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HangingTogether: Linked Data Survey results 6 – Advice from the implementers

planet code4lib - Mon, 2014-09-08 08:00

 

 

OCLC Research conducted an international linked data survey for implementers between 7 July and 15 August 2014. This is the sixth--and last--post in the series reporting the results.  

An objective in conducting this survey was to learn from the experiences of those who had implemented or were implementing linked data projects/services.  We appreciate that so many gave advice. About a third of those who have implemented or are implementing a linked data project are planning to implement another within the next two years; another third are not sure.

Asked what they would differently if they were starting their project again, respondents answered with issues clustered around organizational support and staffing, vocabularies, and technology. One noted that legal issues seriously delayed the release of their linked data service and that legal aspects need to be addressed early.

Organizational support and staffing:

  • Have a clear mandate for the project. Our issues have stemmed from our organization, not the technology or concept.
  • It would have been useful to have a greater in-house technical input.
  • With hindsight we have more realistic expectations. if funding would allow I would hire a programmer to the project.
  • Attempt to garner wider organisational support and resources before embarking on what was in essence a very personal project.
  • We also would have preferred to have done this as an official project, with staff resources allocated, rather than as an ad-hoc, project that we’ve crammed into our already full schedules.
  • Have dedicated technical project manager – or at least a bigger chunk of time.
  • Have more time planned and allocated for both myself and team members.

Vocabularies

  • Build an ontology and formal data model from the ground up.
  • Align concepts we are publishing with other authorities, most of which didn’t exist at the time.
  • Vocabulary selection, avoid some of the churn related to that process.
  • Make more accurate and detailed records so that it is easier for people using the data to clear up ambiguity of similar names.
  • I might seek a larger number of partners to contribute their controlled vocabularies or thesauri in advance.

Technology

  • We would immediately use Open Refine to extract and clean up data after the first export from Access
  • We would provide a SPARQL endpoint for the data if we had the opportunity.
  • We would give more thought to service resilience from the perspective of potential denial of service attacks.
  •  Well define the schema first before we generated the records. Use the schema to validate all of the records before we stored them in the system’s database.
  • It is still a pity that the Linked Data Pilot is not more integrated to the production system. It would have easier if the LOD principles would have been included in this production system from the beginning.
  • We might have done more to help our vendor understand the complexity of the LCNAF data service as well as the complexity of the MARC authority format.
  • Better user experience; we chose to focus on data mining vs data use.
  • Transforming the source data into semantic form, before attempting process (clustering, clean up, matching).
  • A stable infrastructure is vital for the scalability of the project.

General advice

Much of the advice for both those considering projects to consume linked data and those considering projects to publish linked data cluster around preparation and project management:

  • Ask what benefit doing linked data at all will really have.
  • There is more literature and online information relating to consuming linked data than there was when we started so our advice would be to read as widely as possible and consult with experts in the community.
  • Get a semantic web expert in the team
  • The same as any other project: have a detailed programme.
  • Have a focus. Do your research. Overestimate time spent.
  • Take a Linked Data class
  • Estimate the time required for the project and then double it.  The time to explain details of MARC, EAD, and local practices and standards to the vendor, to test functionality of the application, and to test navigational design elements of the application all require dedicated blocks of time.
  • Bone up on your tech skills.  It’s not magic; there is no wand you can wave.
  • Basic project management, basic data management, basic project planning are really important at the onset.
  • Having a detailed program before starting. Get institutional commitment.  Unless the plan is to do the smallest thing… the investment is great enough to warrant some kind of administrative blessing, at the minimum.
  • Take advantage of the many great (and free) resources for learning about RDF and linked data.
  • Start with a small project and then apply the knowledge gained and the tools built to larger scale projects.
  • Find people at other institutions who are doing linked data so you can bounce ideas off of each other.
  • Plan, plan, plan! Do research. Understand all that there is going on and what challenges you will have before you reach them.
  • Automate, automate, automate

Advice for those considering a project to consume linked data

  • Linking to external datasets is very important but also very difficult.
  • Find authorities for your specific domain from the outset, and if they don’t exist don’t be afraid to define and publish your own concepts.
  • Firm understanding of ontologies
  • Use CIDOC CRM / FRBRoo for cultural heritage sources. It will be far more costs effective and provide the highest quality of data that can be integrated preserving the variability and language of your data.
  • Pick a problem you can solve. Start with schema.org as core vocabulary. Lean toward JSON-LD instead of rdfxml. Like agile fail quick and often. Store the index in a triplestore.
  • Make a decision what kind of granularity of data you want to make available as linked data – no semantics for now. We cannot make our data to transform as linked data as one to one relationship – there should be a data that will not be available in linked data. If you want to make your data discoverable, then schema.org semantic will work the best.
  • Sometimes the data available just won’t work with your project. Keep in mind that something may look like a match at first but the devil is in the details. 

