All posts by Helen

Fake News – Is it true or is it a fake?

There has been a lot written about fake news recently. With many thinking it effected the US elections and the Brexit vote in the UK.

What is Fake news?

Fake news can be relatively harmless satire or a deliberate attempt to mislead. Unfortunately fake news tends to be written is such a way that they  attract high numbers of shares. This is deliberate as they can generate large amounts of income for their publishers.

Why does it matter?

It matters because not everybody realises they are Fake News stories.

For example we hope you would realise this is fake –

britain-threatens-to-invade-switzerland

But there are clues – the byline says Doug Trench (unlikely name) and it is on a website called the Suffolk Gazette which states it is “Let us tell you the Suffolk Gazette is without question Britain’s best spoof news and satire news site – all with a lovely Suffolk twist.”

However the reason this fake news is hitting the headlines is because of stories being shared connected with the US elections and the EU referendum.

This clipping was shared widely but is completely untrue – _92449335_trumppeople1998

Google and Facebook are both under fire for not flagging things as untrue so expect to hear more about this as they work on algorithms to sort it out.

There are lots of sites to check if something is true or not 

Here are three which either check the stories or you can check the facts

Snopes – http://www.snopes.com

Full Fact:  https://fullfact.org/

Fact Check: http://www.factcheck.org/

Here are Golden Rules for checking

  • Read before Sharing
  • Check the date
  • Avoid sites that aren’t balanced if looking for facts
  • Check if other reliable sources are reporting it
  • Fact check – Snopes and other sites
  • Ask a librarian if you want more help – information is our job

We have put together a video which gives you an overview of how to test if something is true or not.

 

Shelf-Help: helps you to understand and manage your health and wellbeing using self-help reading

We all need a little help sometimes. It might be to make sense of things happening to us or a friend. The library has collected together books from the Reading well Books on Prescription list to help everyone in the college who wants a little Shelf-help.

The list of books is available here. There is a mix of ebooks and print books available.

How are the books selected?

The books for the lists were selected using an evidence-based approach supported by a rigorous process of consultation and expert advice. The titles have all been recommended by experts as useful, effective and accessible and tried and tested by people with lived experience.

How to get the most from the books

Respected professionals with relevant experience have produced guides to help people get the most out of the reading recommended by Reading Well Books on Prescription.

Common mental health conditions:

https://readingagency.org.uk/adults/Reading%20Well%20Making%20the%20most%20of%20your%20book.pdf

A final word from the Library We hope that this book will help you, but please help us by not writing in it! It can be very tempting when you find an idea that you want to highlight, or a worksheet that you want to fill in. It’s ok to photocopy a few pages for your own use.

 

Mass Observation Archive Online

The library now has access to the Mass Observation Archive online.

Mass Observation Archive Online is an online archive of British social history from 1937- 1972, with a focus on the World War Two period (1939-1945). The Mass Observation research project involved the scientific observation of public attitudes and opinions. Mass Observation online is an online archive of the original research documents created by the University of Sussex library. There is a large amount of help information available here.

Key features

  • File reports on a range of subject areas (1937-1972)
  • Day Surveys and Diaries recording every-day experiences and opinions of the general public (1937-1945)
  • Directives recording opinions of the general public on pre-determined research topics (1939-1945)
  • Books and Essays published by the Mass Observation project
  • Other personal papers collected by the Mass Observation research project

Subjects who might find this useful

  • History
  • Politics and International Relations
  • Sociology
  • Criminology
  • Media Arts
  • Geography

To read about using the physical archive you can view this post by one of our librarians who used it in her MA.

Mass Observation Archive

There are lots of specialist archives around the country which may help students here at RHUL.

One of these is the Mass Observation Archive which is based at The Keep in Falmer (near Brighton) in Sussex. The archive contains lots of material about everyday life in Britain on a large range of topice. The original Mass Observation social research organisation (1937 to early 1950s) collected lots of material via questionnaires, interviews and diaries. The Victoria Wood play Housewife, 49 (available on BoB ) is based on one Mass Observation diarist. Newer material has been collected continuously since 1981.

