Tech Sharecase, 18 November 2016

18 11 2016

Text Analysis Tools

Ryan introduced a  number of different text analysis tools that were the subject of a workshop he attended last week that was hosted by the LACUNY Emerging Technologies Committee:

  • Google Ngram Viewer. We discussed the problems that OCR runs into and the ABBYY FineReader software for OCR that Jessica and her team use.
  • Sentiment analysis. Example: The movie review aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes, uses automated text analysis to look for certain words in online movie reviews so the site can then assign a rating to each review.
  • Voyant Tools. We looked at the way that the free Voyant Tools website allows fast analysis of text files. Both Jessica and Linda mentioned the ways that they’ve used the service.

Converting Drawings and Symbols

We discussed a few apps and a web site experiment from Google that do interesting things converting images into text:

  • Pleco. This app converts into English the Chinese characters that you capture with your phone camera or that you draw in.
  • Photomath. This app uses your camera phone to capture a math problem and solve it for on your screen.
  • Quick, Draw! The experiment on the web by Google will take your doodle and identify it. Lots of fun!

New User Interfaces

We took a look at the new interfaces on YouTube and Uber.





Tech Sharecase, 23 September 2016

13 10 2016

For our first meeting this fall, we had 16 people in attendance, with representation from the library, BCTC, the Center for Teaching and Learning, and the CIS department.

Partnership with OCM and Athletics

Jessica Wagner Webster and Kimmy Szeto gave a presentation detailing the history of the library’s collaboration with the Office of Communications and Marketing and the Athletics Department to help them manage their digital assets. They showed us the digital asset manager, Merlin, that has been set up to organize the materials. They also described how legacy content will be stored in the archives, cataloged in ArchivesSpace, and made accessible to users when requested.

Digital Measures and Research Information Management Systems

At the next meeting (October 21), we’ll discuss a topic that came up at the end today’s meeting: how to make the most of the many systems for colleges and universities to track the scholarly pursuits and intellectual contributions of their faculty. What’s intriguing about these systems is the possible points of contact they might make with other systems and services:

  • author identifier systems like ORCID and ResearcherID
  • open access repositories (including institutional repositories like CUNY Academic Works and subject repositories like arXiv)
  • commercial networks and repositories, such as SSRN, ResearchGate, and Academia.edu and subscription services like Pivot that alert researchers to funding opportunities that are keyed to the publications of those scholars

It might be interesting to wade into the debate about the extent to which commercial publishers (such as Elsevier, Wiley, etc.) are trying to enclose the scholarly commons and co-opt the open access movement (see for example this interview that journalist Richard Poynder conducted with Clifford Lynch about the future of the IR).





Tech Sharecase: 28 July 2016

28 07 2016

Data Journalism

We watched a video featuring a presentation by Andrew Flowers about how he and his team at FiveThirtyEight use R for analyzing and visualizing data used for news stories. We also looked at some notable examples of data-driven journalism that featured great graphics:

Library Dashboards

We looked at the way a couple of libraries offer data about library services and collections in compact and detailed ways:

New Interfaces

We watched a bit of the video from Ex Libris showing some of the new features and design elements in beta interface for Primo (more details here). We also looked at the new e-journal portal interface from Serials Solutions that Molloy College has already set up.

Open Collections Librarian

We talked about the newly opened position for an open collections librarian here.





Tech Sharecase on 10 May 2016

11 05 2016

Phone Hacking

We started off by watching this 60 Minutes piece from April 17 about how easy it is for hackers to gain total access to your phone if all they have is your cell phone number (yikes!)

We looked at this funny series of images taken by a parent’s phone camera as their son tried unsuccessfully to log into the device (thereby triggering this security feature).

Ryan recommended this Lifehacker post about why smartphone security matters and what you can do to make your phone more secure and this chart in Statista showing the results of a survey in the UK about what people do and don’t do to keep their phones safe.

We also talked about the problem Android phones have in the erratic scheduling of updates and patches, which is due to the variety of manufacturers dealing with these upgrade issues in different ways. Ryan shared this related blog post about how the FCC and FTC are looking more closely into the way carriers are pushing out patches.

