Resource Trial – Sage Knowledge Video

LJMU is trialling ‘Sage Knowledge Video‘ for these 3 subjects
for 12 months until April 2019:

Criminology & Criminal Justice
Business & Management


Each collection includes a wide range of videos to support learning, teaching and research needs. Videos have searchable transcripts, custom clip creation and embedding.

Take a look at these academic and Evidence-Based video collections today. Read more ‘About Sage Knowledge Video‘ and browse full lists of titles and Instructor Manuals.

Test and trial Nature Astronomy

Nature_Astronomy_thumbnailYou have until 16th October 2017 to test a possible new resource for the Library collection. 

Explore a new online journal from Nature Research, Nature Astronomy and find research across astronomy, astrophysics and planetary science – with the aim of fostering closer interaction between the researchers in each of these areas. 

Read the current September 2017 issue, search by keyword through past editions, browse latest research or read the news and comments.

We look forward to reading your feedback, either via the comments or your departments subject librarian.

Need Research Methods to hand?

Sage Researhc MethodsAvailable via Databases A-Z, find the direct link to answer your research methods and statistical questions.

No log-in is required on campus, if off site just enter your LJMU username and password.

Relevant across all disciplines, Sage Research Methods is an authoritative resource for planning, key concepts and data collection guidance.


Electronic Library and E-Resource Access Issues Update

The Electronic Library is now available after the authentication problems we experienced earlier.

Thank you for your patience.

Library Research Support Training and Events

The Library Research Support Team will be facilitating a number of events for researchers, faculty, students and staff in the month of February.  Although all of the events are free, booking is essential.

If you require more information or have suggestions for future training, please contact the Library Research Support Team.

Open Access-What, Why and How? 09/02/2016, 2.30-3.30pm

An introduction to Open Access which will cover the following questions (and more!): What is open access? Why should I want to do it? How do I do it? At Aldham Robarts Library, Seminar Room 1.


Research Café II: Faculty of Arts, Professional and Social Studies 10/02/2016, 12.30-2.00pm

LJMU’s Research Cafes are informal gatherings where established academics, PhD students and early career researchers can come together to discover more about what their colleagues from different faculties are working on.  This free event (with lunch!) will feature 10-minute talks from:

Dr. Guy Hodgson: Senior Lecturer of Journalism, Liverpool Screen School

Akilah Jardine: PhD Candidate from the School of Law

Carol Ryder: Senior Lecturer of Fashion Design, Liverpool School of Art and Design

This event is being held at Redmonds Building, Room 138


E-theses Briefing Session 24/02/2016, 10.00-11.00am

This event aims to provide guidance on the submission of electronic copies of MPhil and PhD theses and will be particularly useful to PGR students in their final examination phase and supervisors.   At Avril Robarts Library, Seminar Room 1


Knowledge IS Power (or thoughts on engineering, democracy and identity in our everyday lives): North West Inaugural Christmas Research Café 2015

Left to right: Professor Danielle George, Professor Caroline Wilkinson, Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg

Left to right: Professor Danielle George, Professor Caroline Wilkinson, Dr Stuart Wilks-Heeg








This year’s inaugural North West Christmas Research Café sought to highlight the impact of research across the North West region and the three talks did just that.  Professor Danielle George spoke about the future possibilities in engineering, Dr. Stuart Wilks-Heeg reflected on changes to the democratic process in the UK, and Professor Caroline Wilkinson discussed faces and identity in an afternoon of fascinating scholarship and discussion.

Professor Danielle George (@EngineerDG) began her talk, Engineered in Your Imagination with two equations:

Physics + Mathematics = Engineering

Why + How = Engineering

Although simple, they go some distance to explain the relevance and prevalence of engineering in all of our lives, whether we know it or not. For example, Professor George explained that Nikola Tesla had inspired her, and that his own work nearly 115 years ago still inspires her as an engineer in the present, for the future. In fact, the world’s population that uses all of the 7.2 billion mobile phones (and counting) in the world are actually benefiting from Tesla’s engineering inspiration.

