Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

London Transport Museum: Poster Collection

February 1st, 2016

“With over 5,000 posters and 700 original poster artworks, this digital collection from the London Transport Museum is one of the web’s finest repositories of Great Britain’s public art. Readers may like to start by selecting “Learn more about the collections…” This link navigates to a page with some contextualizing information as well as a number of Stories behind the collection. Readers will find such illuminating narratives as the story of Frank Pick, the London Underground’s publicity man in the early 20th century who revolutionized the form of the modern graphic poster. Also in the About section, readers will find links to various themes through which they might explore the collections, such as Beyond the City, Entertainment, Events, London’s Transport System, Wartime London, and others. [CNH]”

[Source Scout Report, Oct 2, 2015: ]

A gift from the dead of 1945

February 1st, 2016

“January brings to the UK not only storms and floods but also a benefit to users of historical collections: copyright expiry. At midnight on 31 December 2015, the copyrights of people who had died in 1945 expired, and it became legally possible for anyone in the UK to copy and republish their literary or artistic works without asking permission and without payment. Expect to see new editions of the diary of Anne Frank (1929-1945) — though her sole authorship of the diary, and therefore her sole copyright, have been disputed — and works by other best sellers such as the theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945), the humorist Robert Benchley (1889-1945) and the novelist Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945), among others.”

“Of course 1945 was no ordinary year. Frank and Bonhoeffer were victims of the Nazis, as were many others, directly or indirectly, while others lost their lives in the war in the Far East. This post looks at the works of five professional artists who died in 1945 and whose works are therefore now copyright-free in the UK.”

To find out who the artists are, read on:

[Source Wellcome Library blog as above]

MMU trial: Greenleaf Online Library

February 1st, 2016

Greenleaf Online Library, is a collection of books and journals covering subjects such as corporate responsibility, business ethics, environmental policy and management, responsible business strategy and sustainable development.

“The Greenleaf Online Library (GOL) is a selected collection from the larger Sustainable Organization Library (SOL). The Greenleaf Online Library (GOL) contains more than 4000 individually searchable chapters, case studies and journal papers drawn from 300+ book and journal volumes, published by the leading independent sustainability publisher, Greenleaf Publishing and partners including the UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME).

Each item carries its own metadata, which means that the collection is fully searchable at the chapter/article level. GOL gives instant access to leading thinkers on sustainability; case studies on best practice from international organizations; and evidence-based research to inspire the next generation of socially responsible leaders.

GOL covers topics including sustainability, social responsibility, corporate governance, development economics and the environment. GOL is a perfect resource for MBA and management students wishing to take a lead on sustainability in their careers; researchers interested in business, management and cross-disciplinary aspects of sustainability and CSR; business and management teachers in need of engaging critical case studies for reading lists and lesson plans; schools wishing to demonstrate a commitment to PRME; and business schools working to gain AACSB or similar accreditation.”

Greenleaf Online Library can be found here: (trial access is only available on-campus), until 18 March 2016

We would welcome feedback on the trial. Please send it to my colleague Ben Crabstick

[Source publisher’s website]

A Proactive Approach to Reproducibility with Evidence-Based Research on Research

February 1st, 2016

“Discovery and reproducibility are cornerstones of the scientific enterprise. Without one, the other is hindered; new work is built on the foundation of previous results, for both breakthroughs and smaller advances, and the ability to reproduce published results expedites discovery.”

“Scientific research is increasingly technical, multidisciplinary and collaborative, bringing additional challenges to reproducibility and reliability. It is not new that there have been instances when published results were irreproducible, what is relevant in recent years – aided by Open Access – is the ability of motivated scientists to analyze not only data consolidated from multiple studies, in meta-analysis, but also to analyze the design, methods, reporting and evaluation of research, in meta-research studies.”

“Meta-research is the study of how science is conducted and reported. In recognition of the importance of this emerging field to bolstering public confidence in science and reducing unnecessary costs and efforts, PLOS Biology is taking a proactive approach to encourage reproducibility efforts with a new Meta-Research Section devoted to evidence-based research on research.”

To read the rest of the blog go to:

[Source PLOS blog as above]

Jisc response to the Higher Education Commission report ‘From Bricks to Clicks’

February 1st, 2016

“[Jisc] welcome[s] the Higher Education Commission (HEC)’s report ‘From Bricks to Clicks: the potential of data and analytics in Higher Education’.”

“It contains the findings of the Commission’s ten-month inquiry into the potential impact of data and analytics for universities, students and the sector as a whole.”

