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Researchers’ Weekly Bulletin: the Blog

News for researchers at the Manchester Metropolitan University

The Collections – Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah

November 24th, 2014

“Regarded by experts as one of a handful of the most comprehensive collections of Islamic art in the world, the al-Sabah holdings in Kuwait feature 20,000 objects from geographically and chronologically diverse locations. Nine categories – Metals, Ceramics, Glass, Ivory & Wood, Jewelry & Hardstone, Numismatics, Rugs & Textiles, Manuscripts & Calligraphy, and Stone & Stucco – can be accessed from the collections page with the click of a mouse. Within each category, short essays contextualize the beautiful photographs of ancient, medieval, and modern Islamic art in a wide variety of mediums and styles. [CNH]”

To see the collection go to:

[Source Scout Report, September 26, 2014: ]

Key materials for researchers and students studying the environment and energy

November 24th, 2014

“Whilst there is a wealth of data on the environment, a number of studies are regarded as key in the UK, either through their subject or geographical coverage, their use of standard measures, their longevity, their usage among the research community or because they are used to create official figures.”

“The UK Data Service now provides a simple guide to these key datasets, outlining the coverage and topics in each along with a suite of resources that can help researchers find, visualise and analyse the data most useful for their purposes. All are available online free of charge.”

“The resources include:

  • a guide to searching all environment and energy related data and variables
  • video tutorials on online data analysis tools that can be used to view frequencies, conduct simple online tabulations and produce graphs and subsets
  • case studies demonstrating how these data have been used in environment-related research”

[Source UK Data Service: ]

Timeline report for superbug research

November 24th, 2014

“A new report which sets out the foundation for future research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR) [has been] published by the Medical Research Council (MRC). The report tells the story of key research achievements over the past thirty years, showcasing some of the best advances and providing the groundwork for a cross-Council collaboration on AMR research.”

“Antimicrobial resistance is a huge and complex problem for healthcare and agriculture. Antibiotics have been used to treat bacterial infections in humans and animals for 70 years, but these medicines are becoming less and less effective. No new classes of antibiotics have been discovered for 25 years and some strains of bacteria are now unharmed by the drugs designed to kill them.”

“The UK Research Councils have joined together in an historic initiative to tackle this global problem. A coordinated network of medical researchers, engineers, biologists, vets, economists, mathematicians and designers, will drive through new discoveries and advancements.”

“The AMR initiative, which has been heralded as a war cabinet for AMR research, pulls together all seven research councils and looks to deliver exciting new research projects.”

“The report offers a timeline and case studies in each area supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) , Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), and the Medical Research Council (MRC).”

To read the timeline go to:

[Source Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC): ]

2011 Census Update – webinar

November 24th, 2014

Date: 9 December 2014, 14.30-15.30

“This webinar will provide brief updates on the wide range of 2011 census data available through the UK Data Service.”

“It will summarise the progress which has already been made to make data available through the service. It will also identify which products are outstanding but still anticipated. It will be of interest to users who have questions about what we currently have, or who are awaiting data that are as yet unavailable.”

“The webinar will be delivered by UK Data Service staff members who specialise in aggregate, flow and Microdata as well as boundaries.”

[Source Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) news: ]

2011 Census: Flow Data – webinar

November 24th, 2014

Date: 4 December 2014, 15.00-16.00

“This webinar provides an overview of the interaction data available as outputs from the 2011 Census. Interaction data are about flows between two places, such as counts of migrants or commuters.”

“It will describe what data are available, including data deriving from new questions in the 2011 Census, and how they can be accessed using online tools.”

[Source Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) news: ]

Engage conference 2014

November 24th, 2014

Location: Bristol Marriott Royal, Bristol

Date: 3-4 December 2014

“Are you interested in how universities can play a more active role in stimulating dialogue and debate, and in feeding people’s curiosity and imagination? In learning from how other organisations – like the Eden Project and the BBC – go about this? In exploring tools and techniques for effective engagement, and exploring how such work can best be evaluated and supported?”

Engage 2014 tackles all these questions and more. A two day event, with plenary, workshops, and a range of hands on encounters that bring cutting edge public engagement to life.”

To find out more go to:

[Source Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) news: ]

New insights from Understanding Society

November 24th, 2014

“New findings from the large Understanding Society study, which follows people in 40,000 households across the UK, [has been] published in the report Insights 2014. This is the third summary of findings from Understanding Society, aiming to reveal an evidence-based picture of change in the UK.”

“”Insights 2014 reflects how the study has matured and is starting to address the sort of questions which only longitudinal data can really answer,” says the study’s Director Nick Buck.”

“”We interview the same set of individuals in households each year and this helps to explore how individual and family lives change over time. Uniquely, it can help us understand what factors are associated with movements in and out of states, such as poverty, and how this impact on people’s lives in the longer term.””

“The Insights report is focusing on three key areas to shed light on how society has changed over time: ‘Living in recession’, ‘A diverse UK’ and ‘Family ties and social connections’.”

Insights 2014 can be found at:

[Source Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) news: ]

Call for Papers for Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies: Best Article Prize (2015)

November 24th, 2014

“The editors of the Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies (JMIS) and Routledge are delighted to offer a $500 prize for the most outstanding article published in JMIS in 2015.  This prize will be offered thereafter on an annual basis.”

“All articles published in JMIS in 2015 will automatically be considered for the Best Article Prize, and all submissions received during the calendar year 2014 will be considered for publication in 2015.”

[Source Heritage Portal news: ]

November 24th, 2014

“In a time of instant information, many scientists wonder why the publishing process still functions at such a glacial pace, with the time between submission and publication of articles sometimes taking half a year or more. bioRXiv (pronounced “bio-archive”), a preprint server for biology published by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, seeks to remedy this situation by posting preprints of studies. While these papers will not be peer-reviewed, and it will therefore be up to the reader to judge their validity, proponents of the new system argue that it could be a support to the slower peer-reviewed process as it will at least allow scientists to examine one another’s results quickly. The site is easily searchable by subject area, date, author, keyword, and title. Equally easy and straightforward is the submission process for those interested in adding to the archive. [CNH]”

[Source Scout Report, October 17, 2014: ]

Life as a PhD student – in pictures

November 17th, 2014

From crumbling 17th century historical documents to desk sabotage, the Guardian Higher Education Network has gathered a selection of pictures illustrating life as a PhD student:


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