Friday, 29 January 2016

Social science sites of the week

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

Holocaust Remembrance Day
27th January has been designated as  as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust by the United Nations as it commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp . Our special blog posting has links to resources for background information as well as a focus on the 2016 theme : Don’t stand by.
Flames for Humanities Heroes is a national art project which saw 12 groups of students across the UK create artwork that tells the stories of heroes who refused to stand by when faced by Nazi atrocities. View examples of their stunning work online

Presidential Elections in Haiti
Run off presidential elections in Haiti have been postponed for the third time. Use the links from our special election blog posting to find out more on the background and impact of this.

Councils struggling to cope with homeless people
This is the finding from the latest annual review of the extent and nature of homelessness in England published this week by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation as part of its Homelessness monitor series. The homelessness monitor is a five year study (2011-2015), funded by Crisis and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, that provides an independent analysis of the impact of recent economic and policy developments in the UK on homelessness. There are particular concerns about young homeless people
Also launched this week from Crisis as part of a new campaign Crisis- Lead London Home Manifesto for
single homeless people 2016 
They include rough sleeping, families in bed and breakfast accommodation
St Mungos publishes research on the lives of homeless people as well as policy issues
Homelessness in Europe FEANTSA is the European Federation of National Organisations Working with the Homeless is an umbrella of not-for-profit organisations which participate in or contribute to the fight against homelessness in Europe. It maintains the European Observatory on homelessness
Which offers free access to the European Journal of Homelessness
UN Demographic yearbook has statistics on household characteristics by country. Most recent covering 2014. This includes the homeless.

In which British city do people earn the most?
Find out this and other fascinating facts and figures on the economic and social indicators of Britain’s major cities by consulting the latest Cities outlook 2016  which has just been published by the Centre for Cities.
It also has a great associated data tool which enables you to generate and compare your own map. 17 main indicators are covered including
Population, Business dynamics, Productivity , Innovation , Employment, Skills, Wages , Housing,  Environment, Digital connectivity

Just launched by the Internet Archive to provide a resource for the 2016 US elections.
This fabulous  free online digital library resource where reporters can find political TV ads from key primary states in the 2016 elections. Each ad has its own page with metadata files that can be downloaded by researchers. There are also sections on the site which fact check the facts. It is possible to browse ads by candidate, sponsor . There are currently over 50 ads for Donald Trump.

Parents, Teens and digital monitoring
Find out what percentage of American parents surveyed checked their teenagers Facebook accounts, texts and emails in this enlightening new study from Pew Internet Research Centre  
The EU Kids online research network website contains a wealth of reports and data on children’s internet use. Its 2014 report 

The Berkman Digital Literacy Platform provides free access to resources for educators, parents and the public covering online safety, privacy, information quality, creativity, and copyright.

World Humanitarian Data And Trends 2015
The United Nations Office For the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA). Has just released the latest annual report which has overall country and regional data. The full text can be
downloaded from the website. A review of natural and conflict related disasters in 2014. Topics covered include overall funding and capacity., displacement , data collection. There is a companion site which contains visualizations and instagrams of key facts and figures. Also valuable for exploring the trends is the UNOCHA sponsored Humanitarian Data Exchange project website. Also valuable for exploring the trends is the UNOCHA sponsored Humanitarian Data Exchange project website launched in 2014 it also provides free access to some other datasets from research bodies covering conflict, disasters food security.
Why Ethnic Minorities see immigration differently.
As the prime minister announces plans to require Muslim women to learn English, this new report from the Runnymede Trust gives the perspectives of BME Ethnic Minority groups on immigration to the UK. This covers  also considers attitudes towards integration.It is based on qualitative interviews with 7 focus groups involving 65 people.

Get more links to recent grey literature and reports covering social policy, economic policy and UK government publications on our current awareness blog which is updated daily.

New York Public Library digital Collections enhanced access     
From January 2016 the New York Public library provided enhanced public domain access to its online collections which include thousands of stunning historical images. See this announcing blog post which has lists of possible uses. These include usage of bulk API  data.  A great example is this 5th Avenue now and then which compares 1911 with 2015 Google street views. The Green Book is a shocking example of racial segregation shown in maps between 1936-1944 it listed hotels restaurants and other public buildings where black travellers were welcome. The site also has many subject based collections – including Gay and lesbian history
Posters of the Russian Civil War and fashion illustrations and advertising
Also this week as part of a new exhibition the Bank of England Archive has released some of its historic photographs online. Some fascinating examples on the BBC website show the changing workplace. There is also a free Flickr site      

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Holocaust Remembrance day 2016 - useful educational resources

27th January has been designated as  as an annual International Day of Commemoration in memory of the victims of the Holocaust,by the United Nations as it commemorates the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp 

Find out more about the Holocaust 
the United States Holocaust Museum has an online encyclopedia where you can get informative articles with facts about the Holocaust. This includes a timeline of events  
Animated maps with geographies of the Holocaustsurvivor testimonies
there is also a student resource center with guided activities for school students.