Advice for those considering a project to publish linked data

General advice: “Try to consume it first!”

Project management

  • It’s possible to participate in linked data projects even by producing data and leaving the work of linking to others.
  • Managing expectations of content creators is tough – people often have expectations of linked data that aren’t possible. The promise of being able to share and link things up can efface the work required to prepare materials for publication.
  • Always look at what others have done before you. Build a good relationship with the researcher with whom you are working; leverage the knowledge and experience of that person or persons. Carefully plan your project ahead of time, in particular the metadata.
  • Look at the larger surrounding issues.  It is not enough to just dump your data out there.  Be prepared to perform some sort of analytics to capture information as to uses of the data.  Also include a mechanism for feedback about the data and requested improvements/enhancements.  The social contract of linked data is just as important as the technical aspects of transforming and publishing the data.
  • Just do it, but consider if you’re just adding more bad data to the web — dumping a set of library records to RDF is pointless. Consider the value of publishing data. Reusing data is probably more interesting.
  • The assumption that the data needs to be there in order to be used is, I think, wrong. The usefulness of data is in its use; create a service one uses oneself and it is valuable and useful. Whether others actually use it is irrelevant.
  • Pay attention to reuse existing ontologies in order to improve interoperability and user comprehension of your published data. 

Technical advice

  • Publish the highest quality possible that will also achieve semantic and contextual harmionisation. You will end up doing it again otherwise and therefore it is far more cost effective and gets the best results.
  • Don’t use fixed field/ value data models. For cultural heritage data use CIDOC CRM / FRBRoo.
  • Offer a SPARQL endpoint to your data.
  • Use JSON-LD.
  • Museums need to take a good look at their data and make sure that they create granular data, i.e. each concept (actors, keywords, terms, objects, events, …) needs to have unique ids, which in turn will be referenced in URIs. Also publishing linked data means embracing a graph data structure, which is a total departure from traditional relational data structure: linked data forces you to make explicit what is only implicit in the database.  Modeling data for events is challenging but rewarding. Define what data entities your museum is responsible for… Being able to define URIs for entities means being able to give them unique identifiers and and there are many data issues that need to be taken care of within an institution.  Also, very important is that producing LOD requires the data manager to think differently about data, and not about information.  LOD requires that you make explicit knowledge that is only implicit in a traditional relational database.

 Recommended Resources

This is a compilation of resources–conferences, linked data projects, listservs, websites–respondents found particularly valuable in learning more about linked data.

Conferences valuable in learning more about linked data: American Medical Informatics Association meetings,  Computer Applications in Archaeology, Code4Lib conferences, Digital Library Federation’s forums, Dublin Core Metadata Initiative, European Library Automation Group, European Semantic Web Conferences, International Digital Curation Conference, International Semantic Web Conference, Library and Information Technology Association’s national forums, Metadata and Digital Object Roundtable (in association with the Society of American Archivists), Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition conferences, Semantic Web in Libraries, Theory and Practice of Digital Libraries

Linked data projects implementers track:

