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  • Trial access to SpringerMaterials ENDS NEXT WEEK!

    Trial access to SpringerMaterials ends on 30th May.

    To support the Chemistry Department’s call for feedback from users, help us understand your need for SpringerMaterials by completing the quesionnaire.

    You can access the questionnaire here: The deadline for responses is 9th June.

    To access the trial please go to: or off campus via ezproxy here:

    Thank you!

  • Celebrating Purcell: treasure trove in the Keller Archive

    That caught your eye, dear reader, didn’t it? But first, I must come clean to my many delightful Keller followers: this is not about the man himself or indeed his insights into Purcell (not that I’m aware he had any). … Continue reading →
  • Warning of short term disruption – Friday 26th May, morning

    We’re completing some snagging work from our refurbishment in the morning of Friday 26th May – we’re sorry this will cause some short term disruption.

    Share       08:30-10:30
    • We’ll be working on these PCs to replace cable tidies
    • We’ll be installing a new comments wall
    • We’ll be installing the flat screens on the high tables

    Please use the PCs in the Read area, and the study area in Shh or Read

    Shhh                  10:30 – 12:00
    • We’ll be installing acoustic panels, and completing some other tasks in this room

     Please use the study space in Read or Share


    Remember: we have noise cancelling headphones for you to borrow and ear plugs.

    The post Warning of short term disruption – Friday 26th May, morning appeared first on Medical Library.

  • 88th anniversary of Tintin’s first adventure

    Tintin had such a great success that he is even better known than his creator, Hergé. Born Georges Remi (1907-1983), Hergé was his pen name, based on his reversed initials, as pronounced in French. The only rival to Tintin’s fame … Continue reading →
  • International journal of private law

    New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : International journal of private law (IJPL)

    Image by David Gaz from flickr

    From the journal website:

    “IJPL provides a forum for international discussion on all aspects of private law including audio-visual, media, communication and space law, which have not been covered by any journals so far. It explores legal issues facing individuals, entrepreneurs and business owners, and discusses provocative and timely issues facing both the national and international community.

    IJPL is dedicated to providing comprehensive, practical, reliable and current information for practicing attorneys, judges, students and academics regarding the practice of private law worldwide.”

    Now available to the University of Cambridge electronically from volume 8 (2015) to present.

    Access the International journal of private law via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z or at this link.

  • Journal for Islamic Studies

    New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : journal for islamic studies

    Image by Alex Proimos from flickr

    From the  journal website:

    “The Journal for Islamic Studies (JIS) is committed to the publication of original research on Islam as a world culture and civilization. We therefore hope to stimulate and publish research that relates to religion, theology and law.

    At the same time, it is also our goal to cover the disciplines of history, culture, art, ethics, politics, international relations, philosophy, history of religions, anthropology and sociology in the variety of ways in which these relate to the world of Islam in its broadest sense. Comparative studies of societies, as well as research with an interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary focus, are strongly encouraged.”

    Now available to the University of Cambridge electronically from volume 27 (2007) to present.

    Access Journal for Islamic Studies via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z or at this link.


  • The value of Legal Deposit

    On a recent training programme in English Cataloguing we have been asking staff about some of their favourite things in the Library. In collections as rich as the Library’s this can be a very difficult question to answer, with many of us having long lists of items, but close to the top of my list are five publications by the same author and held in the Library’s twentieth century secondary collection. All five books are works of fiction, published between 1929 and 1932 and as such are stored, with their dust jackets intact, up in the Library tower.

    So, what is it about these books that interest me so much? Well, they are special to me because they bridge several areas of interest in my life: the Cambridgeshire Regiment, researching First World War gallantry medals and enjoying reading detective fiction.

    For almost twenty years now I have been researching the history and men of the Cambridgeshire Regiment. Unusually, it was a purely territorial unit, never having a regular battalion, but served with distinction in both world wars. On the Western Front from early 1915 to April 1919 earning over 250 awards for gallantry, and then in Singapore in 1942; the 1st Battalion was reputed to have been the last unit of the allied forces to surrender to the Japanese, but both battalions were captured and endured the harsh captivity and worked on the infamous railways.