Yad Vashem- is  an enormous resource center created for the Jewish people. Its resource center provides free access to a wealth of online resources including diaries, letters and multimedia films

Holocaust Memorial Trust has resource backs and lessons plans for UK teachers

The theme for Holocaust Memorial Day 2016 is Don’t stand by - See more at:
 The theme for 2016 is : Don't stand by

Flames for Humanities Heroes is a national art project which saw 12 groups of students across the UK create artwork that tells the stories of heroes who refused to stand by when faced by Nazi atrocities.View examples of their stunning work online

Use these resources to understand more about the nature of anti-Semitism in the world today and why we should not stand by.

The Community Security Trust is a charity that acts to support the Jewish community by campaigning against racism . It collects regular data from January-June 2015 it recorded a shocking 473 antisemitic incidents a rise of 53% on the same period 2014.
It is therefore perhaps not surprising that this week a report by the Education select committee found too few teachers trained in Holocaust education. Read the full analysis and recommendations in the report

ADL Global 100. In 2014 The Anti-Defamation League commissioned the  First International poll to research attitudes and opinions toward Jews in over 100 countries around the world. in 2015 it provided an update on 19 nations.In the Uk in 2015 - 21% answered that Jews have too much power in the business world. Get the full data and methodology used from the website
European Agency for Fundamental Rights also has some data and reports on the nature and extent of anti-semitism in EU nations.

Further research

LSE staff and students can use Library search to locate books and journal articles. A good example is Arad Yitzhak, Israel Gutman, and Abraham Margaloit, (1999.) Documents on the Holocaust: Selected Sources on the Destruction of the Jews of Germany and Austria, Poland, and the Soviet Union which contains over 200 translation of primary resource documents .
Documents on British Policy Overseas contains primary source materials from the Foreign Office. These include letters and telegrams from officials concerning evidence of conditions in the German concentration camps. National Archives has other UK government documents.
Locate journal articles using Historical Abstracts, and ISI Web of Science. 

Friday, 22 January 2016

Social science sites of the week

Here is the latest update of social science sites of the week

Taiwan elects first woman president
To commemorate this historic event look at the links to news reports  and background academic assessments on our recent blog posting.

Only 7% of people describe themselves as feminists
According to the results from the 2016 Fawcett society state of the nation report  only 4% men , 9% women  polled labelled themselves as feminists. When asked to describe what the word meant to them a shocking 26% of the words used were negative eg irrelevant, bitchy while 22% used positive terms such as strong willed
This was based on market research Survation polled 8165 UK residents aged 18+ between 30th
November and 3rd December 2015. The survey was
conducted via online panel. other topics covered include attitudes towards gender equality, perceptions of gender identity,
see more reports on Gender on our page

However on a more positive note
EY Senior Civil Service Women Leaders Index found that the UK ranked 4th in G20 countries amongst the representation of women in senior government official posts. The highest percentage is Canada at 46.1 the UK has 38.7%. However none had 50%
Download the full text of the report to find out more data on pay gap differentials between Uk government departments

LGBT Equality in the Workplace
Find out the best place to work in the UK by consulting the latest annual Stonewall Equality Index. The methodology examines 10 key areas: distinct areas of employment policy and practice, including networking groups, career development, training and community engagement. Interesting M15 and the security services are this year ranked top ! The Times Higher has conducted an analysis of the figures and comments on the highest ranked universities.

An economy for the 1%?
As the World Economic  Forum opens at Davos this week with the release of its 2016 Global Risks report. The risks are divided into five categories: economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological.. Oxfam released a report that showed shows that the wealth of the poorest half of the world's population - that's 3.6 billion people - has fallen by a trillion dollars since 2010. However, not all commentators accept these see the criticism from the Look at poverty and Inequality data on the World Bank website. This enables some worldwide trends from  1981 onwards to be tracked.

How and Why you should manage your research data
A new concise guide for researchers from JISC which gives a basic introduction to the data management cycle with links to free online courses and advice. The emphasis is upon why research data management is important and what they can do to get started.

