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More Pupils Have Mental Health Issues Say School Staff

Monday, 30 March 2015

A report by the BBC says that a survey of school teachers suggests that more pupils have mental health issues than two years ago.

More than one in six said they believed at least a quarter of students in their school or college were affected by mental health problems.

Almost 90% said staff have had to provide more support for these pupils over the past two years, while 43% said they had been finding it harder to access services for pupils with mental illness.

One head of department at a Reading secondary school said local Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services were "completely overwhelmed". 

You can read more about this story here.

Parents Rarely Spot Child Obesity Study Warns

Doctors have warned that parents hardly ever spot obesity in their children, resulting in damaging consequences for their health.

In a study of 2,976 families in the UK, only four parents thought their child was very overweight. Medical assessments put the figure at 369.

The researchers, writing in the British Journal of General Practice, said obesity had become the new normal in society. Experts said the study showed the "enormity" of the obesity epidemic.

The team, from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the UCL Institute of Child Health, gave questionnaires to nearly 3,000 families asking if their child was obese, overweight, underweight or a healthy weight.

The results showed that nearly a third, 31%, of parents underestimated the weight of their child.

An accurate diagnosis kicked in only at the very high end of the scales.

The main explanation for parents not identifying their child's weight problem is that society as a whole has become so fat we have collectively lost our sense of a healthy weight.

You can read more about this story on the BBC News Website here.

National Student Survey 2015 Reminder

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

A reminder that the National Student Survey is still open at http://www.thestudentsurvey.com/.

Final year students this is your chance to have your say about your student experience. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete.

New Report Experiences of Criminal Justice For Children & Young People Affected By Sexual Exploitation

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

The Institute of Applied Social Research at the University of Bedfordshire has published a new research report Making Justice Work : Experiences of Criminal Justice for Children & Young People Affected by Sexual Exploitation as Victims and Witnesses.

The report is a one year participatory pilot research project, carried out by The International Centre: Researching Child Sexual Exploitation, Violence and Trafficking at The University of Bedfordshire. The research explored young people’s experiences of the criminal justice system in child sexual exploitation (CSE) cases, and the ways in which these could be improved.

Deaf And Disabled Children Talking About Child Protection

Monday, 23 March 2015

The NSPCC has published a new report: Deaf and Disabled Children Talking About Child Protection: Research into Children's Experiences of the Child Protection System

The report commissioned from the University of Edinburgh / NSPCC Child Protection Research Centre invstigates deaf and disabled children's experiences of the child protection system.

It highlights findings from in-depth interviews with 10 deaf and disabled people who had been abused during childhood. It looks at how they sought help, the barriers they faced and how professionals and organisations recognised and responded to the abuse.

It includes recommendations for policy makers and commissioners, agencies working with deaf and disabled children, and parents and carers.

Using Google Scholar For Research

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Google Scholar, as many people know, is a specialist search engine which searches only for academic research material on the web.

Google Scholar should never be your starting point for research! You should begin your research with DISCOVER, the libraries' resource discovery platform.

DISCOVER covers a vast amount of material and has lots of options to allow you to focus your search results to find the most relevant material for you topic. Filters of DISCOVER include:
  • Publication date
  • Source type
  • Language
  • Geography (country of publication)
Additionally, DISCOVER contains lots of full text material which you can read online or download straight away.

In contrast, Google Scholar has very few features to allow you to focus your results - date is really the only option available. It will also find lots of material whcih isn't available in full text and for whcih you will have to make use of the Document Supply Service (this will involve a wait for the material to arrive).

For those working on dissertations and research projects I would recommend using Google Scholar in addition to DISCOVER.

