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Help videos

These are short videos created by Library staff to help you use a variety of services, including help using specific online databases.

Help videos

Watching video on a tablet Library staff have created a variety of videos to help you use our services.

These range from the Welcome video we offer to new users, to specific help with searching for information and how to use subject specific online databases to find journal articles.

To view the videos on this page in full screen, click on full screen in the bottom right hand corner.

Using Library search to locate academic sources

Use Library Search to access books, ebooks, journal articles and more.

To get started, just type your keywords into the search box on the homepage of the library website and click search. In this example, I’m looking for information on plagiarism in Higher Education. 

From the results page, you may see the additional databases box at the bottom of the screen. This provides details of suggested databases that you may also want to search. To hide this box, simply click on the button next to the additional databases heading.  

At the top of the screen you can see that the default setting is to include related terms in your search results. If you would like to only search for your exact keywords click on your keywords. 

To experience the full functionality of Library Search, It is advisable to sign in. Just click on the sign in link in the top right hand corner of the page. Your search results will be listed. Underneath each result you can see what source type it is, for example an ebook or a downloadable journal article. Apply a format filter to limit your search results to a specific source type. In this example, I am searching for print books available to borrow from the library. I am interested in the second result.  Some print books may also be available as an ebook which is the case for the second result.

To access the ebook, click on the Access Online link. I want to borrow the print version of this book from the library. From this page you can see whether the book is available and the precise location of the book in the library. Make a note of the shelf number which you will need to locate the book on the shelf. To see more information about the book, click on the title. On this page you can find a summary of the book and any reading lists that the book is on will be listed. You can also reserve a copy of the book if there are no available copies in the library. 

To limit your search results to ebooks only, tick the ebook filter. To access a specific ebook, click on the View ebook button.  For some ebooks you may see Access online rather than View ebook. This means that the ebook is available via more than one platform. Click on Access Online and then click on one of the view ebook links. In this example, I have applied the article filter. When you do this, your results will include some journal articles however they will also include other sources such as newspaper articles as is the case for the second result.  

To search for peer-reviewed journal articles only you will need to apply a second filter. Scroll down the page and tick the peer reviewed filter underneath the content type heading. You will then see that all of the results listed are articles from peer reviewed journals. You may also want to apply a year range filter to your results. You can either select one of the pre-defined ranges underneath the publication year heading or, specify your own year range by entering the required dates in the boxes provided. I have selected journal articles published in the last 5 years.  

Similarly to ebooks, results that display an access online link are available in full text via more than one platform. Results that display a view full text link will redirect you immediately to the full text of the article. Once you are happy with your results you have several options in the top right hand corner of each result. Click on the share button to email yourself the details of a particular source.  Click on the Cite button to export the reference to Endnote. If you want to come back to a useful item later, you can save it to a  folder, just click on the save icon. When you save an item the link will change to saved  and you can see how many items are in your saved items folder in the top right hand corner of the screen. Click on the folder to view your saved items and create a permanent list.  Please be aware that if you have not signed in, this list of saved items is only temporary and they will disappear after a period of inactivity or, after closing Library Search. Click on the sign in link to create a permanent list of saved items. 

Once you are signed in, Click on the create list link to create a permanent list of saved items. For more help and information please email the library or visit the library website. 

