipitous find in my local library, but you can buy an excellent-value bundle of book, CD of her songs, postcards of some of the places she visited and a ribbon (for fearlessness!) from her website. Her blog is also very good.

Ed Smithson, Assistant Librarian: The New York Nobody Knows: Walking 6,000 Miles In The City, by William B. Helmreich

Helmreich is a sociology professor at City College of New York who is fond of taking his Masters’ students to the streets as part of his teaching. Recently he took it upon himself to walk every block of all five boroughs of the city (that’s c.6,000 miles and 9 pairs of shoes), talking to the inhabitants and recording his impressions.j10060

This is in no way a detailed, systematic description of each block, rather it’s a lengthy ramble and collection of street-level anecdotes about the weird and wonderful things Helmreich has experienced on his travels. The book is not organised geographically, rather it is divided into themes such as immigration, communities and gentrification, flitting back and forth between boroughs to paint a broader picture of life in the city. Helmreich does repeatedly suggest that specific areas and communities could be worthy of future research.

I heard about this book a few years ago and was immediately impressed with the audacity/insanity of the author…  I’m a lover of New York but have not had the chance to visit for many years so reading this book is a great way of vicariously travelling there.

Tessa Richards, Deputy Librarian: The Raw Scent Of Vanilla, by Emilia Bresciani

A true story, The raw scent of vanillafollows the highs and lows of the Bresciani-Lujan family, whose women turn to the wisdom of nature to solve their problems. They take counsel with the wise Pink Dolphin of the Amazon, ask the river for advice, and follow the profound messages of their dreams. But when tragedy hits hard and a mystical Blue Cat announces death, their wisdom persuades them to seek other spiritual routes.

wpid-9781743340509_the-raw-scent-of-vanilla_coverDecades later, in another land, Emilia Bresciani must face her own tragedies. She turns to the wisdom of her ancestors for guidance. After becoming a successful journalist she was looking forward to starting a new family with her husband – until her life was shattered by his murder in mysterious circumstances. In a horrifying downward spiral, she found herself not only a widow, but also the only suspect in his murder.’

I first read this book around 15 years ago and it still ranks as one of my absolute favourites.  It is beautifully written and takes the reader on an emotional journey through the life of the writer and her family with the myths and legends of the Amazon jungle forming a fascinating backdrop.

Tula Miller, Assistant Librarian: The Secret Queen: Eleanor Talbot, the Woman Who Put Richard III On The Throne, by John Ashdown-Hill

This book makes a convincing argument for Edward IV’s first marriage (“pre-contract”) to 97807509684611Lady Eleanor Talbot, widow of Ralph Butler, Lord Sudeley, thereby making his marriage to Elizabeth Woodville invalid and their children illegitimate. Eleanor died in 1468, four years after Edward’s marriage to Elizabeth in 1464.

This validates Richard III’s acceptance of the throne. In addition, if Edward’s children were illegitimate there would have been no need for the  ‘removal’ of his sons by Richard or his supporters.

A very ‘readable’ author, Ashdown-Hill was a leading figure in the ‘searching for Richard’ campaign and created the rosary that was placed in the coffin before burial in Leicester cathedral.

Clare Kavanagh, Assistant Librarian: Lyrebird, by Cecelia Ahern

Lyrebird is set in the south-west of Ireland, ‘where rugged mountains meet bright blue lakes and thick forests.  Deep in the woods, a young woman lives alone, forever secluded from the world, her life a well-kept secret.  She possesses an extraordinary talent, the likes of which no-one has seen before: a gift that will earn her the nickname Lyrebird.  When Solomon stumbles into Laura’s solitary existence, her life is turned on its head and she is confronted by a world desperate to 9780007501861understand her.  But while Solomon knows the world will embrace Laura, will it free her to spread her wings or will it trap her in a gilded cage? Like all wild birds, she needs to fly free’.

I have only just started this but it has already intrigued me and I want to find out more about Laura’s story and what her future holds.  And why Tom kept her existence a secret from his twin Joe who he was so close to in every other way.  “They were identical in looks, and they gelled despite the difference in personalities …. they had no need of explanation or description …so in tune they could sense each other’s moods, worries and fears… knew what the other was thinking at any given time.”  Or did they?

There are some very strong characters involved in the storyline and I am anticipating lots of plot twists and drama!

