Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Social Science sites of the week

Here is the latest update of new and interesting web sites for social scientists

Star wars for social scientists.
Thomson Reuters has produced a summary of recent research indexed in web of science which has a star wars theme.

These include E. Bui, et al., "Is Anakin Skywalker suffering from borderline personality disorder?" Psychiatry Research, 185 (1-2): 299, 2011.

For more links on recent articles and research covering the economic and cultural studies of star wars see our recent blog posting.

Spanish elections.
Our recent election posting links to the news stories and places where analysis of the results can be found.

Saudi Arabia elects its first women councillors.
We have links to the results and analysis on the election blog.

Year in Twitter 2015
Official website from Twitter where you can trace key trends, most influential stories and individuals
See also an annual review on open access the Creative Commons report 2015
See more reports on trends in Media and communication using our Media scoop.it page

Open the Door: social science research for development and a sustainable future
New publication from the European Commission. Download the full text in pdf from the website. Provides descriptions and examples of key EU research programmes in these fields. Each entry include details of partners, description and outcome.

How do the media cover international migration stories?
The report, Moving Stories, is published by the Ethical Journalism Network and reviews media coverage of migration in the European Union and in 14 countries across the globe. It finds that in general coverage is poor. It refers to a concentration on sensationalism, a failure to highlight the coming Syrian refugee crisis and a sudden focus on humanitarian crisis after the death of a child refugee.

On the 18th December the United Nations marked international Migrants day

European commission statement
IOM Statement
The International Organization for Migration launched a midnight vigil to mark the occasion. They also used twitter https://twitter.com/iamamigrant to collect positive stories of migrants and record the vigil. Further case studies and stories can also be viewed on their associated website
British Red Cross Positive images – educational tool kit for teachers.
International Committee Red Cross- Pushed to the limits photoessays shows the hardship that pushed people to become migrants.
IFRC petition to protect humanity by protecting migrants

For up to date statistics see the Global Migration Data Analysis Centre this produced infographics and links to major publications such as the IOM World Migration report

How far have we come? lessons from the 1965 Race relations Act
Free access to this collection of essays from the Runnymede Trust. The 26 page pamphlet covers the socio-legal context of the act, the implementation of the act in the 21st century and the relationship between the act and the Magna Carta.

Bedroom tax
The Final Report from the Evaluation of the Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy (often referred to as the 'bedroom tax'), carried out jointly by CCHPR and Ipsos Mori, has been published. The report explores the effects of the cuts to Housing Benefit for working age social housing tenants who are deemed to be under-occupying their home. It found hardship to the extent that some clients had cut back on food.

For background information on the policy see the House of Commons Briefing paper on under occupancy of social housing
Advice for consumers from Shelter.
Other research include:
University of Manchester qualitative study on children in Manchester which found a negative impact on schooling.
Briefings from the Chartered Institute of housing
National Federation of Housing

Christmas digital archives
Try browsing the New York Philharmonic digital archives
Which contains for examples of Christmas carol concerts . It contains the full archive of all printed programmes from 1842 onwards.plus numerous photographs and 1,767 scores marked by Leonard Bernstein, Andre Kostelanetz, and others
Historic images of Christmas cards from the V& A museum collections
Geffreye Museum Christmas Past gallery which has historic images of 400 years of social history of the Christmas decoration of homes.

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

The social science of star wars! Enjoy our links

As the new star wars film opens - to great anticipation here are some special links for social scientists!
See some comment and links to historic resources on the BFI blog .search their library catalogue for references to printed materials (books and journal articles) covering all aspects of the film

 the Star Wars project for an example of project which is gathering data on fans and popular culture, tracing the reaction to the film. The official star wars site also has a news section which links to comment and articles on its influence and appearance in popular culture

This research from Cass Sunstein, Harvard Law school considers how Star Wars illuminates constitutional law.

However other researchers have focused on the economics of Star Wars

Zachery Feinstein from the University of Washington in st Louis recently analysed financial risk in the Star wars galaxy. Download his results from arxiv.org!

Look for references to more working papers and articles covering economics and cultural studies on Repec. Many are free online

For a more conventional analysis of the franchise read the FT report. LSR staff and students have access via FT.com

Box office numbers from Nash Information services has data on costs and income for each film in the series

Independent quotes research that the latest film will add 150 million to the economy

view the most recent accounts from Pinewood studios online

The Guardian charts the changing nature of box office promotion over the time span of the series

LSE students have access to Euromonitor which has some reports on the franchise. Other databases for industry analysis include

ABI/INform Complete

Business Source Complete
Leading business research database which provides access to the text of several thousand journals covering business, management, human resources, finance and market research topics. Find articles on the media industry.

