Guest Post: A Review of Box of Broadcasts

BoB Screen GrabLaura-Jayne Beattie, a final year Law School student, takes a look at Box of Broadcasts, and reviews a film she watched using it (a Law Library favourite!).


BoB (Box of Broadcasts), available to all Newcastle University students regardless of degree discipline, is an excellent resource. Best of all, it’s FREE for students studying at Newcastle (just what a student wants to hear)! You just have to select the university from the list of institutions, sign in with your university login details (username and password), and away you go! You’re free to explore the thousands of television programmes, radio broadcasts and films available on the website. It’s incredibly easy-to-use, and reminds me a lot of Netflix, but is less guilt-free as most of these programs and films are education-related in some way. The broadcasts may relate to your degree or another academic interest of yours (e.g. psychology-related films).

You can watch live TV, or search (by name) for a pre-recorded film, radio show or television programme. The system holds over 2 million broadcasts, which have been shown on television or aired on the radio at some point since the 1990s. If you don’t have a specific film or programme in mind which you would like to watch, why not try out the advanced search feature? Click on the ‘Search’ icon, then on ‘Search options’, change as many or as little options as you like, and then hit ‘search’! A list of broadcasts matching your search criteria will be shown. I’m sure there will be at least one that interests you!

SCreen grab of BoBAfter a few minutes of exploring the website, I decided to choose a film from the ‘Law in Literature Newcastle University’ playlist. To find this, I clicked on the ‘Search’ icon (on the tab across the top) and selected ‘Public Playlists’. I then typed the playlist’s name into the search box. I was surprised at how many titles were available within this collection (all related to Law). I chose to watch ‘Legally Blonde’, a personal favourite of mine but one that I haven’t watched for years.

Here’s what I thought…

Legally Blonde’, a fun-filled film showcasing a story of love and success, shows Law in a new perspective and is a must-watch for any Law students (Yes, even you boys). It’s a feel-good film, and is motivational in terms of showing that anyone really can succeed if they put their mind to it! It’s particularly perfect for any law student who feels ‘out-of-place’ with the supposed societal ‘ideal’ of who should be studying law.

Defying all pre-conceptions derived from her appearance, Elle Woods gains a place at the prestigious Harvard Law school. While this was initially to follow her ex-boyfriend, who broke her heart just before he proceeded to study Law there, she soon develops a passion for Law and becomes top of the class. She helps to win a case while on work experience using her knowledge of fashion, and later delivers an inspirational speech at graduation saying words like “you must always have faith in yourself”. When making this speech, it’s clear from the smiles in the room that she has won the hearts of students and staff alike and made lifelong friends with her heart-warming personality. Graduating with a job in a high-ranking law firm, she puts her career ahead of everything and even rejects her ex-boyfriend who wanted her back towards the end of the film.

Legally Blonde’ relates to Law, as Elle overcomes sexual harassment while on work experience (Employment Law). Initially, Elle doesn’t report the man and decides to drop out of law school- possibly as she thought she wouldn’t be believed or that what happened wasn’t actually a crime (a common occurrence amongst victims in reality). Parts of Law lectures are filmed, and Elle overcomes stereotypes that are derived from her appearance (blonde female who evidently loves the colour pink) (Law, Gender and Sexuality). Despite not being a typical Harvard student, she still succeeds without letting these stereotypes stop her.

The Great North Museum: Hancock Library:

My name is Helen Greenwell. Last year I graduated as a History student from Newcastle University. Welcome to the Great North Museum Hancock: Library where I work as a volunteer!

The library consists of four collections:

As Newcastle University students, you can borrow books from the Cowen collection and you can use any of the books from SANT or NHSN while you are in the library. We can scan or photocopy any of these books if you wish to leave the library.  You can become a member of SANT or NHSN in order to borrow their books, and students can receive a bursary from SANT so don’t worry about the cost, just ask one of the library team!

