Friday, 9 September 2016

Illustrating the special importance of books to the Arts and Humantiies

The importance of books is clear for the Arts and Humanities in the UK as indicated by approximately ¼ of all submissions to the REF in book form and in addition book chapters remain an important factor in submission.

These heatmap visualisations for the Academic Book of the Future quickly illustrates the stark differences in forms of scholarly communication across UK HE.

Friday, 29 July 2016

Reshaping the REF balloon - the Stern Review


Trying to make a change to the REF whilst not breaking it is akin to squeezing a balloon. Press or reshape too much and it bursts, but solving a problem by squeezing in one area produces bulges elsewhere.

And so we come to the Stern Review - an independent review of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) - that was published this week. [link]

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Open GLAM: The Rewards (and Some Risks) of Digital Sharing for the Public Good

Figure 1: img_japanese04, Bridgestone Museum of Art, 17.146 px/in, 2016. Fujishima Takeji, 1867-1943, Black Fan, 1908-1909, Oil on canvas, 63.7 x 42.4 cm, Bridgestone Museum of Art, Tokyo. This digital surrogate is © Bridgestone Museum of Art.

Open GLAM: The Rewards (and Some Risks) of Digital Sharing for the Public Good
by Simon Tanner

The research-led exhibition experiment Display at Your Own Risk provides an exciting opportunity to ask some fundamental questions regarding the behavioral gaps between ‘what we say’ and ‘what we do’ in regard to museum practice and with art/images. Sometimes this is driven, as the exhibition organizers point out, by the gap between institutional policies and public understanding. By selecting 100 digital surrogate images of public domain works for this exhibition and printing them to the underlying artwork’s original dimensions this exhibition poses some interesting questions.

Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Burning eBooks - B&N "nukes the NOOK"

Barnes & Noble is shutting down its Nook app store, (effective from March 15, 2016) through which it sold ebooks for its e-reader, the Nook.

Unless Nook owners in the UK take action immediately then their ebooks (& films) could be lost to them. It is yet another example of how you don’t own your ebooks with DRM - you’re merely licensing the right to read them for a time. This announcement is a bit like a commercially driven virtual Fahrenheit 451 "fireman" is going to disable your eBooks in a fast digital fire.

Friday, 12 February 2016

Open Access to research publications - independent advice and evidence

February is a month of discovery. Not just of gravitational waves but for increased evidence for Open Access, for the costs of publishing monographs and for academic journal markets.

This blog focuses on the highlights of Professor Adam Tickell’s OA report to Jo Johnson (Minister of State for Universities and Science) that has been published today, with the Minister’s response. It also mentions the Costs of Publishing Monographs report from Ithaka and the Academic journal markets report from SCONUL, RLUK, ARMA and Jisc.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Arts & Humanities mentioned 5 times in the Nurse Review

The recent Nurse Review "Ensuring a Successful UK Research Endeavour" mentions "science" 94 times and the "arts" and/or "humanities" less than half a dozen times.
That's not much for arts and humanities so here are all those mentions in full.

Thursday, 12 November 2015

The most influential academic book in history as seen by Google's nGram

When Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was voted the most influential academic book ever as part of the inaugural Academic Book Week I wondered what the result might look like through the lens of book analytic data provided by Google.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

The Wine, the Glass and the Drinking

During my keynote at the DCDC2015 Conference I challenged the audience to consider whether the value that exists in a digital resource reflected the analogy of: is the value in the wine, the glass or the drinking?

It is obvious all three are needed (and you could add other features), but maybe to a greater or lesser degree. If Wine = Content, the Glass = Infrastructure and the Drinking = Access then which one has precedence?

So we voted via Twitter and the results are in.

Monday, 5 October 2015

Colour Charts & Metadata on the Moon

as17-148-chart: Apollo 17 Hasselblad image from
film magazine 148/NN - Earth, LM Inspection, Orbital
The recent release to Flickr of all of the roughly 11,000 images taken on the NASA Apollo moon missions is the re-presentation of the public domain NASA-provided Apollo mission imagery as it was originally provided in its raw, high-resolution and unprocessed form.

One of the nice things to see from an imaging point of view are the early colour and photographic calibration charts.