How to be a Fake News Ninja

As a University student it is imperative that you arm yourself against the barrage of fake news that can be found in today’s media.  To produce academically sound assignments and research, you need to be able identify and evaluate information quickly and with authority.

Here are 10 tips on how you can be a Fake News Ninja:

  1. Be aware: just simply knowing that not all information is created equal is the first step.
  2. Check the source: Where did the information come from? This can be tricky, especially on social media.
  3. Read more: don’t just rely on the piece of information that’s in front of you… go an find another reliable source and see if the facts are the same.
  4. Check the author: Do a bit of Google stalking to see if the author is credible.
  5. Check the references: does the item have references? What sources have they used? Are they credible?
  6. Check the date: watch out for re-posts old news items.
  7.  Check your biases: You own beliefs and prejudices can have an affect on how you accept information.
  8. Is it a joke?: If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
  9. Ask a Librarian: Librarians are the original Fake News Ninjas.  Come and ask us about any reference that you aren’t too sure about and we can help you make an authoritative decision on  the information you use for your research.
  10. Knowledge is power: Read more about Fake News and how you can win the fight. Everything you need to know is in our Fake News Guide.

Read our other blogs on Fake News to be aware of the consequences of Fake News and the history and growth of Fake News.

References
IFLA (2018) How to spot fake news. Available at: https://www.ifla.org/publications/node/11174 (Accessed: 23 March 18)

History and growth of Fake News

Fake News is nothing new and has been going on since time began!

Have at look at our timeline on our Fake News Guide for a snapshot of how Fake News has shaped history:

With the introduction of mass news with the invention of the printing press, and the massive up-rise in news being created and fed via social media, the growth of the term ‘Fake News’ and the actual production of Fake News stories has grown exponentially in recent years:

  • The term ‘Fake News’ is searched for in web browsers 70.8-118 thousand times a month.
  • #fakenews has over 251.2k mentions on Twitter
  • In 2017 Donald Trump mentioned the term ‘Fake News’ in public correspondence, 320 times!

Not only has the volume of Fake News grown, but also the speed that it spreads.  However, maybe there is a way we can slow it down:

Read our other blogs on Fake News to be aware of the consequences of Fake News and how you can become a Fake News Ninja.

References
Kiely, E. (2018) Trump’s Phony ‘Fake News’ Claims. Available at: https://www.factcheck.org/2018/01/trumps-phony-fake-news-claims/. Accessed: 23 March 2018).
Smith, R. (2017) The Numbers Behind Fake News. Available at: http://www.dailyinfographic.com/numbers-behind-fake-news. (Accessed: 23 March 2018).

Spotlight on Box of Broadcasts

Think a little bit out of the box (no pun intended!) when finding resources for your studies and have a look at Box of Broadcasts – whatever your subject is, there just might be something there fore you.  The short video below will give you tips on where to find BoB, how to use BoB and get the most out of it.

With BoB you can…

• Access 2 million broadcasts dating back to the 1990s

• Record from over 65 free-to-air channels

• Create your own playlists, clips and clip compilations

• Search programme transcripts and subtitles

• Embed content in VLEs and share on social media

• One-click citation for easy academic referencing

• Available on all devices

• Fully accessible by all staff and students

 Access content from…

• BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, ITV, Channel 4, Film4 and more

• 10 foreign language channels: Italian, French and German

• BBC Shakespeare Archive content dating back to the 1950s

Here’s super quick video on how to search in BoB:

and how to create clips:

and how to request programmes:

For more tutorials go here or here.

Check out Lucy’s blog post on getting the most out of our film and televisions resources.

Spotlight on Web of Science

Despite its name, Web of Science provides access to current and retrospective multidisciplinary information from approximately 8,500 high impact journals, including titles within their Social Sciences Citation Index®, and Arts & Humanities Citation Index™ collections.  Web of Science allows cited reference searching where you can navigate forward, backward, and through the literature, searching all disciplines and time spans to uncover all the information relevant to your studies.

Where to find Web of Science:

  • Or you can find it under the Journals and Databases tab in your Subject Guide:

Web of Science coverage:

  • More than 20,000 journal, books, and conference titles
  • Over 69 million records
  • More than 90,000 books
  • Over 10 million conference papers

Web of Science content:

  • Life sciences, biomedical sciences, engineering, social sciences, arts & humanities.
  • Strongest coverage of natural sciences, health sciences, engineering, computer science, materials sciences.

Here’s some advanced search tips from Web of Science…

Where to find theses and dissertations?

Many of you are busy writing your dissertation right now, in the depths of your Masters project or wrestling with your PhD. If you are looking for ideas then look no further than our Theses and Dissertations Guide.

There are many reasons why you would use other theses and dissertations for your studies:

  • Has anyone else done a thesis or dissertation on my topic? If so…
    • How similar is it to my research question? Do I need to change my question slightly?
    • What references/citations did they use? Check them out, they might have used some good references that can help you.
    • Can you use this theses/dissertation as a reference for your research?
  • Inspiration! Maybe you have a vague idea what your research question is, but you want to see what’s been done already.

Our Theses and Dissertations Guide tells you what print and electronic theses NU Library holds, where to find international theses and signposts you to further information on theses/dissertation production.

 

Where to find Standards?

This small, but beautifully formed Standards Topic Guide will give you all you need to know about what standards you can access whilst at Newcastle University.

Standards are codes of best practice containing technical specifications and guidelines. They are used to ensure uniformity and consistency, reliability and safety and provide a quality benchmark.

We have full text access to all current BS, ASTM and IEEE standards.

Many ISO and EN (and some IEC) standards also have BS equivalents and are available online too.

To support teaching and research, we also purchase a small number of individual standards from other organisations (e.g. ASME, API, etc). These are usually available in hard-copy and you can find their shelfmarks on LibrarySearch.

If you need a particular standard for your research, dissertation, or to support your teaching, please contact the SAgE Library Liaison team for advice (lib-sage@ncl.ac.uk) or use the Books on Time service to ask us to buy it.

How to find images you can use?

The Images topic guide gives you plenty of help with how to find images and how you can use them in a responsible manner – being aware of Copyright laws and how to reference your images.

Remember to use the tabs to discover more on where to find moving images for your studies and further advice on using these resources.

Also check out Lucy’s blog post on using images.

To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk. – Thomas Edison

If invention is the name of your game, have a look at out Patent Guide.  Though it is small it is very mighty… explaining what Patents are, where to get help in Newcastle, links to online databases where you can search for patents and other online resources for further information on Patents.

*Please note, patents can be quite tricky to search for , so for further help we recommend that you attend one of Newcastle City Library’s FREE Intellectual Property surgeries.

 

Be better than the Google

Fed up of  struggling to find suitable resources for your assignment? Annoyed at Fake News plaguing your web browser? Be gone the days of relying on good ol’ Google to solve all your problems.  What you want is reliable, credible, and most importantly relevant information…and when do you want it? You want it NOW!

Never fear, your faithful Newcastle University librarians have curated your Subject guides. These guides are subject related collections of resources that give you access to eBook/book collections, databases, eJournal collections, and specialist resources to help you with your studies.

All the guides have the same layout which will hopefully help you navigate between multiple guides. So, watch this short 3 minute video tour and remember to bookmark them:

https://youtu.be/esLkqf9aeKc

Repeat after me… “Be better than the Google”