1.4.3 R is for Relevance

Relevance is an important factor to consider when you are evaluating information. It isn’t so much a property of the information itself but of the relationship it has with your question or your ‘information need’. For example,if you are writing an essay about the geography of Chile, a book or website about Chilean political history would not be relevant. So there are a number of ways in which a piece of information may not be relevant to your query:


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1.3.4 Databases

At a basic level, a database is a collection of information which can be searched. It is a way of storing, indexing, organising and retrieving information. You may have created one yourself to keep track of your references – or your friends' names and addresses. They are useful for finding articles on a topic, and can be used to search for many different types of information.

You may find some of the following databases useful for your topic. They contain different types of informatio
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1.3.2 Search engines and subject gateways

Although both search engines and subject gateways will help you find the resources that you need, the types of information that you find will differ.

Search engines such as Google  and Yahoo! search the internet for keywords or phrases, and then show you the results. These results are not mediated by the search engines, and th
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1.1.1 Assessing your current level of knowledge

If you explore all the resources and activities in this unit, you might need to allow between two and nine hours to complete it.

Before you read this guide, why not use the self-assessment questions on the following screens to rate your current level of knowledge?

Print or save these questions and for each question, mark the most appropriate number on the scale. When you have finished, you can review your answers. A score of three or less might indicate a gap in your know
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Acknowledgements

The material below is contained in chapter 1 of Economics and Economic Change Microeconomics (2006) (eds) Graham Dawson, Maureen Mackintosh and Paul Anand which is published by Pearson Education Limited in association with The Open University. Copyright © The Open University

The material acknowledged below is Proprietary and not subject to Creative Commons Licence and used under licence (see terms and conditions).

Text

Grate
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3.1 Introduction

As well as looking at the behaviour of firms and the industries and markets to which they belong, economists also engage in a different style of inquiry, thinking about what economic change means for the lives of the people involved. Once again there is a variety of interpretations and different ideas but this time they concern the desirability of economic change. What benefits does the ‘new economy’ bring and what costs, or negative effects, does it impose on people? In analysing these b
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1 What is the ‘new economy’

10 p.m. Friday evening

Sunil, in India, has just received an email from Claire in Brighton, England, who runs a micro enterprise from her front room, clarifying details of some programming she has just subcontracted.

Tom is at a wine bar celebrating news of a £1 million investment of venture capital in his company.

Stephen has just begun the night shift in a call centre.

Joyce has just left her cleaning job, one of three jobs she currently holds. She is also a
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Introduction

This unit considers four ways in which some social scientists have claimed that there might be a ‘new economy’ coming in to being: the switch from manufacturing to services, globalisation, new technology and flexible labour markets. The good and bad points of economic change, its benefits and costs, are discussed. For example, what does it mean for people trying desparately to balnace the urgent demands of work and life?

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6 Conclusion

As you moved through the various techniques we can use to analyse media texts in Sections 2 to Section 4, you should have discovered how rich even the simplest text can be in its drawing on political, social and cultural meanings discernible by close attention. Textual analysis enables you to register and negotiate the polysemy of texts and to see how the preferred reading is not the only one available. The preferred reading may be given prominence, however, by anchoring or by the genre chose
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1 The purpose, efficacy and regulation of CCTV

John Muncie presents a series of opposing views about the purpose, efficacy and regulation of CCTV. The audio programme was recorded in 1994.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • John Muncie Professor of Criminology at The Open University;

  • Bob Patison Superintendent with the Newcastle Police force;

  • Andrew Puddephat General Secretary of Liberty (civil rights organisation);


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1 New Labour's approach welfare reconstruction

This audio file, recorded in 1999, explores questions about New Labour's approach to welfare reconstruction. The discussion is lead by John Clarke with contributions from Ruth Lister and Sharon Gerwitz and contains extracts of Tony Blair's speeches.

Participants in the audio programme were:

  • John Clarke Professor of Social Policy at The Open University;

  • Ruth Lister Professor of Social Policy, Loughborough Universit
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4 What is a ‘nation’?

Guibernau (1996, p. 47) has defined the nation as: ‘a human group conscious of forming a community, sharing a common culture, attached to a clearly demarcated territory, having a common past and a common project for the future and claiming the right to rule itself’. So awareness, territory, history and culture, language and religion all matter. However, it is rare in the real world to find a case of a nation with a clear-cut and homogenous character in terms of this list of possibilities.
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5.5 Devolution in outline

Through devolution, Westminster has devolved the following functions to the Scottish Parliament, the National Assembly for Wales and (once it is finally up and running) the Northern Ireland Assembly (Hazell, 2000, p. 4).

SAQ 3

Jo
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5.3 Summary

Common sense is a complex and contested phenomenon. The practice of systematic scepticism is a key aspect of social science, particularly in the analysis of common sense and the consideration of the social construction of social problems. Social constructionism emphasises the importance of social expectations in the analysis of taken-for-granted and apparently natural social processes. It starts by exploring the assumptions associated with the naming or labelling of things. It is sceptical ab
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2.2 Characters

Characters are another fundamental form of data. Computers store characters as integers, and system hardware and software translate these integer codes so that monitors and printers can display them.

As well as the familiar characters appearing on a keyboard, the current international standard (UNICODE) includes codes for characters from a variety of languages and alphabets (such as ê and ö). For simplicity, examples in this unit will use only a part of this code, as given in
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7.5 Dividing 2's complement integers

Just as multiplication can be turned into repeated additions, so division can be turned into repeated subtractions. And just as shifting a binary integer one place to the left equates to multiplying by two, so shifting a binary integer one place to the right equates to dividing by two.

Activ
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2.2.4 Positive integers: encoding larger integers

The examples and activities in this section have looked only at 8-bit numbers. They have illustrated all of the principles of encoding positive integers as binary numbers without introducing the complication of larger numbers. But of course with 8 bits only relatively small integers can be encoded.

Activi
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16.1 Introduction

Supermarkets make use of ICT systems for a range of purposes. In the following sections, we'll look at the processes of receiving, storing, retrieving, manipulating and sending data at the checkout, and then we'll move on to the larger context of the supermarket.


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15 Computers and communication systems working together

The combination of communication systems and computers has produced powerful new systems not possible when these technologies are used separately. In section 15–19, I'll be using an ICT system in a supermarket as an example, as it is something that you have probably experienced. The material in this study session is not intended to be a comprehensive examination of how ICT systems are used in supermarkets; I'll just be focusing on some of the supermarket's activities in order to highlight t
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