We also have access to the Mass Observation Archive online.

I used the archive when I was studying for my MA Film Studies as part of my dissertation on Women, Romance and World War II. The archive interviewed and collected information on all sorts of topic including film and was an invaluable resource to me. (It even surveyed cinema queues)

Books and journal articles can tell you a lot but the material here is primary resources, written by ordinary people. From the archives I learnt a lot more than I could have done just from reading books or even contemporary newspaper articles.

Amongst the things I found out were:

“Almost invariably the Nazi salute has resulted in laughter from the audience while anti-war talk has been received with great interest.” (17/3/A: Film Questionnaire 1939)

One questionnaire asked for suggestions on how cinemas should be improved –

“Patrons cars should be washed and polished for free whilst in a cinema’s car park.”

“That a rigid ban should be imposed on the consumption of peanuts.” (BOX 2: FILMS 1936 – 42, 17/2/A: The Bernstein Report)

 

In an Interview with the Manager of  Classic Cinema Tooting. On Thursday 16th November 1939

“Our business is kept by women. In wartime they have husbands and sons serving, say sons, your age, who they know have got no life, they have sacrificed everything, they’ve got to mix with Tom, Dick and Harry, and may lose an arm or a leg. That’s the woman’s view. Therefore in the suburban halls we leave war films entirely alone.”

(TC 17 Box 4)

This really gave me a sense of what the actual cinema-going public were thinking and helped me to form my research as it reminded me that indeed the men would be off fighting so women would want less war and more escapism.

There were also surveys of the 1536  letters to Picturegoer magazine in 1940. This included an analysis of topics covered, 47% were about stars and 55% were written by men. Whilst the books I was reading were telling me all about the soldiers and the war this helped me shape the idea that people were turning to the cinema for escapism and even taking the time to write to magazines about it. These letters also drew attention to the fact that Deanna Durbin was one of the most popular stars at this time, not something I was able to find out elsewhere where the books and contemporary accounts are often written by critics and don’t necessarily reflect public opinion.

My favourite box of treasures was FILMS M36-50 Box 1 as this contained reports from the Mass Observation correspondents.

Gems from this include this overheard conversation reported by G.L. Wallace:

1. “ I suppose it will be a long time before we shall see “Gone With The Wind” here, did you see in the paper that they weren’t to let people in for under 2/6?”

2. “No, not really, still I suppose it is a long film, four hours long isn’t it?”

1. “I read 3 hours and 41 minutes, still the book was very long.”

2. “I never read the book, that sort of stuff bores me.”

1. “Well, I hope they have the film here, my Gert (?her daughter) wants to see it awful badly”

Gone With the Wind was released and in terms of tickets sold is still the most successful film at the British Box office (BFI. 2010. The Ultimate Film, 4/9/2006 2004 [cited 03/07/2010 2010]. Available from http://www.bfi.org.uk/features/ultimatefilm/) – people obviously did part with their 2/6 but nowhere else did I find anything about the fact that people were discussing it.

Joyce Ausden:

“Children, by the way, are amused at the sight of any Germans “Goose Stepping,” they shout with decisive laughter. They also boo loudly at any picture of Hitler.”

G.L. Wallace:

“Wartime cinema audiences are definitely more responsive than they were before the war, except possibly for the short period immediately before the outbreak. With regard to chorus-singing, for instance. People will sing perfectly happily in a music-hall, and extremely unwillingly in a cinema, yet, when I went to one of our larger local cinemas on the evening of Sept. 2nd, everyone, myself included, bawled happily at the tops of their voices. This chorus-singing, mainly with an organ, is catered for to a much larger extent since the war. Quite a different aspect of people’s rather free-and-easy attitude in the cinema was shown by the fact that quite large numbers of the audience booed and hissed when Hitler appeared on the screen. Rude remarks were shouted too such as “I’d like to wring his bloody neck”, and “Pity somebody doesn’t bump him off.” These, however, have died down not, although there are occasional humorous remarks when any members of the German Government appear on the screen. The sudden outburst of songs and jokes about them have made the German Cabinet appear to the average man in this country to be a secondary “Crazy Gang.”