Google Scholar does have a few useful features which can help you with your research, as follows:
  • Under each search result you'll notice a link that says cited by 87 (or similar). This means that there are 87 other articles in Google Scholar which have cited your article (the more times an article has been cited the more important it is). Clicking on this link will show you links to these articles. This can be a good way of discovering other useful material on your topic. You can also search within these citing articles by ticking the "Search within citing articles box" for your keywords to focus on the most relevant articles.
  • Google Scholar allows you to set up search alerts - so that you'll be sent an email everytime a new article matching your keywords is added to it. Just click the "Create alert" option to the left of the screen.
There are also a couple of things you can do to make Google Scholar more like a database to make it easier to manage what you find:
  • On the Google Scholar home page click on the settings pinwheel, then click on Library Links. Type in "University of Bedfordshire" and you'll be given an option to select "University of Bedfordshire - UoB access". Tick this box and click Save. Next time you do a search you'll find a clickable option of "UoB access" appear beside those materials owned by the University which will take you to them. (N.B. This feature is only available when using a networked computer).
  • If you're using RefWorks to manage your references you can add an "import into RefWorks" option to your results. From the Google Scholar home page, click on the settings pinwheel and then under Bibliography Manager select "Show links to import citations into RefWorks" and then Save. You'll now see an Import into RefWorks link under every search result which works in exactly the same way as when importing references from DISCOVER.
If you'd like some help with finding material for your dissertation / honours project please feel free to email me. I'm happy to help!

Ebooks On Demand Is Back...

Monday, 16 March 2015

Over 33,000 ebooks are now available for preview via the Library Catalogue and DISCOVER.

These are VLeBooks made available through Askews and Holts – our new general ebook platform.

Staff and students will be able to preview each VLebook they select for a limited time. Thereafter, they will be asked to request access by clicking on a button and filling in a form. This will enable them to "rent" the book for seven days.

Each student has a limit of three rentals. If another customer were then then to request access after previewing the book, it would automatically be purchased.

Secondary Referencing

Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Recently I've had a few enquiries about Secondary Referencing. This is when you want to reference something that the book or journal article you're reading has referenced but you haven't read the original source.

You can find out more about secondary referencing in our online Referencing Guide. However, Secondary Referencing is not something that is encouraged.

It's considered bad academic practice to habitually use secondary referencing and whenever possible you should use the original source of the information. Of course, sometimes it will be impossible to get hold of the original source (e.g. because it's out of print) and in this case it's acceptable to use a secondary reference.

Children In Care Get "A Raw Deal" Say MPs In New Report

Children in care "get a raw deal" and the government is not doing enough to help them, MPs have said in a new report.

The report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee "Children in Care" says that in particular, the Department of Education shows "alarming reluctance to play an active role" in improving the lot of these children.

The report comes a day after Ofsted found child social care inadequate or requiring improvement in three quarters of the English local authorities it inspected last year, with services under "intense pressure".

The report says that 62% of children in care have suffered abuse and neglect but "too many still do not get the right placement first time, too many are moved too often, and too few are placed close to their homes."

In 2012-13 more than a third of children in care had more than one placement during the year, while a third of children in residential care and 14% of fostered children were placed more than 20 miles from home, it found.

The MPs say such instability can have a long term impact on emotional and physical health, social development, education and future employment prospects. They describe the gap in educational attainment between children in care and their peers as "shockingly wide".

The report urges the Department of Education to take an interest in the outcomes of its initiatives, evaluate progress and share successful practice.

It also urges the setting up of a national database of missing children, arguing that without such a register it is harder to find children who go missing from care, including victims of sex exploitation.

MPs also want the DfE to set out how it will attract more high-quality people into social work, to allow Ofsted to inspect council children's services more frequently and involve the watchdog in improvements between inspections.

Rights of Trafficked Children Recognised

Monday, 9 March 2015

The welfare of trafficked children has taken a giant step forward, with the passing of the Modern Slavery Bill. The Bill will receive Royal Assent soon.

The research team from the University of Bedfordshire has seen its work play a key role in shaping the new legislation. Clause 48 of the Bill defines the role of independent specialist advocates who will make sure trafficked children’s rights are respected by public authorities.

In July 2014, the research team at the University was appointed by the Home Office to independently evaluate a Child Trafficking Advocate (CTA) trial run by the children’s charity Barnardo’s.

The team from Bedfordshire is evaluating Barnardo’s work to establish what difference the specialist advocate scheme makes for trafficked children, compared to the existing provision, run by local authorities.

