Subscription to WARC extended

The subscription to WARC, started in 2014 as a joint inititative of the Department of Communication and the University Library, has been extended for the coming academic year.

The database, widely used by both staff and students at the MA-programme Persuasive Communication, contains over 60,000 articles, case studies, research reports and summaries covering all areas of marketing, advertising and media communications. Data are drawn from more than 50 leading content sources worldwide including Admap, International Journal of Advertising, ESOMAR Conference papers and Journal of Advertising Research.

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Google Scholar Citations: Impact Made Easy

Having a Google Scholar Citations profile gives you the following benefits:

  • Check who is citing your publications,
  • Choose to have your list of articles updated automatically or review the updates yourself, or to manually update your articles
  • Make your profile public, so that it appears in Google Scholar results when people search for your name,
  • Look at your citations and check your metrics (h-index etc)

The main advantage of doing this, is that keeping track of your publications becomes a lot easier (which is also nice when you have to enter your publications into Pure)

1. Add publications with the help of Google

If Google Scholar hasn’t automatically detected your publications, you can also add them manually. This is especially important because it improves your chances of being found (and read) by other researchers.

The most likely cases where this can happen:

  • when you’ve published in non-English journals
  • when you’ve published in journals that are not peer reviewed
  • when you’ve published books
  • when you have a lot of publications from before 2006

Google Scholar has improved a lot during the last few years, but these these types of publications are less likely to be part of Google Scholar.

2. Add publications manually

Interested? You can sign up for a Google Scholar Citations profile here

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Mendeley for UvA users

Next week we will host a Mendeley workshop at Roeterseiland. Most of our information on Mendeley is on the UvA website (e.g. how to set it up, how to get an institutional account with more storage space and the ability to set up an unlimited number of groups).

The tutorial below was written for researchers with a UvA windows computer without admin rights because there is software that has to be installed in order to use Mendeley.

Installing Mendeley

  1. Open the Application Catalog (can be found in the start menu, under ‘all programs’ > ‘software maintenance’)
  2. Use the search box to find Mendeley
  3. Select Mendeley and scroll down and to the right in order to click on install

At the moment, there is a discrepancy between the current version of Mendeley (1.17.13) and the one in the Application Catalog (1.17.6). We contacted the IT department and they told us this would be solved within a month. The older version causes problems with the Write and Cite Plugin in MS Word (Mendeley Cite-O-Matic).

If you have admin rights and the incompatibility of the versions is still a problem, the options below might be helpful:

Remove old Mendeley plugins from MS Word on Windows 7 computers

  1. Open Ms Word and go to File > click on options > click on Add-ins
  2. Select ‘Word add-ins’ in the drop-down menu at the bottom of the page and click ‘Go’
  3. Locate the older Mendeley-x.xx.xx.dotm entry (in this case probably 1.17.6.dotm or older) and uncheck them
  4. Click oke

Remove the Word plugin through Mendeley Desktop

  1. Make sure MS Word is closed
  2. Open Mendeley Desktop from the start menu on your computer
  3. Select ‘Tools’ and click ‘Uninstall Word Plugin’ (or ‘Install Word Plugin’)

It is not uncommon to go back and forth between these two types of removal a few times until you only have the desired plugin. Please note that you can not fully do this if you do not have admin rights.

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“Education finance and policy” accessible via the UvA Library

Upon request from the Department of Sociology, the UvA Library has arranged a subscription to Education finance and policy.

The journal, published by the MIT Press for the Association for Education Finance and Policy, aims to promote «understanding of the means by which global resources can be justly generated and productively engaged to enhance human learning at all levels» and explores topics such as «school accountability, school choice, education standards, equity and adequacy in school finance, within- and across-school and district resource allocation, teacher compensation, training and labor markets, instructional policy, higher education productivity and finance, and special education».

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I can’t access a journal article via Scholar. What do I do now?

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How to spot fake news: the IFLA infographic

A couple of months ago I was asked by UvA Associate professor of Political science Imke Harbers whether it would be possible to give the students of her course Cooperation and conflict in Latin America a short presentation on Wikipedia in the broader context of (online) sources reliability, also in the light of the current concern about fake news.

As it usually is the case, when I’m asked to give presentations or workshops on (topics related to) information literacy, I was very glad to honour Imke’s request, since it also gave me an excellent opportunity to deepen my knowledge of Wikipedia, while assessing the relevance of fake news in a less fleeting perspective than the one currently allowed by the ceaseless outpour of (fake) news about fake news. History, hardly surprisingly, being the place where I most often look for a lasting perspective.

I was therefore very happy, and lucky, to work on the presentation together with colleague Wilma van den Brink, Subject librarian at the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, who is currently working also for the Information department of the UvA Library and – last but not least – is a historian (her MA-thesis discussed the impact of economic growth on the prostitution market in the Netherlands and specifically the city of Haarlem, 1850-1900).

It was Wilma who first mentioned the infographic made by the IFLA International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions on How to spot fake news. Next to the infographic’s extreme usefulness in any information literacy context (being authority, accuracy, coverage, currency and objectivity important evaluation criteria whatever the source), it is IFLA’s reason for making the infographic that will strongly appeal to any passionate subject librarian or any individual caring about critical thinking as a cardinal feature of a healthy democratic society: «When Oxford Dictionaries announced post-truth was Word of the Year 2016, we as librarians realized action was needed to educate and advocate for critical thinking – a crucial skill when navigating the information society».

What about history then, and its role when it comes to the fleeting shallowness of (fake) news about fake news? Both Wilma and I had a prompt association when thinking of fake news and the issue of evaluating sources in the (distant) past. Hers, from 2001, referred to the unfortunate use of an unreliable letter by then Crown Prince of The Netherlands Willem Alexander to counter the commotion that had arisen from his forthcoming marriage with Máxima Zorreguieta, the daughter of an Argentine politician who had served as minister under dictator Jorge Rafael Videla (left on the photo above, while Zorreguieta is on the right; see the website of the NOS Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation for a brief summary of the ‘affaire’, albeit in Dutch).

My own association – after having briefly considered the Gleiwitz incident that officially led to the outbreak of World War Two (and is actually a case of false flag) – went much further back in the past, with the so-called untori (plague-spreaders), which were believed to smear houses with pestiferous fat in times of plague. Made memorable in the 19th Century by one of Italy’s greatest writers, Alessandro Manzoni, who wrote of 17th Century‘s untori both in his major novel, I promessi sposi (“The betrothed”; chapter 32) and in his passionate historical essay Storia della colonna infame (“The story of the infamous column”), this textbook case of fake news knows an earlier documentary evidence in the late 16th Century edicts promulgated by the Spanish governor in Milan to counter the unrest that such rumours provoked «especially among the people who easily believe such stories’…» (“maggiormente à quei che facilmente si persuadeno à credere tali cose”; translation is mine, from p. 112 of the original I cinque libri degl’avvertimenti, ordini, gride et editti fatti, et osservati in Milano, ne’ tempi sospettosi della peste, available at Google books, see screenshot above).

Happy new year of not easily believed stories!

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Print and download Ebsco e-books (update 2017)

The following demo aims to help readers print and download (save/mail) the e-books that the UvA-Library purchases at supplier Ebsco (see for example Dreams and nightmares: Immigration policy, youth, and families, or The Corporate criminal: Why corporations must be abolished). Off-campus access is only possible for UvA-student or staff (please see here for more information).


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