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Last Build Date: Mon, 05 Mar 2018 09:20:34 PST

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Twitter Archiver

Sun, 18 Feb 2018 21:47:34 PST

Twitter Archiver looks to be a pretty cool Chrome extension for archiving tweets.

I am trying it out to capture my #vala2018 tweets in a Google drive spreadsheet - this will become my conferrence notes.

You can set up a rule to combine users, hashtags, keywords, locations to dump the tweets into a spreadsheet.

Of course it does not capture associated media - so not exactly an archive.


Blogjune 2017 twitter list

Mon, 05 Jun 2017 03:00:51 PDT

It's now day 5 of blogjune. I am not writing this year, but providing a bit of admin support.

If you want see if you are following all of the bloggers check out this list...

Happy reading.


Preparing for new Primo UI

Thu, 25 May 2017 20:18:15 PDT

I presented with a colleague, Jessie Donaghey at the recent ANZREG conference on our preparations for the new Primo UI.

Here is the presentation.

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This was my first serious attempt at using Sway (office 365) for a presentation.


  • Interactive
  • Loaded images relatively quickly - yes we presented using it online and live! 
  • Pretty without requiring graphic design skills
  • Responsive - adapts to screen size of visitor
  • Images can be zoomed into while in the presentation


  • jumps about when editing the slides - easy to lose your place
  • responsive - so you cannot always tell in advance how well your images might display
  • cannot export or easily convert to a back up PPT or PDF. We had to 
  • CC images can be searched for within the interface, but no easy way to track down the details so that you can provide attribution. We ended up using images from which are CC0 licence - pretty much do what you like with them. But we had to download, resize and then upload to Sway

Blogjune 2017 join the challenge

Thu, 18 May 2017 06:07:12 PDT

It's that time of the year again - time to ramp up your blog mojo.

The challenge: Blog every day in June - or as often as you can manage, or comment on someone else's blog every day
Register by posting a tweet. The tweet must contain:
  1. URL where you will be blogging
  2. hashtag #registerblogjune
Optionally include other words like "Aaagh what am I thinking", "I'm a blog junkie" or anything else that comes to mind.

When you register, your twitter handle, blog URL and the text of your tweet will be added to the google docs spreadsheet below. Your blog will (probably) be included in an OPML file that will be published for those who want to subscribe to all the blogjune participants. Watch for twitter updates about that

Next steps...

  • On the 1st of June post to your blog. Share each post on Twitter using the hashtag #blogjune
  • Check back here to find new twitter accounts to follow, or... I will periodically update  this twitter list and you can subscribe to that list. I'm not guaranteeing it will be exact or up to date with registrations. I haven't found a good way to automatically add registrants to the list.
  • Read other's posts and comment on them
  • Keep posting

Long time Junebloggers - how about sharing your tips or ideas for topics and themes in the comments of this post to welcome the newbies to the challenge.

PS. I doubt that I will be blogging this June. I have 3 concurrent quilting projects on! But I will enjoy reading some of your posts.

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Finding Open Access moves on

Fri, 24 Mar 2017 21:15:01 PDT

Some time ago in 2013 the OA button arrived and I wrote a bit about it.

Back then it was a bookmarklet that sat with your browser bookmarks. . You could use it to identify when and where you were trying to access a paywalled article.

4 years on it is a browser extension (I'm using Chrome - have not checked Firefox or others) you can use on the web to locate open access versions of articles, or if none found to request an OA version be made available. The requests are forwarded to researchers for legal open access copies to be archived in a repository. There is no guarantee that your request will be satisfied, but it helps to communicate to researchers the demand and importance of OA.

I have used it from our Library discovery system (Primo) and it worked OK, I assume using the DOI in the article record I was viewing. DOI, PMID and some other identifiers may be used.

There is also an Unpaywall extension. It's official launch is April 4 2017 - so it is a less mature product. This one is designed to automatically display an indicator of whether an OA version is available while viewing an article metadata page. This one is not working with my Library discovery system, nor a ResearchGate, nor the Australian Library Journal on Taylor and Francis pages, but it does work with some journal sites.

