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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

The Carlisle Experiment – limiting alcohol in wartime

January 26th, 2015

“One of the early casualties of the First World War was, in many respects, the community pub or, more accurately the liberal consumption of alcohol on licensed premises. Before the outbreak of war, and partly because of the rising support of the temperance movement, urging the moderate consumption of alcohol, licensing laws began to restrict the opening hours of premises. But, immediately after the outbreak of war in August 1914, Parliament passed the Defence of the Realm Act which covered a range of measures to support the Allied effort of the war. A section of the Act looked specifically at the hours in which publicans could sell alcohol, as it was strongly believed that high levels of alcohol consumption would have a negative impact on the war effort. It therefore restricted opening hours for licensed premises to lunch (12:00 to 14:00) and later to supper (18:30 to 21:30).”

“But, even with these changes in force, the British Government became increasingly concerned about how the high levels of alcohol consumption still threatened the productivity of the war effort and high work ethics.”

To read more go to: http://blog.nationalarchives.gov.uk/blog/pubs-vs-first-world-war/

[Source National Archives blog as above]

MMU Library e-trial Human Rights Studies Online

January 26th, 2015

‘From the publisher’s website: “Human Rights Studies Online is a research and learning database providing comparative documentation, analysis, and interpretation of major human rights violations and atrocity crimes worldwide from 1900 to 2010. The collection includes primary and secondary materials across multiple media formats and content types for each selected event, including Armenia, the Holocaust, Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Rwanda, Darfur, and more than thirty additional subjects.”’

‘If accessing from off-campus scroll down to Search by institution name and type in Manchester and select Manchester Metropolitan University from the options. When you have done this a box will appear below entitled Login via institution, please click on the go button within this box. You will be taken to the eResources Login Page where you will need to use your MMU staff number and password to log in.’

To access the resource go to:  http://search.alexanderstreet.com/huri

The trial runs until 22/02/2015

Please pass any feedback about this resource to your subject librarian(s).

[Source MMU Library]

RCUK demonstrates positive impact achieved throughout 2014

January 26th, 2015

“Research Councils UK (RCUK) has) published the RCUK Impact Report 2014, demonstrating how the Research Councils have worked together to achieve greater impact for the research, training and innovation they support.”

“The report complements the impact reports prepared by the individual Research Councils and highlights the ways in which RCUK adds value to their activities. It also looks forward to activities [they] are undertaking now that will have impact in the future, with details of some exciting developments for 2015.”

The RCUK Impact Report 2014 is available at: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/RCUK-prod/assets/documents/publications/2014ImpactReport.pdf

The individual Research Council impact reports can be accessed from this press release: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/media/news/150119/ ]

[Source RCUK press release as above]

VAT-MOSS-FEAR: Will new tax rules stifle digital micro-entrepreneurship?

January 26th, 2015

Madeleine Gabriel on the Nesta blog writes:

“What links digital entrepreneurship, the collaborative economy and the future of public services? They’re issues close to Nesta’s heart – and they’re all touched by the strange tale of VAT MOSS.”

“For those so far unaware of this controversy, the background. On 1 January 2015, new VAT regulations came into force for businesses selling digital services – anything supplied digitally, such as apps, downloadable music and e-books – to consumers in the EU. Rather than paying VAT in the supplier’s location, it is now to be paid in the consumer’s country. (Business-to-business transactions aren’t affected.)”

“According to HMRC, the rule change was intended to stop businesses being ‘unfairly undercut’ as a result of companies deciding to ‘locate themselves in another EU member state with a lower VAT rate’. We can also assume part of the rationale was to help make sure large digital services firms pay their fair share of tax (and so support ailing public services).”

“So far, so sensible – until you start thinking about the implications for micro- and small businesses. To comply with the new regulations, businesses either have to register for VAT in each member state they sell to, or sign up for HMRC’s ‘Mini One Stop Shop’ (MOSS). Although the MOSS removes the need for separate VAT registrations, it’s still pretty burdensome. Digital service suppliers have to collect two separate pieces of identifying information about each of their EU customers and complete quarterly returns for HMRC. And as some EU countries have no minimum VAT threshold, no-one’s exempt.”

