Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Today is World Water Day - check out our free resources for academic research

World Water day is marked on the 22nd March
In 2018 the theme is Nature for Water – it  explores how we can use nature to overcome the water challenges of the 21st century including floods, polution, drought
This fact sheet from UN water describes the problems and also the concept of natural solutions.

The 2018 World Water Development report describes in technical detail Nature based solutions.
World Water council is an international organisation whose publications address issues relating to water policy and the environment
WaterLex is an international public interest development organization based in Geneva. It is a UN-Water Partner with UN ECOSOC special consultative status. Its website has publications on human rights and access to water.It also has a legal database of case law, policy documents and reports online

data on water supply
The Food and Agriculture Organisation’s global information system on water and agriculture.
IWMI Tools and Resources
Data, maps, and drought monitoring tools from the International Water Management Institute.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Today is French Language day - celebrate with these free resources

French language day

Journée de la langue française is a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate multiculturalism and diversity.The official website has some UN resources on the benefits of language learning.

Here are our favourite free French language resources.


library of the Institut Français library in London. offers free acess (after registration ) to books, newspapers, articles and language learning materials


the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. supports this free site which offers acces to over 1 million rare books, journals and images

Persée is a digital library of open access, mostly French-language scholarly journals, established by the Ministry of National Education of France. The website launched in 2005. The resource is maintained by the École normale supérieure de Lyon, French National Centre for Scientific Research, and University of Lyon.


Search for full text theses online

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

International school meals day - academic resources

15th March is International School Meals Day
this new day was launched in 2018  with the aim of raising awareness of good nutrition for all children regardless of their circumstances.It is managed by Children in Scotland with the support of the Scottish Government and other partners national and international.

UK has school food standards which came into force in 2015. They can be read on the School Food Plans website.they include check lists and portion sizes
In 2015 this thesis by Suzanne Spence evaluated their impact.
The UK government supplies data on school meals take up rates and free school meals in its statistical bulletins

for information on children's diet read the state of the nation report from the Children's Food Trust
one of the findings on favourite meals in 2016 was pizza and pasta!
they also have findings that if children eat better at school they do better at school.
This echoes findings from the British government on the positive impact of free school meals on children's attainment

For international information see the World Food Programme
It includes annual reports on the state of school food and feeding worldwide.

Friday, 9 March 2018

"We are not going to give away patterns of woolly waistcoats for men or hints on making ottomans out of egg-boxes’ - international womens day

International Women Day is celebrated on the 8th March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women.

This year the theme is press for progress.

So here are some free examples of women’s writings which pressed for progress as selected by the LSE Library.

"We are not going to give away patterns of woolly waistcoats for men or hints on making ottomans out of egg-boxes’

Wrote the editor of the Vote

December 2nd 1909 (page 67) She argues that the ordinary women’s newspapers are based on false boundaries of what men think is women’s role – housekeeping, clothes, and cookery

Instead the Vote aimed to offer stimulating writing on a wider range of topics. Certainly in this issue the largest article is coverage of the old Bailey trial of two suffragettes Mrs Chapin and Miss Neilans who were accused of tampering with a ballot box

The Vote was published by the Women's Freedom League from 1909-33.
The Women's Freedom League was formed in 1907 by former members of the Women's Social and Political Union who sought to create an activist organisation militating for change but without advocating violence. The WFL favoured peaceful lawbreaking such as demonstration, disruption, and refusal to pay taxes and complete the census.. Archival papers are held at the Women’s Library@LSE. You can explore the issues free on the Google website

‘We are not attempting the impossible. To try to explain Women's Liberation in one quick, easy lesson would be both ludicrous and wrong.’

Wrote the editor in the first issue of Spare Rib

Spare Rib was a leading women’s liberation periodicals of the 1970s. You can view the full archive online via the British Library website. Paper issues are held by the Women’s Library@LSE

The first issue cost 17.5 pence . It asked what is a feminist? And had an interview with footballer George Best plus a cookery feature where (pre microwave) you could mix up a chicken casserole in a pan with draught cider (page 36) or save time by making a banana and raw cabbage salad!

Further research
Find more about the women’s Library@LSE. It includes books, magazines and archives from UK and some overseas women. In terms of the latter it incorporates the Sadd-Brown Library with books and periodicals by and about women of the Commonwealth nations.

Explore contemporary 19th/ early 20th century women’s writings in the online .these resources are offered to visitors

The Gerritsen collection - an international women's history resource containing rare books and journals.

Independent voices: a collection of the alternative press. Which has great examples of women’s liberation organisations from the USA from the 1970s online

Communication and Mass Media complete – has journal articles covering women’s journalism and use of the media.

Explore our Gender Subject Guide.

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

Economics of the Oscars

As the winners of the Academy awards were announced this week

Here are some social science sites for locating materials on the economics of the Oscars.

The Independent has an interesting section of facts on impacts on careers which was published in 2016

Statista has a fact file of data on the awards. which subscribers can download.

2001 academic paper simply titled “what’s an Oscar worth?”. According to the authors, led by Prof. Randy A. Nelson of Colby College, winning the Oscar for Best Picture on average boosted box office sales by $18.1 million.

Box office mojo compares income of box office hits with winners 2010-2016.

The highest grosser of 2016 was "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story", which generated box office revenue of over 532 million U.S. dollars. The Oscar winner in that year, "Moonlight", generated 27.85 million U.S. dollars at the domestic box office. Colombia Economics review discussed this and other sources in a useful article in 2017

Film Industry data in terms of the general contribution of the film industry as a whole to the economy.

BFI has some data on contribution to GDP. The creative industries website also has data on TV and film production companies in the UK

the ONS has a good visualisation about the increasing strength of the UK film industry.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Today is world Book day- here are some recommended resources for social scientists

Today is World Book day- here are some recomemnded resources for social scientists on literacy and reading. The official website has some resources for colouring and reading if you are snowed in!

for social scientists here are some academic resources.

Literacy rates
UNESCO  has data on literacy rates by country.
It also monitors progress in International Reading LiteracyStudy (PIRLS)
In 2016, female students outperformed their male counterparts in 48 countries and dependent territories by an average of 19 points
If you search the website you will also find other documents about reading programmes and the impact of mobile technology on reading in developing countries

The OECD Measures reading perfomance of children via the International PISA study. Find out where children read the best

How many books do people read?
Statista quotes an example from a survey of UK adults (methodology provided) that 22% of those who read in their spare time read up to 10 books per year.
A survey by the Reading Agency found that many UK adults felt they were too busy to read
The Pew research centre  published a report in 2016 on adults who didnt read. Find out what percentage of people had not read a book in the last 12 months.They also have some interesting reports on ebooks and the use of technology and reading in the USA
In 2012 the Department for Education published a research study on reading for pleasure in children which highlighted trends and benefits.
 The National Literacy Trust has published some reports on acces to books, school libraries and their impact on reading in children.

What are the benefits of reading?
The Reading Agency quotes a number of studies on economic, health and well-being and educational impacts on  children
The National Literacy Trust - interesting study on the link between literacy and life expectancy- eg.
'A boy born in Stockton Town Centre (which has some of the most serious literacy challenges in the country) has a life expectancy 26.1 years shorter than a boy born in North Oxford (which has some of the fewest literacy challenges) '
Many other research reports on literacy levels and reading skills can also be downloaded from their website

Search for more articles and books on literacy unsing the UNESDOC database 
The IOE UK Digital Education Repository Archive (DERA) is a digital archive of documents published electronically by government and other relevant bodies in the areas of education, training, children and families.