Category Archives: Resources

7 Things Freshmen Should Know But Usually Don’t

1. Your library pin is your smartcard pin

You probably know your NUSNET ID, since without it, you can’t access your NUS email as well as the all-important IVLE. But a surprising number of students don’t know their library PINs, which is the smartcard PIN issued during matriculation. The library PIN is needed for checking your loan record, renewing books and borrowing books using the self-service machines, among other things. You can retrieve it here.


2. RBR books can be borrowed overnight

Reserve Books/Readings (RBR) are highly sought after because they are recommended readings for various modules and can be borrowed only for 2 hours. However, few students know that they can borrow the an RBR book overnight just before the library closes and return it within one hour of the library’s opening the next day. For details look here.


3. Most books have a grace period

You probably know that the loan period for books is 14 days for undergraduates and 28 days for honours & graduate students. But did you know there is a grace period and that fines don’t start until the 4th day after the due date? Be careful to read the fine print (6. Rate of fines), as the grace period doesn’t apply to RBR books, 7-day loan books, bound journals and other materials.


4. You cannot renew an item if there is already a hold

Sure, you may know that you can renew books three times online, and you may even know how much extension a renewal gives. But what you may not know is that you cannot renew an item once there is a hold on it. That’s why it is a bad idea to bring books overseas for a long vacation as you cannot count on being able to renew the loan.


5. The proxy bookmarklet is your other friend

Google may be your friend, but what happens if it shows a journal article that requires you to pay? Instead of replicating your search in the catalogue, save time by using the proxy bookmarklet to access the article directly! Do note that the proxy bookmarklet only works on journals that the library subscribes to.

Using Google Scholar or PubMed instead? We have you covered as well. Also check out other useful search plugins that will allow you to access NUS Libraries resources seamlessly no matter where you are.


6. There are easier ways to cite and do referencing

We have quick guides to assist in referencing for various styles. But there are many ways to auto-enerate citations quickly. These range from using build-in functions in the library search engines, databases and Google Scholar, to using standalone citation builders you can find online. You can also consider learning how to use a full blown reference manager like EndNote (you can install this for free as a student or staff of NUS by following instructions in our EndNote guide), as these help you auto-insert citations into your Word documents.



7. Librarians have expertise and are here to help you

While librarians can’t do your homework, we can help you find books, papers and data sets relevant to your research and assignments. In addition, some of us are skilled in patent searching, use of reference managers, bibliometrics and may also have subject specific expertise. Contact your resource librarian today, or come for our orientations sessions to learn about using the library effectively for your assignments!


Tay Chee Hsien Aaron
Central Library

Eight Things You May Not Know About the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library

Do You Know…?


…That the Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library (HSSML) has a seating capacity of more than 800? (Huat ah!) That makes us the third largest NUS library, after Central Library and Science Library.


…That HSSML has 12 discussion rooms open to all NUS students? They vary in size from small cozy rooms that seat about 4 people, to larger ones that can easily seat 12 to 15 people. (Big small bao ka liao!) Book them online via our Library Portal.


…That we have 8 study carrels for individual study purposes? (Again! Huat ah!) They are the row of small rooms on the second level. The carrels are open to all students, although priority of use goes to Business School students, especially graduate students. Borrow the carrel keys at the Loans Desk for 4 hours at a time.


…That we have a good collection of books on useful skills such as:

  • Managing personal finances
  • Resume/CV writing
  • Improving your IQ and EQ
  • Leading and managing people
  • Time management
  • Learning and studying skills


…That we not only have network computers, photocopiers and network printers, we also have colour printers that can print up to A3 size (great for poster sessions and presentations), and a scanner as well? Check out our Infocommons on the first level.


…That we have not 1 but 2 rooms for quiet study? The 3rd level Quiet Room is a “No-Click Zone” so students are advised not to use their laptops, mobile phones or other electronic devices there, ensuring a peaceful environment. Two sides of the room are floor-to-ceiling windows, so there is plenty of natural light. The 2nd level Quiet Room is tucked in a corner, away from the main reading area, and special carrel tables with high sides and front give students additional privacy. (Silence is golden.…)


…What this huge machine on the third floor does?

biz 1



This is an industrial sized dehumidifier. It keeps the air inside the library dry so that our books do not suffer from mildew and fungus. (Water may mean fortune in fengshui, but water in the library means we lose a fortune!)