Diana Hackett, Assistant Librarian: Born To Run, by Bruce Springsteen

The life of the Boss, as told by the Boss… I’m a Springsteen fan, so my opinion is certainly biased, but this is a brilliant and engaging read.

born-to-run-9781471157790_lgSpringsteen has been telling stories of America and Americans throughout his musical career, and in this vividly written autobiography he finally tells his own. I think Springsteen is often dismissed and under-rated as both a musician and a story-teller, but this book showcases his lyrical talents, as his free-wheeling, evocative narrative style enables a sometimes painfully honest window into the experiences that have shaped his career.

I’m really enjoying the innovative use of structure – this is not a simple chronological life story, but a collection of memories and portraits of the places, people and moments that have had the biggest impact on his life and music. For the fan, it’s everything you could ever hope for and for the uninitiated, its honesty and warmth might just convince you that he is worthy of further investigation.

What about you?

That’s what we’re reading: now it’s your turn! We’d love to hear about the books that you’re currently reading, so get in touch: post a comment here; tweet us; Facebook us, or send us an email.

And finally, we’d like to take the opportunity to wish all our readers a very happy World Book Day 2017!

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Open Access Week : what is Open Access (OA) and what do you really need to know?

Here is a quick guide to some of the various aspects of OA and the processes involved.  For more in-depth guidance and advice please use the “For researchers” part of the Nuffield College Library Libguide or attend some of the Open Access at Oxford events.

What is it?open access

“free online access to publically funded research by removing price and permission barriers at the point of use”  Many funders now require Open Access as part of their funding criteria.

Guide to jargon:

Gold route: gives immediate free unrestricted access to the final version of an article on the publisher’s site, with no cost to the user. An author ‘pays to publish’ in either an OA journal or in a ‘Hybrid’ journal.

APC/article processing charge: this is the cost of Gold Open Access charged by the publishers and can vary greatly depending on the publisher and journal.

Green route: this is essentially delayed Open Access, done via self-deposit & is free to authors and researchers. Research is published in a traditional subscription journal and author self-archives ‘accepted manuscript’ in an OA repository.

Repository: this is an officially recognised place where an author deposits their Author’s Accepted Manuscript, i.e. Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)

Embargo periods: funders have required timescales for when a manuscript should be publically available if an author opts for the Green route, so for example RCUK requires 6 months for STEM and 12 months for A&H, SS.

What do you really need to know

1) Act on acceptance


The new HEFCE policy applies to:

  • journal articles and conference papers (with ISSNs)
  • requires researchers to act on acceptance to deposit their ‘Author Accepted Manuscript’ (AAM) in a compliant open access repository within three months of date of acceptance
  • applies to article manuscripts accepted after 1 April 2016
  • failure to act will make research outputs ineligible for the next REF

The University carried out pilot schemes to assess the best way to ensure deposit in line with the HEFCE policy and the result is ‘Act on acceptance’:

  • applies to all academics and researchers employed by the collegiate University (not DPhils)
  • all journal articles and conference papers must be deposited in the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)
  • deposit via Symplectic Elements (using your Single Sign On)
  • Start now: once deposited the Bodleian Libraries team will check copyright & licensing, create an ORA record and make the full text available after the embargo period.

For more information and advice, contact the library staff or go to Open Access Oxford


What are they?orcid_sign_up_button

  • ORCID is a unique 16 digit researcher ID that you keep throughout your life.
  • If you move to a different institution, you take your ORCID with you. Your ORCID record is owned and managed solely by you.
  • All researchers in Oxford are encouraged to sign up for an ORCID, including DPhils.

Why do I need one?

  • Disambiguation – stop being confused with researchers with the same surname and initial as you!
  • Ensuring correct attribution of research and other activities, helps you link and display your publications.
  • Increasingly used by publishers, funders & websites, and research funding bodies are integrating ORCID into their application processes.

Where can I get one?

Visit ORCID at Oxford where you can request an ORCID if you don’t already have one.  Alternatively, you can also use ORCID at Oxford to register for an ‘official’ Oxford-linked ORCID.  The benefits of this are that your Oxford University affiliation is verified and linking your ORCID will save time and effort when reporting publications, for example to funding bodies.

From October 2015 you can now link your ORCID to your Symplectic Elements account.

For more information and links to useful websites, contact library staff or visit

3) Oxford University Research Archive (ORA)

ORA is a permanent and secure online archive of research output produced by members of the University of Oxford, THE place for Oxford researchers and research students to deposit their material: thesis, articles, conference papers, data, working papers etc. Depositing is very straightforward: at the ORA homepage, click on “Deposit” (signing in with your Oxford Single Sign on), complete the details on the deposit form and upload the file(s).  The ORA team will do all the behind the scenes checking needed to ensure compliance with embargo periods etc.  Alternatively, you may also deposit via Symplectic Elements.