Accessing and using ebooks

Finding electronic journal titles

Advanced database searching techniques

  • This video is designed to give you tips for searching Manchester Metropolitan University Library's resources more effectively. You should use it in conjunction with individual resource videos.
  • If we take this example question: Plagiarism is becoming more common in higher education. Discuss. Firstly, identify the key search terms within the question: In this example, the key terms are Plagiarism and higher education. Then, the easiest way to start searching is to type one of your key terms, for example, plagiarism, into the resource you’re using.
  • Typing in the exact word will only search for the word Plagiarism, it won’t search for related words such as plagiarist and plagiarising. To broaden your search to include the different word endings and spelling variations you should use truncation. By placing an asterisk after the stem of the word, in this case, after the second I in plagiarism, the resource will look for all of the different word endings and spelling variants simultaneously. Please note that whilst an asterisk is the most commonly used truncation symbol, some resources vary. Check the help feature of the resource you are searching, to identify its truncation symbol.
  • We can also use the wildcard. This is where you put an asterisk in place of a particular letter. In this case, we’re able to find, simultaneously, both English and American spellings of particular words. Please note that both the asterisk (*) and question mark (?) are common truncation symbols but there is no standard among all databases. Always check the help option of the particular database you are using.
  • Going back to the example question, we will also see that we need to look for the phrase “higher education”.
  • By simply typing the words higher education into a resource, many databases will look for the terms separately.  By placing quotation marks around multiple terms, you are employing phrase searching. This will ensure that the words will be found next to each other, making your search more specific. Remember to only use quotation marks around actual phrases.
  • We can also use AND to further narrow down our search, locating only those articles where ALL of our search terms appear. As you can see on the screen, by using the word AND we will only obtain those articles covered by the shaded circle, ie only those articles that include both of our search terms. Many resources, such as Library Search and Google automatically carry out this function, but not all.
  • Use OR to broaden out a search to find items where any of the keywords appear. In this example every article featuring either of our search terms would appear.
  • These techniques can be applied to most of the Library’s resources.  For more help and information, please ask a member of staff in the Library or visit the Library website.

Evaluating websites

  • This video will explain how to evaluate websites to obtain useful and relevant information for your work.  In using internet sources, you need to be careful where you get your information.  You cannot reference from an incorrect or unreliable source.
  • Here are some of the important things to look for when attempting to verify a websites authenticity
  • You need to check there is no false or improbable information
  • Can you see when the website was last updated?
  • Can anybody contribute to the website?
  • Who originally authored the article you are viewing?
  • You need to ask why the person published the information
  • And you also need to think about the website address. Is it genuine?
  • This needs to be considered when attempting to establish a websites authenticity
  • The website you can see is the homepage for a new drug Havidol. Is this website authentic? Can you see any problems with the homepage? Press pause if you need more time.  There is highly improbable information on this web page about interspecies communication.  And the last updated date is February 2007.
  • Although the website looks very professional, it is actually a spoof drug.  It is important to remember that a websites authenticity cannot be verified by a professional looking interface.
  • Look at this page from the MMU Library wiki. Can you see any mistakes on the webpage about Manchester Metropolitan University? Pause if you need more time.  The location of the University has been changed as it says it is in South East England And the central campus is now in Edinburgh. Wikis can be edited by anybody and subsequently the information is not always correct.  You should consider carefully before referencing articles from wikipedia or any other wiki as a primary source in your work.
  • You are researching Martin Luther King Jnr and need to find some background information about him.  Would you use this website?  Press pause for more time. There are a number of indications that this website is biased, and on a closer look you would see it is hosted by Stormfront, a white supremacist organisation. 
  • Which of these are trusted domain names?
  •,,, .com, .org,
  • Press pause if you need more time
  • These 3 are trusted domain names (,,
  • is for local or central government
  • is for educational institutions
  • And is for the National Health Service
  • There are strict rules for people wanting to use these domain names.  Only people affiliated with these groups can use them. Many people think that is for a charity or not for profit organisation.  Although this is not necessarily, true.  The three highlighted are actually general domain names that can be used by anybody.  How to evaluate websites. You need to remember the 3 W’s when evaluating websites.
  • These are:
  • Who? Who published the information and who can edit or contribute to the source?
  • Why? Why is this information being published?
  • When? When was the website last updated?
  • Keep these questions in mind when evaluating the website. 
  • For more help and information, please ask a member of staff in the Library or visit the Library website 

Using Find it! and Google Scholar


This video will demonstrate how to use Google scholar and Find it. Google scholar is a search engine that allows you to find scholarly literature such as dissertations, articles, abstracts and books.

Find It! is a service that gives you the opportunity to see if you can access a certain text via Manchester Met Library.

It is possible to use Find It! within Google Scholar in order to let you know which of your Scholar search results you might be able to access via Manchester Met Library.   Find it! Links will appear next to certain search results.

Please note: The presence of a Find It! link by a search result is not always a guarantee that MMU has access to the full text.