To continue reading go to: http://www.nesta.org.uk/blog/vat-moss-fear-will-new-tax-rules-stifle-digital-micro-entrepreneurship

[Source Nesta blog as above]

Animal Diversity Web (ADW)

January 26th, 2015

“Created at the University of Michigan, the Animal Diversity Web (ADW) is a comprehensive database of animal natural history, distribution, and classification. ADW functions as an encyclopedia as well as an educational resource to support inquiry-based education for thousands of teachers and students. A typical entry, such as the downy woodpecker, includes the latin name (Picoides pubescens), photographs, information about where the bird lives, what it eats (insects), what eats it (other predatory birds), and the importance and effects of the animal on humans. In the woodpecker’s case, there is a positive effect on humans as the bird eats pesky insects. In 2014, ADW became an app developer with ADW Pocket Guides. These mobile applications use the database to generate customized guides to wildlife at parks, museums, zoos, or other natural areas. [DS]”

http://animaldiversity.org/

[Source Scout Report, 5 Dec, 2014:  https://scout.wisc.edu/report/2014/1205 ]

First phase of RDS complete – now it’s time to cast your votes!

January 26th, 2015

“The first phase of Research Data Spring concluded on January 12th with 70 ideas posted, 159 comments, 1005 votes and 603 users! But the process isn’t over yet. Now Jisc needs your input to help identify which ideas should be taken forward to the next stage of the process.”

“The votes and comments space is still open, so please continue the conversation. Jisc encourages all stakeholders, including researchers, developers, librarians, IT staff, research managers, publishers whether in UK universities or potential collaborators or interested parties to use the comment space to offer their skills and expertise to the idea owners, thus joining forces and collaborating on the solutions they are proposing.”

[Source Digital Curation Centre:  http://www.dcc.ac.uk/node/10363 ]

Altmetric’s Top 100: What Does It All Mean?

January 26th, 2015

“Altmetric have released their annual Top 100 list, the articles that their measures point to as having received the most attention for the year. As in 2013, the list is fascinating for what it tells us about communication between scientists, the attention paid to science by the general public, and also for what it tells us about altmetrics themselves.”

“The article drawing the most attention for 2014 describes the hugely controversial study Facebook performed to see if they could emotionally manipulate users, and articles about social media appear throughout the list. This is not particularly surprising given the emphasis that Altmetric places on social media sharing, as well as the navel-gazing that dominates such forums. People using social media to talk about social media seems par for the course. Nutritional studies and various diets continue to draw a great deal of attention, as do clever joke and semi-joke articles about things like James Bond, chocolate consumption and time travelers which also make the top 10.”

[Source the Scholarly Kitchen: http://scholarlykitchen.sspnet.org/2014/12/17/altmetrics-top-100-what-does-it-all-mean/ ]

Understanding Society’s Scientific Conference 2015: call for abstracts

January 26th, 2015

Understanding Society‘s Scientific Conference will run from the 21 to 23 July 2015.

“The scientific conference provides an international forum for the exchange of research based on longitudinal data; in particular using household panel surveys. An important aim of the event is to bring together people from different disciplines and to share research covering a broad range of themes.”

“The organising committee would particularly welcome abstracts that focus on Understanding Society and the British Household Panel Survey or other longitudinal studies or research in the area of health, education, employment, family and household, ethnicity, income, wealth, consumption and survey methodology.”

The deadline for abstracts is Monday 16th February.

[Source UK Data Service news:  http://ukdataservice.ac.uk/news-and-events/newsitem/?id=4014 ]

Introduction to Understanding Society using Stata

January 26th, 2015

Location: University of Essex

Date: 26-27 March 2015

“This two-day training course is aimed at new users of Understanding Society, as well as researchers who have so far only made use of simpler aspects of the data. It aims to guide the user through the complexities of using this data for cross-sectional and longitudinal analysis, and ensure that they can make effective use of the data for their own research projects.”

For further information and details of how to register go to: https://www.understandingsociety.ac.uk/documentation/training/stata

[Source ESRC news:  http://www.esrc.ac.uk/news-and-events/events/33449/introduction-to-understanding-society-using-stata.aspx ]

Europeana: explore our new Pinterest boards

January 26th, 2015

“Over the past few months, we have created a couple of exciting new Pinterest boards. The boards highlight some of the beautiful content that can be found via Europeana.”

“The Pinterest boards feature images on themes such as Allegory of Death, Dragons and Mythical Creatures, Geisha, and Samurai as well as Pegasus, Horse and Unicorn.”

“The boards can be viewed by anyone, even if you don’t have a Pinterest account. If you do have an account, please do not hesitate to follow Europeana on Pinterest. We thank all our Pinterest users for supporting our mission to make Europe’s cultural treasures available to everyone!”

[Source Europeana blog: http://blog.europeana.eu/2015/01/explore-our-new-pinterest-boards/ ]

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