In fact, things like radio-frequency identification (RFID) have the potential to help society in a myriad of different ways: on land, in the skies, in our built environment and out in space. On land, farmers can embed sensors in their crops and their tractors to capture real-time nutritional and growth information about the needs of what they are growing to immediately detect if they should water more/less, dependent on up-to-date information, resulting in less waste and potentially more growth.

In the sky, wireless sensors have been placed within Rolls-Royce aeroplane engines to attain information regarding their efficiency and locate faults, reducing the amount of CO2 from engines by ensuring efficiency. In our buildings, RFID can help the visually impaired not only locate Braille signs within their built environment but also to navigate more safely.

Finally, Professor George spoke about her work in space exploration, working with telescopes and the pioneering projects she was or is currently working on. She asked for future engineers to be inspired by the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) which will be the world’s largest radio telescope. When finished it will be capable of detecting radio frequencies ten light-years away and will generate data at a rate more than ten times today’s global internet traffic. Certainly, this is an exciting project, one which the future engineers of the world will be inspired by and work on!

Dr. Stuart Wilks-Heeg (@StuartWilksHeeg) asked the audience to consider democracy, How Democratic Is The UK? How Might Universities Collaborate With Citizens To Improve It? By discussing how democracy has changed, what dangers and opportunities this brings, and how/if universities can play a key role in a democratic society.

Although the first English parliament was established in 1236, corruption was rife in many elections. It was not until 1929 that universal suffrage was achieved and 1948 when plural voting was abolished and the system of one person, one vote, was established. (Side note, if you’re like me and had to look up plural voting, it meant depending on your status as a landowner or affiliation with a university meant you could vote more than once!)

As director of the 2012 Democratic Audit of the United Kingdom, Dr. Willks-Heeg identified four different blocks of a democratic society and analysed the UK democracy both at present and over time. What the audit found was that: 1) Formal democratic participation is on the decline and more unequal; 2) Large corporations and wealthy individuals have amassed more political power; and 3) Public faith in politics has declined. Moreover, there has been a general decline in party membership, the voter turnout gap is widening between members of higher/lower social classes and less MPs are from working-class backgrounds.

A potential danger within these trends is that this may lead to an era of ‘anti-politics’ and politicians might cede power or influence because a particular issue is not popular, or that an un-even scrutiny might develop on some aspects of policy, to appease the electorate. The opposite view might counter that democratic values might become more embedded and as a result, give far greater scope to individuals to get involved.

Dr. Wilks-Heeg argues that universities are well placed to help in this era of anti-politics because they are part of civil society. Universities are changing to adapt to more open access of information and opportunity and that although somewhat clichéd the truth is knowledge IS power. He sees universities as uniquely able to be levellers of social capital and in fact, sometimes the final opportunity for people to benefit from this levelling. He also believes the university setting can both recognise and foster active citizenship in its curriculum and also lead by example with providing democratic access to knowledge and challenge misuse in this area.

During questions, he stressed the importance of children both understanding but also being involved in the democratic process and reminded the audience that the pathway to democracy is always difficult.

Professor Caroline Wilkinson discussed the importance of faces, our sense of self and how we are seen by the rest of society in her talk, Your Face, Your Identify.   Our faces provide a lot of information to those around us. Within two seconds, we can potentially determine the gender, age, ethnic group, and sometimes the culture or religion of a person by just looking at their face, before we’ve even spoken to them. We use our faces all of the time for verification or identification but what happens when we cannot see the whole face or someone? Or when we need to attempt to determine how someone from the past might have looked?

Professor Wilkinson has always had a keen interest in both art and science, and facial reconstruction combines a lot of both these areas. Redesigning facial structures is not limited to today’s science, however, this practice began in 17th century Italy, where artists did human dissections on cadavers and recorded different states, modelling the outcomes in wax onto bodies.   What they found is that there was a direct relationship between anatomical structure and facial structure.   In forensic cases, we need this connection because sometimes DNA and/or teeth records are not available or there are no suspects. For example, during the 2002 Asian tsunami, nearly 10% of victims were misidentified by their families, but facial reconstruction can sometimes be the link between uncertainly and recognition.