What went wrong  in the 2015 election?
View the preliminary findings from the inquiry in to the polls ordered by the British Polling Council . Its terms of reference and methodology can be viewed on the website . The BBC has also been discussing the topic this week.
Also released this week Margaret Beckettis internal  investigation of the Labour Party failure . Useful response on this from the News Statesman. LabourList (Party supporters) . Prospect magazine Labour uncut blog
From a different political viewpoint

New LGBT Archive
“U.S. Homophile Internationalism: is a new online exhibit which can be found on the website It provides free access to essays and articles from a range of magazines from the 1950s and 1960s which represented and provided access to contributions about and from  homosexuality and homosexuals from different region of the world including Russia, Asia and Africa. The exhibit focuses on the years from 1953 to 1964 and it addresses three of the most important U.S. homophile magazines of the 1950s and 1960s: ONE, Mattachine Review, and The Ladder.

Florence Nightingale letters online.
Free access to this marvellous resource which has been created as an international collaboration.
effort between the Florence Nightingale Museum in London, England, the Boston University Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, the Royal College of Nursing and the Wellcome Library. It is possible to search by keyword or browse by data and or theme. Key topics include: history of public health care,  hospitals, nursing military nursing, health care of women, For instance see this example where she discusses the role of women nurses in military hospitals and an unsent letter on a similar theme

Wikipedia celebrates 15th birthday
Get some facts and figures on the most edited articles etc from an official website on the history. Did you know that the first photo on Wikipedia was a pair of quail!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Social science sites of the week

In the news this week: sad death of David Bowie

Our recent blog posting linked to some materials on his branding and celebrity status

New Alcohol guidelines.
Get the facts and access to some background scientific data on our research blog.
See if the policies are evidence based in this review from the Alliance for Useful Evidence
Find out how much you really drink - how many units and calories you consume (what they equal in burgers and exercise!) by using the Drink aware app (Note this may still have the older guidelines for men). It can help you set goals with rewards.

Do extroverts earn more?
Interesting report released this week by the Sutton Trust which examines the link between personality, aspirations, career prospects and socioeconomic status. It finds that people with extrovert personalities are more likely to earn more. They are also less likely to come from poorer backgrounds. Read the full text and find out what methodology it used from the website.

Feminism in the School curriculum.
This week MPs discussed the proposal for feminism to be dropped from the A Level politics curriculum. See the draft curriculum from 2015.
Read the discussion in parliament held on 11th January from the official Hansard. In the debate the government minister admitted: We recognise that the work of female political thinkers was not given due weight in the draft content. The final content will set out clearly those female political thinkers whose work should be studied.
Reaction from TUC
The petition from June Eric-Udorie
Womens Equality Party reaction
Fawcett society reaction.
Jacqueline Guderley – cofounder of @stemettes inspiring girls in STENM careers

Also on our page this week
Is History written by men about men?
Interesting survey by Slate Magazine. They surveyed 614 books published in 2014 by 80 publishing houses (USA) and found that 75.8% had male authors

State of the Union 2016
Read the full transcript of President Obama’s State of the Union speech on the White House website
Politico has a video of the address and main responses.

The American Presidency Project has an archive of past speeches. It also has facts and figures on the length and number of words in each of the speeches.6016 in 2016! Atlantic magazine mapped the frequency of words in all speeches prior to 2015 giving insight into changing political rhetoric.

US National Archives has some historic images of speeches

Recent presidential speeches, drafts and recordings have also been made available online via
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum .
Go directly to the audio recordings 1920-1945 they include state of the union addresses, fireside chats and discussions of the New deal

Technical Platform on the Measurement and Reduction of Food Loss and Waste (FAO)
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the CGIAR research program on Policies, Institutions, and Markets (PIM) launched in December a new information-sharing and coordination network involving diverse stakeholders where partners will work together to enhance the measurement of food loss and waste, exchange knowledge and information, and share best practices to tackle the global challenges of food loss and waste.It provides free access to news and international resources topics includes statistics and resources on measuring food waste.
Wrap provides free access to the latest statistics on household and retail waste in the Uk. It also maintains a food waste resources portal

World Internet Report 2015 published.

The Center for the Digital Future has issued the latest annual edition of the World Internet Project Report
20 nations are covered: Australia, Bahrain, Chile, China, Egypt, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Poland, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Uruguay. Findings cover 10 broad subject areas:
Internet Users and Non-users
Information Seeking Online
Access to Online Services
The Internet and Social Connections
Politics and the Internet
Media Use, Reliability, and Importance
User-generated Content and Social Media
Online Entertainment
Online Purchasing and Personal Privacy
Online Communication
All reports from 2000 onwards can be downloaded from the website. More reports on Internet usage in the UK can be obtained from Ofcom and the Oxford Internet studies.

