History & Archives UCD Subject Guide Review


The subject guide for History and Archives certainly has everything students need to get started, but I would say it is aimed more at undergraduate students than postgraduates.

Firstly, the page provides easy access to contact information for the subject specialist. It is positive that this information is clear and inviting for the user. It also contains clear links to the different sources of information available for the subject along the menu bar at the top of the page. The videos on library use and OneSearch are also well placed, as is the OneSearch engine which allows you to perform searches while watching the instructional video. The links to the different kinds of sources do lead to extensive source lists and descriptions, and also links to relevant databases, e-journals and catalogues. The language is simple and clear, and there are additional text boxes with basic explanations of terms like ‘peer-review’ as well as directions to where materials can be found in the library.

However, this guide is mostly designed for new users and most likely undergraduate students. This is apparent because of the basic language used to explain terms that postgraduates should already know. Also, the guide has OneSeach engines on every page. This search engine is not necessarily as helpful for postgraduate students who are performing more specific searches than OneSearch allows for. It is very difficult, for example, to find bibliographic and reference materials for PhD proposals through OneSearch. It would be more helpful for postgraduates if there was another link along the main menu bar specifically for them. This additional page could provide more detailed advanced search guides for different databases and journals. It could also contain an appointment booking form encouraging research students to meet their subject specialist librarian for consultations on finding information within their particular area of interest, which is always a good idea for research students to do.

So, to sum up, the History and Archives Guide is clearly presented with all necessary information for students to get started finding information, and it also contains relevant contain information for the subject specialist librarian. However, the guide needs to be updated with more detailed information for postgraduate students.

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