  • 270a Linked Dataspaces
  • AMSL, an electronic management system based on linked data technologies
  • Library of Congress’ BIBFRAME (included in the survey responses)
  • Bibliothèque Nationale de France’s Linked Open Data project
  • Bibliothèque Nationale de France’s OpenCat: Interesting data model – lightweight FRBR model together with reuse of commonly used web ontologies (DC; FOAF, etc.); scalable open source platform (cubicweb). Opencat aims to demonstrate that data published on data.bnf.fr can be re-used by other libraries, in particular public libraries.
  • COMSODE (Components Supporting the Open Data Exploitation)
  • Deutsche National Bibliothek’s Linked Data Service
  • Yale Digital Collections Center’s Digitally Enabled Scholarship with Medieval Manuscripts, linked data-based.
  • ESTC (English Short-Title Catalogue): Moving to a linked data model; tracked because one of the aims is to build communities of interest among researchers.
  • Libhub: Of interest because it has the potential to assess the utility of BIBFRAME as a successor to MARC21.
  • LIBRIS, the Swedish National Bibliography
  • Linked Data 4 Libraries (LD4L): “The use cases they created are valuable for communicating the possible uses of linked data to those less familiar with linked data and it will be interesting to see the tools that are developed as a result of the projects.” (Included in the survey responses)
  • Linked Jazz: Reveals relationships of the jazz community, something similar to what a survey respondent wants to accomplish.
  • North Carolina State University’s Organization Name Linked Data: Of interest because it demonstrates concepts in practice (included in the survey responses).
  • Oslo Public Library’s Linked Data Cataloguing: “It is attempting to look at implementing linked data from the point of view of actual need… of a real library for implementation. Cataloguing and all aspects of the system will be designed around linked data.” (Included in the survey responses)
  • Pelagios: Uses linked data principles to increase the discoverability of ancient data through place associations and a major spur for a respondent’s project.
  • PeriodO:  A gazetteer of scholarly assertions about the spatial and temporal extents of historical and archaeological periods; addresses spatial temporal definitions.
  • Spanish Subject Headings for Public Libraries Published as Linked Data (Lista de Encabezamientos de Materia para las Bibliotecas Públicas en SKOS)
  • OCLC’s WorldCat Works (included in the survey responses)

Listservs: bibframe@listserv.loc.gov (Bibliographic Framework Transition Initiative Forum), Code4lib@listserv.nd.edu, DCMI (Dublin Core Metadata Initiative) listservs, data-ac-uk@jiscmail.ac.uk,  dlf-announce@lists.clir.org (Digital Library Federation), lod-lam@googlegroups.com, public-ldp@w3.org (linked data platform working group), semantic-web@w3.org

Websites:

Analyze the responses yourself!

If you’d like to apply your own filters to the responses, or look at them more closely, the spreadsheet compiling all survey responses (minus the contact information which we promised we’d keep confidential) is available at: http://www.oclc.org/content/dam/research/activities/linkeddata/oclc-research-linked-data-implementers-survey-2014.xlsx

 

 

 

About Karen Smith-Yoshimura

Karen Smith-Yoshimura, program officer, works on topics related to renovating descriptive and organizing practices with a focus on large research libraries and area studies requirements.

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Patrick Hochstenbach: Creating Cat Bookmarks

planet code4lib - Sun, 2014-09-07 08:45
Filed under: Comics Tagged: bookmark, books, cartoon, cat, Cats, comic, Illustrator, literature, Photoshop, reading

Patrick Hochstenbach: Trying out caricature styles

planet code4lib - Sat, 2014-09-06 15:10
Filed under: Doodles Tagged: belgië, belgium, caricature, karikatuur, kris peeters, politics, politiek

Cynthia Ng: Google Spreadsheets Tip: Show Data from All Sheets in One

planet code4lib - Sat, 2014-09-06 05:13
I’ve been working with spreadsheets a lot lately, and while anything Excel related is well documented and I’m more familiar with, Google spreadsheets does things differently.Today’s post is just a quick tip really, but thought I’d document because it took a long time for me to find the solution, plus I had to play around […]

Ed Summers: Agile in Academia

planet code4lib - Sat, 2014-09-06 01:44

I’m just finishing up my first week at MITH. What a smart, friendly group to be a part of, and with such exciting prospects for future work. Riding along the Sligo Creek and Northwest Branch trails to and from campus certainly helps. Let’s just say I couldn’t be happier with my decision to join MITH, and will be writing more about the work as I learn more, and get to work.

But I already have a question, that I’m hoping you can help me with.

I’ve been out of academia for over ten years. In my time away I’ve focused on my role as an agile software developer — increasingly with a lower case “a”. Working directly with the users of software (stakeholders, customers, etc), and getting the software into their hands as early as possible to inform the next iteration of work has been very rewarding. I’ve seen it work again, and again, and I suspect you have too on your own projects.

What I’m wondering is if you know of any tips, books, articles, etc on how to apply these agile practices in the context of grant funded projects. I’m still re-aquainting myself with how grants are tracked, and reported, but it seems to me that they seem to often encourage fairly detailed schedules of work, and cost estimates based on time spent on particular tasks, which (from 10,000 ft) reminds me a bit of the waterfall.