…That we have a Hon Sui Sen Room? Mr Hon was one of our early Finance Ministers, and the library, auditorium, Conference Room on the third level, and even the small road between the Mochtar Riady Building and the Shaw Alumni House are all named in memory of him.


There you go, 8 facts you may not have known about Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library. While we primarily serve the students and staff of the Business School, we do have a plethora of resources that are useful to all NUS students and staff. Come visit us today!


— The Little Teapot

Online guide to music resources

Need resources in music for your assignment? Help is close at hand 24/7 with the music libguide .

Navigate your way with Library Tips to get started on how to use the library catalogue to find music scores and media materials. Search directly the appropriate Databases such as Oxford Music Online, Classical Scores Library, Naxos Music Library and Naxos Video Library.

You can also browse new music titles, other subjects of interest or create new titles alerts. If you use IE browser, you can select the “Add to Favourites Bar”. While setting up in IE browser, the shortcut will appear on your browser’s favourites bar. If there are newly published titles for the discipline selected, the shortcut bar will be displayed in bold. You can then click on the bar to retrieve a drop-down menu of the recently published titles.

Wish to explore Contemporary Repertoire to perform? Or perhaps need specific contemporary repertoire for Percussion, Piano, String or Brass?

Start with this libguide, whether you are new or looking for specific materials for your research.

P.S. If you are doing research on Singaporean composers, Music Library also has a growing collection of works by well-known and emerging local composers.

music mar 2014

Shh… We had a date with MKT1003 students in HSSML

Are you curious about what librarians in Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library have been doing recently?  Let’s take a look at what’s been happening at HSSML Training Room (3rd floor).


This screen looks familiar. It looks like a database interface! Yes, this is a popular business database – Business Source Premier! Students are sitting up and listening attentively. They are eagerly learning how to search for journal articles and company profiles such as for Apple Inc. But, where are our librarians?



There they are! Meet our instructors for this session, Kah Wei and Kash ($$$). Kash is waiting for the students to apply their own searches in the databases taught while Kah Wei is assisting them.



That hand belongs to Kash, one of our friendly librarians who is explaining the function of using truncation in Business Source Premier. In the example above, strateg* retrieves a variation of word such as strategy, strategies, strategic, etc. He then combined “market* strateg*” to bring together the different possible variations on the words market and strategy. Awesome!



The librarians also taught another key business database: Passport (aka. GMID, Euromonitor). In the picture below, Linyu is showing students how to navigate Passport. She pointed out relevant resources derived from one starting point: a “Beer in Singapore”. She also showed company profiles such as a profile on “Asia Pacific Breweries”. Last but not least, she encouraged students to look at consumer lifestyles reports.

Students who attended the session gave great feedback. Many suggested we should continue conducting this tutorial in the future. Thank you for all your comments, MKT1003 students. The Librarians enjoyed their “date” with you!

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Our Emails are:





~Hon Sui Sen Memorial Library

Tips for your Honors Thesis (edited repost)

Not sure where to start for your Honors thesis? (Or any other research projects/assignments) Here are 6 tips from your friendly librarians:


1. Start off with a broad literature review for your area of interest

Everyone knows what a literature review is, right? If you only have a vague idea, watch this video by NCSU. Back? Good. The video talks about review articles, which are articles that summarise past papers in a given area. Sounds mighty useful, doesn’t it? But how does one find them? Refer to this guide on finding review articles.

Can’t find enough relevant articles? Some options:


2. Manage your references and citations with EndNote

Citing and proper referencing can be a chore. While you can use some of the methods listed here to make it easier, if you are reading and citing a lot, we highly recommend learning how to use a reference manager. NUS Libraries supports use of EndNote, a reference manager that allows you to pull in references from databases such as Scopus, ScienceDirect, and JSTOR, then cite them in your preferred citation style with a single click.

Attend one of our upcoming training sessions or check out the materials from our past sessions at your own convenience.


3. Check that you have the required software and data

If you are working in a field that requires statistical data or specialised software such as statistics software, do ensure that you have access to such items. Having problems finding statistical data? Refer to some of our library guides or the following tips.