“The Blackout has made a great deal of difference to cinema-going in this district. On a normal weekday night (except Saturday) when the weather is reasonably fine about the same number of people go to the cinema as in peace-time. But if the night is at all cloudy or unpleasantly wet, the number is very much smaller than usual. Before the war the cinemas on Saturday night were packed and many people had to queue up and stand, now however the cinemas are no fuller on a Saturday night than on any other night. There has been a great increase in the number of people going to the first performances (approx 2-5) and also to the second house while the last house is often fairly empty, depending on the weather conditions etc.”

I could never have achieved such a rich picture of cinema-going in wartime without the Mass Observation Archive. You can access it online here.

Helen Rimmer

Promoting your research using Google Scholar for your own citations

Google Scholar

My Citations is a  feature which provides a simple way for authors to keep track of citations to their articles. You can check who is citing your publications, create graphs of your citations over time, and compute several citation metrics. You can also make your profile public, so that it appears in Google Scholar results when people search for your name .

"Bibliography" by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.
“Bibliography” by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. C BY-SA. Flickr.

It is very quick to set up and simple to maintain – even if you have written hundreds of articles, and even if your name is shared by several different scholars. You can add groups of related articles, not just one article at a time; and your citation metrics are computed and updated automatically as Google Scholar finds new citations to your work on the web. You can even choose to have your list of articles updated automatically – but you can also choose to review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles at any time.

First, create a regular Google account, or sign in to the one you already have. It is a good idea to use a personal account, not your university account, so that you can keep your profile for as long as you wish, even if you change jobs.

1. Once you’ve signed in to your Google account go to Google Scholar, select the link to My Citations. There are three stages to complete.

The Citations sign up form will ask you to confirm the spelling of your name, and to enter your affiliation, interests, etc. We recommend that you also enter your university email address, because that would make your profile eligible for inclusion in Google Scholar search results.

 

2. On the next page, you’ll see groups of articles written by people with names similar to yours.
Click “Add all articles” next to each article group that is yours, or “See all articles” to add specific articles from that group. I
f you don’t see your articles in these groups, click “Search articles” to do a regular Google Scholar search, and then add your articles one at a time.
3. Once you’re finished adding articles, you will be asked what to do when the article data changes in Google Scholar. You can either have the updates applied to your profile automatically, or you can choose to review them beforehand. In either case, you can always go to your profile and make changes by hand.
Finally, you will see your profile. This is a good time to make a few finishing touches – upload your professional looking photo, visit your email inbox and click on the verification link, double check the list of articles, and, once you’re completely satisfied, make your profile public.
5. Once your profile is public you can be searched for by name. Your profile will display the articles which have been collected by Google Scholar, the number of citations they have received (citations indices), and a map of your H-index.

You can also search for others by name, or by name of institution or place in the My citations screen: (NB note also the My Citations – Help feature). Run a search on ‘Royal Holloway’ (or any other institution) and see who else has registered on My Citations.

If you notice some of your articles are not in your Google Citations profile, you can sign in to your Citations profile, and select ‘Add” option from the pull down Actions menu. Search for your articles using titles, keywords, or your name. To add one article at a time, click ‘Search articles’ and then ‘Add article’ next to the article you wish to add. Your citation metrics will update immediately.

If your search doesn’t find the right article, click ‘Add Article manually’. Then, type in the title, authors etc and click ‘Save. (NB Citations to manually added articles may not appear in your profile for a while).

Helen

Meet your Librarian – Sian Downes

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

My name is Sian and I am the Information Consultant for the Schools of Law, Management and Psychology

Sian Downes

How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I will have worked here for two years come October

 What is your role within the Library?

I am the Information Consultant for the Schools of Law, Management and Psychology. I liaise with academics and the departments to ensure that we have all the resources that they need for your courses. I teach Information Literacy skills to all students within those departments and also run training courses throughout the year open to all students. I help students with their research problems and when they do not know where to start for their essays.

I also help run the Library Social media accounts (follow us on Twitter @RHUL_Library)

 Have you always worked in Libraries?