Our rare books collection is phenomenal and you only have to ask to view any of the volumes that are located in there. All of our stock is included in the University’s Library Search catalogue.  The library team has a great knowledge of the books that the library holds so even if you aren’t sure what you want, help is always at hand. You can explore history in this library and find books that you might not have even thought about.

The books in the library focus on archaeology, local history, and natural history, which include a lot more topics than you might initially think. If you’re stuck on a topic for your dissertation, why not pop into the GNM: Hancock Library  and see if there’s any subjects that you fancy writing about. You’ll be able to have access to primary sources, rare first editions of books, and even books from the 1500’s!

Newcastle Poll Book 1780
Photographed by Helen Greenwell

This library is small, but that means it’s personal. With a dedicated team of volunteers and Ian, the librarian, at your disposal, you will have quick access to a wide range of unique and fascinating texts.

Besides all the amazing books in this library, it’s also a great place to study, generally quiet and not too busy. There is plenty of space and computers linked to the University network to use, as well as power outlets and wi-fi access so you can bring your own laptop.

Come and ring the bell!

Resource in Focus: Finding UK news with Lexis

Lexis is primarily a legal database, but it also provides access to UK news from 1990 to the present day.

This resource covers national and regional newspapers, as well as broadsheets. We speak to a lot of students and academics who don’t realise that this resource covers publications such as The Times Educational Supplement and The Times Higher Education (although we now also have an institutional account for The Times Higher Education. Details of how to set up an account and access it can be found here).

For more information on what sources are covered by Lexis, simply click on ‘Sources’ section located in the top right hand corner once you are logged in. Below is a short introductory video of how to access and find information in Lexis. If you are looking for information on how to access international and historic newspapers, as well as business and TV/audio news, then check out our newspaper resources guide.

 

Take off with our new dissertations and project toolkit!

Are you preparing a dissertation or project, or will be doing so soon?

Make sure you visit our brand new interactive dissertations and project toolkit. Based on the extensive experience of staff from the Library and Writing Development Centre, our new guide includes an interactive search planner, which takes you through the different stages of developing your search strategy, and enables you to create and download your personalised search plan.

The search planner is complemented by a project proposal planner, developed by our colleagues in the Writing Development Centre, to help you develop or refine your research proposal.

The guide also points you to further advice on a wide range of relevant skills, such as finding, managing and evaluating information. It also directs you to the key information resources for your subject area.

It’s easy to navigate, with clear text and short videos throughout. We hope you find it helpful, and if you’ve got any feedback, please let us know.

Reading Lists

Have you discovered your Reading Lists yet?

Reading Lists are what you need to access and read to get understanding of the subject on the module(s) you are taking. It’s not just the Library saying this – these lists came from your lecturers!

The Reading Lists are a list of essential, recommended and background reading for your module. Each item has a quick link through to Library Search (to find where the book may be on the shelves) or there could be a direct link through to the eBook or online journal article. It’s an efficient way of accessing your reading and can save you loads of time.

Log into Canvas to access your Reading List

If you have any questions about your Reading Lists then ask your lecturer, or if there is a technical issue then email readinglists@ncl.ac.uk for assistance.

Calling all second years!

Find out how to become a confident and effective user of digital search tools and resources.

Does the summer and your first year of uni seem like a distant memory? Are you starting to feel like the work has cranked up and that you need some extra help?

As we’ve been out on campus teaching and chatting to you lovely second years, you have been telling us that it’s got very serious all of a sudden and you’re starting to feel overwhelmed. But never fear, the library has some great new academic skills guides to help you find, evaluate and manage your information in order to help you get those top marks for your assignments. These are transferable skills that will underpin all your work here at NU and which will ultimately help you get you that job you have always wanted.

So what are you waiting for? Save yourself some time and stress by getting your information skills up to scratch now. And remember, your friendly Library Liaison team is always here to help!

