Tuesday, 23 February 2016

London Fashion Week- Economic research

It is London Fashion Week
but how much does the fashion industry contribute to the economy? Get some facts from our recommended academic resources.
The official fashion week website has some Mintel facts and figures
£26billion direct contribution to the UK economy (GDP) from the UK fashion industry, up from £21billion in 2009 (Oxford Economics, 2014)
£10.7billion spent on fashion online in the UK in 2014 (expected to reach £19billion by 2019) (Mintel, 2014)
£9billion - value of the web-based fashion and footwear market in the UK, it is predicted to grow to £11billion (Euromonitor, 2015)

For more indepth research try the British Fashion Council website This has calculations of the direct value to the economy.

Further data can be found on the Creative Industries website
and estimates on the creative industries, published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport

 Search for articles and reports/ working papers
on Repec.
SSRN Working papers.
Business and Management Studies Portal (free registration recommended). offers free access to some full text reports. It is maintained by the British Library.

Further research sources.
The British Library Business and IP Centre has a list of reports and databases which it makes available to the public covering fashion.  

LSE staff and students have access to:
  • Web Of Science - provides access to articles covering all aspects of the sciences, social sciences and humanities. Many dating from the 19th century onwards. Also enables you to quickly locate highly cited articles in your subject area.
  • Scopus - covers a wide range of science and social science subject areas including media and communication studies and the media industry. Abstracts and indexes over 20,000 titles mostly from 1996 to present. Quickly locate highly cited articles.  
  • ABI/INform Complete
    Access references and full text articles from leading business databases and newspapers published since 1971. It is offered on the proquest site where you can cross search it with other business databases including Asian Business, Proquest entrepreneurship.
  • 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.
  • Emerald
    is a database of references to articles taken from around 450 top management and business journals. The coverage is international but with a UK bias. The database covers the years from 1989 onwards and is updated monthly.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Air pollution - research the real facts

Last week the shocking fact that air pollution causes 5.5 million deaths was reported in the media.
For official data look at the World Health Organization Global Health Observatory. It has data by region and for different age groups.
The data quoted in the news coverage was taken from the Global Burden of Disease survey.
 the largest and most comprehensive effort to date to measure epidemiological levels and trends worldwide. The most recent dataset for 2013 can be downloaded from the website.
This includes some estimates on air pollution.
Also reports on risk in Europe
Further fact sheets on air quality and health can also be downloaded from the WHO website.
Eurostat has data for European nations.

For discussion of the position in the UK
Defra has an air quality twitter account which tweets the latest data. The government also produces regular emissions data and statistics.
Environmental Protection is a charity  that 'provides expert policy analysis and advice on air quality, land quality, waste and noise and their effects on people and communities'. Its website has numerous sections on air pollution laws, regulation and monitoring as well as campaigns.These include the Healthy Air Campaign which highlights recent reports and news stories.
Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants - 
provides independent advice to government departments and agencies on how air pollution impacts on health. Its website includes minutes of meetings and publications.

Monday, 15 February 2016

Celebrating LGBT History Month: recommended archives Wolfenden report and beyond

The Wolfenden Report 1957 was one of the key milestones in the struggle to achieve the decriminalisation of male homosexuality
The National Archives site sets out the background history. It provides free access to the full text of some relevant cabinet papers. These  include a 1954 paper which argued that establishing a royal commission might lead people to believe that 'the government thought the law ought to be changed ' and result in  'receiving embarrassing recommendations for altering the law'
For a full list of what is available see the detailed search guide on their website

 the British Library website also has text from the Wolfenden report and discussion

Friday, 12 February 2016

Social science sites of the week

Celebrating LGBT History month

To celebrate LGBT History month take a look at recommended academic resources on our blog. Items will be added throughout February

Take a look at the Gay t-Shirt archive!
Wearing Gay History
a digital archive of American LGBT t-shirts. created by Doctoral student Eric Gonzaba who digitized the entire t-shirt collection of the Chris Gonzalez Library and Archives in Indiana
T-shirts have been used to express gay identity, politics and pride as well as fashion. There are current 6 exhibitions including gay pride
alternatively browse the t-shirt map!