Whilst I was at University I worked in a lovely ‘old man’ pub and Claire’s Accessories. Then I worked at Waterstones for 18 months before getting my first library job at the British Library when I was 24.

 What did you want to be when you were little?

A librarian (my Uncle worked The National Library of Wales and I thought it was so cool there)

What did you study?

I studied Law at undergraduate level and Information Science at Masters level

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – it is my favourite of the series

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

The superpower would definitely be flight. I live in South London and it would make commuting much easier if I could just fly here. I am not very imaginative with names, so I would just be The Flying Librarian

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

BEST JOB EVER

 What advice would you give to a new student?

Come and ask us anything!

and

A mug of peas made in the microwave with a little butter is a great and cheap snack

Meet Your Librarian – Leanne Workman

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

Hiya, I’m Leanne (Workman). I am the library information consultant for the Sciences. I look after the subjects: Biological sciences, Computer Science, Earth Science, Information Security, Mathematics, Physics and the Centre for Professional Studies!

 How long have you been at RHUL Library?

Aha a bit of a complex question! Technically I have been h

Leanne Workman

ere (in this post) since May 2016, but I worked in the library from 2012 to 2015 as an information assistant providing copyright-cleared digital copies of book chapters and articles for Moodle. (I was also a student here, so I should know the place quite well by now!)

 What is your role within the Library?

So my role is to work with all of the students, lecturers and researchers in the departments I look after to ensure that the Library has the resources they all need. I also provide information skills training (us library folk like to call it “information literacy”!) Basically we want to make sure our library users can recognise when they need info, where to find that information (i.e. what resources are available both inside and outside of the Library) and be able to evaluate & use the information well thereafter. I would like to think of us as the Jedis of the Information World!

Have you always worked in Libraries?

No, not always! I’ve worked in various administration & customer services roles, which tbh I did not find all that thrilling! I was a warden and tour guide at Windsor Castle for three years just after graduating, which was great fun! But it was when I volunteered in the Royal Archives for about a year that I worked out I love digging around for information, researching and organising  it all, so it got me thinking that perhaps this was something I could do for a living! From that I applied (and got) a graduate trainee information assistant role at the National Art Library in the Victoria and Albert Museum (you can see I really only choose very pretty buildings to work in/nearby!) After that, I started at Royal Holloway as an Information Assistant and the rest, as they say, is history…

What did you want to be when you were little?

Well, this is embarrassing *blushes*… I remember very distinctly wanting to be a Native American and to live with Pocahontas (whilst simultaneously being a ballerina of course and/or a nurse – until I realised I fainted at the sight of blood and rethought my career choice!)

 Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

I don’t really have any heroes- sorry that’s such a lame answer!!

What did you study?

I studied History at University of Essex. I then went on to do a Masters here in Gender History and I am currently studying for my Library and Information Studies Masters at Aberystwyth University (you could say I’ve got the ‘study bug’!!)

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

Ah man it is like asking a parent to choose their favourite child!!

….

……..

I am of the Harry Potter generation and I am still a HUGE fan so I think I will say that! But tbh, I just love a good book!!

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

This is a tricky one as I am also a small-time closet comic book geek! I think I would like to be a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer (though I rather think I am more like Giles the Librarian than Buffy!) and Phoenix from the X-Men (telekinesis, telepathy and ability to manipulate matter on a subatomic level? Darn yes!)

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

CAKE! Fun; information-sharing! (I think I am technically cheating with the last but :P)

 What advice would you give to a new student?

Use the library- seriously. [That’s not just in the inner library geek coming out here!] The studying side of life is soooo much easier when you use the library & you get better grades top! We have lots of stuff you’ll need, and if you’re not sure where to find information, please just ask! We’re only an email or an email away (or pop by!) And it is our job to help YOU J

Meet your Librarian – Rachel Sleeman

Could you introduce yourself, and let us know your job title?

My name is Rachel Sleeman and I am the Information Consultant for English, Media Arts, Drama & Theatre and the Centre for the Development of Academic Skills (CeDAS).

Rachel Sleeman

 How long have you been at RHUL Library?