Ex Libris has planned to incorporate oadoi as an option in Alma's uresolver. This will provide a similar kind of finding option to locate open access versions where a DOI is available in a citation in Primo.  I'm looking forward to adding that one to our interface. It will be interesting to see what if any impact this has on our document delivery service.

For news about these extensions..
Follow @oaDOI_org
Follow Unpaywall

Research Data Thing 23/23 - Making Connections

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 03:41:14 PDT

This is the last thing! Woot!

I have:
And for now I think that's enough. No doubt opportunities and ideas will arise from this experience.

Thank you ANDS and fellow thingers.


Research Data Thing 22/23 - What's in a name

Fri, 09 Sep 2016 01:35:03 PDT

The penultimate thing!

I've been listening to more podcasts lately, so instead of sharing videos as suggested in the thing, here are some podcasts that might be interesting on big data topics.

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  • Data Skeptic - short episodes exploring data concepts and longer interviews with practitioners on data science.


Research Data Thing 21/23 - Tools of the (dirty data) trade

Sat, 03 Sep 2016 23:33:51 PDT

Thing 21 is about dirty data and some strategies and tools for fixing data issues.

Having been involved in implementing data systems at work which involved data migration and establishing feeds from other systems with transformations eg. building an organisation code structure in a new system based on partial strings from a payroll system; sourcing person records from two separate systems and deduplicating (people who were both staff and students), the pitfalls of dirty data is quite familiar. The problems soon started appearing during testing phase, particularly as we looked at report generation and business processes that relied on choosing a specific record.

One of the difficulties was individuals that had name variations between the two systems but were in fact the same person. Sometimes the only way these were found was through someone knowing that staff member had changed their name, or used a diminutive in their student record. This led to changing some business processes to help identify persons between the two systems.

This thing talks about using Google Spreadsheets and a scraping extension to gather data tabular data from websites. In the past, when websites used
tags in the html it was relatively easy to import tables directly into Excel using the method in this video. I was hoping to try it again, but could not find a suitable table to play with. (They mostly seem to use these for ads!, and alternative methods for tabular data)

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The feature to do this is available in Excel 2016 in the data ribbon.

This is my first time at trying Google spreadsheets for scraping data. So here is a table from the Wikipedia page on Australia at the Olympics.

Medals by Summer Games

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In the wikipedia page the column "Totals" has bold text. In the data scraped the wiki encoding for bold has been captured as asterisks surrounding each value - a prime candidate for some cleansing.

I was going to have a go with openRefine, but it was downloaded on a different computer and I can't be bothered shifting gears to finish this on the other one.

Research Data Things 20/23 - Find it With Data

Sun, 21 Aug 2016 23:50:10 PDT

Here's one I prepared earlier....  From some research data I worked on with some colleagues. Use of Instagram by libraries. height="480" src="" width="640">"It has been said that 80% of all research data has a geographic or spatial component." -- Thing 20 I recently undertook a data visualisation course, and somewhere in it I'm sure we were referred to a site that defined scientific data as having some kind of spatial/temporal facet to it. I can't find it though I have trawled through the pages - sorry that I have no citation for it. But if that is the case, and it makes sense to me, then it's no surprise that 80% of research data has a geographic or spatial component. I'd argue that geographic is spatial at our planet's level. Imaging of microscopic subjects is spatial just at a teeny, tiny level. I think geospatial visualisations are compelling for several reasons."Research estimates that eighty to eighty five percent of our perception, learning, cognition and activities are mediated through vision." -- Thomas Politzer, Vision is our dominant sense. Most of us are switched on ready for visual stimuli.The level of focus (geo) as opposed to micro (too small to see) or macro (too large to see) is pitched just right for humans who are designed to live in a 'geo' sized landscape. It is easy for us to understand these visualisations and put ourselves in the picture.Storytelling connects us to our humanity -- Quora Good visualisation give us a reason to engage by telling us something about ourselves. [...]

