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Social Sciences: Social sciences on the web

A collection of information resources and guidance for Social Sciences students

Test your fake-news-spotting skills

Have a go at this multiple choice quiz compiled by the BBC and test your fake news spotting skills. It's harder than you think!

Did you know that the BBC has extensive guidelines for their reporters, which they must follow to check the authenticity and accuracy of news stories. The relevant part of the website is BBC Editorial Guidelines section 3 - accuracy.

Click the image to play!

A screen shot from the BBC News fake news quiz, an image with a multiple choice question underneath.

Academic Repositories

Universities will have their own digital repository to store, provide access to and preserve work produced by their academics. These repositories can be a valuable source of information to you when you are writing a dissertation or postgraduate-level project. 

The three universities at the Medway site each have their own repository which you can explore:

Introduction - hidden gem or Fake News?

Critical reading is a key skill for you to develop during your time as a student and beyond. This is true for whatever format of documentation you use.

Treat the Internet no differently and you should find it easier to navigate the breadth of information and data available.

There are some tools to help you develop skills in evaluating websites - you will find these in the Skills and Workshops tab.

Social history sites

  • BFI Screenonline : A free online encyclopaedia of British film and television featuring hundreds of hours of film and television clips from the vast collections of the BFI National Archive, and several hours of recorded interviews with film and TV personalities. These clips are supplemented by rich and authoritative contextual material by expert writers, specially commissioned for BFI Screenonline alongside thousands of stills, posters and press books.

  • Charles Booth's London : Poverty maps and police note books to browse, part of the Inquiry into the Life and Labour of the People in London (1886-1903).

  • Connected Histories : Includes nine research guides, such as crime and justice and poverty and poor relief. This resource provides access to the John Johnson Collection of Printed Ephemera covering 1700-1900 which has more than 67,000 item. It also includes access to British Museum images.

  • Europeana : Europeana Collections provides access to over 50 million digitised items – books, music, artworks and more – with sophisticated search and filter tools to help you find what you’re looking for.

  • Hidden Lives Revealed : A virtual archive of children in care 1881-1918. Maintained by the Children's Society. Provides free access to a wealth of primary source information about poor and disadvantaged children cared for by The Waifs and Strays' Society during the period 1881-1918.

  • Institute of Historical Research: Provides resources for historians including online articles and an open-access library.

  • National Archive Public Information Films : Provides free access to a collection of UK government public information films covering the period 1945-2006. Each entry has a synopsis and publication details. Technical and copyright information is displayed on the website. Other features include a timeline of key events during the period and links to other paper archives relating to it.

  • Social History Society: Founded in 1976 to encourage the study of the history of society and cultures (worldwide) by teaching, research and publication. It represents the interests of social and cultural history and of social and cultural historians both within higher education and in the wider community.

  • Voices of Post-war England: Focuses on the history of the working class in England since 1945. In particular, it showcases the life history of working-class people in Liverpool and Coventry since 1945. As it grows, we’ll include links and material of interest to people wanting to research their family history, labour history or social history. Explore the site to learn more about life in England in the 1950s and 1960s and how it compares with today.

Film and audio sources online

  • British Pathe: Online newsreel film library. The archive covers news, sport, social history and entertainment from 1896-1970. Low resolution copies can be downloaded free.

  • Kennan Institute Russian History Audio Archive: An online audio archive of Soviet and Russian history. The archive consists of recordings dating back to the earliest years of the Soviet state. Included are the voices and speeches of key political figures, including Lenin, Kerensky, Kirov, Beria, Stalin, Gorbachev, and others. There is also on-the-scene recorded sound of many events in Soviet history from various sources.

  • LSE Public Lectures and Events: Provides free access to transcripts and podcasts of a growing number of its public events and lectures. These cover all areas of the social sciences. Many items feature academic researchers, heads of state and leading world figures.

  • On This Day: A BBC news archive containing video and audio material from 1950 onwards.

Criminal justice sites

  • Drugwise: Focusing on evidence-based information on alcohol, tobacco and drugs. Includes a section on criminal justice.

  • London Lives: Makes available, in a fully digitised and searchable form, a wide range of primary sources about eighteenth-century London, with a particular focus on the working class. This resource includes over 240,000 manuscript and printed pages from eight London archives and is supplemented by fifteen datasets created by other projects. It provides access to historical records containing over 3.35 million name instances. Facilities are provided to allow users to link together records relating to the same individual, and to compile biographies of the best documented individuals.

  • Old Bailey Online: Contains the Proceedings of the Old Bailey from 1674 to 1913. In addition there is information about the Historical background which includes how the juries reached a decision, punishments and policing.

  • Police UK: includes useful information on the Police and Criminal Justice system in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Also allows you to access data on crime in your area by using postcode or address to search.

Social work sites

Psychology websites

Sociology sites

  • British Library social science blog : Find out about social sciences at the British Library including collections, events and research. This blog includes contributions from curators and guest posts by academics, students and practitioners.