Learning and research - distributed environments

  • Reading lists, citation management and bibliographic tissueMay 22, 2010 – 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,...read full entry...
  • VIAF design patternJanuary 03, 2010 – A blog entry by Paul Walk - An infrastructure service anti-pattern - drew some attention a while ago. He argues against a model in which a service provider independently develops APIs and a user interface, and in which, accordingly, the APIs are developed in advance of actual use or explicit...read full entry...
  • Research data set managementFebruary 02, 2009 – Via Pam Bjornson, Chair, Research Data Strategy Working Group, I learn of a report from Research Data Canada: Stewardship of research data in Canada: a gap analysis [pdf]. The method is interesting: This report provides a statement of the ideal state of research data stewardship in Canada and a description...read full entry...
  • Repository interoperabilityNovember 11, 2008 – JISC has just made available a report by Nicky Ferguson and colleagues about consistency of metadata and policies between repositories. In the UK, a large number of Institutional Repositories have been set up very recently. Often, it seems, they lack sufficient clarity of policy and purpose. In interviews with depositors...read full entry...
  • HackathonNovember 09, 2008 – Eric Lease Morgan has a nice note reporting on the Worldcat Hackathon held at the end of last week. A group came together to explore building applications against OCLC Grid Services. Taking place in the Science, Industry and Business Library (New York Public Library), the event began with an overview...read full entry...
  • Supporting research data management needsSeptember 28, 2008 – Several recent reports discuss the evolving environment of institutional research data management with particular reference to library issues. Here is a list, with a quote from each and a comment or two. Skills, Role & Career Structure of Data Scientists & Curators: Assessment of Current Practice & Future Needs. Alma...read full entry...
  • You're so vain ... you probably want to look at your h-indexMarch 16, 2008 – And speaking of Elsevier, several colleagues and I received an email invitation from "the Scopus team" to look at our h-index [Wikipedia entry] on our very own Scopus profile page. Here is some of the text from the invitation: The h-index * can help you evaluate and benchmark your research...read full entry...
  • Parents at the partyNovember 10, 2007 – From the Guardian: Online spaces are blurring, as universities that podcast and text their students have shown. The Jisc project manager, Lawrie Phipps, explains how the battle lines are being drawn: "Students really do want to keep their lives separate. They don't want to be always available to their lecturers...read full entry...
  • Syndicated readingsNovember 08, 2007 – I think that reading lists and citation managers are interesting sites of connection between environments. They are potentially 'portables', travelling portals onto resources. I was interested to see the following discussion of reading lists on the Intute blog: One solution is to provide links to key quality Internet resources within...read full entry...
  • ReferencesJuly 07, 2007 – Alma Swan has an interesting post discussing the value added by the publisher in copy editing and concludes that it is ... variable. She notes a publisher study: Wates and Campbell looked at copy editing changes carried out on a set of science, humanities and social science articles at Blackwell...read full entry...
  • The network reconfigures the library systems environmentJuly 06, 2007 – One of the main issues facing libraries as they work to create richer user services is the complexity of their systems environment. Consider these pictures which I have been using in presentations for a while now. Reductively, we can think of three classes of systems - (1) the classic ILS...read full entry...
  • Data curation againJune 21, 2007 – I mentioned the forthcoming report on data from Liz Lyon of UKOLN the other day. It has now appeared. Liz Lyon Dealing with Data: Roles, Rights, Responsibilities and Relationships - Consultancy Report [Word] [PDF] (Permalink) [UKOLN - staff - Dr Liz Lyon] Despite its UK focus, this report should make...read full entry...
  • Excitation - making connections with citations: a couple of presentationsMarch 30, 2007 – I was interested to see a presentation about Sakaibrary [ppt] at Getting in the flow. The focus was on creating citation lists from library resources and making them available in Sakai. This is an example of what I have spoken about as bibliographic tissue, the growing interest in lightweight approaches...read full entry...
  • Our digital identities: bricolage, prefabrication and disclosureMarch 28, 2007 – In recent presentations I talk about workflow in quite general terms. I suggest that we have seen the focus of our attention shift from the database, to the website to workflow as the web environment becomes richer. We want to get things done on the network, not just find things....read full entry...