4) Research Data Management (RDM)    Research-data-Oxford-logo-v2

Research data management is a general term covering how you organize, structure, store, and care for the information used or generated during a research project. It includes: planning how your data will be looked after, how you deal with information on a day-to-day basis over the lifetime of a project and what happens to data in the longer term.  Research data can also now be deposited in ORA-Data as the University has compiled an RDM policy.  A copy of this, along with more advice about each stage of the research process, funder requirements and answers to many FAQs are available on the Research Data Oxford website or by contacting the RDM team.

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Welcome to Nuffield College Library

This post is designed to help new readers find their way around Nuffield College Library.

Social media

A great starting point for information is the Library website!  However, we also regularly update our social media pages with publications of interest (including those from Nuffield College members) and current affairs items.  Our social media profiles include Facebook, Twitter, WordPress blog and Library Thing.  Follow us to keep informed about new developments!

Photocopying, scanning & printing

There is a photocopier/scanner/printer in the 2nd floor reading room. You will need to get a Nuffield Library EMOS photocopy card from the Library circulation desk or the Finance Department (for Nuffield College members) for photocopying. Nuffield College members can upload files to the Nuffield Print Server and send them to print out at this machine.

There are several computer workstations in the reading rooms, which can be used to search SOLO and access the Internet. You can also print from these; this costs 5p per printed side and printouts should be collected and paid for at the Circulation Desk.

Further information is available on the library’s IT Facilities webpage.

Internet access

Internet access is available via the computer workstations in the reading room and via the wireless networks: Nuffield WLAN, Eduroam and The Cloud. If you have any problems connecting to wireless, please ask library staff at the Enquiry Desk.

Further information is available on the library’s IT Facilities webpage.

How to find books

1. Find the shelfmark:

Most of our stock is searchable on SOLO, once you have found a book, click on the “Find and request” tab:


You can see which Oxford libraries have a copy, click on the plus sign next to Nuffield. You can now see the shelfmark (also known as a call number) and whether or not the book is available:


2. Find out which floor the shelfmark is on:

shelfmarksYou can find these posters in the Library – they tell you the floor on which you can find the various shelfmarks. This particular book, HD 9161.G72.T, is in the basement. You can take most books off the shelf yourself, but anything which says “closed access” (for example theses or short loan books) please ask at the Enquiry Desk on the 1st floor. Anything which has a shelfmark beginning with “X” is kept in the Library Extension, in the basement of L Staircase.





3. Finding your way around


Have a look at our map or consult the schematic plan in the Readers’ Guide which you received when you registered.

Inter-library loans

Members of Nuffield College who wish to borrow books not held anywhere in Oxford can submit an inter-library loan request on the Nuffield College intranet. You will need to be signed into the intranet to access the inter-library loan request form. On the intranet, go to ‘Resources’ and then ‘Library’. Here you’ll find the link to the ‘Inter-library loan request form.’ Please supply as much information as possible. Clicking ‘save’ will submit your request. We will get in touch with you about your request as soon as possible.

Please contact inter-library loans via email if you have any questions:

New book requests


Members of Nuffield College can submit a book request. If you would like the Library to buy a book that is in line with our acquisition policy, which can be found here, complete a book request form. You need to be signed into the intranet to access the book request form. The link for the form can be found on the ‘Library’ page on the Nuffield College intranet. Click on ‘Request new book’ and fill in the form with as much detail as possible. If you do not need the book urgently then please select ‘less urgently’. When you click ‘save’ at the bottom of the form this submits your request.

Newspapers and Magazines

Magazine rack (Current Affairs Room)The library subscribes to newspapers with current issues kept in the Current Affairs Room on the 1st floor of the library. We have both English and foreign language newspapers, which are kept for two months. The older newspapers are kept in the Cole Room on the 2nd floor behind the wooden lectern.

The library also keeps popular magazines like The Economist and Spectator in the magazine rack in the Current Affairs Room.  Both newspapers and magazines can be taken out on loan from the library by members of college.



Theses and Safe items


If you would like to look at somebody’s thesis or an item from the Safe collection, please ask a member of staff at the Enquiry Desk as they are only accessible by staff. If you give us the title, author (and year for theses) then we can fetch the item for you. College members can borrow theses and items from the Safe collection for 1 week.

For more help finding theses, read our previous blog post: Finding Nuffield College Theses.

Please ask a member of staff if you have any questions.