4. Set up search alerts

So the review article you found gave you a good idea of the state of art in the research area. You’ve followed up leads with tons of reading, scoped out the area and produced a top class literature review linking and summarizing the work done while showing off your knowledge of the issues. Still, your work is not yet done. To avoid missing out on the latest published material after you finish your search, set up search alerts to keep up with the latest developments.

You can set up alerts:

  • based on keywords from the library catalogue for new additions to the library catalogue
  • from individual databases such as Scopus, Web of Science
  • from Google Scholar, using Google Scholar Alerts  to access paid articles via our subscriptions.
  • for your RSS feed reader using FindMore@NUSL
  • at your favourite journal’s homepage (not available for all journals). You can also use the free JournalTOCs feature to setup alerts together with the proxy bookmarklet to access paid articles via our subscriptions.

For more advice on tracking relevant research see the following article.


5. Know the library services you can access as an honours or graduate student

For honors and graduate students, we provide you with additional services to aid your research, which include the following:

  • Document Delivery Service. Sometimes an article you need may not be available via our subscriptions. You can request that the library obtain the article for you, but do take note of the conditions that apply. For more details, see this.
  • Interlibrary loan (graduate students only). Sometimes you may want a book that none of the seven libraries have. We may purchase the book if it is still in print, or borrow it from other libraries. Check out the interlibrary loan service.


6. Consult a resource librarian

Confused by any of the above steps or need further help? You can consult a resource librarian in charge of your subject area for more specialized help.


New Chemistry Databases

NUS Libraries has recently added the following six databases from the Royal Society of Chemistry to its electronic resources.  These are abstracts & index databases.  If a link to the full text of the publication is not provided in the database, search the Library catalogue, LINC, to see if the required journal issue or publication is available either in print or in online version.  For more tips on this, please refer to the FAQ: How do I check if the full text of journal articles are available?


1. Analytical Abstracts

Use this database for literature on the latest techniques and applications in the analytical sciences. It contains abstracts from over 100 publications from 1980 until the latest update. The database’s specialised indexing system comprises 3 types of index fields:

– Analyte: The substance that has been identified or determined such as drugs, food additives, pesticides, nanoparticles.  You can search for a particular element, compound or CAS number (e.g. paracetamol [103-90-2]).

– Matrix: The sample or medium in which the analyte has been measured, e.g. soil, lead alloys, blood plasma.

Technique: The methods used for analysis, apparatus or a field of study, e.g. HPLC, mass spectra, fluorescence, proteomic analysis.

(See sample records)


2. Catalysts & Catalysed Reactions

Use the database for graphical abstracts of new developments in catalysis research, including homogeneous, heterogeneous and biocatalysis with emphasis on current growth areas such as chiral catalysts, polymerisation catalysts, enzymatic catalysts and clean catalytic methods.  The database is updated monthly with approximately 200 new graphical abstracts selected from dozens of key primary journals, and are indexed by Products, Reactants, Catalysts, Catalyst Type and Reaction Type.  (See sample records)


3. Chemical Hazards in Industry
Use this database for information on safety and health hazards surrounding chemicals encountered in the chemical and related industries.  It is updated monthly with over 250 items.  (See sample records)


4. Laboratory Hazards Bulletin
Use the database for key information scanned from primary scientific and trade literature worldwide on hazards encountered in different types of laboratories, including R&D, analytical and hospital laboratories.  Topic coverage includes hazardous waste management, occupational monitoring and safety legislation. (See sample records)


5. Methods in Organic Synthesis
Use the database for graphical abstracts of key current developments in organic synthesis.  It provides informative reaction schemes, and covers new reactions and new methods.  Updated monthly with approximately 200 new reaction schemes which are categorised by five indexes: Author, Product, Reaction, Reactant and Reagent.  (See sample records)


6. Natural Product Updates
Use the database for graphical abstracts of latest developments in natural product chemistry.  Updated monthly with around 200 new graphical abstracts selected from dozen key primary journals, it includes structure diagrams, trivial and taxonomic names, molecular formulae, physical and biological properties.  (See sample records)


Science Library


Try the new 2.0 version of FindMore@NUSL(beta)

One year after the launch of FindMore@NUSL, we would like to introduce the new 2.0 beta version of our library search at!



