Activity Data Synthesis

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Set doors to manual

This week's round-up of activity on the project blogs and twitter will have a distinctly rustic and hand-cranked feel because the Tabbloid service that usually does a mighty fine job of collating it all for me appears to be on strike.

First off I'd like to send a, slightly belated, message of congratulations to the OU RISE team who went live with their My Recommendations tool towards the end of April. It was also pleasing to see that they found Mark van Harmelen's synthesis project visit a useful process to go through. It sounds like they've provided Mark with plenty of 'food for thought' for the synthesis Cookbook (don't worry, there's plenty more cookery-based puns where that came from).

While I'm on the topic of the Cookbook it's probably a good time to bring Mark's explanation of the cookery metaphor to your attention. Tom Franklin kindly submitted a preliminary recipe for chocolate fudge brownies which hopefully you'll all have a go at ... and I hasten to add that I will gladly volunteer for any user testing that you carry out on that particular recipe. Joking aside, we will be releasing and refining the 'recipes' over the coming months and your input will be much appreciated.

The AEIOU project team have been in a ponderous mood on their blog where they've been contemplating what will be the best tool to use for digesting and regurgitating data for their recommender service. The conclusion of their pondering appears to be an FLA soup served on a bed of SQL database (n.b. it's *really hard* to drop the cookery metaphor once you start). The AEIOU project have been able to make use of a DSpace/EPrints patch that the PIRUS2 project released - to be honest the technical side of what they're doing is slightly beyond me but it is good to see a project benefitting from a previous JISC project's open innovation in this way.

The twitter feed for #jiscad has been quiet - which is understandable given the ratio of bank holidays to work days over the last couple of weeks. One of the (tangential) things I tweeted about that I think is worth highlighting again is the Digging into Data Challenge which is open for applications until 16 June 2011. There is also a free conference in June but unfortunately it's in Washington DC - hopefully there will be a livestream or at least a good deal of tweeting that we can follow. The challenge has been covered on the Times Higher website where they highlight the challenge of technology as enabling researchers to navigate the vast ocean of data that technology is making available through digitisation etc. This places data in an ecosystem where the data needs to be made usable in order for a cycle of virtuosity to be unleashed.

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