Uni hacks 101: The CSU library hack every student should know

Uni hacks 101: CSU library

You know how people talk about uni being stressful? Well, when you study at Charles Sturt University (CSU), it doesn’t have to be. We’ve got insider uni hacks to keep your stress levels down and your achievements sky-high.

Welcome to our Uni Hacks 101 series – where we explore the best ways to get the most out of what uni has to offer.

Hack 1: Your uni library will become your bestie

Want to know one of the best add-ons at CSU? Each session, the CSU library runs workshops aimed at getting your research, study and digital skills up to scratch for the big wide world.

The best part? The workshops are 100 per cent free and 100 per cent online – so it doesn’t cost you a thing AND you can do them where it suits you. The workshops run for about an hour and are spaced throughout the year, so you’ll definitely find a time that suits your schedule.

These workshops allow you to get the most out of your degree while studying with us, and set you up for success in your future career.

Introduction to library services

If you are new to CSU or returning to study after a break this workshop is for you. We go back to basics and cover:

  • the services provided by the library to both online and on-campus students
  • how to use Primo Search to find books and electronic material
  • how to use Primo Search to request items and check your library record
  • how to get assistance from a librarian.

How to find online journal articles

Once uni is in full swings you’ll see words like ‘journal article’ and ‘peer reviewed’ floating around on your subject outline. A library workshop will help you break down these meanings and understand:

  • the importance of journal articles for your studies
  • how to interpret a journal article citation
  • how to find quality scholarly journal articles in Primo Search, Google Scholar and other databases
  • how to check if an article is peer reviewed.

How to use ebooks

Did you know that we have over 100,000 ebooks in the CSU library collection? So if you are studying online or on campus you’ll never be short of academic resources. This workshop will focus on:

  • how to use Primo Search to find eBooks
  • how to view an eBook online
  • how to read eBooks offline using Adobe Digital Editions
  • your copying and printing options.

Using library databases

Library databases will form the foundation of much of your research for assessments and essays – so it pays to understand how best to use them. In this workshop, we’ll explore some of the search techniques and features of EBSCOhost and Informit. You’ll learn about:

  • the benefits of using databases to search for sources
  • the principles of online searching
  • Boolean operators and search techniques
  • creating folders and setting up alerts
  • exporting citations to EndNote.

Note: If you’re new to library databases, it’s best to attend the ‘Finding online journal articles’ workshop before this one. Top tip: the library will hook you up with a recorded version of workshops if you miss them.

Advanced library databases

When you’re ready to become a database master this workshop will help you nail your research skills. The workshop covers some of the sophisticated ways you can use our databases – the EBSCOhost platform and the citation database Scopus. Content includes:

  • proximity searching
  • how to use a thesaurus
  • combining search sets and building searches
  • creating a personal folder, saving searches and setting up alerts
  • exporting records to EndNote
  • using a citation database to find citing articles.

Note: Similar to before, you’ll get the most out of this particular workshop if you have experience searching library databases or attended the ‘Using library databases’ workshop.

Endnote for PC and Mac

When you come to CSU referencing doesn’t have to be scary. We will set you up with a free subscription to EndNote and teach you how to use all the features. We run separate workshops for PC and Mac users. You’ll learn how to:

  • find and download EndNote
  • create an EndNote library and add references manually
  • import references from online sources and edit them to comply with APA style
  • attach PDFs to references and annotate the PDFs
  • create and use groups in your EndNote library.

Learn to connect: Developing your personal learning network (PLN)

The rise of social media means that it’s now part of your everyday life. If used correctly, it can help you in your studies – as well as into your professional career. If you’re interested in learning how to harness social media for your professional benefit, there’s a free workshop for it! You’ll explore:

  • the benefits of a PLN
  • how a PLN can help keep your professional development up to date
  • how to connect with others in your profession / field of study
  • how to create accounts with three popular social media platforms – LinkedIn, Twitter and feedly.com.

Learn to connect: Managing your online information

Once you’ve created your professional presence online, you’ll need to keep track of the data coming your way. This workshop will teach you how to:

  • use the OneNote and Pocket applications for study and collaboration
  • evaluate online material using the CRAP test (currency, reliability/relevance, authority and purpose/point of view)Sign up/reg
  • recognise the legalities around copyright and share online material – without getting into trouble!

Learn to connect: Secure your digital life

If you’re anything like us remembering passwords is not a strong point. We’ve got you! In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • create a passphrase (that would take years to crack)
  • use a password manager to securely store all your passwords
  • prevent websites from harvesting your digital footprint for commercial gain
  • keep your data as anonymous and confidential as possible.

Ready to take your library skills to the next level before you begin studying? Check out CSU’s upcoming online library workshops and register today.