  • Knowledge and healthDecember 03, 2006 – The UK magazine Update recently carried a story on how health information provision is being coordinated in the UK National Health Service. It contains a striking quote about the value of information - the 'application of what we know' - from Dr Muir Grey who has been very involved in...read full entry...
  • Zotero againOctober 06, 2006 – I mentioned Zotero the other day. I am submerged in several assignments and will not be able to look at it myself for a little while. In the interim, here are some mild opinions, tentatively offered: There are a range of generic options (create a new citation from scratch, capture...read full entry...
  • Some e-science resourcesSeptember 03, 2006 – One of the primary characteristics of current change is that the network is 'coming inside': it is becoming a part of routine activities and they are being reconfigured in the process. This is happening everywhere, and in science it goes under the name of 'e-science' or 'cyberinfrastructure'. The UK Research...read full entry...
  • A little learning ...August 21, 2006 – A couple of resources about learning, services and the network:Scott Wilson has a nice roundup of thoughts and examples under the heading elearning and web services [pdf].Edufilter is a new blog from Dave Tosh and Ben Werdmuller, the principals in Elgg:Edufilter has been set up as a resource for those...read full entry...
  • Conferring about learningApril 20, 2006 – It is always interesting seeing how conferences are shaped. Sometimes you will just have a list of speakers strung around various social events. Sometimes you can actually sense the emerging shape of an area or a good overview of its concerns from a well-designed conference program. I am not quite...read full entry...
  • Games and digital librariesDecember 15, 2005 – The relationship between gaming and education, and more specifically, between gaming and libraries, is of growing interest. John Kirriemuir has a background working with digital library initiatives and is currently researching gaming environments and behavior in an educational context. He has an article in the current D-Lib magazine talking about...read full entry...
  • Coins magicNovember 04, 2005 – I installed LibX a while ago to see what it is like. Every now and again it pops up an icon - what it calls a 'cue' - on a page where it thinks it is appropriate to link to Virginia Tech resources (it can be adapted to link to...read full entry...
  • Vernaculars of learningAugust 18, 2005 – New learning environments for the 21st Century, a presentation by John Seely Brown, is worth a look [pdf]. There are lots of suggestive moments. He looks at the learning and the learning environments of network people. "Today's digitally experienced students learn differently and have new vernaculars." These include the languages...read full entry...
  • In the flowJune 24, 2005 – Workflow is important. We often think of the network as multiple individual opportunities: a mass of websites. However, just as we increasingly work, learn, research, and play in a network environment, so will services evolve to reduce effort and improve effectiveness. These services will support flow construction and resource integration...read full entry...
  • Of portals and portletsJune 09, 2005 – General purpose portal frameworks are becoming widely deployed. uPortal and Oracle Portal are examples. This is turn has driven interest in portlets, and in the portlet technologies WSRP and JSR 168. A portlet is a 'pluggable' user interface to a remote service. Portlets are a means by which several 'channels'...read full entry...
  • Linking libraries and learning managementApril 28, 2005 – Here is a nice example of integration between library and learning environments.The University of Michigan Library provides course reserves information to the Sakai-driven campus course management system through RSS. We will discuss the system's framework, describe technical challenges, and suggest collaborative strategies for implementing a similar service. Usage statistics, user...read full entry...
  • Learn, click, buyApril 18, 2005 – I was interested to see the following on the Amazon Web Services blog:Concord USA has developed and released, free-of-charge, an Amazon course item module for colleges and schools that use the learning management system from Blackboard Inc. This module allows course developers to include books and other items from amazon.com...read full entry...
  • Comparing frameworksMarch 04, 2005 – I have just come across a white paper produced by Sakai which compares the Sakai framework with the international ELF work. Many readers will be familiar with Sakai: The Sakai Project is a $6.8M community source software development project founded by the University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, the...read full entry...
  • e-Learning resourceMarch 03, 2005 – Speaking of CETIS, they provide a set of pages that covers JISC's e-learning initiatives. In addition to programmatic stuff which may be of only local interest, they have a range of useful background and awareness materials. This site supports JISC's e-Learning Programme with news and commentary about programme developments. It...read full entry...
  • Services, repositories, elearning, metadata, ...February 17, 2005 – Wilbert Kraan of CETIS has a nice overview of some recent meetings surrounding the IMS Melbourne meeting. Discussion about service-oriented-architectures, repositories, metadata and all the usual suspects. Having said all of that, John's main argument is that the e-learning is in the middle of a second wave. The first was...read full entry...
