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The Ranking of World Repositories: DERA and SSRN

June 25th, 2013 by Nazlin Bhimani in Library and Archives, Research Support

I’ve always been sceptical about league tables and my reaction to rankings of this sort is almost always in direct proportion to where the organisation I am working in is placed.  (In the case of the University World Rankings, the IOE  came 7th and so this must surely make us No. 1 in the UK as per my tongue-in-cheek tweet?!).  Anyway, I digress.

I am writing about rankings to inform you that the Newsam Library’s DERA – which stands for Digital Education Resource Archive and which contains documents published electronically by the UK government and related bodies in the area of education- came 233rd out of 1654 repositories  in the Ranking of World Repositories. This  is quite an achievement when you consider that DERA is a new comer on the scene of the social science repositories for it was only launched in 2011.

Of note in this league table is the open access repository that takes first place – the  Social Science Research Network .   The Social Science Research Network or SSRN as it is commonly referred to was founded in 1994.  The database  is searchable and you can download full-text articles (preprint versions) upon registration.  The search results are ranked by the number of downloads (which is a rather arbitrary ranking system of ranking). Although SSRN began in America, it is international in scope and many researchers use it to disseminate their work more widely.  SSRN ensures quick distribution via mirror sites at European Corporate Governance Institute (London), Korea University (Seoul), Stanford Law School (California) and University of Chicago Booth School of Business (Illinois).

The IOE LibGuides on ‘Finding’ and ‘Accessing Resources Remotely’ lists the SSRN among other open access resources relevant to education and the social sciences at

Your views on the British Library’s Social Science Strategy

January 25th, 2013 by Nazlin Bhimani in Library and Archives, Research Support

The British Library is seeking information about your experiences and your views on the Social Sciences collections at British Library.  In particular, they would like to find out about your level of engagement and satisfaction with the services provided, and the areas you think should be developed and improved.  As such, they have commissioned Education for Change Ltd to evaluate the BL’s Social Science Strategy.

Since education is multidisciplinary and sits within the social sciences, and because we make use of the various Social Science collections at the British Library, this is an opportunityfor all staff  and students to provide feedback.  An overview of the resources in this collection was given in an earlier post, The OTHER great library at our doorstep: Social Science Collections at the British Library – if you need to be reminded of this treasure!

A short survey which should take you about 5 minutes to complete is available at: so do  take the time to complete the survey as it will benefit us all in the long-term.

The British Library would like your feedback

March 23rd, 2012 by Nazlin Bhimani in Library and Archives, Research Support

The British Library

Have you been using Social Science materials at the British Library for postgraduate or academic research? If so, the British Library would like to hear from you.

As part of an ongoing collaborative partnership with the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the British Library is creating a website that showcases the best of their collections.

Within this project there is an opportunity for researchers of all career-stages to contribute a short piece detailing your work, and how it has been informed and enhanced by the materials and resources of the Social Sciences.If you are interested in doing this, please write to

The OTHER great library at our doorstep: Social Science Collections at the British Library

February 24th, 2012 by Nazlin Bhimani in Library and Archives, Research Support



The British Library

We often forget that we are a stone’s throw away from the other great library – the British Library which is our national library.

Last Tuesday, thanks to a timely reminder from an esteemed colleague, I attended a lunch time talk at the Thomas Coram Research Unit  by Dr. Polly Russell, the Lead Curator for Social Science Research at the British Library entitled “Exploring the British Library’s Collections for Researching Children and Families”.

Dr. Russell’s talk highlighted some of the gems in the national library’s collections, especially those relevant to researchers working children, family and related subjects.  These collections included the following:

The Sound Archive’s Oral History Collections available from the newly launched Sounds Website  – a collection of over 20,000 interviews (some digitised and available to listen online with accompanying transcripts) which surveys British life and is rich in detail about all aspects of British life in the twentieth century including social issues, health, disability, ethnicity and education (primary right through to tertiary), training.  Also of note is the National Life Stories Collection  which has some focus on education and training, the Millennium Memory Bank  (catalogue no. C900), the Family Life and Work Experience Before 1918 (C707) and the George Ewart Evans Collection of 250 recordings between 1956 and 1977 which include discussion of school life in rural communities. Read the rest of this entry »

New British Library webpages for social scientists

August 3rd, 2011 by Antony in Library

The British Library (BL) has recently re-designed its webpages for research support, neatly bringing together all the resources and events likely to be of interest to researchers in the social sciences.

As you might expect education features as one of the sub-sections of this new arrangement, and the pages provide an insight into the collection policies of the BL and also a useful overview of the electronic resources available in the Euston Road reading rooms, and on the wider freely available web (including in that area the IOE’s EPPI-Centre).