Public Consultation on Fake News

EDC Information Update

Fake News (Puck) © Stuart Rankin. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The European Commission are holding a public consultation on fake news and online disinformation, with the objective being to
“help assess the effectiveness of current actions by market players and other stakeholders, the need for scaling them up and introducing new actions to address different types of fake news.”
There are two questionnaires, one for citizens and one for legal entities and journalists.  The consultation will run from 13 November 2017 until 23 February 2018. Check the page on Europa for more information and for links to the questionnaires.

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Alcohol Pricing, Brexit Exit Bill, and Graduates in the UK Labour Market – New Official Publications 04.12.17

University of Glasgow Library

Newly published official publications from :

The Scottish Parliament and Government

Scottish Parliament Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – 2012. Licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0.

Improving Scotland’s Health: Minimum Unit Pricing of Alcohol-Consultation Document – “The Scottish Parliament passed legislation in 2012 which allows the Scottish Ministers to introduce a system of Minimum Unit Pricing for alcohol. The legislation was then challenged in court and that has delayed its implementation. On 15 November 2017, the UK Supreme Court confirmed that the legislation which allows minimum Unit Pricing to be introduced is lawful.

The responses to the consultation will be used to inform the refreshed Business and Regulatory impact Assessment which will accompany the draft Scottish Statutory Instrument when it is laid in the Scottish Parliament.”

Earnings in Scotland: 2017 – “The Office for National Statistics released the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings (ASHE) 2017 provisional results on…

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POST – Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

Post provides balanced and accessible overviews of research from across the biological, physical and social sciences, and engineering and technology. They place the findings of this research in a policy context for Parliamentary use.

The best known format for these briefings are ‘POSTnotes’: four page summaries of public policy issues based on reviews of the research literature and interviews with stakeholders from across academia, industry, government and the third sector; they are peer reviewed by external experts. POSTnotes are often produced proactively, so that parliamentarians have advance knowledge of key issues before they reach the top of the political agenda.

Scottish Parliament Information Centre Research Briefings

EDC Information Update

Scottish Parliament (2) © dun-deagh. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe) produces research briefings on a wide range of issues, including on EU and International Affairs. These are intended to aid Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) by providing relevant impartial up-to-date background material on topics relevant to their work. However, the briefing papers are useful to anyone starting to research a current issue.

SPICe also produce a blog which has a section devoted to the UK decision to leave the European Union. A  useful feature is the weekly update on current developments following on from the decision to leave.

The latest update from the 30th of November 2017 is available here.

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‘A woman actually voted!’: Lily Maxwell and the Manchester by-election of November 1867

The Victorian Commons

Lily Maxwell; image credit: Manchester City Council

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the casting of a parliamentary vote by Lily Maxwell, a Manchester shopkeeper, more than half a century before the partial enfranchisement of women in 1918. On 26 November 1867, at a by-election in Manchester, she became the first woman known to have voted at a parliamentary contest since the 1832 Reform Act had specifically limited the franchise to ‘male persons’.

Fittingly, the Liberal candidate to whom Maxwell gave her support, Jacob Bright, was a prominent advocate of women’s suffrage, who had endorsed the enfranchisement of female householders during his campaign. Maxwell’s inclusion as No. 12326 on the electoral register for the Chorlton-upon-Medlock township of Manchester was the result of a clerical error, the overseers who compiled the lists apparently not having realised that ‘Lily Maxwell’, sometimes recorded as ‘Lilly Maxwell’, was a woman. The shop and house…

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Directory update: University of St Andrews Library


St Andrews University’s entry in the SWOP Directory has been updated. Thanks to Charlotte Kelham for the information. Their collection contains the following:

Extensive print collections of UK and Scottish Parliament and Government publications including House of Commons Papers & Bills, Command Papers, House of Lords Papers and Bills, Hansard (both Commons and Lords), Public General Acts and Local & Personal Acts, Statutory Instruments.  All are listed on SAULCAT our Library catalogue.  Some of our collections are stored off-site in various stores, this is indicated on the records on SAULCAT; items is stores can be retrieved on request, please contact us prior to visiting if you require something from our stores.  We have a range of online resources, such as House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, MEMSO and Hein Online which are restricted to University of St Andrews staff and students.

See the Directory entry for full details.

It’s never too late to have an entry amended or added to the Directory. Please see here for instructions.

Directory update: the Mitchell Library


I’m very pleased to say our entry for the Mitchell Library is up-to-date again, after far too long. Thanks very much to Librarian Alison Young for the information.

The Mitchell’s OP Reference collection contains the following:

  • Scottish Parliamentary papers including Bills 1999 – 2009
  • Scottish Acts and Statutory Instruments 1999 – date
  • House of Commons Papers (including Bills and Command Papers) 1715 – 2009
  • House of Lords Papers 1884 – 2009
  • Public General Acts 1225 – 2013 (bound copies only, 2013 is the most recent we have)
  • Local and Personal Acts 1895 – 1922
  • Acts of Parliament of Scotland  1124 – 1707
  • House of Commons Hansard 1803 – 2013 (bound copies only, 2013 is the most recent we have
  • House of Lords Hansard 1909- 2013 (bound copies only, 2013 is the most recent we have)
  • United States Congressional Record 1882 -1937

Please take a look at the Mitchell’s Directory entry for full details

Puppy Farms, commuting, and rare diseases – Newly published Official Publications 20.11.2017

Another great post from University of Glasgow on recent OP additions to their collections.