You can read the report here:

Paul Feldman, Chief Executive of Jisc, has written a blog commenting on the report:

[Source Jisc news: ]

British Academy welcomes the UKCES Employer Skills Survey 2015 and OECD Building Skills for All study

February 1st, 2016

“The British Academy welcomes the UKCES Employer Skills Survey 2015 and OECD Building Skills for All study. It is positive to see the growth in overall vacancies, however, it is concerning to note that the number of skill-shortage vacancies has gone up by 43% since 2013.”

“Evidence from our work into the nature of language skills in the labour market, Born Global, shows how increased efforts to develop language skills could help to tackle many of the other skills shortages reported by employers, including: problem-solving, time-management and prioritisation, customer relations, persuading and influencing. Our evidence points to a transferable skill-set gained through language learning and international experience.”

“Further concerning shortages have been identified in quantitative skills (QS). 29% of respondents to the survey found ‘complex numerical and statistical skills’ to be difficult to obtain from applicants, with 24% struggling to recruit those with basic numerical skills. In the OECD report, 9 million in England were reported as being unable to “estimate how much petrol is left in the petrol tank from a sight of the gauge.” The Academy’s Count Us In report (2015) also points to the growing QS deficit across the whole system of schools and colleges, universities and the workplace.”

The OECD Building Skills for All study can be accessed here:

The UKCES Employer Skills Survey 2015 can be accessed here:

[Source British Academy news: ]

First STARS awards target vulnerable skills in the life sciences

February 1st, 2016

“BBSRC [Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council] has funded five universities across the UK to provide training programmes in strategically important and vulnerable skills for bioscientists in the first round of its Strategic Training Awards for Research Skills (STARS) scheme.”

“In total BBSRC will fund around £150,000 over three years to provide the postgraduate-level training, in areas of significant need for clearly defined academic and industrial sectors.”

“These will include bioinformatics and computational biology skills, entomology and plant pathology training and mathematical biology training for around 400 scientists.”

“These are the first set of awards made by the programme, which was set up following a BBSRC community consultation on vulnerable skills and capabilities in the biosciences.”

The next funding call for STARS closes on 3 February 2016. For more information, visit:

The successfully funded institutions are the universities of Bath, Bristol, Edinburgh, Newcastle, and Warwick.

[Source BBSRC news: ]

New Planet Earth magazine now online

February 1st, 2016

“The winter issue of Planet Earth magazine is now available online. It’s packed with stories about the science NERC [Natural Environment Research Council] supports – both the amazing new discoveries it enables and the wider economic and social benefits it brings.”

“As usual, the articles cover a lot of ground – the news section alone takes in dragonflies, lost rivers, underwater robots, Indonesian wildfires, misidentified plants and a new approach to clamping down on the illegal ivory trade.”

“Longer stories deal with subjects ranging from a course to train the scientific divers of the future and a new database of UK coastal flooding to the mysteries of nitrogen’s role in the Earth system and an exciting new initiative that aims to make Sheffield’s roadside verges more diverse and wildlife-friendly.”

You can read the magazine here:

[Source NERC news: ]

4th International Conference on Remote Sensing

February 1st, 2016

Date & Location: 4 – 8 April, 2016 – Paphos, Cyprus

“The Organising Committee of the ‘Fourth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of Environment’ invite you to join [them] in Cyprus from 4 to 8 April, 2016 to network with leading experts in the field of Remote Sensing and Geo-information.”

“The Keynote Speakers and thought-provoking technical program will encourage the exchange of ideas and provide the foundation for future collaboration and innovation. The Technical Program is open to all topics in Remote Sensing and Geo-information of Environment and related techniques and applications.”

For further information go to the conference website:

[Source Heritage Portal news: ]

What about YOUth? Consultation

February 1st, 2016

“What about YOUth? is a newly established survey, begun in September 2014 and commissioned by the Department of Health, designed to collect local authority level data on a range of behaviours amongst 15 year olds.”

“What about YOUth? is a new study which aims to make improvements to the health of young people across England. As part of the study, thousands of 15 year-olds answered questions about important subjects such as their health, diet, exercise, bullying, alcohol, drugs and smoking. What about YOUth? 2014 is the first survey of its kind to be conducted and it is hoped that the survey will be repeated in order to form a time series of comparable data on a range of indicators for 15 year-olds across England.”

“The Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) published a report on the findings in December 2015 and the results are also available in a data visualisation tool. The anonymised survey data will be available from the UK Data Service later this year.”

“The HSCIC is undertaking a consultation to find out how useful the survey findings are, how the data are being used and any improvements that could be made. They would like to hear from any data users who have used the survey or the report. The consultation period runs from 18 January until 28 February 2016.”

“If you would like to participate in this consultation please go to the HSCIC website, where you can download the consultation paper and access the online consultation survey.”

A report on the survey findings and a link to the data visualisation tool can be accessed here:

[Source UK Data Service news: ]