Activity Data Synthesis

Monday, 6 June 2011

Another unTabbloid news digest

'My personal battle with Tabbloid' seems to be emerging as an over-riding theme for my synthesis posts and, alas, this/last week was no different. As before, you can produce a Five Filters pdf newspaper on the fly but I noticed that not everything is showing up and only the last few tweets are included (seemingly due to a glitch with the Twitter Atom feed). Happily there is a Twapper Keeper archive of the #jiscad tweets which you can browse through as a supplement to the projects' blogposts. Perhaps next week I'll print out all the new blogposts and tweets and handcraft my own news digest from paper and glue, before scanning it in and adding all the necessary hyperlinks ... let's hope it doesn't come to that. Anyhow, here are some highlights I've drawn out from the last couple of weeks:

The OpenURL Project announced the release of OpenURL data under the ODC-PDDL license with an ODC-by-SA Attribution clause. Full details of the data the project has released, and the data itself, is available on their website.

The OU RISE Project are holding a one day 'Innovations in Activity Data' workshop at the Open University in Milton Keynes on 4th July. The day includes presentations from the RISE, SALT and LIDP projects and a presentation from Tony Hirst on visualizing activity data.

Over the past few weeks the OU RISE team have been knee deep in early user feedback, ahead of their main evaluation activity which is planned for July. Firstly in the form of feedback from focus groups which were asked about the usefulness of recommendations (as part of a wider OU Library search evaluation). The feedback gathered suggests that the provenance of recommendation was key in determining its usefulness. The results also suggest that there are differences in how provenance is judged depending on a student's level of study. Secondly, the results of an ongoing user survey which they've been analysing. The results are looking encouraging so far but are also raising more questions for them to delve into.

The UCAID project have written an interesting post on how their project differs to the rest of the Activity Data projects. Namely, that their focus is on making activity data available to individual users for their own benefit. It got me thinking about the range of personal vs public motivations and benefits behind the projects and whether the focus sometimes drifts too quickly towards the open data agenda. Maybe we could do with thinking deep thoughts about the Drucker principle / Pearson's Law which states that if something is measured then it improves - these seems particularly apt for those projects who have a keen interest in building data visualizations. Those are just some off the cuff ponderings from me - I might try and corral them into a future blogpost.

LIDP team discuss how they've been tackling one of their project's big issues and liaising with JISC Legal to ensure that they're complying with legal guidelines around accessing and releasing data. On a related note, the Discovery initiative recently published the timely 'Licensing Open Data: A Practical Guide' [pdf] by Naomi Korn and Professor Charles Oppenheim.

Lastly, news from the e-research JISC programme in the shape of a press release about the RAPTOR project which has just released v0.1 of their e-resources usage statistics tool.

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