Friday, 11 December 2015

social science sites of the week

Here is the latest round up of new and interesting sites for social scientists

Emoji has been voted the word of the year
Find out more by checking our latest blog posting which has examples of recent research on its impact on language and the emotions

Ofcom Communications Market international report 2015
Download the full text to get useful data on mobile phones TV, radio usage comparing the Uk and other nations. It includes pricing , revenue access and usage. The report states that British viewers are more likely to se catch up Tv than elsewher
Around 44% had used catch up in the last week

See more reports on the Internet and changing nature of media on our scoop.it page

Also in the news this year elections in Venezuela
Get the results and research from our blog

Employability and UK students

interesting reports this week. The Higher Education Academy annual engagement survey asks students how they have developed. How much effort they put into study, how much support they received and what skills they developed. This includes such factors as becoming an independent learner
It is based on 24 institutions and over 24,000 students. It found employability skills relatively low
Hepi also published Employability: Degrees of Value, an occasional paper calling for higher education to improve graduate employability.
Research by the UK government has tried to understand what employers want from graduates. They also maintain the official Graduate Market statistics.
For a different perspective from CIPD see a recent report on over qualification in the graduate jobs market.

For a worldwide ranking of graduate employability see the QS site which also has details of its methodology.
Our higher education scoop.it page provides regularly updated links to recent free reports online. http://www.scoop.it/t/higher-education-news-for-libraries-and-librarians

Royal Voluntary Service bulletin archive 1939-1974
Free access to over 400 issues covering post World war two from this major NGO which has been involved in refugee relief poverty relief in the post war period.
All 419 issues of the Bulletin/Magazine can be found on the online catalogue and are free to search view and download find out more about the history of the magazine from their blog posting. They include vintage recipes accounts of women’s charitable work during WWII. and post war work with refugees and the poor. See this example from the 1940s which describes recipes for night workers including cheese crispies, corned beef rissoles and turnovers! .

The magazine closed in 1974 with a final issue which advertised Christmas gifts including 10 wrvs cards with stamps for 37 for 10 including postage and a pocket diary for 33 and a half pence

The best way to discover the Bulletins is to do an advanced search on the catalogue.
You can pull up a list of all 419 issues by choosing “WVS Bulletin” from the category drop down, and then pressing the search button. This way lets you pick issue and you can browse through

World pollution map
Following on from the Paris climate change conference (still time to check our resources) Plume Labs has released a world pollution map which visualises the state of air quality worldwide. It is updated every day with open access environmental data from 11,000 weather stations worldwide. Ad covers 40 nations. Full access via a specialist website see this example from Shanghai for the visually pleasing disaply for the public and some data on trends.

National Socialism in Austria: Ephemeral films archive project
Based on the collections of the Austrian Film Museum, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for History and Society, Ephemeral Films Project: National Socialism in Austria has digitized, annotated, and made accessible 50 ephemeral films related to the history of the Nazi period and the Holocaust in Austria they include amateur films from holocaust victims. Austrian newsreel films and adverts. The latter show examples of propaganda . The site has a wealth of supporting materials setting the items in context including timelines, maps and factual information on places and events. Many films are searchable and have transcripts.

The national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid has launched a free coercive control toolkit
supported by Avon, to coincide with the Home Office’s implementation of the coercive control law download this tool kit which explains to parents and children the signs of coercive control and how to report it. Find more about the law

Who are the most powerful disabled people in the Uk?
Find out by consulting the new top 100 power list just compiled by the Shaw Trust and Powerlist it has categories for the arts, business and media. Each entry has a brief biography

Also just launched our scoop.it page on disability issues which will be linking to stories. Reports relating to disability, students and education

Finally Christmas puzzles for spies !

This year GCHQ has created a cryptograph card for its members which it has released to the public solve the cryptograph and donate to charity

Monday, 7 December 2015

Emoji is word of the year 2015- here is where to find more research

Oxford Dictionaries word of the year for 2015 is emoji
The official blog has some background on the origins of the word and why it was chosen.
 but what do you know about emojis?

Here are some other useful sources for academic research

Emoji's are 'pictographs. Originally used in Japanese electronic messages, many characters have now been incorporated into Unicode 

 Emoji and communication
A recent study by Professor V. Evans, from Bangor University, concluded that it is the fastest growing language in the UK with over 80% using it. Amongst 18-25 year olds, 72% even found it easier to communicate emotions using symbols rather than words. Try his website for a fun video on how to be a master as well as other papers on the linguistics of emoji 

A recent debate from ABC radio which featured linguist Ben Zimmer and Fred Benenson, who 'translated Moby Dick into Emoji, gives an introduction to the issues. Tyler Schnoebelen, Stanford University has published a paper examining the uses of noses in messages. He argues that that emoji is a type of language with clear variations in the use of emoticons by age, gender and region. This echoed an earlier paper on text messaging by Chad Tossell et al which found that while women use emoticons more frequently, men use a wider range of images.Neuroscientists such as Owen Churches have also considered how 'smileys' are interpreted by the brain.(LSE access).