 

 

 

 

New specialist humanities resources for 2018/19

Laptop on table

We’re pleased to report that we’ve invested in several exciting new online resources for the new academic year. Whatever your subject interest, you’re bound to find something of interest. Keep an eye on our blog for more in-depth features on these new resources over the next few weeks.

African American Communities

Focusing predominantly on Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis, New York, and North Carolina, this collection presents multiple aspects of the African American community through pamphlets, newspapers and periodicals, photographs, correspondence, official records and in-depth oral histories.

Race Relations in America

Collection of primary source material covering Civil Rights in the USA from 1943-1970. Content includes photographs, correspondence, audio recordings, data and case studies, together with contextual features to help with interpreting the material.

Literary Print Culture: the Stationers’ Company Archive

The Stationers’ Company Archive is one of the most important resources for understanding the workings of the early book trade, the printing and publishing community, the establishment of legal requirements for copyright provisions, and the history of bookbinding. Explore extremely rare documents dating from 1554 to the 21st century in this invaluable resource of research material.

A bookbinder’s workshop, with the finished products in a domestic scene over on the right. Date: 1875

Rock’s Backpages

The largest database of online music journalism, providing access to thousands of interviews, reviews and articles about artists of all genres, from Aaliyah to ZZ Top. Coverage dates back 50 years, and also includes 500 audio interviews.

Rocks back pages logo

Drama Online

This comprises the text of over 2,000 international plays, from ancient Greek drama to contemporary works; film and audio recordings of productions, and contextual resources relating to drama theory and practice. This summer, we have just enhanced our Drama Online portfolio with the Nick Hern Books collection (400 plays) plus the 2017/18 core update (117 plays).

Digimap Aerial

Digimap is an online map and data delivery service, comprising various collections, including Ordnance Survey and Historic. We now also have access to Digimap Aerial. You’ll need to agree to the new licence before using them: please see our separate blogpost for more details.

Financial Times and Sunday Times upgrade

We have just updated our access to these archives to cover the Financial Times from 2011-2016, and the Sunday Times from 2007-2017 (our ‘page by page’ online archives already go back to the very first editions of these papers in the 19th century). For very recent coverage of the Sunday Times to the present day (text-only content) please visit Lexis. For current coverage of the Financial Times, please visit this page.

financial times newspaper snapshot

New eBook collections

And there’s more! We have also bought access to thousands of new eBooks across many subject areas. Read all about it!

students in library studying

 

New humanities eBook collections for 2018/19

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We’ve been investing in some major new humanities eBook collections this summer.

Bloomsbury eBooks

We’ve bought five new eBook collections from Bloomsbury, comprising over 150 titles across a wide range of subjects. The new collections are: Education 2018; Film and Media 2017; Linguistics 2018; Literary Studies 2018.

All the new titles are individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can access a full listing of collection contents on this page.

Cambridge Histories Online

We have added eleven new volumes to this major series, covering Ireland, Communism, modernism and slavery, which means we now have access to over 350 Cambridge Histories online.

De Gruyter

We have access to De Gruyter’s entire eBook collection until June 2019 (after which point, we will buy access to the most well-used titles). This collection of almost 27,000 titles covers a wide range of subjects, including linguistics, literary studies, law, philosophy, history, music, classical studies and many more. All titles are individually catalogued on Library Search.

Oxford Scholarly Editions Online

Full text literary works, including editorial annotations, enabling you to track variations between editions. We have now bought the Romantics Poetry collection, to add to the Prose and Drama collections, bringing the total to over 350 titles.

Oxford Scholarship Online: Classical Studies

We have bought 115 Classical Studies eBooks in this collection. All titles are individually catalogued on Library Search, or you can browse them as a whole collection on the OSO site.

We now have access to thousands more Springer eBooks, bringing the total to over 84,000 titles. These cover a wide range of subject areas, including history, law and criminology, literature, media and culture, language and linguistics, and many fields of social sciences. All titles are individually catalogued on Library Search or you can search/browse on Springerlink.

And there’s more! We’ve also invested in lots of specialist new e-resources for humanities. Read all about it!