    But where do these five detective novels fit in? In 1915 the majority of the men serving in the Cambridgeshires were from the county of Cambridgeshire, with one whole Company coming from Cambridge University Press, and a large proportion of the officers were University men; either current students or graduates who subsequently lived locally.

    B. G. Quin M.C.

    Basil Godfrey Quin, from Newcastle, was an undergraduate at St John’s College; he had just completed his first year of the mathematical tripos, and gained a first. His studies were then interrupted, his country needed him, and he volunteered for service and gained a commission in the Cambridgeshire Regiment. After training, he joined the 1st Battalion on the Western Front in Ypres on July 11, 1917 and only three weeks before the Battalion took part in the Battle of St Julien on 31 July. Coming through this immense trial unscathed he was then involved in the Battalion’s attack, eight weeks later, on a feature known as Tower Hamlets Ridge, on 26 September. Quin distinguished himself during the battle by his gallantry, and was decorated with the Military Cross as a result. It is awe inspiring to think that he had only been in theatre for eleven weeks at this point. His citation was published in the London Gazette in April 1918:

    For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty. He carried a report over a fire swept zone to battalion headquarters and returned to his company through an intense hostile barrage. Later, he twice went to the battalion on his right, under a heavy bombardment, to ascertain the situation. By his example he inspired all ranks with confidence.

    Despite being a war hero, Quin was an unassuming man; he opted to receive his Military Cross in the post rather than at a royal investiture and, although he attended Old Comrades events in the post-war years, he never wore his MC or campaign medals; they remain in their boxes of issue. That’s not to say he wasn’t proud of his war service and it’s in his writing that it’s really seen. After the War Quin became the mathematics master at Rutherford College for Boys, in Newcastle, and three years later became the senior mathematics master, a post he would hold until his retirement in 1951. During this time he was also a keen writer and in 1929 Hutchinson of London published his first work of fiction: The death box (UL: 1929.7.2987), then four further novels followed: Mystery of the black gate (UL: 1930.7.1043), The murder rehearsal (UL: 1931.7.1179), Mistigris (UL: 1932.7.65) and The phantom murderer (UL: 1932.7.1792). There are two main characters, the flamboyant and omniscient Clarkson Parry, and his trusty sidekick Harvey, who is also the narrator. Both are old soldiers, having served together on the Western Front, and after meeting again during the late 1920s come together to solve a series of murders, robberies and blackmails by extraordinary means of deduction. Despite regularly coming into the line of fire them-selves, they still manage to maintain a stiff upper lip and a sense of decorum as befits the era. Although Harvey’s character is somewhat diffident, he derives immense confidence from his time in the trenches and this manifests itself with descriptive comparisons to his wartime experiences. Knowing the author was really there somehow makes these reminiscences more powerful – at least to me, anyway, and I can’t imagine a modern author managing it in the same way.

    Click to view slideshow.

    Having researched Quin and read his work over a number of years I concluded that Harvey’s character was probably semiautobiographical and it was fascinating to have this confirmed through correspondence with his two daughters. It was said that Clarkson Parry was the man he would have liked to be, but Harvey was the man he thought he was, though this is by no means a bad thing in my mind.

    Since first reading them, I have tried to acquire my own copies of the Hutchinson editions but with no success, only an economy reprint of The death box is abundant. Having agreed with various booksellers up and down the country that they are not rare and shouldn’t be expensive they nonetheless, remain elusive. Therefore I can attest to the immense value of Legal Deposit, which has ensured that there are at least six sets of Quin’s novels spread across the UK and Ireland, in the Legal Deposit Libraries, for the modern reader to enjoy.

    In September and October 2017, to coincide with the centenary of the Battle of Tower Hamlets Ridge, when Quin won his MC, a small exhibition about him and his works will be held in the Entrance Hall display cases.