If you are using Google Scholar on campus, with a university network PC, Find It! has already been activated with Google Scholar.  

Find It at MMU Library links will appear next to search results if MMU provides access to a specific article.

You can access Google Scholar via the URL at the top of the screen.

Find it! Is automatically enabled with Google Scholar on MMU PCs. If you would like to use Find It! with Google Scholar off-campus, you have to configure this yourself. From the Google Scholar homepage click on the three horizontal lines at the top of the page, then click on  settings

 Next, Click on library links. 

Type Manchester Metropoiltan in the search box, click the search button and then tick MMU in the results list.  You can then click save and you will be returned to the Google Scholar homepage. Your PC is now enabled to use Find it! With Google Scholar.

 Type in your search terms, for example University plagiarism, and click search

On the results page, scroll down until you find an article you would like to see as full text:

If the article has a Find It at MMU Library link to the side of it , you now have the opportunity to use Find It! to see if the text is available via MMU. Click on this link.

Click full text online

You will be redirected to the publisher’s website. Click on the PDF link to access the full text of the article.

For more help and information please ask a member of staff in the library or visit the library website.

Google: Advanced Search

Google is by far the most popular search engine on the internet. You are probably familiar with its basic search function. Yet, most of us are unaware of the advanced search function offered by Google. Google’s advanced search allows users to have more control over their searches and in this video; we will look at how it can be used to retrieve better results.

For example, when researching a topic like TECHNOLOGY BASED LEARNING you may have trouble finding relevant information. The first thing to do is enter your keywords into the basic search and click enter.

By just using these key words, Google has found over 110 million results. Not all of these results may be suitable sources of information to use for an assignment. Therefore, I am going to use the advanced search function to see if I can get results that are more relevant. On a Desktop PC or Laptop, the advanced search link is easily accessible via the box in the top right hand corner with a cog on it. By clicking on this, you will find several search settings including the link to the advanced search.

If you are using a mobile or tablet to carry out your search, the way you access the google advanced search menu is slightly different. There is no cog. Instead scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the settings button. After clicking on this you will see the advanced search link.

Google advanced search allows you to narrow down and refine your search. In this instance, one tool that works particularly well is the site or domain function. This will limit the search to results from a certain domain. This field is excellent when required to use information from government ( and educational ( sites. In this case, we are going to search using The final field I am going to use is the “file type”; this limits the search to a particular type of document. By limiting this field to “Adobe Acrobat PDF”, I should only get PDFs in my results, which is the most common format for published documents. Now when I click the advanced search button I will see a big difference in the results found.

As you can see, the results have narrowed down from over 110 million to just under 70,000 and my results only contain links straight to PDFs, which are all from the websites.  You can improve your search further by customising the results to within a certain timeframe. Firstly click on search tools and a drop down menu will appear. Next, select the anytime dropdown and then custom range

As it is usually best to search for up to date research for assignments, I can customise the date range to search for information published within the past five years, to do this I will enter 2011 in the from box and then select Go.

My results now range from information published on the internet from the 1st of January 2011 up to the present date.

For more help and information please ask a member of staff in the library or visit the library website.

Searching for statistics

This video will inform you how to locate statistical resources via the Library website. From the statistics web page, there are several links to freely available statistical resources. These include . . .

The CIA World Factbook which provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transport, military, and transnational issues for 267 countries.

Eurostat, which is the statistical office of the European Union and provides information on general and regional themes; economy and finance, population and social conditions, industry, trade, agriculture, transport, environment and science across the EU.

The Office for national statistics which provides UK data on all aspects of Agriculture and the Environment, Business and Energy, Children education and skills, crime and justice, economy, government, health and social care, the labour market, people and places, population and travel and transport.

And several other resources are linked to on this page including The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s statistics site, UK social trends and regional trends, and the UK data service.

Each of these statistical resources are quite simple to use and generally have the option to search by country, . . . Or by theme Or by keyword . . .

In addition to the resources listed on the Library’s Statistical Information page, you may also be able to locate some statistical content via the Library’s subscribed subject databases….

These are available by clicking on the ‘Databases A-Z’ link from the Library home page.

For more help and information, please ask a member of staff in the library or visit the library website.