Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

Birkbeck crowned winners of the OUP and ICCA National Mooting Competition 2018

Congratulations to the Queen’s University Belfast team represented by Darren Finnegan and Conor Lockhart, who were crowned champions of the OUP and BPP National Mooting Competition 2016-2017, which took place at BPP Law School, Holborn on 22 June 2017. His Honour Judge Gratwicke returned once again to preside over the final and kept the students on their toes with some keen questioning.

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Five critical concerns facing modern economics

Due to the nature of globalization and the interconnectedness of modern human society, the discipline of economics touches on other areas of study such as politics, environmentalism, and international relations. This is especially true for the tumultuous times in which we live.

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Drenched in words: LGBTQ poets from US history

John F. Kennedy stated that “When power narrows the areas of man’s concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses.” Poetry attempts to reclaim awareness of the world through language, an entirely human construct that can only be pushed so far but one that is pushed repeatedly and necessarily in order to articulate what it means to be human. Throughout American history, LGBTQ poets have explored myriad themes including identity, sexuality, and historical and political landscapes, in order to comprehend and chronicle human experience.

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Philosopher of the month: Mullā Sadrā [quiz]

This June, the OUP Philosophy team honours Mullā Sadrā (1571 – 1640) as their Philosopher of the Month. Mullā Sadrā was born in Shiraz, southern Iran, but moved around when he was studying and for the many pilgrimages he embarked on in in his lifetime. He later returned to Shiraz when he began teaching and taking on followers of his philosophy.

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Nine “striking” facts about the history of the typewriter

The first machine known as the typewriter was patented on 23rd June 1868, by printer and journalist Christopher Latham Sholes of Wisconsin. Though it was not the first personal printing machine attempted—a patent was granted to Englishman Henry Mill in 1714, yet no machine appears to have been built—Sholes’ invention was the first to be practical enough for mass production and use by the general public.

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Law Teacher of the Year announced at the Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching conference

Oxford University Press hosted its annual Celebrating Excellence in Law Teaching Conference at Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool on 20 June. Playing a central role at the conference were the six Law Teacher of the Year Award finalists. Delegates learned what it was that makes them such exceptional teachers, and heard first–hand about their teaching methods, motivations, and philosophies. The conference concluded with current Law Teacher of the Year, Nick Clapham of the University of Surrey, naming Lydia Bleasdale of the University of Leeds as this year’s winner.

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Top 10 facts about the giraffe

This June, people around the globe are marking World Giraffe Day, an annual event to recognise the bovine dwellers of the African continent. While these long-necked herbivores remain a firm favourite of the safari, there remains much about the giraffe which is relatively unknown. In order to celebrate our Animal of the Month, we bring you 10 amazing facts about the giraffe.

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Looking back at 100 years of flu [timeline]

This year is the centenary of the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918. However, it was only by 2010 that the industry had started universal flu vaccine trials, following the Swine flu pandemic in 2009. Explore the last hundred years of flu, as we mark the Spanish flu centenary, from the four major pandemics to the medical advances along the way, with this interactive timeline.

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What you need to know about plastic pollution

“There’s a great future in plastics,” Mr. McGuire said to recent-grad Benjamin Braddock at his graduation party in one of the most iconic films of the twentieth century, the Graduate. This scene captures more than just the mere parting words of some career advice the older generation tends to give young people at their graduation parties, it signals something more cultural—indeed, more industrial—that had been so prevailing at the time, and so worrisome now.

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Philosopher of the month: Mullā Sadrā [infographic]

This June, the OUP Philosophy team honours Mullā Sadrā (1571 – 1640) as their Philosopher of the Month. An Iranian Islamic philosopher, Sadrā is recognised as the major process philosopher of the school of Isfahan. Mullā Sadrā is primarily associated with ‘metaphilosophy’, but also maintains sovereign status as a spiritual leader for the Islamic East.

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Voltaire on death

Voltaire, the French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher, wrote over 20,000 letters over his lifetime. One can read through his letters to learn more about his views on democracy and religion, as well as the soul and afterlife. The following excerpts from his letters show how his thoughts and ideas about death and the soul evolved over time.

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Thomas Kuhn and the T. S. Kuhn Archives at MIT

After I completed a book on Thomas Kuhn, the author of Structure of Scientific Revolutions, I thought I knew a lot about him. In my book, I argue that Kuhn’s recent, less frequently read work is key to understanding his views. Then I began to look in detail at Kuhn’s past and the influence his early work had in fields other than philosophy of science. I came across an intriguing and unexpected remark by Thomas Walker, a political scientist, in Perspectives on Politics.

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Encyclopedia editions in the digital age

When Grove Music Online launched its new website last December, it marked the beginning of a new era for the encyclopedic dictionary that serves as a primary reference tool for music scholars. Grove has been in continuous publication since 1879 and online since 2001, but the version of Grove that was published on December 2017 remade the dictionary for the first time as “digital first”—that is, with online prioritized over print—and is thus Grove’s first truly digital edition.

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Counting usage: why do we need a new Code of Practice?

The COUNTER Code of Practice is the industry-standard format for usage reporting of electronic resources. COUNTER has published a new Code of Practice, Release 5. We spoke with Lorraine Estelle, COUNTER’s Director and Company Secretary, to gain an insight into COUNTER, the new Code of Practice, and what it means for libraries.

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Library discovery: past, present, and future

Librarians have been rising to the challenge of helping users discover content as long as libraries have existed, and evolving discovery solutions are an interesting byproduct of the information dissemination challenges of the time. Before the printing press, medieval libraries were typically geographically isolated with a small number of hand-copied texts. Discovery tools included handwritten omnibus catalogs listing collections from the libraries of other nearby cloisters or monasteries, so the limited number of books could be more widely discoverable.

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