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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

Last post!

June 14th, 2017

After 6 years under my curation, and at least as many again under my predecessor Mary Harrison, we’ve decided to bring the Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin to an end and move on to other methods of engagement with you, our researchers.  I shall miss what has been a very enjoyable part of my job, sifting through the glorious treasures we can all access online and bringing a few of them to your attention each week.  What I won’t miss is the weekly deadline!

Before I finish I’d like to acknowledge especially a few of the organisations and websites which have reliably provided items for inclusion: the British Library, the Wellcome Trust, all the UK Research Councils, Europeana, and the quirky but ever fascinating Scout Report compiled at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, plus many others too numerous to mention individually.

Best wishes with your research

Mary Pickstone, Research Support Librarian, m.pickstone@mmu.ac.uk

Follow us on Twitter @MMUResSupp

Flickr: The Commons

June 14th, 2017

“From Flickr comes The Commons, a project that seeks to catalogue public photography collections from around the world. The Commons invites cultural institutions to share relevant collections in one place; as of this write up, there are over 100 participating museums, libraries, and other institutions. The collection includes a number of historical photographs (both portrait photographs and photographs of documents and illustrations) as well as contemporary photographs. Visitors can browse this collection by participating institution, or conduct a text search for the whole collection Many participating institutions have extensive albums included in their individual Flickr account for easy browsing. With participants ranging from UC Berkeley’s Department of Geography to the Finnish Museum of Photography to the Internet Archive Book Images collection, The Commons offers something of interest for everyone. [MMB]”

https://www.flickr.com/commons

[Source Scout Report, 19 May, 2017:  https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2017/0519 ]

MRC launches new mental health strategy

June 14th, 2017

“The Medical Research Council’s [MRC] neuroscience and mental health board has today launched a completely updated mental health strategy (PDF, 750KB) to drive forward discovery science in the field.”

“Mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression, are estimated to affect approximately one in six people at any time in the UK and have a significant and long-term impact on the lives of individuals and their families. Mental disorders cost the UK economy an estimated £70-100 billion annually.”

“The MRC will work with other Research Councils; Departments of Health across the four nations of the UK; charities; industry and people with experience of mental illness.”

“While continuing to support mental health research through the MRC’s open competitions for research grants and fellowships, the new strategy aims to accelerate understanding of mental illness and the development of new treatments by focusing research in a number of key areas.”

[Source Medical Research Council news: https://www.mrc.ac.uk/news/browse/mrc-launches-new-mental-health-strategy/ ]

Manchester Met Library e-trial: Women’s Studies archive

June 14th, 2017

We have a new e-trial to the Women’s Studies archive on-campus only, until 19/06/2017, via this link: http://infotrac.galegroup.com/itweb/mmucal5?db=WMNS

“Content will include approximately one million never-before-digitized pages of primary source material, all aligned with women’s studies including: the History of Feminist Theory and Activism; domestic culture; lay and ordained church women; women in industry; women’s sexuality and gender expression; women’s education; women’s movement; women’s health and mental health; women and law; women and the control of their bodies; and women’s roles and interactions within society.”

“Discover content from resources like The British Library, New York Public Library, The National Women’s History Project, the London School of Economics, Women’s Library and many more.”

If you have any feedback or questions on the trial, please contact Charlotte Arduini: c.arduini@mmu.ac.uk

Writing a peer review is a structured process that can be learned and improved – 12 steps to follow

June 14th, 2017

“Peer review not only helps to maintain the quality and integrity of scientific literature but is also key to a researcher’s development. As well as offering opportunities to keep abreast of current research and hone critical analysis skills, writing a peer review can teach you how to spot common flaws in research papers and improve your own chances of being a successful published author. To coincide with the recent launch of the Publons Academy – a free, online, practical peer review training programme for new academics – Jo Wilkinson asked an expert panel of researchers what steps they take to ensure a rigorous and robust review. Their advice has been compiled into the following 12 steps, relevant to both first-time peer reviewers and those keen to brush up on their skills.”

To read on go to: http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/2017/05/17/writing-a-peer-review-is-a-structured-process-that-can-be-learned-and-improved-12-steps-to-follow/

[Source LSE Impact blog as above]

It’s time for academics to take back control of research journals

June 14th, 2017

Stephen Curry in the Guardian Higher Education network writes:

“The evolution into a highly-profitable industry was never planned. Academics must make the case for lower-cost journals.”

“‘Publish or perish’ has long been the mantra of academics seeking to make a success of their research career. Reputations are built on the ability to communicate something new to the world. Increasingly, however, they are determined by numbers, not by words, as universities are caught in a tangle of management targets composed of academic journal impact factors, university rankings and scores in the government’s research excellence framework.”