Professor of Child Welfare, Ravi Kohli, who leads the team from the University said: “The University is at the cutting edge of research in enhancing the protection of trafficked children. We are proud to be working with the UK Government and Barnardo’s in doing all we can to make sure that these children are safe.”

The team’s interim evaluation findings are based on the first four and a half months of the trial in which 59 children were allocated to the child trafficking advocates trial. The findings focus on the process of early implementation of the trial and early lessons learned about the role of advocates. So far, there is good evidence of advocates safeguarding children’s rights and meeting their needs.

The final evaluation report will be published after the trial ends in September and will draw on a wider range of data.

Free Research Tools On The Web

The libraries own resources should, of course be the starting point for your research. However, there are some free research tools out there on the web which may help you to uncover some useful material. Here are some of the main ones for the social sciences.

Social Care Online is a free database maintained by the UK Government backed Social Care Institute for Excellence. It covers all aspects of social work, social care and social welfare and provides links to many full text reviews, briefings, legislation and policy documents.

The Campbell Library free systematic reviews on education, crime, justice and social welfare.

The Cochrane Library free research on all aspects of health and healthcare. 

Trip Database online search tool designed for health professionals with an emphasis on evidence-based medicine.

COPAC free access to the merged online catalogues of many major, specialist and national libraries in the UK and Ireland. COPAC doesn't give you the full text of books but will help you to identify useful titles which you can order using our document supply service.

Google Scholar - specialist search engine from Google which searches for only academic research on the web. Google Scholar doesn't have all the features to help you to refine your search like DISCOVER does - so you will probably find yourself having to trawl through many pages of results...and not everything will be available in full text.

free access to the merged online catalogues of many major University, specialist and national libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. - See more at: http://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/applied-soc-studies/core-ab-indexes#sthash.29LWjuqi.dpuf
free access to the merged online catalogues of many major University, specialist and national libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. - See more at: http://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/applied-soc-studies/core-ab-indexes#sthash.29LWjuqi.dpuf
free access to the merged online catalogues of many major University, specialist and national libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. - See more at: http://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/applied-soc-studies/core-ab-indexes#sthash.29LWjuqi.dpuf

free access to the merged online catalogues of many major University, specialist and national libraries in the UK and Ireland, including the British Library. - See more at: http://lrweb.beds.ac.uk/applied-soc-studies/core-ab-indexes#sthash.29LWjuqi.dpuf

Pop-up IT Support

A reminder that pop-up IT support for help with student IT issues with laptops, tablets and mobiles is available every Monday from 11.00 am - 1.00pm.
  • Bedford, Ground Floor, Gateway Building
  • Luton, LRC, Level 1

All Babies Count - Spotlight On Homelessness

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The NSPCC has published a new report All Babies Count: Spotlight on Homelessness - an unstable start.

The report, published in partnership with the Anna Freud Centre , sets out what is known about babies whose parents are homeless. It emphasises the impact on babies who don’t have a supportive, affordable, decent and secure place to live. It includes recommendations for government to help ensure that babies affected by homelessness get the best start in life.

Free Workshops Still Running in March

Don't forget FREE study skills workshops are still running throughout March. The workshops cover such areas as:

  • Citing and referencing
  • RefWorks
  • Writing / Study skills
  • Using DISCOVER
  • It's NOT on DISCOVER!
  • Dissertation support
Check out the What's On Calendar for times, dates and locations.

New Social Science Books For February 2015

The following books are now available in the library:

New Report: Supporting English Care Leavers Into Independence

Monday, 2 March 2015

Barnardos has published a new report 'The costs of not caring: supporting English care leavers into independence'.

The Barnardo's report is based on research with 20 care leavers and finds that some local children's services are placing care leavers in unsuitable housing with "unrealistic" expectations as to how well they can cope with living alone.

The report found that some young care leavers are provided with good quality accomodation and emotional support, but this stops abruptly when they turn 18.

Often poorly prepared for how to run a home on their own, care leavers can find themselves unable to pay the rent and getting into arrears.

The report also revealed that lack of contingency planning offered by local authority departments was having a detrimental impact on costs to the public purse, with some not offering to help young people at the earliest opportunity.

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