  • Most borrowed at DivLib in 2016-17

    One of our 3 wooden bookrests, for loan in library @ DivLib

    It might seem a bit early to declare the “winner” of the “most borrowed item” at the Divinity Library for 2016-17, but our wooden bookrests are way out of reach for the next items in the list. However, because our bookrests were so popoular, we bought a third wooden one, and one plastic bookrest. Every year, students tell us in our annual library survey that we should buy ‘more books‘, often not specifying for which paper they were missing books, or more precisely multiple copies of a specific book. We took this, however, as a call to action! In the fashion of ‘you said, we did‘, we have been much more proactive in 2016-17: we ran reports (at least once per term) on which books had been requested, and also which were the most borrowed, and: ordered more copies were these were available. We also investigated buying more ebooks, where possible.

    Anyway, you might find the following lists of the most borrowed books between October 2016 and May 2017 of interest:

    Number of times borrow-
    ed Class-
    mark Author Brief title Imprint 26 5 SAN Sanders, E. P. Studying the synoptic gospels / London : SCM Press ; Philadelphia : Trinity Press International, 1989. 19 5 SAN Sanders, E.P. Jesus and Judaism / London : SCM Press, 1985 17 3 GOR Gordon, R. P. 1 & 2 Samuel : a commentary / Exeter : Paternoster, 1986. 16 5 ROW Rowland, Christopher, 1947- Christian origins : an account of the setting and character of the most important Messianic sect of Judaism [second edition]/ London : SPCK, 2002. 16 5 BRO Brown, Raymond Edward, 1928-1998. Introduction to the Gospel of John / New York ; London : Doubleday, c2003. 13 10 ANS Anselm, Saint, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1033-1109. Anselm of Canterbury. London : S.C.M. Press, 1974. 13 5 ALL Allison, Dale C. Jesus of Nazareth : millenarian prophet / Minneapolis, MN : Fortress Press, 1998. 13 10 THO 1 Thomas, Aquinas, Saint, 1225?-1274. Summa theologiae. Latin text, English translation, introduction, notes, appendices & glossary / London : Blackfriars, 1964. 12 5 VER Vermes, Geza, 1924- Jesus the Jew : a historian’s reading of the Gospels [second edition]/ London : SCM Press, 1983. 12 5 BELL 5(1) Theology and Christology in the Fourth Gospel : essays by the members of the SNTS Johannine Writings Seminar / Leuven : Leuven University Press : Peeters, 2005. 11 9 BROM Bromiley, Geoffrey William. Introduction to the theology of Karl Barth / Edinburgh : Clark, 1979. 11 5 THEI 6 Theissen, Gerd. Historical Jesus : a comprehensive guide / London : SCM Press, 1998. 11 3 NIC Covenant as context : essays in honour of E.W. Nicholson / Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2003. 11 5 TWE Twelftree, Graham H. Jesus the miracle worker : a historical & theological study / Downers Grove, Ill. : InterVarsity Press, 1999. 11 3 ROME 1 Römer, Thomas, 1955- So-called Deuteronomistic history : a sociological, historical and literary introduction / London : T & T Clark, 2007. 11 16A RAMB 1(2) Rambachan, Anantanand, 1951- Advaita worldview : God, world, and humanity / Albany, NY : State University of New York Press, c2006. 11 9 WEB Cambridge companion to Karl Barth / Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2000. 11 5 HENG Hengel, Martin. Studies in early Christology / Edinburgh : T&T Clark, 1995. 10 5 GOO Goodacre, Mark S. Synoptic problem : a way through the maze / London : Sheffield Academic Press, c2001. 10 9 MARI Cambridge companion to Friedrich Schleiermacher / Cambridge : Cambridge University Press, 2005. 10 5 ASH Interpretation of John [second edition]/ Edinburgh : T&T Clark, 1997. 10 16A LOTT 1(2) Lott, Eric J. Vedantic approaches to God / London : Macmillan, 1980 10 5 GOO Goodacre, Mark S. Case against Q : studies in Markan priority and the synoptic problem / Harrisburg, Pa. : Trinity Press International, c2002. 10 5 HUR Hurtado, Larry W., 1943- Lord Jesus Christ : devotion to Jesus in earliest Christianity / Grand Rapids, Mich. : William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., c2003.