“The chase for metricised success has been further exacerbated by the takeover of scholarly publishing by profit-seeking commercial companies, which pose as partners but no longer seem properly in tune with academia. Evidence of the growing divergence between academic and commercial interests is visible in the secrecy around negotiations on subscription and open access charges. It’s also clear from the popularity among academics of the controversial site Sci-Hub, which has made over 60m research articles freely available on the internet. Over-worked researchers could be forgiven for thinking that the time-honoured mantra has morphed to ‘publish, and perish anyway’.”

[Source Guardian Higher Education Network:  https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2017/may/25/its-time-for-academics-to-take-back-control-of-research-journals ]

Does It Matter Whose Name Appears After the © When Using Creative Commons?

June 14th, 2017

Todd A Carpenter in the Scholarly Kitchen blog writes:

“Authors have a tremendous amount of leverage in scholarly publishing, which they often overlook and rarely take advantage of. One aspect of this leverage is in the copyright assignment. There are many ways in which the copyright for content can be transferred from author to publisher to facilitate publication. Getting authors to use this leverage in scholarly communications has a long history. In 2006, for example, there was an effort to get authors to drive publishers to change their behavior. As the push for open access has continued, there are some who argue that published science should not only be freely available to read, but also unencumbered by any copyright restrictions whatsoever.”

“A while back, I engaged in a back and forth on Twitter with a few people in the community who are strong supporters of open access. The question we discussed briefly and which eventually became unwieldy for Twitter was this: If a researcher chooses to publish using a Creative Commons license, what difference does it make whether the author retains or transfers copyright to the publisher?”

[Source Scholarly Kitchen:  https://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2017/05/16/matter-whose-name-appears-using-creative-commons/ ]

MRC Festival of Medical Research

June 14th, 2017

“The second annual MRC [Medical Research Council] Festival of Medical Research will take place from 17–25 June 2017. To find MRC Festival activities near you to attend, take a look at the programme: https://www.mrc.ac.uk/about/getting-involved/mrcfestival/

“The MRC Festival takes place in England, Scotland and Wales, online and in Africa where a wide range of free public activities involving scientists from research establishments, including MRC units, centres and institutes, will showcase MRC-funded research.”

“MRC Festival activities include open days, public lectures and debates, activity days, workshops, interactive seminars and quizzes. Some are open to the public, either as drop-in sessions or by booking a free place in advance, while others are designed for a specifically invited audience.”

[Source Medical Research Council:  https://www.mrc.ac.uk/news/browse/mrc-festival-of-medical-research-programme-launched-today/ ]

Darker Sides of the FWW Study Day

June 14th, 2017

“Gateways to the First World War [Arts and Humanities Research Council funded project] is pleased to announce the programme for another of its popular study days, on the theme of ‘Darker Sides of the First World War’, to be held at the University of Kent on Friday 30th June 2017.”

“As the centenary of the First World War rolls on it is right that in 2017 our attention should be focused on the history of military (in)discipline during the conflict. The year 1917 saw the Russian Army collapse, the Italian Army falter and the French Army experience mass mutinies – not to mention what did/did not happen at the infamous Étaples British training camp.”

“Military discipline will be the subject of the opening keynote session by Dr Tim Bowman (University of Kent) who will talk about ‘Mutinies and remobilization: Armies at War in 1917′.”

“To compliment the subjects of mutiny and military discipline the theme of ‘Darker Sides’ was chosen to shed light on the work of historians looking at subjects which do not often feature in the public narrative, often due to their grittier and less comfortable nature. Also confirmed for the study day are papers on prostitution, espionage and policing, the drink problem, soldier suicides, collaboration under military occupation and obscene language.”

To find out more and to book a place go to:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/darker-sides-of-the-fww-study-day-tickets-32436855508

[Source AHRC news:   http://www.ahrc.ac.uk/newsevents/events/calendar/darker-sides-ww1/ ]

Austen Said: Patterns of Diction in Jane Austen’s Major Novels

June 14th, 2017

“Jane Austen fans and English literature instructors alike should take note of this digital research project from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Developed by a team of English scholars and students, Austen Says allows users to visualize and analyze the language patterns of Austen’s most popular works. Word Frequencies is a great place to start. Here, visitors can view data about the unique vocabularies of specific characters in a select novel. Alternatively, visitors may opt to compare the vocabularies of characters with shared characteristics, such as age, gender, or character type (e.g. cad, fool, or heroine.) Meanwhile, the Novel Visualizations section allows visitors to view highlighted examples of Free Indirect Discourse (FID), a technique commonly used by Austen. Finally, visitors to this website will find a Search tool that allows visitors to find select words or phrases in all six of Austen’s published novels. [MMB]”

http://austen.unl.edu/

[Source Scout Report, 12 May, 2017:  https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2017/0512 ]

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