Research Data Things 19/23 - Exploring APIs and Apps

Fri, 19 Aug 2016 23:43:02 PDT

I viewed the list of apps for gathering research data suggested in thing 19.

It struck me that mostly these are just online forms which have been around for years, often marketed for integration into websites for all sorts of purposes. I use wufoo as a contact form on this blog. It is another that could be used to build an online form. Google forms is another option. It really depends if the research requires something specific to choose amongst the many options.

Specifics needs for research as opposed to many general website forms might be:

  • ability to attach a file to the form data eg. photo, or audio recording
  • ability to complete the form multiple times while offline and then submit the data when internet/network access is available
Another valuable app for integrating web services is IFTTT. This enables users to set up a series of steps to push data, images, social media to other web services. This is definitely worth looking at for those doing research into social media (but should also be considered for other types of research too). A 'recipe' could be created to poll Twitter and Instagram for a hashtag and then make a record in a Google spreadsheet everytime a post matches the criteria.


Research Data Things 18/23 - Data interviews

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 22:42:16 PDT

Thing 18research data plan by anonymous (actually that's me but too lazy to register).In this thing we are asked to think about supporting researchers through interviews and conversations, specifically to pick something in the example data curation profile cited.where the researcher appears to need some support. "The researcher does not seem to have any specific documentation practices in place regarding the description or organization of the data."Offer to assist with or provide advice on:Developing a file naming conventionPlanning a folder structure/hierarchyManaging versions of filesFinding metadata schemas that may be applicable for this type of researchResearch data applications such as Nvivo for managing relationships between files and describing themManaging backups/redundancy - in this example it appears that there may be limited access to internet during fieldwork so some thought needs to go into redundancy planning without continuous access to cloud or institutional networksSome useful links: Best practices for file namingManaging and sharing data: best practice for researchersThere are several uses for data curation profiles. I think the most important one is to "provides a means for a researcher or a research group to thoughtfully consider their needs for their data beyond its immediate use" -- Carlson, Jake, "The Data Curation Profiles Toolkit: User Guide" (2010). Data Curation Profiles Toolkit. Paper 1. is a risk that the way the profile is written (tone and perspective) may detract from this goal. If the librarian/archivist writes up the profile from their own perspective it may be seen as to judgmental or tangential to the research goals by the researchers themselves. Also the relationship between a profile and a research data management plan seems to be overlapping.  It is difficult when there is such a wide variation in the amount of support required by researchers. An interview with a higher degree research student or early career researcher may need to be much more focussed on developing a plan, whereas an interview with experienced researchers may be focussed more on the services needed for deposit in the repository and metadata records.  [...]

Media Files:

Research Data Things 17/23 - Data literacy and outreach

Thu, 04 Aug 2016 14:52:07 PDT

allowfullscreen="" class="YOUTUBE-iframe-video" data-thumbnail-src="" frameborder="0" height="266" src="" width="320">Comparing data literacy definitions for various groups. Group Definition LibraryInformation literacy and data management, where information literacy focuses on statistics, and data management on organizational skills needed to create, process, and preserve original data sets. -- Databrarians Entrepreneurs The ability to find insights within data, and then take action based on those findings. -- Forbes Political Science Ability to use data analysis to answer questions in modern political debates such as sources of voting behavior, the correlates of war, the determinants of development, political economy, psychology, institutions, and conflict -- Data Literacy and Data Visualization course by The Ohio State University Writing and Journalism"data-literacy is the ability to consume for knowledge, produce coherently and think critically about data. Data literacy includes statistical literacy but also understanding how to work with large data sets, how they were produced, how to connect various data sets and how to interpret them." -- Data Journalism Handbook Teachers and Students "Being able to read a chart or graph and being able to critique it....  A component of data literacy is to be able to develop an argument with it" -- Sarah Williams, MIT  Citizens How to interact with big data and understand the possibilities it holds. Analyze data. With a focus on participatory government as a right. -- Camilla Monckton, Voices from Eurasia blog.  Thing 17 asks us how we can build universal data literacy if we have such diverse needs. These of course are cherry picked definitions and not all librarians would agree with the statement that the focus is a narrower position of statistical literacy (indeed any of those groups may debate the specifics). But let's continue anyway.While there is diversity in how data literacy is applied by different groups, the core need is similar.Obtain and analyse data to answer questions for problem solving and decision-making. The challenge is to define a core set of skills (and technologies) and then build on that to meet needs by various groups and develop expertise in specialist areas and with specialist technologies.Both the library and the journalism definitions add something more than the other definitions. The library works towards preservation and management of data sets for future, unknown applications of  the data. The journalism definition refers to connecting various data sets - it shows the value of the work libraries undertake in managing data sets for future unknown uses. [...]