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Finding Nuffield College theses


A stack of theses on the Enquiry Desk

To request theses, please either ask at the Enquiry Desk on the 1st floor or email us.  Please give the author’s surname and the year of graduation and we fill fetch the theses for you.

All theses by Nuffield College members that we hold in the library are catalogued on SOLO and can be searched by author or title.

There are, however, two new ways to browse all theses since 2000 by examination:

1. Consult this handlist

2. Theses from 2000- are now tagged on SOLO. To find tags in SOLO, click on “Tags” in the top right corner:


In the “Search for Tag” box (NOT the main search bar) Search for “nuf” to find a list of all tags relating to Nuffield College theses:



Tags are organised by subject, then examination, so “nuf-eco-mphil” will give a list of all Nuffield College M.Phil. Economics theses, “nuf-ir-dphil” will give a list of all Nuffield College D.Phil. International Relations thesespic3



You can then use the sort options to organise your results by date (to see the most recent titles) or author (to find an alphabetical list).

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EU referendum: helpful sources of information

With just over a month to go before the EU referendum and both sides of the campaign issuing conflicting facts, figures & claims, here are just a selection of the sources available to help keep up to date and informed.


The UK in a Changing Europe: “The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations”.  UK changing europe

One of the largest and most conspicuous initiatives which offers authoritative, non-partisan and impartial analysis, research and events into the complex issues involved.  Directed by Nuffield College Associate member Anand Menon, it also has various high profile experts on board including Dr. Angus Armstrong, Professor Iain Begg, Professor Catherine Barnard, Professor Simon Hix, Professor Michael Keating and Dr Sara Hagemann.

Full Fact: Full Fact is the UK’s independent, non-partisan, fact checking charity, checking claims made by politicians, the media, pressure groups, and other voices in public debate, and pushing for corrections where necessary.  They are fact checking the EU referendum, including the government’s EU leaflet, ensuring whatever decision you make you should have the correct facts to help.

European Documentation Centre, Cardiff: The team here have provided a guide to resources on the Brexit debate.  Click on the images in this guide to link into a range of
information sources.

National Institute of Economic and Social Research:  you can find all the NIESR research on the EU referendum here. This covers three key areas: the macroeconomic impacts of a decision to leave the EU, immigration and free movement and the financial sector. There are research papers, videos & briefings and blog posts.

CEPR brexit

Centre for Economic Performance Brexit 2016:  here you can find policy analysis, blog posts and press releases from the Centre for Economic Performance regarding Brexit 2016.

IFS_logo  In a new report and accompanying interactive online tool IFS researchers provide an explanation of how the EU budget works, its size, where revenues come from and what the main areas of spending are. They also provide an estimate of the UK’s net contributions to the EU.

EUReferendum.UK: this site offers sources of information about the UK’s referendum about membership of the EU, including a quiz to test your current knowledge!


What UK Thinks: EU Poll of Polls what_uk_thinks_eu_logo

This poll of polls from NatCen Social Research is based on the average share of the vote for ‘Leave’ and ‘Remain’ in the six most recent polls of voting intentions in the EU Referendum.  There is also an option to explore the site by topics based on popular questions such as does the EU work? What should the EU do? & perceived consequences of leaving the EU.

BBC’s EU referendum poll tracker: Senior BBC political analyst Peter Barnes assesses what the polls may be telling us, including YouGov, Ipsos Mori, ICM, TNSOpiniumSurvation, ComRes



LSE British politics and policy blog: a variety of articles from academic observers on Brexit 2016.  This is complimented by BrexitVote, also by the LSE, which includes blog posts and articles on campaigns, culture, European economics & politics and the LSE Commission on the Future of Britain in Europe which aims to inform the national debate on Britain’s membership of the European Union, with high quality, evidence-based and balanced analysis.

UK-EU Referendum Watch: the blog of the UK-EU Referendum Watch hosted by the Global Europe Centre (GEC) at the University of Kent. This blog aims to provide non-partisan coverage of the UK’s referendum on EU membership.

The Conversation’s EU referendum: The Conversation is a collaboration between editors and academics to provide informed news analysis and commentary that’s free to read and republish and their authors are providing lots of news, research and analysis in the run up to the referendum.

BBC EU Referendum: a variety of news articles, interviews and videos on the many issues involved in the referendum.

BBC eu ref

FT UK’s EU referendum: commentary, analysis and their own Brexit poll tracker

You can also keep up to date with the Nuffield Library monthly official publications and reports updates, available hereand by following us on Twitter and Facebook.

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