  • May Bank Holiday Monday – 29th

    The library is open on Bank Holiday Monday – 09:00-17:00.

    It’s one of the few times that, for the sake of all our students revising, we hope the weather’s not great…..

    The post May Bank Holiday Monday – 29th appeared first on Medical Library.

  • Cambridge RCUK Block Grant spend for 2016-2017

    Much to our relief, last Friday we sent off our most recent report on our expenditure of the RCUK Block Grant fund. The report is available in our repository. Cambridge makes all of its information about spend on Open Access publicly available. This blog continues on from that describing our spend from 2009 – 2016, and from the blog on our open access spend in 2014.


    We are pleased to be able to report that we reached 80% compliance in this reporting period, up from 76% last year. The RCUK is expecting 75% compliance by the end of the transition period on 31 March 2018, so we are well over target.

    According to our internal helpdesk system ZenDesk, our compliance is shared between 52% gold (publication in an Open Access journal or payment for hybrid Open Access), and 28% green (placement of the work into our institutional repository, Apollo). We do not have the breakdown of how many of the gold APC payments were for hybrid. In the past it we have had an overall 86.8% spend on hybrid.

    Not only do we have an increase from 76% to 80% in our compliance rates overall, this is even more impressive when we consider that this is in the face of a 15% increase in the number of research outputs acknowledging RCUK funding. Web of Science indicated in a search for articles, reviews and proceedings papers that Cambridge published 2400 papers funded by RCUK in 2016. In 2015 Web of Science the same search counted 2080 RCUK funded research outputs.

    Headline numbers
    • In total Cambridge spent £1.68 million of RCUK funds on APCs (this is up from £1.28 last year)
    • 1920 articles identified as being RCUK funded were submitted to the Open Access Service, of which 1248 required payment for RCUK*
    • The average article processing charge was £1850 – this is significantly less than the £2008 average last year, reflecting the value of the memberships we have (see below)

    *Note these numbers will differ slightly from the report due to the difference in dates between the calendar and financial years (see below).

    Non APC spend

    In total Cambridge spent £1.94 million of RCUK funds in this reporting period, of which £1.68 million was on APCs.  Approximately 13% was spent on other costs,  primarily distributed between staffing, infrastructure and memberships.  The greatest proportion is staffing, with £95,000 spent on this cost. Memberships were the next largest category, mostly arrangements to reduce the cost of APCs, including:

    • £42,000 on the open access component of the Springer Compact
    • £22,000 on memberships to obtain discounts – there is a list of these on the OSC website
    • £18,000 on the University’s SCOAP3 subscription

    The RCUK fund has also supported the infrastructure for Open Access at Cambridge, with £62,000 covering the cost of several upgrades of DSpace and general support for the repository. This has allowed us to implement new services such as the minting of DOIs and our hugely successful Request a Copy service which allows people to contact authors of embargoed material in the repository and ask them to send through the author’s accepted manuscript. This category also covers our license for our helpdesk system, ZenDesk, which helps the Open Access team manage the on-average  responses to 60 queries a day. We are also able to run most of our reporting out of ZenDesk.

    There are some other smaller items in the non APC category, including £1500 on bank charges that for various reasons we have not been able to allocate to specific articles.

    Are these deals good value?

    Some are. The Springer Compact is shown as a single charge in the report with the articles listed individually. The RCUK Block Grant contributed £46,020 to the Springer Compact and 128 Cambridge papers were published by Springer that acknowledged RCUK funding. This gives us an average APC cost per paper to the RCUK fund* of £359.53 including VAT. This represents excellent value, given that the average APC for Springer is $3,000 (about £2,300).

    *Note that in some instances the papers acknowledging RCUK may also have acknowledged COAF in which case the overall cost for the APC for those papers will be higher.

    Cambridge has now completed a year having a prepayment arrangement with Wiley. Over this time we contributed £108,000 to the account and published 68 papers acknowledging RCUK. This works out that on average the Wiley APC cost was £1,588 per paper. Like Springer, the average APC is approximately £2,300 so this amount appears to be good value.