University of Glasgow Library

Newly published official publications from :

The Scottish Parliament and Government

Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – 2012. Licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0. Image © Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body – 2012. Licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0.

The Living Wage: Facts and Figures 2017. “This briefing looks at statistics on the Living Wage in Scotland for employees and businesses.”

Public attitudes to young people in Scotland. “This report presents findings from an omnibus survey of adults in Scotland on their attitudes towards young people. The aim of the research was to better understand the prevalence of positive and negative attitudes, as well as how they are distributed among different population groups.”

Scoping Research on the Sourcing of Pet Dogs From Illegal Importation and Puppy Farms 2016-2017. “The report describes research into the scale of the trade in imported and illegally bred puppies and how the associated animal welfare problems , fraud and other criminality can best be combated…

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SWOP Directory updates

SWOP directory

Take a look at the recently updated Directory entries for the following organisations (in no particular order):

If you haven’t updated your entry this year it has now been archived – but fear not! It is never too late to have an entry amended or added to the directory. Please see here or  email me.

Join us at Kelvin Hall, Glasgow 23rd Nov. 1.30pm for SWOP AGM

Our Annual General Meeting is more than just a meeting. We use the opportunity to meet in different locations and hear about a variety of projects to stimulate discussion, create CPD and training opportunities.

This year is no exception and we are delighted to be holding the 2017 AGM at the

National Library of Scotland Kelvin Hall, Glasgow on the 23rd November at 1.30 pm.

The event will begin with a behind the scenes tour by Ruth Washbrook, Head of the Moving Image Archive. This will give the opportunity to see the preservation and digitisation processes for film donations as well as some of the Government information films held in the collection.

Refreshments will be provided.

We are really delighted to have Helen Costello back with us to talk a little about her new role in the Scottish Parliament and reflect on her professional journey thus far.

Finally, Eilidh MacGlone – National Library of Scotland Web Archivist will demonstrate the new UK Web Archive public interface and how best to use this for research

This will be followed by the SWOP AGM – Agenda and papers will be sent out in advance of the meeting.

For catering purposes it is important to reserve your place on Eventbrite.

Why not join us in the café at Kelvin Hall from 12 noon for an informal catch up with colleagues over coffee or lunch.  (Please note that lunch is NOT unfortunately provided by SWOP).


Official Publications and Digital Education Resource Archive at UCL’s Institute of Education

IoE library

Francesca Ezzelino,  Newsam Library and Archives, UCL Institute of Education is a member of SWOP and uses the network to ensure a comprehensive coverage of publications for Digital Education Resource Archive (DERA), their repository of Official Publications in the areas of education, training, children and families.

The UCL Institute of Education is home to an extensive print collection of Official Publications, beginning with the origins of state education in the United Kingdom in the 19th century to the present day. The breadth of the collection brings together key legislation, reports produced by select committees and government departments, circulars and memoranda. It also includes documents published by quasi-governmental bodies such as Ofsted, the Schools Council and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as well as local authorities, political parties and trade unions.

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The Blue Book, Clean Energy, and Puppy Smuggling – New Official Publications 06.11.17

If you don’t know your Blue book from your Pink book all is made clear here.

University of Glasgow Library

Newly published official publications from :

Westminster and the UK Government

Big Ben Image copyright: UK Parliament / Jessica Taylor

The European Economic Area – “This briefing paper has been prepared for the debate on British membership of the European Economic Area (EEA), taking place in the House of Commons on 6 November 2017.

The EEA includes the EU Member States plus three countries which are not in the EU: Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The EEA essentially extends the EU single market to those three non-EU countries. Membership of the EEA has been suggested as a possible option for the UK after Brexit. The Government has ruled this out, however.

Those in favour of the EEA option argue that continued membership of the single market would bring economic benefits as a result of favourable access to the EU market. However, EEA membership also involves a range of obligations including free movement of…

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US National Archives Releases JFK Assassination Records

John F. Kennedy was killed on November 22, 1963

The USA’s National Archives is releasing documents previously withheld in accordance with the JFK Assassination Records Collection Act.  These releases include FBI, CIA, and other agency documents (both formerly withheld in part and formerly withheld in full) identified by the Assassination Records Review Board as assassination records.

Their collection page has links to the Warren Commission and Autopsy reports which are freely available to view.

UK Parliament Web Archive


The Parliamentary Archives have launched this new site developed in conjunction with Mirror Web at to provide access to historic information from the UK Parliament published on the web. It includes downloads of web sites and social media gathered from 2009 to the present. You can browse archived tweets from the accounts of Parliamentary bodies, watch YouTube videos released by Parliament, see a visual history on Flickr and look back through Instagram posts. In the Instagram archive you can meet Denison the Harris hawk, listen to a gay couple explaining the difference the Sexual Offences Act made to their lives, and find out how to order afternoon tea on the terrace.

The main collection of archived websites includes Lords and MPs’ biographies, deposited papers, research briefings, Early Day Motions, Bills before Parliament and much more. You can filter the list by department and there is a timeline for…

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