Research Data Things 16/23 - Publisher and Funder Perspectives

Tue, 19 Jul 2016 05:08:11 PDT

In this thing we are asked to look up a journal to find out what's policy is in relation to research data.I looked up the Australian Library Journal as it is one I have an article published in, and I didn't remember anything about data publishing recommendations at the time...Information for AuthorsCuriously the only statements I could see in relation to "data" were in relation to copyright."You will be asked to assign to the Australian Library and Information Association, via a Publishing Agreement, the copyright in your article. Your Article is defined as the final, definitive, and citable Version of Record, and includes: (a) the accepted manuscript in its final form, including the abstract, text, bibliography, and all accompanying tables, illustrations, data;"and"If you wish to include any material in your manuscript in which you do not hold copyright, you must obtain written permission from the copyright owner, prior to submission. Such material may be in the form of text, data, table, illustration, photograph, line drawing, audio clip, video clip, film still, and screenshot, and any supplemental material you propose to include."I did not find anything specifically making recommendations about authors sharing their data.It's a Taylor & Francis journal. I checked their website Author Services section but a search for 'data' did not make any results jump out at me that looked relevant.These data policies at BioMed Central are worth a look.As more funding agencies adopt policies requiring research data be shared, libraries and research offices will have to allocate more resourcing for support services to ensure the data is described, shared and preserved into the future. Admittedly I skimmed the funder statements but I didn't notice anything about longevity of preservation. Some thought should be given to whether data sets should or even could be shared indefinitely and whether there are some data sets where it is appropriate to only make the data available for a specified period. Right now I can't think of such circumstances but maybe it could arise.A couple of funder statements on data sharing:WellcomeNHMRC [...]

Theres a bear in there (It's Playschool)

Sun, 10 Jul 2016 23:08:36 PDT

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via IFTTT(image)

Research Data Things 15/23 - Data Management Plans

Sun, 10 Jul 2016 00:27:43 PDT

I'm a bit behind my schedule as I took a detour to do a data visualisation course, but time to get back to 23 Research Data Things. This week will be brief on my part as I have created a data management plan for this project:

Abbott, W., Donaghey, J., Hare, J. Hopkins, P. (2013). The Perfect Storm: the convergence of social, mobile and photo technologies in Libraries. Presented at: VALA: Streaming with possibilities. Melbourne, Australia; 3-6th February, 2014.
Presentation (prezi)

I think it's important to develop a plan with key members of a project team, rather than leave it to one person. The act of talking through the details leads to a shared understanding from early on and saves time and re-occuring questions about where is that data again? How is it organised? and more.


Data Visualisation and Florence Nightingale

Tue, 05 Jul 2016 04:00:56 PDT

A great woman in statistics (yes, not just nursing), Florence Nightingale did great work visualising data about causes of death during the Crimean War. Her work communicating this led to changes in how hospitals were managed to ensure cleanliness and reducing preventable deaths.

I've finished the online course (Big Data: Data Visualisation) and have come to the realisation that if I ever need 3D interactive web graphic visualisations I'll be commissioning someone with the requisite skillz. However there are software with user friendly interfaces that will suffice for most needs. The course looked at design principles and offered hands-on experience with Tableau, Matlab and D3 javascript.