What does your vice – chancellor earn?
How do does pay and perks compare at the UK top universities? Find out in the annual report from UCU union Transparency at the top? This was published as part of its campaign for greater transparency in UK university executive pay. It also includes expenditure on air flights, hotel accommodation and expenses.

How does your pay compare? Use their Rate for the Job calculator to compare your wages with people in other institutions performing a similar role
Look at out Scoop.it page to read more recent reports on Higher education, teaching and learning

Also published this week
NMC Horizon Report 2016 Higher Education Edition

is a collaborative effort between the NMC and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. Download the full text from the website. What trends does it predict for the future use of technology in higher education. What are the challenges? Bring your own device and learning analytics are seen to be some of the key areas in the coming year. The report is based in the USA but is applicable elsewhere each section has links to supporting reading and some case studies.

Draft Investigatory Powers Bill- parliamentary report launched
Joint Committee on the Draft Investigatory Powers Bill has just published a report with 86 recommendations on improving the clarity of the bill. The website has access to written and oral evidence presented.
View the full text of the Bill and associated documents on the Home Office website
Also released this week the Intelligence and Security Committee report on the Bill.
The Open Rights Group Wiki has a good timeline of key events in the run up to the bill with links to UK government documents.

Guardian viewpoint published 2nd November 2015

Open Rights Group response to the select committee report.

Don’t Spy on us Coalition response.

Article 19

Internet Service Providers.

We are starting to develop a data and society scoop.it page covering data policy, access, control, potential uses of big data . discover more

Economists on Twitter.
The great working paper site RepEc has just launched its own directory of economists who tweet. This currently lists over 150 who fulfil a criteria of inclusion given on the website. It you have not visited RepEC recently it now indexes over 2 million economics, finance working papers many leading to abstracts and full text. The site also links to EconAcademics.org which aggregates postings from key economics blogs and is hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

USA 2016 elections: New York Times Resource

Good use of technology from the New York Times its Election 2016 bot can send users live news updates. You can also submit questions to the newsroom by using the command /asknytelection.” Nieman Labs has a review of how this feature works. The New York Times is also experimenting with Virtual reality film from the campaigns. See the smiling Donald Trump!

Also using new technology

New United Nations app
UNU Jargon Buster glossary app for smartphones, with about 450 A-to-Z entries . Find out what the many abbreviations abbreviations mean including programmes and organisations . They are also helpfully cross referenced cross-referenced with the Sustainable Development Goals
If you are looking for help with research on the United Nations try the helpful guides produced by the Dag Hammarskjöld Library . They are great for getting help on tracing UN documents and reports. A good example is this beginners guide to tracing UN documents.

Euro health consumer index 2015
This annual report from Health Consumer Powerhouse analyses European health systems and assesses them on 48 indicators, looking into areas such as patient rights and information, access to care, treatment outcomes and range and reach of services. The main conclusion of this report is that European healthcare is steadily improving, despite worries about financial crisis austerity measures, aging population and migrants.

For worldwide data on health systems and access try the WHO website. They have a Global Health Observatory . Browse the data there is a section for Health Systems.

For the UK , and analysis of NHS performance, a great starting point is the Kings Fund website . They publish quarterly monitoring reports. Also issued by them this week public opinion on the performance of the NHS. How satisfied are patients?

Oman Digital Library
Access hundreds of online resources digitised from the Oman Library Middle East Institute. Most manuscripts and books date from 1700 to 1921. They include Arabic documents as well as travellers accounts and colonial books from the Middle East offering insight into the cultural life and political history of the region.

A snapshot of examples include:
· Report on the Russian army and its campaigns in Turkey in 1877-1878
Greene, F. V. (Francis Vinton 1908
Kitāb-i Maẓhar al-ajāʼib
Authors: ʻAṭṭār, Farīd al-Dīn Language: Farsi 1316 [1937]
The Persian crisis of December, 1911
Authors: Browne, Edward Granville, 1862-1926 [1912]

Culture under threat map – antiquities threatened by conflict 2016

The Antiquities Coalition has produced an interactive map to provide a visual mapping of sites and regions under threat by recent violence in the Middle East/ North Africa. The focus is upon countries who are members of the Arab League. The maps has been produced using the ArcGIS mapping system from Esri . There is a focus on sites ‘deliberately targeted by Daesh and indication of UNESCO world heritage sites and major museums. The ‘terrorist groups have been defined using data from the National Counterterrorism Center. The site has definitions and data sources.

