Monthly Archives: May 2010

A web-siting at Yale: other editions and xISBN

I was looking at the Vufind implementation of the Yale University Library catalog – yufind – and was interested to see that it implements a link to OCLC’s xISBN service to pull together other editions of a displayed result. Here is an example where several versions of Krapp’s Last Tape are shown in the bottom … Continue reading A web-siting at Yale: other editions and xISBN

‘Reading at Library-scale’/’distant reading’

Franco Moretti has an interesting short book called Graphs, maps, trees: abstract models for literary history. He proposes a way of reading literary history which involves abstracting patterns across large stretches of a literary field rather than examining “concrete, individual works”. In particular, he works with three organizing models: graphs, maps and trees. He calls … Continue reading ‘Reading at Library-scale’/’distant reading’

Return on attention and Current Cites

I was quite taken with the phrase “return on attention” while reading The Power of Pull a while ago. I was also interested in the deprecation of the term information overload. It’s not so much about finding which information is most valuable, as many of those who fret about information overload would have it. Improving … Continue reading Return on attention and Current Cites


Google revamped its home page a while ago, highlighting a little more some additional features such as its wonder wheel, related searches, social (which searches among your ‘friends’ on various sites), nearby, and so on. I find the ability to limit by the date of pages in results quite useful – there are many times … Continue reading Googling

Reading lists, citation management and bibliographic tissue

Here is something I wrote a couple of years ago under the title Personal reference collections as digital libraries. A little updating of examples and I think it still holds: We will see much more activity connecting user environments and bibliographic resources. I am thinking of citation managers, reading lists, social bookmarking sites (see citulike … Continue reading Reading lists, citation management and bibliographic tissue

A note about Tracey Thorn

A little off topic … I have been listening to Tracey Thorn’s new album, Love and its opposite. Here are several things … It has been available for listening for a while on the label site, and is embedded elsewhere. Videos of live home recordings are available for some songs (here is one for example). … Continue reading A note about Tracey Thorn

A spectacle

I have been wearing glasses for thirty years or so. I ordered a new pair yesterday, and when I got home I had a look at all my previous pairs. Here they are: I am sure it says something about me …..


John Naughton has a nice column in The Observer today. He talks about how as part of welcoming Dan Cohen to Cambridge, the University Library prepared a display around Newton’s Principia. John enjoys the experience … I’ve owned a beautifully produced facsimile of the Principia for decades, so it wasn’t the novelty of seeing it … Continue reading Aura

Research analytics

Analytics is big business. Organizations are increasingly turning to the analysis of transactional and other data to inform decision-making. Websites are refined based on analysis of traffic. Companies may use analytics to optimize inventory. And so on. I was struck by the parallel with business analytics when reading some brochures about Elsevier’s SciVal. These were … Continue reading Research analytics

QR codes again …

Andy Walsh of the University of Huddersfield gave a very nice presentation on QR Codes at the recent EMTACL10 conference at NTNU in Trondheim. I particularly liked his introduction in which he provided some motivating context for his work. He noted that as library spaces became places for social activity, their specifically informational dimension was … Continue reading QR codes again …