 

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)

The consequences of Fake News

A scan of some of our “Fake or Fact?” stories this week might raise a few smiles, but as we’ve seen increasingly over the past couple of years, Fake News can have far-reaching consequences.
Hands up, who’s had the awkwardness of friends or family members reposting dubious material on Facebook? If so, you’re not alone. Apparently, according to a MIT study published this year, based on three years’ worth of Twitter meta-analysis, fake news travels up to six times faster than genuine stories. False stories were up to 70% more likely to receive a retweet – often due the novelty or shock factor.

In the sphere of politics, this can have worrying consequences. The U.S. election in late 2016 coined the term for us and is a particularly rich source of Fake news and political spin. Business Insider lists some of the most influential fake news stories to surface during this time; from false claims that WikiLeaks had proof of Clinton arms deals with ISIS, to a fictional Papal endorsement of Trump, said to have received nearly a million hits on Facebook. Only this month, the Jakarta Post reported on concerns of Fake News polluting the build-up to the Indonesian Presidential Elections next year as Facebook groups flood the country’s web spaces with doctored videos; something that has previous lead to protests in the streets of the capital.

And even when we know we might be dealing with dubious information, Fake News can continue to wield influence. Newcastle University’s own Dr. Gavin Stewart, a meta-analysis expert explains “claims with no scientific proof cast doubt over those with overwhelming evidence, leaving us at the best confused and in the worst case making totally the wrong decision.”

A strong example can be found in the now discredited research of Andrew Wakefield. Back in 1998, Wakefield drew unsubstantiated links between the MMR vaccination and childhood autism. Despite the widespread exposure of the fraudulent claims and rebuttals from the medical community, vaccination rates of the MMR vaccine dropped, and last year saw a 400% increase of measles cases across Europe.

So what does this mean for you as a current student?
The National Literacy Trust has been conducting research into pupils’ critical skills, and worryingly, has found that 35% of teachers in the UK taught pupils citing fake news and satire as legitimate sources. A fifth of pupils between 8 and 15 believe that everything found online is trustworthy and true. The antidote to this is building on one of your core graduate attributes and competencies – critical thinking. Always check out stories you’ve found online before using them in your work. Who have they come from, how partisan is that group or author? Is the material satire? What does the author stand to gain? Employers in all industries are looking for graduate with sharp reasoning skills and sound judgement. As students producing work in the current “post-truth” climate, your job is a little tougher, but you can turn this to your advantage by proving you have the skills and the smarts to outwit the Fake News racketeers.

Read our other blogs on Fake News to learn about the history and growth of Fake News and how you can become a Fake News Ninja.

References
1. Vosoughi, Roy and Aral, (2018). “The spread of true and false news online.” Science, 359: 6380, pp. 1146-1151.
2. Roberts (2016) “This is what fake news actually looks like — we ranked 11 election stories that went viral on Facebook.” Business Insider UK. November 17th
http://uk.businessinsider.com/fake-presidential-election-news-viral-facebook-trump-clinton-2016-11/#5-hillary-clinton-sold-weapons-to-isis-and-it-was-confirmed-by-wikileaks-7)
3. Pearl (2018). “Indonesia battels fake news as elections looms” Jakarta Post. 15th March http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2018/03/15/indonesia-battles-fake-news-as-elections-loom.html
4. Newcastle university (2018) “Filtering out Fake News” 7th March. http://www.ncl.ac.uk/press/articles/latest/2018/03/fakenews/
5. Houston, (2018) “Measles back with a vengeance due to fake health news” The Irish Times. Feb 23rd. https://www.irishtimes.com/opinion/measles-back-with-a-vengeance-due-to-fake-health-news-1.3401960
6. National Literacy Trust (2018). “Commission on Fake News and the Teaching of Critical Literacy Skills in Schools” https://literacytrust.org.uk/policy-and-campaigns/all-party-parliamentary-group-literacy/fakenews/