Because of the wintry weather. A fabulous historic image of snow flakes from the magnificent Royal Society picture library. Fourteen studies of snowflakes by Robert Hooke, from a paper submitted to the Royal Society. 1662

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

David Bowie - master of marketing? see some social science research

This week saw the sad death of David Bowie
One aspect of his career was his skill of reinvention.
The Conversation discusses aspects of this in some postings from UK academics.
Paul du Noyer Mojo magazine reprints some interviews from 1990, 2002/2003 with Bowie on his website
New Music Express obituary

Toni Eagar and Andrew Lindridge (2014) ,"Becoming Iconic: David Bowie From Man to Icon" (available for free download from Association for Consumer Research website discusses his creation as a celebrity icon and brand
LSE staff and students can read this article from the Journal of Marketing 2014 which examines his branding and readaptation throughout his career. Also worth exploring is Deakin university research repository which has references to articles about Bowie from celebrity studies titles. Some can be downloaded in full text. These include: Cinque, Toija and Redmond, Sean 2013, Who is he now? The unearthly David Bowie, Celebrity studies journal, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 377-379.

see more examples of his promotional videos on the official YouTube channel 
examples of album covers and promotional photographs on the V&A collections website.
Campaign magazine highlights his contribution to marketing campaigns by showcasing 5 online ads.

LSE staff and students can use Library search to search for more articles on the economics and sociology and cultural studies of David Bowie. try restricting the search to Ebsco to find articles from Ebsco databases including Socindex and Mass media and communication complete

Monday, 11 January 2016

New Alcohol guidelines- get the facts and research data

Last week the UK introduced new health guidelines on the drinking of alcohol.
Our academic links can help you understand this and explore in more details research and statistics related to alcohol and health

Read the full text of the government consultation. The supporting documents give lists of the medical evidence behind the decision. These include the Health Evidence Expert Group report
and University of Sheffield specialist alcohol research unit.
The Guardian has created a useful infographic which makes a comparison internationally with guidelines from other nations . This shows considerable variation in levels. A point also raised by research published by University of Surrey researchers in 2012

Alcohol and health - medical evidence
Try searching NHS evidence for references to guidelines and research studies covering alcohol related disorders. There are also studies on the economic cost of alcohol to NHS services. 
Cancer Research UK has a list of references to articles that support the link between alcohol and certain cancers.
Search Pubmed for references to articles in academic and medical journals covering this topic.
Also try Findings which is supported by Alcohol UK edited by Mike Ashton which alerts to the latest research reports.

Who drinks- statistics
What percentage of the population drink regularly? find the data using these resources.
The Office for National Statistics  Opinions and lifestyle survey regularly asks questions on adult drinking habits
Health Survey for England 2014 also records levels
Smoking drinking and drug use amongst young people. 
in 2015 the OECD published a report on the high economic and social cost of alcohol consumption. It found that highly educated women tended to drink more.
 While overall consumption has decreased in OECD nations in the last 20 years, it has risen for educated people. Get the full facts from OECDilibrary (LSE)
The Institute of Alcohol Studies has summaries of recent research on consumption trends and discussion of their significance and causes.

Practical advice
Find out how much you really drink and how much you save by cutting back by using the Drink aware app Note this may still have the older guidelines for men
NHS choices guidance and advice.

LSE staff and student scan also use our subscription based medical databases. These include:
Web of science.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Social Science sites of the week

Happy new year
Welcome to 2016 with the latest update of new and interesting sites for social scientists

New Year’s resolutions.
Try  the RSA social brain quiz to find out what new year’s resolution you should choose and how you can stick to it.
It is based on the findings of a recent Royal Society report Easier Said than done – why we struggle with healthy behaviours and what can be done about it. This 33 page report has some practical tips on positive lifestyle changes to encourage healthy walking, eating, sleeping and talking which are based on psychological research
See some links to insights from psychology research on our recent blog posting.

Central African Republic elections.
Elections finally took place on the 31st December. Find out more about the human rights background plus get news reports and  press releases from the 2015 election observation teams on our elections blog.