Someone has kindly updated Nightingale's coxcombs (rose diagrams) into interactive visualisations and provided some different designs for comparison.


Data visualisation course

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 00:14:45 PDT

I've just started the second and final week of BIG DATA: DATA VISUALISATION course through Future Learn. It's a free online course and I get to try some new software for creating graphs and other visualisations. Last week was mostly theory looking at design, user needs some historical background and lots of examples to critique.

There is a lot of theory about big data and sophisticated techniques, but of course when introducing a new piece of software it's best to try something simple.

So here is what I produced with Matlab.

I'm not sure what is in the next activity of the course so maybe there will be some enhancements to this. Anyway I'd like if the numbers were actually the names of months.

For something this simple Excel is certainly up to the challenge and I'd venture to say easier to use than Matlab, but then again I have been making charts and pivot tables in Excel for years and only just tried Matlab for the first time yesterday - so I'm not sure about how quickly a complete newbie would take with MS Excel. But lots of command line use in Matlab.

Au revoir blogjune

Thu, 30 Jun 2016 04:33:32 PDT

Well that's it for another blogjune challenge. I didn't post 30 times. I am surprised that I posted as frequently as I did.

I commented far more than I have done in many moons and I was pleased to tune in to some new blogs.

The last two evenings I've been engrossed in a free course through Future Learn on big data visualisation. It's just a 2 week course which ends next week. So maybe you might see a viz here in coming days as I attempt some practical work.

Thanks bloggers.


10 things that will probably not interest you at all

Mon, 27 Jun 2016 03:58:38 PDT

Reverse psychology clickbait title! Without this series of questions from Bun Toting Librarian and a reminder by Rachel there would be no blogjune post today.

The most recent text you received was… A reminder about the time of an appointment this week.

What is an overused word or saying that you hate?
"Would of, should of"

What was the last book that you read?
Seduction by Catherine Gildiner. A mystery-detective fiction about Sigmund and Anna Freud with a woman protagonist as a husband-killer convict turned Freud academic.

The best purchase you’ve made recently?
Janome DC3100 sewing machine.

What was the last image you posted on social media and why?
I was bored and playing around with Snapchat filters

What was the last movie you saw?
Spectre streamed to TV.

What is the last risk you took and how did it turn out?
Sat outside under a tree and got a tick bite just in front of my ear. That was Saturday and its still itchy. Everything is a risk, it's just the magnitude that varies.

What kind of mood were you in today?
I'm not going into that here.

What has been your biggest challenge lately?
See last question.

What is one new thing you have learned?
Shirring with my new sewing machine.


Research Data Things 14/23 - Identifiers and Linked Data

Sat, 25 Jun 2016 01:54:09 PDT

This was a good chance for me to log back into ORCID and check on my record. I used the link to generate a QR code for my record - though right now I don't have a good use for it.

Scan for Peta Hopkins ORCID record.

I updated my list of works, but had to add it manually since there are no DOIs for the conference papers at VALA. ORCID site does not enable the addition of multiple authors for manually added conference papers. It would be great if VALA and Information Online conference provided DOIs at least for peer reviewed papers. With that I could have used the Cross Ref integration to grab this data automatically.

I added my ORCID to the following:

About Me  - unfortunately it has not option in the social links area that I could use.
LinkedIn - once again, no obvious place to put it. I added it to the summary, but if anyone has any other ideas would love to hear them. It would be good to have it in the Publications section.

Moving on to the Challenge Me segment I notice that this was a huge conceptual step up from Getting Started and Learn More segments. I think some kind of explanation to help participants make the leap from ORCID (and other identifiers) to linked data would be helpful for many just starting to think about these concepts.