Who usually acts as the product owner in grant drive software development projects? How easy is it to adapt schedules and plans based on what you have learned in a past iteration? How do you get working software into the hands of its potential users as soon as possible? How often do you meet, and what is the focus of discussion? Are there particular funding bodies that appreciate agile software development? Are grants normally focused on publishing research and data instead of software products?

Any links, references, citations, tips or advice you could send my way here, @edsu, or email would be greatly appreciated. I’ve already got Bethany Nowviskie‘s Lazy Consensus bookmarked for re-reading

CrossRef: CrossRef Indicators

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 19:14

Updated July 25, 2014

Total no. participating publishers & societies 5100
Total no. voting members 2433
% of non-profit publishers 57%
Total no. participating libraries 1885
No. journals covered 35,406
No. DOIs registered to date 68,416,081
No. DOIs deposited in previous month 552,871
No. DOIs retrieved (matched references) in previous month 34,385,296
DOI resolutions (end-user clicks) in previous month 98,365,532

CrossRef: New CrossRef Members

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 19:11

Updated September 3, 2014

Voting Members
Annex Publishers, LLC
Association for Medical Education in Europe (AMEE)
Breakthrough Institute, Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors
COMESA - Leather and Leather Products Institute (COMESA/LLPI)
Hebrew Union College Press
Incessant Nature Science Publishers Pvt Ltd.
Instituto Brasileiro de Avaliacao Psicologica (IBAP)
Instituto Nanocell
Scandinavian Psychologist
Servicios Ecologicos y Cientificos SA de CV
Shared Science Publishers OG
Society of Biblical Literature/SBL Press
Universidad Adolfo Ibanez
Vanderbilt University Library
Visio Mundi Academic Media Group

Represented Members
Global E-Business Association
Institute of Philosophy
Korea Consumer Agency
Korea Distribution Science Association
Korea Employment Agency for the Disabled/Employment Development Institute
Korea Society for Hermeneutics
Korean Association for Japanese Culture
Korean Society for Curriculum Studies
Korean Society for Drama
Korean Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Korean Society of Biology Education
Korean Society on Communication in Healthcare
Korean Speech-Language and Hearing
Soonchunhyang Medical Research Institute
The Discourse and Cognitive Linguistics Society of Korea
The Society of Korean Dances Studies

Last updated August 26, 2014

Voting Members
A Fundacao para o Desenvolvimento de Bauru (FunDeB)
Associacao de Estudos E Pesquisas Em Politicas E Practicas Curriculares
Association For Child and Adolescent Mental Health (ACAMH)
International Journal of Advanced Information Science and Technology
School of Electrical Engineering and Informatics (STEI) ITB
Universidad Autonoma del Caribe

Sponsored Members
Journal of Nursing and Socioenvironmental Health
California Digital Library

Represented Members
Association of East Asian Studies
Korea Computer Graphics Society
Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs
Korea Service Management Society
Korean Association of Multimedia-Assisted Learning
Korean Association for Government Accounting
Korean Counseling Association
The Korean Poetics Studies Society
The Society of Korean Language and Literature

Updated September 3, 2014

CrossRef: CrossRef Indicators

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 19:07

Updated September 3, 2014

Total no. participating publishers & societies 5339
Total no. voting members 2548
% of non-profit publishers 57%
Total no. participating libraries 1898
No. journals covered 35,763
No. DOIs registered to date 69,191,919
No. DOIs deposited in previous month 582,561
No. DOIs retrieved (matched references) in previous month 35,125,120
DOI resolutions (end-user clicks) in previous month N/A

Harvard Library Innovation Lab: Link roundup September 5, 2014

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 17:36

This is the good stuff.

Photogrammar

So nice, could even be taken further, I’d imagine they’ve got a lot of ideas in the works –

Our Cyborg Future: Law and Policy Implications | Brookings Institution

Whoa, weird. Our devices and us.

Evolution of the desk

The desk becomes clear of its tools as those tools centralize in the digital space.

Mass Consensual Hallucinations with William Gibson

Technology trumps ideology.

Awesomeness: Millions Of Public Domain Images Being Put Online

Mining the archive for ignored treasure.

John Miedema: The four steps Watson uses to answer a question. An example from literature.

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 16:01

Check out this excellent video on the four steps Watson uses to answer a question. The Jeopardy style question (i.e., an answer) comes from the topic of literature, so quite relevant here: “The first person mentioned by name in ‘The Man in the Iron Mask’ is this hero of a previous book by the same author.’ This video is not sales material, but a good overview of the four (not so simple) steps: 1. Question Analysis, 2. Hypothesis Generation, 3. Hypothesis & Evidence Scoring, 4. Final Merging & Ranking. “Who is d’Artagnan?” I am so pleased that IBM is sharing its knowledge in this way. I had new insight watching it.

