University College London: Finding answers to complex questions by searching for specific technical data with Knovel
Knovel helps University College London (UCL) instill vital research skills in its engineering students, fostering success in the classroom and beyond.
Subject Librarian Lynne Meehan is something of an expert at quickly finding the data that engineering staff and students need. But Meehan’s job is about more than just locating materials. It’s critical to the success of her students and staff that she passes her vital research skills on to them.
I see this as a key part of my job, showing students and staff how to save time researching — and providing the tools they need to do it easily.
Initially, Meehan counted on Knovel for its excellent coverage of key engineering textbooks. But the students needed more. Their studies demanded that they be able to find answers to complex questions quickly and easily by searching for specific technical data. An eye-opening moment occurred when one student approached her for help finding the enthalpy of vaporization of cyclohexane. Initially, she didn’t know where to begin.
In trying to help that student, however, Meehan “did a search on Knovel and there it was. And I will always go to Knovel now when people have inquiries involving data.” Since then, Meehan has explored even deeper into Knovel, familiarizing herself with its interactive graphs and features. These tools have proven invaluable for engineering students trying to navigate complex calculations.
I recommend Knovel to everyone. I think it’s important that we promote it. We want our students and staff to use it because it saves them time.
Lynne Meehan, University College London
Today, Knovel takes a prominent place in the library’s new student induction program. In fact, Meehan includes the Academic Challenge questions from Knovel’s annual research competition as a hands-on part of their training. While the questions
may not be directly related to each students’ engineering discipline, [they are] great for demonstrating and making use of all the powerful data and analysis tools available in Knovel . Meehan even introduces Knovel to incoming engineering faculty, many of whom aren’t aware of the level of data within Knovel.
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