Changes to the research assessment procedures

June 24, 2009
Research panel.      Copyright: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid

Research panel. Copyright: Scott Beale/Laughing Squid

The first Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) was undertaken in 1986 and five further exercises have taken place since then. The RAE  introduced a formalised assessment of  British research and is thought to have improved its quality and impact. However there is now a consensus that the RAE in its present form has served its purpose. It is hoped that the new system, the Research Excellence Framework (REF), will be a less onerous process for universities but will  still be able to identify and fund quality research.  In the future there will be  distinct systems for the sciences and for other subjects.

At a  recent conference, the Higher Education Funding Council (Hefce) has outlined its proposed methods of assessment which will determine the allocations of £1.6 billion research funding from 2014.

Contrary to earlier thinking, citation analysis – a measurement of the number of times a work is cited by a peer – is to  play a lesser role in the future. Graeme Rosenberg, Hefce’s REF project manager said ” We just don’t think bibliometrics (a set of methods used to measure the impact of research papers) are sufficiently mature at this stage to be used in a formulaic way or, indeed to replace peer review” .  Hefce will draw up a list of subjects for which citation analysis is appropriate.  They have listened to the criticisms of engineering academics who think that the Web of Science – the database which Hefce was planning to use – has a patchy coverage in engineering. Citation analysis can be a blunt instrument for measuring engineering research because  it is not always possible to publish papers in this field quickly if the work has been done for companies who wish to protect their intellectual property. Any defence work is confidential and cannot fit into a metrics system.

The Hefce proposals have not yet been finalised , they will be considered by its board later on this year.


Database of the month: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

June 23, 2009


 Leslie and Virginia Stephen  (Source: commons

Leslie Stephen, pictured here with his daughter, the novelist Virginia Woolf, was the founding editor of the Dictionary of National Biography – one of the great Victorian  projects. We are grateful to him for having helped create a work which has informed both general reader and scholar for over a hundred years.

It was published in 1885 and quickly became the standard reference work of notable figures from British history. The second edition, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography was published in 2004 and online. In two previous posts I have written about the kind of material that can be found in this work and cannot recommend it highly enough. On Wednesday June 17th  we held a Database of the Month workshop on the ONDB in the Library. This work is invaluable for scholars of history and of English literature but since it seems very easy to consult you may wonder why you need to be instructed in its use.  It is in fact a sophisticated electronic resource which allows many kinds of searches. For those of you who were not able to get to the session, the PowerPoint presentation  and quiz is available from the Learn server. You will learn how to find lists of people connected by themes e.g. Victoria Cross holders or those buried in Highgate cemetery. Fascinating details are related in “Wealth at death” section of a biography: we find out that the architectural draughtsman, John Preston Neale 1780-1847 left his grandson a cabinet of insects! If you are researching a particular person, e.g. Isambard Kingdom Brunel you can learn how to list his contemporaries. This will enable you to put him in context and  thus learn how British nineteenth century engineers  influenced and interacted with each other.

The core of the ODNB is the 50,000 biographies but did you know that  as well as searching for specific individuals, you can browse  the work as you would the printed edition? ( shelved on Level 3 in the reference section at Dewey no. 920 OXF)

You can also browse by themes which guide you to the biographies of groups of people. Some themes are lists; others discuss a group, event or topic in history. The references search enables you to find the sources used in the preparation of each article and the archival deposits relating to people in the dictionary. The  images search allows you to search for records of known images of people – it is always enlightening to see all the photographs and portraits of an individual at the various stages of their life.


BBC to launch political webcasting service

June 23, 2009

Swifter, Isis, Swifter flow

June 18, 2009



 Henry Purcell 1659 – 1695

350th anniversary of Henry Purcell’s birth

‘Swifter, Isis, swifter flow, Muster all your streams together, Then in a full body go, And guard Great Britain’s monarch hither. Charles, lord of the exhaustless main, From whose fountain every tide Your dead low waters are supplied, Land him safely on her shore, Who his long absence does deplore…’ 

While working as musician of the Chapel Royal and organist at Westminster Abbey, Henry Purcell was comissioned to composed annual odes for the return Charles II from his summer travels, back to London for the autumn and winter.  