I am relatively new to Royal Holloway and started at the end of April this year. I am looking forward to the new academic year and meeting all of the students!

 What is your role within the Library?

My role is to support several departments (English, Drama & Theatre, Media Arts and CeDAS) and to ensure the library has the resources the students and staff need. Another important part of my role is teaching information literacy skills. This involves showing users how to use resources, how to search effectively, how to recognise resources that are suitable to use and managing the information once you have found it.

 Have you always worked in Libraries?

Yes apart from a some part time jobs before and during University. I’ve worked in various libraries including a specialist library in The Met Office, Further Education Colleges and Universities.

 What did you want to be when you were little?

There was a very short period where I wanted to be a lorry driving! Not sure why this was especially as I don’t think I am the best driver, my Peugeot is plenty big enough! Since finishing University and getting my first part time post in a library as a library assistant all I have wanted to do is to work in libraries.

Long Distance Clara

 Do you have any heroes and if you do, why are they your heroes?

Not sure about hero but I do love JK Rowling! I am a massive fan of Harry Potter and the novels she has written under the guise of Robert Galbraith. I also love the fact that she has recently dropped off the Forbes billionaire list due in part to the large amounts of money she donates to various charities.

 What did you study?

I studied English Literature at Swansea University

 Do you have a favourite book, and why?

I have lots of favourite books and would struggle to pick just one! I remember there were two books that I studied at University that stayed with me. One was Dracula by Bram Stoker and the other was The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. I loved both of these texts but did struggle to sleep after reading them both!

 If you had a superhero alter ego, what would they be named, and what would your super power be?

Not sure what my superhero alter ego would be, but I definitely know what super power I would like! I would love to be able to disappear on the spot and turn up anywhere in the world instantly (apparating for any Harry Potter fans).

 Describe working in the library in 3 words

Varied, rewarding, interesting

 What advice would you give to a new student?

My advice would be to make use of the library resources and if you are unsure about anything at all contact your information consultant, we are all more than happy to help!

Changes to the Copyright Licensing Agency Higher Education Licence

This licence covers the photocopying and scanning for education not for personal use. 

The College has recently signed the new CLA Higher Education Licence which runs from the 1st August 2016 to 31st July 2019. It is essential that all staff and students are aware of the new licence with the important updates and comply with the licence.The licence covers photocopying and scanning for the provision of print copies and digital copies on Moodle used in teaching.

Up to the following may be copied under the Licence:

  • One whole chapter from a book
  • One whole article from a journal issue
  • One short story, poem or play (not exceeding 10 pages in length) from an anthology
  • One whole scene from a play
  • One whole paper from a set of conference proceedings
  • One whole report of a single case from a volume of judicial proceedings

Or 10% of any of the above, whichever is the greater (this is an increase from the previous licence which stated 5%)

  • Where a digital publication is not organised in a similar way to conventional printed items, you are advised to exercise your best judgement to copy reasonable extracts.

You can make as many copies as are required to provide one for each student and tutor on the module.

Staff are reminded that all articles and chapters provided on Moodle must be digital copies as supplied by the Digital Copies Service in the Library. This ensures compliance with the licence which is monitored annually by the CLA via audit.

The Library’s webpages have been updated:

https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/library/teachingsupport/copyrightadvice.aspx

https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/library/teachingsupport/digitalcopiesforteaching.aspx

The CLA has provided a very useful page with the Licence in full at http://he.cla.co.uk/your-he-licence/your-he-licence/about-the-cla-higher-education-licence-2/cla-licence-documents/

 

 

Blind Date with a Book

Do you judge a book by its cover? Put your trust in fate and take a chance on a blind date.

blinddateposter

We have collected together some mystery titles for you take away with you  – Fiction in Founders and Non-Fiction in Bedford.

To meet your blind date:

  • Come to the libraries from 24th Mayheart lonely
  • Choose a blind date book from the display.
  • Issue it using the self issue machines
  • Take it home and unwrap it.
  • Tweet us about it! As we all know, blind dates don’t always go well but some can lead to true love.
  • Help others with an honest review… #blinddatewithabook

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