Research, learning and scholarly communication

‘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’

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


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

People are entry points too … redux

I have been reading The power of pull by John Hagel III, John Seely Brown and Lang Davison. They provide a broad framework for thinking about current changes and how people and firms should position themselves to operate effectively. A major part of this is a shift from managing ‘knowledge stocks’ to being able to … Continue reading People are entry points too … redux

Scientific publications as social objects …

The Comprendia Blog has an entry about social networks in the sciences: Are Any Social Networks for Life Scientists Gaining Traction? It is a report of a ‘quick and dirty’ analysis of visitors to a range of sites. Not everything you might expect is included; Mendelay for example does not feature because of its local … Continue reading Scientific publications as social objects …

Reputational survey

As university rankings attract more attention and as national/regional policy discussions continue about whether and how to concentrate research excellence, Thompson Reuters have provided a little more detail about their plans to work with Times Higher Education to develop their own framework to support university profiling and ranking. Our aim with the Global Institutional Profiles … Continue reading Reputational survey

Institutional researcher pages: an example

I have written a couple of times recently (here and here) about institutional and indvidual reputation management. Think, for example, of faculty profiles: the managed disclosure of expertise and research activity. This has often been an informal personal or departmental activity. However, there is now a variety of institutional initiatives which may pull together data … Continue reading Institutional researcher pages: an example

Research assessment and the library …

I am pleased to note the appearance of a new report on research assessment and the role of libraries. This has been prepared as part of our Research Information Management stream of work in support of the RLG Partnership. The study is a comparative review of formal assessment regimes in five countries. Such assessment regimes … Continue reading Research assessment and the library …

Social tools and science

In her report on Open science at webscale, I was interested to see Liz Lyon give the following list of tools used to share their work by researchers. Currently, researchers are using open science tools such as: Connotea for reference management Mendeley (which applies LastFM principles associated with music selections to journal articles) Friendfeed (for … Continue reading Social tools and science