Welcome to the University Library

 

 

Whether you’re a fresher or a final year student we want to help you get the most from your Library. From discovering resources to finding the right study space, to where to go to get help with your coursework. We’ve made a short video so if you’ve only a few minutes to spare it’s all you need to get started…..

Transitioning from school to university

Lego person with suitcase getting out of car

Your bags are packed and you are excited to get started at uni, but you may be beginning to wonder what on earth to expect? How does it differ from a school environment? Never fear! We have created a short video just for you and put lots of advice and tips on our transitioning web pages. We’re looking forward to meeting you soon!

P.S. Even if you’re not coming straight from school, some of this advice will still be relevant for you too, so do take a peek.

New resources: Science, Agriculture and Engineering

This summer we have been very busy buying new journals, databases, eBook collections and print books in hot topics of interdisciplinary interest across Science, Agriculture and Engineering. Dive in and discover:

Computing

Journals
eBooks

Engineering

Journals
eBooks and databases

Mathematics, Statistics and Physics

Journals

Geophysical and Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics

eBooks

Natural and Environmental Sciences

Journals
eBooks and databases

Explore Library Search and your subject guide today and find out what else we now have available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 





 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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/

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 Scopus

Have you ever found yourself asking any of the questions below?….

  • Where can I find relevant, high quality information for my research?
  • How can I track who has cited an article since it’s publication, as well as looking back on the references it used?
  • How can I follow an academics work?
  • Who can I collaborate with in my research?
  • Which journal should I submit my paper to?
  • Where can I find information to support my research funding application?

…..If you have, then why not take a look at Scopus and use it as your starting point? You can access it through Library Search or through your subject guide in the ‘Journals and Databases’ section.

Whatever subject you are studying, Scopus is one of the databases that you need to get to know. It is a large multi-disciplinary abstract and citation database of peer reviewed literature. It contains over 69 million records, including journal articles (from 22,000 titles), conference papers, books (20,000 new book details added every year) and book chapters. However, it doesn’t just have a list of results for you to wade through, but it has a series of smart tools which help you track and visualise the research as well. You can search for documents, sources, authors and institutions and compare and contrast them using a variety of different tools.

If you are wondering if Scopus is for you, then check out the video below. And if you are already a user of Scopus, then why not listen to one of their webinars to get the best out of the resource or check out the Scopus blog for tips and tricks. Happy exploring!

 

Fancy yourself as the next Sherlock?

What comes into your head, when someone says ‘maps’? I think we often presume that if we aren’t studying geography, earth sciences, archaeology or architecture for instance then they aren’t for us. But think again! Maps can be applied to a variety of different ways in research and we have put together a Maps topic guide to explain what resources we have and potentially how they can be used.

The Maps guide outlines the different ways you can access both physical and online maps and gives you an overview of how you can use our online Digimap ROAM subscription.  With this tool, you can not only get up to date OS Maps, but also historic maps which can help track both infrastructure development, as well as social and environmental changes too. And if you want to directly compare different aged maps against each other, Digimap lets you toggle between the two on your screen.

Thematic maps and a database of case studies to see how Digimaps have been applied to research can also be found on the Maps guide. Here is just a taster to whet your appetite:

  • Mapping the victims of Jack the Ripper using Historic Roam
  • Conducting a national fox survey using Environment Roam
  • Studying garden history and landscape in the 18th Century
  • Designing housing in Byker for an Artists in Residence project.

So…..before you rule out maps as not relevant for your research, why not take a minute and have a look at our Maps guide  to see if there is potentially something for you!

N.B. If you’re wanting to be the next Sherlock, just remember you need to plan your investigations in advance and register with Digimap at least 24 hours before you need to start using the resource.

Taking a road trip and need to find this week’s petrol prices?

Statistics…..legislation…..government bills….these often aren’t the type of things which get us jumping up and down with excitement and if we do need to find information on them it can be a bit daunting to know where to start. Where do I find statistics on this week’s petrol prices?….Where do I find historic proceedings of the Old Bailey? ……Where do I find out information on GDP growth? How can I find European or international case law?……What changes are forecast for the post-referendum UK economy?…… These are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of questions that can underpin vital academic research or help you with a business start up.

But never fear, your trusty librarians are here with our Government Publication Guide. Hurrah I hear you shout!

On the Government Publication Guide you will find a wealth of subscriptions and high quality links to statistical information, legislation, parliamentary publications and international statistics and official publications. So what are you waiting for…….head to the guide and check it out!

New resource on trial: Kanopy

The Library has trial access to the Kanopy film streaming platform. This provides access to over 30,000 films from 800 filmmakers. The content includes feature films from classics to contemporary, together with international documentaries on a wide range of subjects, including arts, business, history, science and technology, and politics.

Kanopy’s functionality includes creating clips and playlists, viewing subtitles, and adding comments and ratings.

The trial ends on March 18th 2018. Please explore and send us your feedback.

NB If you are off-campus, please log in to RAS first of all, and then within RAS, access this blogpost and Kanopy link.