Fat Cat Tuesday
On the 5th January 2016 top bosses salaries  FTSE CEOS will already have exceeded the average annual pay of many workers (£27,645) according to the High Pay Centre
Price Waterhouse Cooper conducts regular surveys on the state of executive pay in the UK
According to a recent survey from CIPD 71% of employees think CEO pay is too high in the UK.
In an associated report on the behavioural impact of high wages on CEO behaviour and motivation CIPD recommended that pay rises became evidence based.
NCVO conducted an inquiry into executive pay in the charity sector. The final report from 2014 can be downloaded from their website
Norton Rose Fulbright maintain a UK Corporate Governance portal which as a really useful collection of links to recent reports from the UK government, trade associations and other bodies on executive pay. These cover regulation, performance related pay and ethics related issues.

First Anniversary of Charlie Hebdo attacks
The University of Oxford has translated and made free on the Internet a book on tolerance. With extracts from key French philosophers and writers. The original text was
La Société Française d'Etude du Dix-Huitième Siècle (ed.), Tolerance: le combat des Lumières (Paris: SFEDS, 2015). Contents include:
The Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen, 1789
Voltaire, ‘Prayer to God’, from Treatise on Tolerance, 1763
Three aphorisms from Denis Diderot, Philosophical Thoughts, 1746; Montesquieu, The Spirit of the Laws, 1748; and Voltaire, Portable Philosophical Dictionary, 1764
Nicolas de Condorcet, 'On Admitting Women to the Rights of Citizenship', 1790
John Locke, Letter on Toleration, 1686

Harvard University is in the middle of creating a physical and virtual archive of materials relating to the 2015 attack. See an explanation of the archive on its own pages. This page has some preliminary data visualizations of georeferenced tweets using the Je suis charlie hashtag
New York Times Learning Network lesson plans to encourage students to consider concepts relating to journalism and blasphemy
Newsmuseum – has archived front pages of over 900 newspapers which enables some brief comparison of coverage and headlines across the world. January 8th 2015 coverage and
The Internet Archive has preserved over 3,000 pages from a variety of institutions and social media preserving contemporary responses to the attacks

What makes cities competitive?
Find out by downloading a recent working paper from the World Bank
Kilroy, Austin Francis Louis; Mukim, Megha; Negri, Stefano. 2015. Competitive cities for jobs and growth : what, who, and how. Competitive cities for jobs and growth. Its objective is to create a knowledge base on what  makes cities competitive, to improve the understanding of  job creation at the city level, and to establish a foundation for
a community of practice on this topic
The A.T. Kearney Global Cities Index (GCI) ranks 125 cities according to 27criteria  across five main themes  business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement.
JLL’s Global300 cities has a ranking of cities worldwide attracting the most commercial real estate activity.
Cities of Opportunity Price Waterhouse Cooper ranks 30 leading cities in terms of social and economic factors such as cost, transport infrastructure, safety, ease of doing business

‘Many Postgraduates are overwhelmed by their workloads’
According to the results of the latest Postgraduate Taught Experience survey published by the Higher Education Academy 72,000 students from over a 100 institutions took part giving their opinion on workloads, motivation, and quality of teaching and learning.
Some potentially interesting points arising for service providers problems relating to workload – can libraries help students organise their time / research more effectively/ develop time management skills?
Employability – large numbers of students mention that a key motivation in enrolling was to improve career prospects. Can libraries highlight / teach skills that will help students in the workplace or find jobs?
Find more free reports on HE education, teaching and learning on our scoop,it page

Agents of Future Promise: children’s burden or benefit?
During 2015 researchers at the University of Leeds, Cardiff and Huddersfield. Examined ideology in the portrayal of children in British and French history from the 19th century to the post war era. The project website now has videoed discussion from the end of project workshop help in September 2015. Topics covered include toys and gender, toys and the British empire, the Vichy regime and children, the use of children to envisage the future in wartime Britain.

Top 100  Global Innovators.
Thomson Reuters has just released its annual ranking of the most innovative global organisations .  It analyses patent  and citation data across four main criteria: volume, success, globalization and
influence using Thomson Reuters solutions including Derwent World Patents
Index (DWPI), Thomson Innovation and Derwent Patent Citations Index (PCI). The site includes breakdowns by region and industry as well as details on the methodology used.

Coming soon: 2016 US elections.
RealClearPolitics: Election 2016
This site from RealClearPolitics offers readers daily updates on polls, interviews, speeches, and other news related to the 2016 election. It currently includes polls relating to the Republican and Democratic nominations.

Stunning images of Earth
As Tim Peake and space continue to dominate the news. View some amazing images of earth from the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter Camera. The site also has some free downloads of lunaserv mapping