Library of Congress: The Signal: Studying, Teaching and Publishing on YouTube: An Interview With Alexandra Juhasz

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 15:07

Alexandra Juhasz, professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College

The following is a guest post from Julia Fernandez, this year’s NDIIPP Junior Fellow. Julia has a background in American studies and working with folklife institutions and worked on a range of projects leading up to CurateCamp Digital Culture in July. This is part of a series of interviews Julia conducted to better understand the kinds of born-digital primary sources folklorists, and others interested in studying digital culture, are making use of for their scholarship.

The numbers around user-generated video are staggering. YouTube, one of the largest user-generated video platforms, has more than 100 hours of video content uploaded to it every minute. What does this content mean for us and our society? What of it should we aspire to ensure long-term access to?

As part of the NDSA Insights interview series, I’m delighted to interview Alexandra Juhasz, professor of Media Studies at Pitzer College. Dr. Juhasz has written multiple articles on digital media and produced the feature films “The Owls” and “The Watermelon Woman.” Her innovative “video-book” “Learning from YouTube” was published by MIT Press, but partly enabled through YouTube itself, and is available for free here. In this regard, her work is relevant to those working in digital preservation both in better understanding the significance of user-generated video platforms like YouTube and in understanding new hybrid forms of digital scholarly publishing.

Julia: In the intro to your online video-book “Learning From YouTube” you say “YouTube is the Problem, and YouTube is the solution.” Can you expand on that a bit for us?

Alex: I mean “problem” in two ways. The first is more neutral: YouTube is my project’s problematic, its subject or concern. But I also mean it more critically as well: YouTube’s problems are multiple–as are its advantages–but our culture has focused much more uncritically on how it chooses to sell itself: as a democratic space for user-made production and interaction. The “video-book” understands this as a problem because it’s not exactly true. I discuss how YouTube isn’t democratic in the least; how censorship dominates its logic (as does distraction, the popular and capital).

YouTube is also a problem in relation to the name and goals of the course that the publication was built around (my undergraduate Media Studies course also called “Learning from YouTube” held about, and also on, the site over three semesters, starting in 2007). As far as pedagogy in the digital age is concerned, the course suggests there’s a problem if we do all or most or even a great deal of our learning on corporate-owned platforms that we have been given for free, and this for many reasons that my students and I elaborate, but only one of which I will mention here as it will be most near and dear to your readers’ hearts: it needs a good archivist and a reasonable archiving system if it’s to be of any real use for learners, teachers or scholars. Oh, and also some system to evaluate content.

YouTube is the solution because I hunkered down there, with my students, and used the site to both answer the problem, and name the problems I have enumerated briefly above.

Julia: What can you tell us about how you approached the challenges of teaching a course about YouTube? What methods of analysis did you apply to its content? How did you select which materials to examine given the vast scope and diversity of YouTube’s content?

Alex: I have taught the course three times (2007, 2008, 2010). In each case the course was taught on and about YouTube. This is to say, we recorded class sessions (the first year only), so the course could be seen on YouTube; all the class assignments needed to take the form of YouTube “writing” and needed to be posted on YouTube (as videos or comments); and the first time I taught it, the students could only do their research on YouTube (thereby quickly learning the huge limits of its vast holdings). You can read more about my lessons learned teaching the course here and here.

The structure of the course mirrors many of the false promises of YouTube (and web 2.0 more generally), thereby allowing students other ways to see its “problems.” It was anarchic, user-led (students chose what we would study, although of course I graded them: there’s always a force of control underlying these “free” systems), public, and sort of silly (but not really).

As the course developed in its later incarnations, I developed several kinds of assignments (or methods of analysis as you put it), including traditional research looking at the results of published scholars, ethnographic research engaging with YouTubers, close-textual analysis (of videos and YouTube’s architecture), and what I call YouTours, where students link together a set of YouTube videos to make an argument inside of and about and with its holdings. I also have them author their own “Texteo” as their final (the building blocks, or pages, of my video-book; texteo=the dynamic linking of text and video), where they make a concise argument about some facet of YouTube in their own words and the words of videos they make or find (of course, this assignment allows them to actually author a “page” of my “book,” thereby putting into practice web 2.0?s promise of the decline of expertise and the rise of crowd-sourced knowledge production).

