ELAG2014 – Slides

I recently presented at ELAG2014 about ORCiD integration.  I’ve embedded my slides below.  They might not make quite as much sense without context – they’re mainly pictures with single word topic headings, but they contain links to the source code etc.

I had a great time and met a lot of interesting folks whilst at ELAG.  I’m now in contact with two UK universities looking at ORCiD integration so I think it’s been useful.

I’ll add some commentary and a summary of the talk later this week.

Rather appropriately this is up on figshare – an open data repository that lets you upload anything then assigns it a DOI. This one has http://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.1057954



A different view of the British Library – photos

Once you get inside it, the British Library is a beautiful building.  I’ve taken to photographing it and its contents during my lunch break.  Here they are, click on them for the bigger versions.

Check out my flickr stream for more.

The age of geocities – Bubba says HOWDY!!!

There’s a fantastic project out there that’s taking screenshots of random Geocites pages as they would have appeared when they were live.

It’s strangely compelling viewing.

bubba says howdy!!!

bubba says howdy!!!

Sites like these showcase an important aspect of our cultural heritage.  Back when the internet was called the “information superhighway” and people were still talking about the “digital frontier”, Geocites was where you could stake your claim.

I did it myself once.  I set up my own little homestead that hosted a Java Applet I’d written – a Java version of the classic game Elite.  I couldn’t get the flight engine quite right, but you could trade from Lave to Diso, view things on the radar, travel between systems and view all the original craft in their rotating vector glory.  The site is sadly lost but the memories remain.

Grab yourself a bit of nostalgic indulgence here: http://oneterabyteofkilobyteage.tumblr.com/

More background of the project can be found here: http://rhizome.org/editorial/2014/feb/10/authenticity-access-digital-preservation-geocities/




ORCiD tools – who’s claiming what?

As part of my work with data-centres and ORCiD I’ve put together a tool that lets you see where works claimed within ORCiD have been published.   Start typing a publisher into the search box and it’ll look up the DOI prefix (or other identifier prefix) for that publisher from a list nearly 4000 long.  Current highlights include the American Helicopter Society with 9 ORCiDs.

See it in action at http://ethos-orcid.appspot.com/search


One of the things that’s repeatedly come up when talking to data-centres about author metadata is that while it’s easy to push data in, it’s pretty hard to get it back out.  Recent changes in the ORCiD API have made this easier, hence this tool.

Many datasets have scant author metadata, with little more that an institution name attributed to them.  Datacentres can now pull the claims information out of ORCiD and use it to selectively enrich their own metadata, completing a “virtuous circle” of integration.

Source code?

This code is available as part of the orcid-update-java application, which uses the orcid-java-client library.

I didn’t go to university to get myself a job

Chris Bourg has written a great piece about the insidiousness of neo-liberalism and education-as-an-investment over at her blog, check it out here: The Neoliberal Library: Resistance is not futile

I am one of those hopeless idealists who still believes that education is – or should be – a social and public good rather than a private one, and that the goal of higher education should be to promote a healthy democracy and an informed citizenry. And I believe libraries play a critical role in contributing to that public good of an informed citizenry.

In the neoliberal university, students are individual customers, looking to acquire marketable skills. Universities (and teachers and libraries) are evaluated on clearly defined outcomes, and on how efficiently they achieve those outcomes.  Sound familiar?

I’ve managed to make this blog of mine really dull tech stuff and zero politics for a while now, probably out of a desire to keep myself sane.  That said, the almost inevitable (and widely ignored in the press) move in the UK towards a for-profit education system should strike fear into the hearts of anyone who stops to think about it.

There’s two sides to this, the education-as-an-investment and the for-profit education system and they go hand in hand. Ever since the introduction of tuition fees in the UK, the ideology of “investing in your education” has gained a lot of traction here.  The next stop will almost certainly be the ramping up of the for-profit private education market, starting with the lift of tuition fee caps and ending with a two-tier education system that pumps out workers and  perpetuates inherited privilege.

Chris also talks a lot of sense about the ridiculous focus on the personal within politics, the focus on individualism at the expense of the wider movement.  Check out her blog, it’s a refreshing blast and a welcome change from the celebrity twitterati politics of ME that seems to pass for political discourse nowadays.  Sure, it’s important to understand that other people have different experiences that you.  Essential in fact.  But just understanding gets us nowhere and changes nothing.  It’s Acting, Doing.  That’s what we need.

For more info on these topics, and to actually help do something, tale a look at campaign group Public University https://twitter.com/public_uni and the UCU http://www.ucu.org.uk/index.cfm