By building muscle structure onto the skull, Professor Wilkinson is able to predict individual features with a reasonable amount of accuracy. Using blind studies, her team would use a CT scan and other clinical images to reconstruct the face. Then, using CGI, they can wrap textures like skin colour, hair, or disease, as without texture, people are more difficult to recognise. In blind trials, 65% of the cases identified a match.

What makes the process more difficult is that sometimes a 55-year-old doesn’t look like a 55-year old. They might look older or younger, there isn’t necessarily a typical look. We understand how faces age but cannot always predict when this aging process occurs. Also, things like plastic surgery or fixing our teeth means that we become less individualistic and therefore less easily identifiable.

During the discussion, Professor Wilkinson spoke about forensic cases involving missing children. She said that it’s more difficult with children as it is problematic to predict their growth and development and that a two-year gap can result in significant physical changes. Still, it is our 8 or 9 year-old self that most represents our face as adults (go see your old photos and see what you think!)

Each talk demonstrated the idea that knowledge IS powerful and that universities in the North West are supporting innovative thinking and design. Satellites that can gather data ten light-years away; research that analyses the changing dimensions of democracy and political engagement; and facial reconstructions to assist with forensic investigations and the nature of identity. A very special thank you to Professor Danielle George, Dr. Stuart Wilks-Heeg and Professor Caroline Wilkinson for their fantastic talks.



Research Café II

Research Café II will be held on Wednesday 26th November in Avril Robarts Library, 2nd floor Seminar Room, 2.30pm – 4.30pm.


  • Charlotte Apps (School of Sport and Exercise Sciences) Biomechanics of the forward lunge in stable and irregular shoes
  • Deaglán Ó Donghaile (School of Humanities and Social Science) Oscar Wilde and the Radical Politics of the Fin de Siecle
  • Andrew Leach (School of Pharmacy and Biological Sciences) Pharmaceuticals in the Mirror

All LJMU staff, students and alumni are welcome, there is no need to book just turn up on the day.

Tea, coffee and cakes will be provided.


Prescriptions, Athletic Hearts and Climate Change: Research Café VIII

Left to Right: Kate Shemilt, Tim Stott and Victor Utomi

Left to Right: Kate Shemilt, Tim Stott and Victor Utomi

Our May Research Café was held in Avril Robarts Library on 21st May and covered topics from prescribing systems in health care and the impact of exercise on the heart through to the impact of climate change.

Kate Shemilt began the Research Caféwith a fascinating insight into health care prescribing systems. An initiative to make the NHS paperless by 2018 has been a key driver behind the move from traditional paper-based Patient Prescription Charts to electronic systems in hospitals. The aim of her research was to look at how the change impacts on the working practice of Health Care Professionals (HCPs). Three themes emerged from the research:

  1. Logistics – change in the physical location of the prescription
  • Pros – electronic so can’t go missing like paper copies
  • Cons – access issues, remote location to patient
  1. Interpreting Systems – how each HCP uses the prescription
  • Pros – text now legible
  • Cons – reduced ability to get clear picture of patients’ medications, layout and intricacies of electronic system
  1. Operating Systems – training on how to use and work with the system
  • Pros – positive reaction from nurses
  • Cons – Doctors concerned about potential increase in prescribing errors, pharmacists found new process more time consuming

The research identified the following areas as essential to the success of an electronic system: location, access, legibility, clarity and accuracy.   The system design needs to take into account all HCPs’ needs in order to facilitate quality care for the patient. Kate also proposed recommendations for future system developments such as the use of hand-held devices to facilitate patient contact and risk awareness for remote prescribing.

Victor Utomi delivered an interesting and entertaining presentation on how the human heart adapts to exercise. His meta-analysis of athletic heart trials between 1975 and 2012 studied 3,871 subjects in 92 studies looking at Echo and MRI scans among healthy male subjects. The main findings of the research showed that the hearts of athletes adapt to exercise and this is more profound in endurance athletes.  The pattern of heart enlargement was not distinct according to type of training (endurance or resistance) and cardiac function was normal or improved among athletes. These findings conflicted with the results of landmark research conducted in 1975, indicating that more research is required to investigate the changes using highly advanced 3D and 4D cardiac imaging techniques. Victor also proposed that other groups should be included in further studies e.g. females, older athletes and other ethnic groups to normalise findings across different body types / heart sizes.