Handsfree snapchat video

Fri, 24 Jun 2016 02:29:09 PDT

This is for Android devices. If you use a search engine you can also find ways to do this on IOS using accessibility features.
Excuse the video - it was made in snapchat (duh) and I wasn't sure what I'd said in the first part. Too lazy to go check My Story.

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You will need:

1 android device
1 eleastic hair tie

Stretch it round your phone or tablet so that when you are ready you can slide it over the volume button to hold it down.


Spatial awareness and the art of dressmaking

Wed, 22 Jun 2016 01:18:02 PDT

One thing I remember from home ec at school was pattern drafting. I don't remember much of the detail just the wonder of it.  Making 2d pieces of paper to cut fabric shapes that would fit the body's topology when sewn together was sort of magical. Even without the pattern drafting, dressmaking using ready made patterns really helped me develop spatial and shape awareness.

I started sewing about 10 or 11 I think  on my Nan's hand cranked Singer then moved to Mum's treadle Singer which was much faster. 


Today's blogjune post is not here

Tue, 21 Jun 2016 04:48:06 PDT

A crafty post today but its over at Tumblr. Something i made this evening.


Preparing for a Project

Sun, 19 Jun 2016 22:17:17 PDT

Yes, I am getting back into project mode again for MPOW. This time not as a project manager but "adding rigour" to project control through documentation, processes etc.Today I had to write up a list of things for the to do list prior to the official launch of the project. So I'm borrowing my list for this blogjune post. It's not identical but similar - each project has its own idiosyncrasies so adapt adapt adapt.A lot of preparation has already been undertaken in terms of obtaining funding and authorisation and buy-in at the director level so for us we now need to line up all the stuff we need before a kick-off workshop with stakeholders and project working parties.Contract executionIt can be mighty embarassing and a big waste of everyone's time for a big launch if the contract negotiations don't end up going through and you have to cancel the whole thing, or postpone while alternative suppliers are organised.Define Stakeholders Take some time to identify all of the players who can claim a stake in the project and its outcomes. A table is a good start. At minimum you will need to name them (groups or individuals) and write down why they have an interest of influence over the project. This is important for you to figure out what and how you are going to communicate about the project. For a major project go the next step and assess how much influence and how much interest they have in the project. You may find this tool from the Victorian Dept. of Environment and Primary Industries useful. It provides a matrix and instructions on how to run an analysis session.Define Key DeliverablesHow else will you know if you are focussing on the right work? You might not have all of these defined at the project kick-off but you must have a good idea of these by the time you launch with stakeholders. They may come up with ideas for deliverables that you haven't yet identified - take their ideas and assess them for inclusion/exclusion in the scope of the project.Define Benefits & Measures for SuccessOnce again, these will probably change a bit during the project, but you need to sell the benefits of the project to the stakeholders (gaining buy-in). Figuring out how you are going to measure them will enable you to determine how successful your project is. Often some of these benefits will not be realised until well after the project and you might not think it worthwhile worrying about them. If you ever suspect that you will want to get funding for another project in the future it's worth measuring and reporting on these. Pro tip - tie the benefits/measures to your organisation's strategic goals to easily demonstrate value.Assess ResourcingThis actually goes on throughout the project, but for the launch it helps to have a pretty good picture of what you need, especially in the short term. This will affect the project budget so you will have to forecast an overall value for resources, but you also need to consider not just the number of people who will do the work, but the skills required. Don't overlook project skills - I can tell you from experience that while it is feasible to chair a meeting and take minutes - it is difficult. For a big project make sure the project manager has some support and does not become the slave of the project. The Project Manager is a facilitator not a dogsbody. In addition to human resources there is also equipment and software to itemise too.Prepare a Collaboration SiteFigure out how[...]

A word I never heard before

Sat, 18 Jun 2016 17:00:12 PDT

Trawling through Words of the Day for some blogjune inspiration I came across a word I have never heard before, but have certainly been involved in conversations that talked about this concept of people being overlooked for positions or promotions.

I've never read it either - at least that I can remember. Yet it's a quite useful word. Probably not one I can use in a sentence today though.