· Do Emojis make people happy?
Interestingly a number of researchers have focused on this issue. A University of Missouri-St. Louis study which compared work and social emails containing emoticons found that those containing smiley faces were perceived more positively. An article from the most recent issue of Computers in Human Behavior found that customers who chatted online with agents scored those using emoticons more highly. There have also been studies on their value accepting negative feedback in the workplace .

the conversation blog has discussion of further research
LSE staff/ students can locate recent articles using psychinfo this is available via Ebsco and you can cross search it easily with SocIndex (sociology) Communication and mass media complete, Business source Complete (for discussion of use in marketing)

Social science sites of the week

Climate Change
As the World Meterological Association has recorded the warmest year on record The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 or CMP 11 is being held in Paris from November 30 to December 11. It will be the 21st yearly session of the Conference of the Parties to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
See some useful links on our recent blog posting.

World AIDS day 2015
Also occurred this week. The 2015 campaign urges people to rethink HIV stereotypes.
This is necessary as the People Living with HIV Stigma Index 2015 survey (the global study of the impact of stigma), revealed that one in five felt pressure from employers or co-workers to disclose their status. Since the project began in 2008 more than 50 countries have completed the study. The website provides free access to individual country reports and data on the methodology used.
Challenge yourself with Biomed centrals quiz on what you know about AIDS research
The Terence Higgins Trust has statistics about HIV aids and stigma in the UK
UNAIDS has worldwide and country level epidemiology reports and data. AidsInfo enables you to chart your own map of indicators.
Art Lives is a digital archives which showcases the work of a number of Artists who were victims.

Is your bank under stress?
Read the latest report from the Bank of England for 2015 – the tests ‘assess the resilience of UK banks and building societies to a deterioration in global economic conditions.’ The website provides details of the methods used.
The European Banking Authority has details of Europe wide tests and differences in their methodology.

The Journal Coverage of Web of Science and Scopus: a Comparative Analysis
Philippe Mongeon, Adele Paul-Hus On arXiv.org
is article considers the journals indexed in both sources examining their coverage of different subject areas, languages and regions of the world. As they are used for calculating bibliometric scores what they index can have a significant impact on the resulting H-Index citation scores. It generally finds greater coverage of scientific rather than social science titles and of English language rather than non English language.
See more reports on higher education teaching and learning using our scoop.it page

Africa in Fact
Good Governance Africa are an organisation based in Africa which aims to improve government performance on the continent. Its website offers free access to its Africa in Fact publication for the last few years this contains articles discussing governance and government management in Africa.
Other useful resources on standards of African governance include:

Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) . This measures governance using 93 indicators. These include human rights, safety and the rule of law, human development, economic opportunities. Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index measures perception people have of levels of corruption in specific areas of the world. World Bank CPIA report describes the progress 38 African countries are making on strengthening the quality of their economic, social and political policies and institutions.

Maritime Trade Economic history source
The Sound Toll Registers (STR) are the accounts of the toll which the king of Denmark levied on the shipping through the Sound, the strait between Sweden and Denmark. They have been conserved (with gaps in the first decades) for the period from 1497 to 1857, when the toll was abolished. From 1574 on, the series is almost complete.
The STR are held by Danish National Archives (Rigsarkivet) in Copenhagen. And scanned as part of an ongoing digitisation project. They are a great source for economic history of trade in these areas of Europe providing insight into shipping, cargoes  and activity in certain ports. The scanned primary registers can be a bit difficult to read but are a good searchable primary source and the handwriting is amazing even if you don’t understand the language . They can be used to generate basic statistics on passages. The workshop and papers section is especially good has it provides access to full text research on the registers see for example this paper on the salt trade in the 17th-19th century. Note some features of the site are offered in Danish only.

Digital Asia Hub - Launched
A new independent, non-profit Internet and society research think tank based in Hong Kong. It is supported by The Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University and seeks to discuss digital society in Asian context. The site has just launched with a useful collection of essays grouped into five broad chapters: “Connecting the Unconnected,” “Being Online,” “Digital Economy,” “Governance, Rights, and Policy,” and future perspectives (“Onward”).


Created by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This new website seeks to improve transparency of Twitter, Google and Facebook in take down policies and to understand their nature and impact. It encourage users to report instances, collects news stories. Maintains a bibliography of online readings.
Also on this topic a recent report on public opinion about free speech can be downloaded from the Pew Research center website It surveyed people from 38 nations on their attitudes to free speech, freedom of the press and free speech on the internet. Did they feel some topics should be censored download the report to find out more!

Uk Disability History Month
Started on 22nd November. This year its website provides free access to a collection of resources on disability then and now there are a series of film clips showing changing attitudes in film from 1909 to the present day.

Get in the mood for Christmas with these advent calendars

University of West London has 12 apps of Christmas ideal if you want to get started with those technical skills. Excellent posts on what they do an how they might be used in education.

University of Sheffield special collections. See the recipe for Christmas cake from 1903