Tim Stott closed the Research Café with an engaging and thought-provoking presentation about climate change. Tim discussed his involvement with a project hosted by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to assess the impact of climate change on soil/water/ecosystems in fragile polar and mountainous regions. There are 46 participants from 27 countries collaborating on the project, whose overall aim is to improve the understanding, management and conservation of climate change on both a local and global scale. Tim is leading a literature review for the project to compile relevant data on benchmark sites and find gaps in research that require further investigation. Review findings will highlight evidence of significant environmental change and identify which regions are most at risk. The project team can then work together to develop combative strategies to adapt to climate change and preserve ecosystem stability at key sites. Tim gave an example of this, in which locals created a series of artificial glaciers in Ladakh, Himalayas to combat global warming and reduce the risk of drought or food shortages in the region.

The full presentations are available here or why not join us at the next Research Café at Aldham Robarts Library on 18th June.

Research Café VI – Wednesday 19th March 2014

researchcafesOur Research Café in March will be held in Aldham Robarts Library, Seminar Room 1, 2.30pm-4.30pm


–       Milan Darijevic  (School of Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations)
Faults in multiphase drives

–        Gemma Ahearne (School of Humanities and Social Science)
Sex Workers’ Experiences of Prison: From Punishment to Exiting

–       Lois Thomas (School of Humanities and Social Science)
‘Energy pent not radiant’: Catherine Carswell and the inertia of choice

Refreshments will be provided. All welcome, no need to book. Come along and find out about research activities at LJMU

The Grid, Parrots and Efficient Engines: March Research Café

ResearchCafe_marchphoto2In a typically varied programme, the Research Café held at the Aldham Robarts Library on 27th March covered topics ranging from energy efficiency to animal behaviour. Obrad Dordevic, a PhD student in Engineering, Technology and Maritime Operations, gave a brief history of high-voltage electricity transmission systems (“The Grid”) and the differences between the US and Europe, where different compromises have been made to optimise frequency and voltage. The three-phase system has been found to be optimal for generation and motoring, using a rotating field to increase the speed of motors. Multiphase systems can deliver benefits such as savings on electricity, increased fault tolerance and torque enhancement. Obrad’s research combines multiphase and multilevel topologies to utilise the best characteristics of each. His results, using a 5-phase machine, have shown that a simple system can deliver the same results as a complex one and that the grid can go beyond 3 phases and be set to fit the machine, delivering multiple benefits.

The next speaker, Claudia Mettke-Hofmann from the School of Natural Sciences and Psychology, is a lecturer in animal behaviour. Her PhD research examined information-gathering in animals – how they assess their environment and decide where to forage etc. In theory, animals should adapt to the costs/benefits of collecting information: for example a species living in a very variable environment would benefit from more extensive information-gathering than a species living in a stable environment. Claudia investigated 61 parrot species both in the wild and in captivity and looked at the extent of exploration and neophobia in the different species. Her research showed that ecological conditions did have an effect on how the different species assessed their environment.  Species from complex habitats demonstrated very short exploration times whereas island species were very explorative. A possible additional future area of research is how animal behaviour is influenced by social conditions.

Fazlli Patkar is from the same research group as Obrad and his presentation covered a different area of energy research. Fazlli is researching the control of electric vehicle motors, looking at how these can be made more efficient. The typical electric drive configuration is a single-sided 3-phase supply. An alternative dual converter configuration can utilise a higher voltage, provide better fault tolerance and deliver greater efficiency. Fazlli’s PhD work is on the development of control strategies for dual converter, multiphase drive configurations. His experimental set-up has shown that a multiphase motor and dual converter can deliver the benefits of both topologies and that the prospects for potential utilisation of this type of configuration are very good.

This month only three speakers were able to attend the Research Café but once again it was very interesting to find out more about the range of research being carried out at LJMU. The next event will take place at IM Marsh on Wednesday 24th April and the programme is available here.