We also discussed password managers, like LastPass, and VPNs, as ways to keep your devices more secure.

Redesign of the library search bar

I offered a preview of what the new search bar will look like when it gets launched this summer. I summarized the work that’s taken place since last November:

  • Usability tests in November/December 2015 on the existing search bar (goal was to identify existing problems and look for design ideas from users)
  • Query log analyses and site analytics in January-March 2016 to identify usage trends
  • Usability tests in March of two different prototypes of a new search bar
  • Usability tests in April of a new course reserves page

Work that remains to be done includes:

  • Usability tests in May of new databases page
  • Launch of new course reserves page in May
  • Development of a fully functional prototype of the new search bar in June and usability testing of it
  • Launch in June or July of new search bar and databases page




Using Qualtrics to Make Library Tutorials

6 10 2015

While researching ways to make library tutorials by scanning the project of the month list for PRIMO (Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online), I found this interesting one from the University of Michigan that uses Qualtrics:

The tutorial itself is a nice model of a lightweight way to help students understand whether an article they’ve found is scholarly.





Video about Google for Our Classes

6 10 2015

Amanda alerted me to this 2013 video we have available to us from Kanopy: Google and the World Brain. Here’s the synopsis of it from Kanopy:

In 1937, the science fiction writer H. G. Wells imagined a “World Brain” containing all of the world’s knowledge, accessible to all people, that would be “so compact in its material form and so gigantic in its scope and possible influence” that it could transcend even nation states and governments. Seventy years later, Google set about realizing Wells’ vision, launching a massive project to scan millions of books from university library collections — and triggering a fierce backlash in the process. When it was discovered that over half of the first ten million books Google scanned were still in copyright, authors from around the world joined together to wage a fierce legal battle against the Internet giant, culminating in a dramatic courtroom showdown in 2011.

In gripping detail, Google & the World Brain tells the fascinating story of this complicated struggle over intellectual property and access to human knowledge, offering crucial insights into broader debates surrounding data-mining and privacy, downloading and copyright, fair use, freedom and surveillance.





Learn How Your Scholarly Communication Workflows Compare to Your Peers

1 09 2015

A pair of researchers at Utrecht University Library have been studying the shifting scholarly communication workflows in a major project they call “Innovations in Scholarly Communication.” They’ve done a number of great presentations that capture the adoption and use of various tools and systems that researchers use for:

  • discovery of sources in the literature
  • reading and annotating the sources they find
  • analyzing data
  • writing
  • publishing scholarly works
  • archiving their scholarly works
  • archiving their data
  • assessing the impact of their research

You can take their survey yourself and then get a customized report back that compares your tool use to others. Here’s mine.

This is a great and easy way to learn about new tools and might be something to share with faculty you work with across campus. If school wants to benchmark practices across campus, you can contact the survey authors to set up a custom URL and survey dataset.





Tech Sharecase, 22 May 2015

22 05 2015

Today was nearly an all-Google discussion.

Google Cardboard

Today we had two fully assembled virtual reality kits to use to try out various Google Cardboard apps. We found the images weren’t always in stereo and the kits themselves a bit flimsy. Some of the apps we tried out:

We also found some libraries that have purchased Google Cardboard headsets for various purposes:

Google Photospheres

The Google Camera app does a nice job of making photospheres:

Google+ Page for the Library

We took a look at the Google+ page for the library and the reviews that visitors have left.

Google Tone

We learned about a new experimental extension for the Google Chrome browser called Google Tone that lets you share a URL in your browser with nearby computers using an audible tone broadcast from your computer’s speaker.

Digital Measures

We talked about the strengths and weaknesses of Digital Measures.





Tech Sharecase, 17 May 2015

22 05 2015

We spent the entire time assembling a cardboard virtual reality kit for Google Cardboard that came with less-than optimal printed instructions. Thankfully, there was a video on YouTube to get us through the many fiddly bits:





Open Access Journals in Library and Information Science

11 04 2015

If you’re looking for an open access journal to publish in, a great place to learn about which ones are out there is to browse the listings in the Directory of Open Access Journals. Here’s a filtered browse I created for “library science’ journals published in the United States (you can tinker my search to make it more global or to add in other related subjects).








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