Colouring books from the worlds most famous museums and libraries

In February 2016 a major campaign was launched on social media #ColorOurCollections–made available free colouring books, letting you colour artwork from the collections of art museums and galleries then share them
See some fun examples from the Bodleian Library
Smithsonian Library
New York Public Library
And the amazing colouring book of Patents – with an eye protector for chickens and many kinds of robots!

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Celebrating LGBT History Month: a recommended resource- New York Public Library

New York Public Library has some fantastic LGBT Collections.

it has the records of the early Mattachine Society 1951-76see some fascinating examples on the NYPL blog of the literature it produced to educate the public. Including a rather odd zebra!
The same blog also provides images of early marches. unlike the modern gay pride these imposed a strict dress code of trousers and white shirt for men and dresses for women

the NYPL  online digital collection has many LGBT materials
Browse photographs from the International Gay Information Center. They include materials relating to Gay Pride in the USA
 and further Mattachine society publications.

Monday, 8 February 2016

Celebrating LGBT History month - our favourite academic resources

February is LGBT History month. In 2016 the theme is Religion, Belief and Philosophy
 In the first of our special postings. Find out events on the official website as well as some useful lesson plans for educators.

 Here are some good starting points for finding recommended resources for academic research.

Continuing discrimination

On of the aims of LGBT history month is to combat continuing homophobia and discrimination
OutRight -  formerly known as the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission works to campaign against this on an international scale. The documentation section of its website has reports on the situation from around the world. These include reports made to the United Nations

ILGA - International lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex association has weekly international news monitoring round ups.in 2015 it produced a map of lesbian and gay rights in Africa, in Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean. 
 Amnesty International has an LGBTI section with recent news and reports

The European Agency for Fundamental Rights collects data and seeks to combat all forms of homophobia. Its website provides access to reports and information on projects.
United Nations reports by the High Commissioner on Human Rights . include the 2015 general assembly report. High Commissioner's report to the Human Rights Council on discrimination and violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity (May 2015) - A/HRC/29/23

 For the UK- Stonewall produces a workplace equality index which produces an annual ranking of LGBT workplace equality.It also publishes research on homophobic crime, discrimination and attitudes.

Favourite digital Archive

Wearing Gay History
a digital archive of American LGBT t-shirts. created by  Doctoral student Eric Gonzaba who digitized the entire t-shirt collection of the Chris Gonzalez Library and Archives in Indiana 
T-shirts have been used to express gay identity, politics and pride as well as fashion. There are current 6 exhibitions including gay pride 
alternatively  browse the t-shirt map! 

Friday, 5 February 2016

Social science sites of the week

In the news this week: Google and tax

The charity Full Fact has examined the claim that Google only pays 3% of its profits in tax. consult its website to see what it concludes:

See more discussion on the background to the controversy as well as responses from the government and other international agencies such as the EU and OECD
our special blog posts.

Portugal Presidential elections
Try our election blog for links to the full results and analyses

Universal credit – does anyone benefit?

IFS has conducted an economic analysis into the impact finding that it ‘will tend to weaken the incentive for single parents to be in work, and to strengthen the incentive for couples to have one person in work (rather than none or two)’

For background see the UK government official website . It includes this useful paper on welfare reform and some analysis of impact
For commentary from other organisations useful starting points include: Joseph Rowntree foundation
Early assessments include this report on the possible impact from Inclusion
Local Government Association review of 2014 pilots
Social Market Foundation 2012

EU renegotiation.

Read the full text of David Cameron’s statement to parliament on the Uk government website and the proposals sent by the European Council
Parliament TV has a recording of the debate and there is a transcript in Hansard
For access to free discussion and news services
Try European Sources online (try searching for Brexit) an online database and information service which provides access to information on the institutions and activities of the European Union . The LSE Brexit blog for discussion and the latest polls and commentary
The Conversation blog also explains the EU Brake as well as discussing other EU renegotiation matters.