    However the RCUK has contributed a higher proportion to the Wiley account than COAF because at the time the account was established we had run low on COAF funds. Because the University does not provide any of its own funds for Open Access, there was no option other than to use RCUK funds. We will need to do some calculations to ensure that the correct proportion of COAF and RCUK funds are supporting this account. It is a reflection of the challenges we are facing on a rolling basis when the dates are fluid (see below).

    It appears we need to look very closely at our membership with Oxford University Press. We spent £44,000 of RCUK funds on this, and published 22 articles acknowledging RCUK funding. This works out to be an APC of £2000 per article, which is not dissimilar to an average OUP APC, and therefore does not represent any value at all. This is possibly because our allocation of the expense of the membership between COAF and RCUK might not reflect what has been published with OUP. We need to investigate further.

    Caveat – the date problem

    We manage Open Access funds that operate on different patterns. The COAF funds match the academic year, with the new grants starting on 1 October each year.  The RCUK works on a financial year, starting on 1 April each year. Many of our memberships and offset deals work on the calendar year.

    To add to the confusion, the RCUK is behind in its payments, so for this current year which started on 1 April 2017, we will not receive our first part-payment until 1 June. That amount will not cover the commitments we had already made by the end of 2016, let alone those made between 1 April when this year started and the 1 June when the money is forthcoming. This means we will remain in the red. Cambridge is carrying half a million pounds in commitments at any given time. The situation makes it very difficult to balance the books.

    Our recent RCUK report covers the period of 1 April 2016 – 31 March 2017 and refers only to invoices paid in this period. In the report the dates go beyond the 31 March 2017 because the reconciliation in the system sometimes takes longer, so items are logged as later dates even though the payment was made within the period. The publication dates for the articles these invoices relate to are wildly different, and many of these have not yet been published due to the delay between acceptance and publication which ranges from days to years.

    This means working out averages is an inexact science. It is only possible to filter Web of Science by year, so we are only able to establish the number of papers published in a given calendar year. This set of papers is not the same set for which we have paid, but we can compare year on year and identify some trends that make sense.

    Published XXX 2017
    Written by Dr Danny Kingsley

  • Tuesday 23rd May – E-Book drop-in session – Clinical Students – Sherwood Room

    Used an e-book before?  Want more information, hints and tips?  You have access to numerous medical e-books.  Do you know how to find and download e-books to your devices?

    We are holding e-book drop-in session on

    Tuesday 23rd May 12:15 – 1:00 in the Sherwood Room

    There will be a range of devices so we can show you how to download books.  However if you prefer to bring your own device that’s fine.

    We can also help with any other library queries.

    So – come and visit us and we look forward to seeing you!

    The post Tuesday 23rd May – E-Book drop-in session – Clinical Students – Sherwood Room appeared first on Medical Library.

  • History of Philosophy Quarterly

    New on ejournals@cambridge A-Z : History of Philosophy Quarterly. 

    From the University of Illinois Press website for the journal:

    “History of Philosophy Quarterly (HPQ) specializes in papers that cultivate philosophical history with a strong interaction between contemporary and historical concerns. Contributors regard work in the history of philosophy and in philosophy itself as parts of a seamless whole, treating the work of past philosophers not only in terms of historical inquiry, but also as a means of dealing with issues of ongoing philosophical concern. The journal favors the approach to philosophical history, increasingly prominent in recent years, that refuses to see the boundary between philosophy and its history as an impassable barrier.

    HPQ is published by the University of Illinois Press on behalf of North American Philosophical Publications.”

    Now available to the University of Cambridge electronically from the University of Illinois Press platform from volume 26 (2009) to the present. Access from vol 1 (1984) to volume 25 (2008) is available from the JSTOR Arts and Sciences platform.

    Access History of Philosophy Quarterly via the ejournals@cambridge A-Z or at this link.

    Image credit: Denis Collette, Gone With The Wind, on Flickr –