It’s totally redesigned based on a new take on the existing library search. New features include:

  • Modern, streamlined Interface
  • Jump start your research – 50,000 entries drawn from reference sources like Wikipedia
  • Content Spotlighting – Grouped news and images makes finding what you need easier
  • Discipline filter – Easily zoom in to one of 59 standard discipline-specific (e.g Economics, Physics) content
  • Automatic query expansion – FindMore@NUSL will include additional keywords and spelling variations for common topics for better results
  • Connect to your resource librarian – Dynamically recommends appropriate librarian to contact for more help
  • Infinite scroll – Need more results? Just continue scrolling, no “next page” click needed!
  • Redesigned Advanced search – Create precise controlled searches with title, abstract, subject field searches!
  • More!


We are rolling out it on a pilot basis so do try it out and let us know what you think! Try it at  or access it from the portal.



Look out for future posts where we will show you some nifty tricks FindMore@NUSL 2.0 can do!

Music Library Celebrates YSTCM’s 10th Anniversary

The Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music marks its 10th Anniversary in 2013/2014. In celebration of this special occasion, the Music Library has put up a display to showcase the works of the conservatory’s faculty, students and alumni.


These works are available in the library and the call number or stack number may be searched from the library online catalogue, LINC.

Performances by the conservatory may be streamed from ScholarBank@NUS at


At the library portal page, click on ScholarBank@NUS at the bottom of the page.


If you have read and agree to the terms of use, click ‘I Accept’.


Enter the search term and click ‘Go’.


At the search results page, select your preferred work.


Next, click ‘View in browser’.


Click on the arrow as shown in the screenshot.


Similarly, for the sound recording, click as shown to listen.


Happy viewing/listening in ScholarBank@NUS!


New Law Databases

Here are two law databases that were added to our electronic resources collection recently:


eGazette gives the pdf version of the printed Singapore government gazette and goes as far back as 1998. It is updated daily and like the print gazette, it covers bills and acts supplement, the subsidiary legislation supplement, the industrial relations and trade marks supplements. 

You can also browse the free version at which is made available for public viewing for 5 days.


Investment arbitration reporter

The coverage starts from 2008 onwards and it tracks international arbitrations between foreign investors and their host governments and analyzes key developments in the area of international investment law. Among the areas that it covers are ICC and SCC rules, environmental, energy, mining and telecoms disputes. 

Do note that access to both databases is for NUS students and staff only.

Zaleha Othman
C J Koh Law Library

Medical Drama & Books

I happened to watch a Korean drama recently. The Third Hospital is about the rivalry between a genius neurosurgeon Kim Doo Hyun (Kim Seung Woo, first from the right) and the equally prominent oriental medicine specialist Kim Seung Hyun (Oh Ji Ho, first from the left). The two brothers–along with their own friends and teams–compete ferociously against each other because of their different views on medicine, yet do not hesitate to put aside those differences to save the lives of patients.

Pitting East again West in terms of medicine is an interesting concept that made me ponder about the role of  herbs and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) in modern society. With that in mind I dug up some interesting books in the Medical Library:


For The Layperson:

Ginseng “The divine herb”: The secrets of Chinese, Korean and Siberian ginseng (RS165 Gin.B)

Cordyceps: China’s healing mushroom (RM666 Mus.Ha)

Chinese Medicine: The web that has no weaver (R601 Kap)

A general introduction to traditional Chinese medicine (R601 Gee 2010)

Who can ride the dragon?: An exploration of the cultural roots of traditional Chinese medicine (R601 Zha 1999)

The herbs of life: Health & healing using Western & Chinese techniques (RM666 Her.T)

For the TCM Student:

Traditional Chinese medicine (R601 Tra 2011)

Chinese herbal medicines: Comparisons and characteristics (RM666 Her.Y 2002)

For the modern TCM practitioner:

Integrating East Asian medicine into contemporary healthcare (R733 Int 2012)

The way forward for Chinese medicine (R601 Way 2002) 

Chinese Medicine: Modern practice (R601 Chi 2005)

Chinese Herbal Medicine: Modern applications of traditional formulas (RM666 Her.Li 2005)


But back to the drama…

This mini Korean version of Grey’s Anatomy packs elements of modern and traditional medicine, professional rivalry, humour and hospital drama.  It also has beauties in the form of Soo Young from SNSD aka Girls Generation (second from left) who plays Lee Eujin, a cute and spunky violist; and Kim Min Jung (second from right) plays a second year resident with a care-free character. Do check out the series!

Jonathan Pradubsook
Medical Library