  • IMS service architectureJanuary 27, 2005 – The IMS Global Learning Consortium has produced a paper outlining some architectural principles in a service oriented environment [pdf]....read full entry...
  • A Hullistic approachJanuary 05, 2005 – The University of Hull has done a lot of work in recent years looking at 'e-services integration' across academic services. This work can be tracked in its presentation pages. The most recent presentation [pdf] is from the Sakai conference, December 2004, which focuses on the use of u-Portal and high-level...read full entry...
  • Desktop frameworksDecember 19, 2004 – Writing about intrastructure below, I suggested that a large gap in our current environment was for integrating desktop frameworks. Bill Olivier has an overview presentation [ppt] about component-based development in e-learning where he talks about this need. He identifies the following starting points: NetBeans/eclipse/JSR 198, Mozilla, Chandler, and Lionshare....read full entry...
  • ELVishNovember 17, 2004 – ELF (e-learning framework) is an international initiative which aims to provide a context within which functional components can be identified, and then defined as web services. A goal appears to be a consistent communications and design framework within which to align development. Presentations from a recent conference are now available,...read full entry...
  • Portable reading listsNovember 03, 2004 – Reading lists are an interesting site for discussion about interoperability between library and learning management systems, and one where one might imagine some progress given the shared interest.These are a place where library and learning management interests intersect. What requirements might one have of a reading list builder? To be...read full entry...
  • Educause view of evolving technologies 2004November 01, 2004 – The new issue of Educause Review [EDUCAUSE REVIEW | November/December 2004, Volume 39, Number 6] has a section which surveys evolving technologies of 2004. They include spam management, legal P2Ps, learning objects, and the convergence of libraries, digital repositories, and web content management. The last topic picks up the theme...read full entry...
  • Learning object metadataOctober 31, 2004 – A couple of recent studies have provided some rich data about the use of IEEE-LOM metadata. Jean Godby analyses the choice of elements in Application Profiles in a recent article, pulling together data from 35 projects. The focus here is on the choices made by designers of Application Profiles, based...read full entry...
  • Recombinant potential displayedOctober 28, 2004 – A short video has been produced as part of the JISC X4L program to show interoperability in action. I like to think of interoperability as recombinant potential and this video shows this very well. It looks at assembling a learning object from other objects in a learning object repository and...read full entry...
  • ARROW discovery serviceSeptember 26, 2004 – The Arrow (Australian Research Repositories Online to the World) project has a preview search system up. This discovery service provides access to Australian scholarly materials. It currently indexes metadata from 6 university repositories. [Australian Research Repositories Online to the World]...read full entry...
  • More on library portalsSeptember 21, 2004 – I have agreed to write regularly for Update Magazine, the publication of CILIP in the UK. The first article to appear is on portals. Stepping back, we can see some trends. A major one is growing awareness that the library portal is only one step towards creating an effective network...read full entry...
  • Learning and librariesSeptember 05, 2004 – The recent report released by DLF, Digital Library Content and Course Management Systems: Issues of Interoperation, makes it three: three recent reports on the increasingly important interface between library services and instructional technology applications. The three are: Digital Library Content and Course Management Systems: Issues of Interoperation. Report of a...read full entry...
  • Portal landscapeAugust 09, 2004 – PEPC 2004: The Conference provides a good snapshot of institutional portal developments. Increasingly, the library and other service organizations have to relate to a wider integration agenda as universities and other organizations aim to build congenial network environments for students and faculty. The library sits alongside access to student records,...read full entry...
  • SRU againJuly 31, 2004 – Another mention of SRU: the discovery+ project at Edinburgh has brought up an SRU demonstrator. SRU is a web services protocol for federated and parallel (e.g. via merged/union catalogues) searching of multiple bibliographic repositories. The protocol is a REST type protocol in which search queries can be requested via HTTP...read full entry...
  • Value and interoperabilityJuly 30, 2004 – A second discontinuity for vendors is the double-edged sword of creating true interoperability while selling unique value. Customers want open systems using open standards, but the very act of truly achieving this commoditizes the proprietary value of a system's uniqueness. Community source projects also create viable reference implementations of open...read full entry...