‘Swifter, Isis, Swifter flow’  was the second such ‘welcome back’ odes which Purcell composed in 1681 – and as well as composing serveral operas, keyboard music, sonatas, and anthems Purcell also found time to write birthday odes to other monarchs in his lifetime, such as the king’s brother James II, after his accession to the throne, and later for William and Mary [see also links to the funeral march of 1694 below].

You can find out more about the impact of Purcell’s music through the Library resources, both paper and online.

Loughborough University Library subscribes to over 80 online journals on music and music history, such as Musical Quarterly which are available via MetaLib.

There are also books available on the composer’s life and work, available on Level 2,  shelved at 780.92 PUR and 780.84/PUR.

For more information on the life and music of Purcell, please see the links below…

 Henry Purcell – Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary

Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell 1659-1695, the glory of the temple and the stage

Henry Purcell timeline

The restoration anthems of Henry Purcell and their political implications during the reign of Charles II by Linda Carol Chelf

The masque in Timon of Athens

Henry Purcell 1659-1695 Essays On His Music

BBC Composer of the Year

Degree Shows – Foundation & BA (Hons)

June 10, 2009


Art at Loughborough

Loughborough University School of Art & Design is holding its 2009 Foundation & Degree Shows

This year’s Loughborough University Art and Design degree show promises to be one of the biggest ever, with the work of around 500 final year students on display.

Beautiful illustrations, stunning sculptures and exquisite jewellery will be among the hundreds of pieces exhibited from 13 to 18 June.

The annual show covers a whole host of artistic genres, including furniture, painting, film, graphic design, animation and textiles.

Final Exhibitions 2009

BA (Hons) Fine Art
BA (Hons) 3D Design (Ceramics)
BA (Hons) 3D Design (Furniture)
BA (Hons) 3D Design (Silversmithing & Jewellery)
BA (Hons) Textile Design (Multi-Media Textiles)
BA (Hons) Textile Design (Printed Textiles)
BA (Hons) Textile Design (Woven Textiles)
BA (Hons) Visual Communication (Graphic Communication)
BA (Hons)Visual Communication (Illustration)
Diploma in Foundation Studies in Art & Design

Venue: School of Art & Design, Epinal Way, Loughborough, Leics  LE11 3TU

Friday 12 June 2009, 6.00pm – 9.00pm: Private View
Saturday 13 June 2009, 10am – 4.00pm
Sunday 14 June 2009, 10am – 4.00pm
Monday 15 June 2009, 10am – 5.00pm
Tuesday 16 June 2009, 10am – 5.00pm
Wednesday 17 June 2009, 10am – 5.00pm
Thursday 18 June 2009, 10am – 5.00pm

LUSAD Textiles Degree Show 2009

‘Chameleon ’09’ Textile Graduate Show at the The Boiler House,
The Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London E1 6QL

Thursday 25 June, 6pm – 10pm: Private View
10am – 6pm Friday 26 June until Monday 29 June

Loughborough University Press Release

The indetail09 industrial design degree show 2009

June 9, 2009



June 12th – 19th 2009

The indetail09 industrial design degree show is a collection of undergraduate work from Loughborough University’s Design and Technology department.

This year’s event will be held at the Sir Denis Rooke Building in Holywell Park, Loughborough and will showcase over 100 student projects.

Admission is free and there is no need to book in advance.

We look forward to meeting you!

Opening Times

Friday       12th June        12pm – 5pm
Saturday  13th June        10am – 5pm
Sunday     14th June       10am – 5pm
Monday   15th June       10am – 5pm
Tuesday   16th June      10am – 12pm

The indetail09 industrial design degree show

SPORTDiscus with full text

June 8, 2009



Loughborough University Library now subscribes to SPORTDiscus with full text.

SPORTDiscus with full text is the most comprehensive, bibliographic database covering sport, physical fitness, exercise, sports medicine, sports science, physical education, kinesiology, coaching, training, sport administration, officiating, sport law & legislation, college & university sport, disabled persons, facility design & management, intramural & school sport, doping, health, health education, biomechanics, movement science, injury prevention rehabilitation, physical therapy, nutrition, exercise physiology, sport & exercise psychology, recreation, leisure studies, tourism, allied health, occupational health & therapy, public health and more.

For off-campus access either login to MetaLib via the Remote Working Portal or access the database with your Athens username and password. If you do not have your Athens username and password please contact Ask a Librarian.

Sport at Loughborough

School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences (SSEHS).