Nashriyah: digital Iranian historic newspapers

The University of Manchester now provides free access to a digital library of Iranian newspapers. These comprise 23 newspapers covering the period from the 1950s to the early 21st Century. Therefore covering key political events such as the Iranian revolution of 1979. The complete list of titles can be found on the project website where there are also background essays which set the publications in context.

Freedom in the World 2016 published

Freedom in the World is a yearly survey and report by the U.S.-based non-governmental organization Freedom House that measures the degree of civil liberties and political rights in every nation and significant disputed territories around the world. Read the methodology for the full facts. And download the data in a zip file.

International Idea also has some well regarded country assessments. Its publications provide insight into the techniques. and methodology.

Racism in British Universities.
The UCU union has just released a survey of its BME members in which shockingly 90% of those who answered reported that they had faced barriers to promotion and over 70% reported sometimes or often being subject to bullying or harassment by their managers. The Runnymede trust has just published a collection of essays on race and diversity in the UK academy which elaborates on the issues. It covers participation of BME students in higher education the experiences of BME academic staff. The topic was also discussed at a UCL lecture – why isnt my professor black ?in 2014 and has also led to the launch of the why is my curriculum white campaign

In 2011 the NUS also recorded widespread racism against BME students
For access to more recent stories see Race card
See more reports on higher education teaching and learning on our scoop.it page.

Global Social Theory
This free website provides a useful starting point for students of social theory . It introduced them to key topics (transnationalism, intersectionality, settle colonialism, modernism ) thinkers (Stuart Hall, Franz Fanon, Paulo Freire) . It is edited by Gurminder K Bhambra Professor of Sociology at the University of Warwick and a primary focus is in highlighting the global nature of wrings with contributions from around the world. Each entry has a summary of key themes, a bibliography of key readings (some full text) and some questions to guide research

Digital Fan Magazine Collection (1911-1963)

Free access to the full text of a growing number of popular magazines produced for film fans in the mid 20th century via the Media History Digital Library. A great resource for American cinema, popular culture and social historians. They include Silver Screen (1930-1940), Motion Picture [Magazine] (1914-1941) read this example of Hollywood magazine from 1934 with some great adverts- celebrity photographs, contemporary film advertising. Find out why love is doomed in Hollywood.and Mae west’s maid tells all!

The unhappiest people in the UK are those aged 45-59
According to the latest 3 year survey from the office for National Statistics. Find out more from the website. Where there are also maps levels of happiness for local authority areas.

There are also excel data tables at a local level for anxiety, satisfaction and happiness
The BBC has an interesting online test – find out where you should live to feel happy – it is based on your personality!

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Google and tax - check out our free academic resources

The agreement between Google and the UK tax authorities to pay £130m in back taxes in the UK has sparked a controversy.
for brief guides to this see the BBC website
Guardian key points

Chancellor George Osborne called it a victory in a twitter posting

Labour 's John McDonnell has published his return in the Sunday Mirror see his website for the full forms

Reaction from other organisations think tanks
The Independent sees the row as a gift to Labour
Spectator Blogs also say it is convenient for them in another posting it emphasises the services google gives to Britain
Left Foot Forward Labour party supporters say the deal is unacceptable
Huffington Post coverage 
Academic discussion via the Conversation blog 
Discussion from the Institute of Fiscal Studies discusses corporation tax.

Reaction from international bodies.
OECD tax policy and agreements.
Its website has information on its projects to tackle aggressive tax planning.

 The Wall street journal reported antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager determination to pursue Alhabet and Google
European Union press release on the anti-tax avoidance package. 

The UK Tax Justice Network has called for a full EU investigation

UK government tax avoidance policy more recent documents are added to the UK government portal section on tax evasion and avoidance.

The charity Full Fact has been analysing the claims. that google only pays 3% tax. Find out if this is true from their website.
Public Accounts Select Committee investigations
this link provides access to questioning and previous reports including   a report on Google and Tax avoidance in 2013 
Other investigations of tax avoidance have included a report on the role of large accountancy firms.
The Treasury select committee has just launched an Inquiry into  UK Tax policy