  • Alt-i-labJuly 30, 2004 – For an overview of current state-of-the-art and issues in the learning technology domain see the presentations and program from the recent alt-i-lab meeting. Alt-i-lab 2004 is the 2nd annual meeting of creators, vendors, users, and buyers of learning technology. The purpose of the meeting was advancing learning technology interoperability. The...read full entry...
  • PersonalizationJuly 26, 2004 – The Personalisation in presentation services homepage provides access to a report recently completed on behalf of JISC. It makes an interesting distinction between customization where a user can configure a system themselves and adaptive personalization, where system interaction is based on knowledge about users gained from "tracking user activity and/or...read full entry...
  • Standards, buyers and sellersJuly 24, 2004 – We tend to think of standards as a good thing without always thinking about the incentives for adoption among various stakeholders. Brad Wheeler (Indiana University and SAKAI) argues an interesting case, as reported by Wilbert Kraan on the CETIS website. Brad argued that the relation boils down to the question...read full entry...
  • Institutional portalsJuly 18, 2004 – Several case studies of institutional and library portals are available. The institutional cases are especially interesting as the library increasingly has to be visible in these spaces. To support these aims, the JISC has funded a number of case studies in the assessment and implementation of portal solutions within an...read full entry...
  • Arrow, Fedora and VTLSJune 19, 2004 – Arrow is an Australian project developing institutional repository facilities for Australian Universities. The National Library of Australia will provide a 'national discovery layer' for the initiative. At Members' Council somebody compared an institutional repository to a vertical file system; Arrow has a vertical file system motif on its web pages....read full entry...
  • YALA - yet another layered architectureJune 08, 2004 – Some interesting work from the Learning Systems Architecture Lab at CMU. CORDRA (Content Object Repository Discovery and Registration/Resolution Architecture) is designed to be an enabling model to bridge the worlds of learning content management and delivery, and content repositories and digital libraries. CORDRA aims to identify and specify (not develop)...read full entry...
  • Guidelines for use of identifiers in DC and LOM metadataMay 16, 2004 – This document provides guidelines for encoding a number of commonly used identifiers in Dublin Core (DC) metadata [DCMI] and IEEE Learning Object Metadata (LOM) [LOM] records. [Guidelines for encoding identifiers in Dublin Core and IEEE LOM metadata]...read full entry...
  • Common information environmentApril 22, 2004 – Report in the The Guardian about a somewhat aspirational UK initiative working to create stronger interoperability between information services across health, cultural sector, education, etc. Reading it, it occurs to me that we are seeing two responses to the Amazoogle factor: in one there is an emphasis on aggregation through...read full entry...
  • Vendor integration - libraries and learningApril 04, 2004 – A major recent issue for libraries has been the relationship of library services to emerging instructional technology environments. Increasingly, on many campuses, the course management system facilitates the relationship between learners and between learner and teacher. Interestingly, there is now a systems vendor who povides integrating solutions between the worlds...read full entry...
  • Trip report VALA conference MelbourneMarch 08, 2004 – I presented the closing keynote [ppt] at the recent VALA conference in Melbourne Australia [VALA2004 Conference Programme and Links to Papers]. (Added 13 March: just came across a trip report for the VALA conference by Steve Thomas, University of Adelaide.) Here are some brief notes about the meeting ......read full entry...
  • SAKAI - significant open source initiativeNovember 25, 2003 – The University of Michigan, Indiana University, MIT, Stanford, and the uPortal consortium are joining forces to integrate and synchronize their considerable educational software into a pre-integrated collection of open source tools. This will yield three big wins for sustainable economics and innovation in higher education: 1) A framework that builds...read full entry...
  • u-PortalNovember 19, 2003 – I argued a while ago that libraries' integration challenge was not so much to integrate information resources with each other as it was to integrate them with emerging user environments. Examples I gave were the campus portal and the learning management system. I have just got an email from a...read full entry...
  • Program for managing university information in AustraliaOctober 22, 2003 – Announced on 22 October: Australias research information will become more easily accessible and better managed thanks to more than $12 million in funding to improve infrastructure. [Peter McGauran MP, Commonwealth Minister for Science - Media Centre] The funded projects are: * Meta Access Management System; * Towards an Australian Partnership...read full entry...