Students choose the videos and themes we study on YouTube. I like this structure (giving them this “control”) because they both enjoy and know things I would never look at, and they give me a much more accurate reading of mainstream YouTube than I would ever find on my own. My own use of the site tends to take me into what I call NicheTube (the second, parallel structure of YouTube, underlying the first where a few videos are seen by many many people, and these are wholly predictable in their points of view and concerns. On YouTube it’s easy to find popular videos. On NicheTube content is rarely seen, hard to find and easy to lose; everything might be there, but very few people will ever see it.

Now that YouTube Studies has developed, I also assign several of the book-length studies written about it from a variety of disciplines (I list these below). When I first taught the class in 2007, my students and I were generating the primary research and texts of YouTube Studies: producing work that was analytical and critical about the site, in its vernaculars, and on its pages.

Julia: What were some of the challenges of publishing an academic work in digital form? A large part of the work depends on linking to YouTube videos that you did not create and/or are no longer available. What implications are there for long-term access to your work?

Alex: I discuss this in greater length in the video-book because another one of its self-reflexive structures, mirroring those of YouTube, is self-reflexivity: an interest in its own processes, forms, structures and histories.

While MIT Press was extremely interested and supportive, they had never “published” anything like this before. The problems were many, and varied, and we worked through them together. I’ve detailed answers to your question in greater details within the video-book, but here’s one of the lists of differences I generated:

  • Delivery of the Work
  • Author’s Warranty
  • Credit
  • Previous Publication
  • Size of the Work
  • Royalties
  • Materials Created by Other Persons
  • Upkeep
  • Editing
  • Author’s Alterations
  • Promotion
  • Index

Many of these differences are legal and respond directly to the original terms in the contract they gave me that made no sense at all with a born-digital, digital-only object, and in particular about writing a book composed of many things I did not “own,” about “selling” a book for free, making a book that was already-made, or moving a book that never needed to be shipped.

One solution is that the video-book points to videos, but they remained “owned” by YouTube (I backed up some of the most important and put them on Critical Commons knowing that they might go away). But, in the long run, I do not mind that many of the videos fade away, or that the book itself will probably become quickly unreadable (because the systems is written on will become obsolete). It is another myth of the Internet that everything there is lasting, permanent, forever. In fact, by definition, much of what is housed or written there is unstable, transitory, difficult to find, or difficult to access as platforms, software and hardware change.

In “On Publishing My YouTube “Book” Online (September 24, 2009)” I mention these changes as well:

  1. Audience. When you go online your readers (can) include nonacademics.
  2. Commitment. Harder to command amid the distractions.
  3.  Design. Matters more; and it has meaning.
  4.  Finitude. The page(s) need never close.
  5.  Interactivity. Should your readers, who may or may not be experts, author too?
  6.  Linearity. Goes out the window, unless you force it.
  7.  Multimodality. Much can be expressed outside the confines of the word.
  8.  Network. How things link is within or outside the author’s control.
  9.  Single author. Why hold out the rest of the Internet?
  10.  Temporality. People read faster online. Watching video can be slow. A book is long.

Now, when I discuss the project with other academics, I suggest there are many reasons to write and publish digitally: access, speed, multi-modality, etc. (see here), but if you want your work to be seen in the future, better to publish a book!

Julia: At this point you have been studying video production since the mid 90s. I would be curious to hear a bit about how your approach and perspective have developed over time.

Alex: My research (and production) interests have stayed consistent: how might everyday people’s access to media production and distribution contribute to people’s and movement’s empowerment? How can regular citizens have a voice within media and therefore culture more broadly, so that our interests, concerns and criticisms become part of this powerful force?

Every time I “study” the video of political people (AIDS activists, feminists, YouTubers), I make video myself. I theorize from my practice, and I call this “Media Praxis” (see more about that here). But what has changed during the years I’ve been doing this and thinking about it is that more and more people really do have access to both media production and distribution since when I first began my studies (and waxed enthusiastically about how camcorders were going to foster a revolution). Oddly, this access can be said to have produced many revolutions (for instance the use of people-made media in the Arab Spring) and to have quieted just as many (we are more deeply entrenched in both capitalism’s pull and self-obsessions then at any time in human history, it seems to me!). I think a lot about that in the YouTube video-book and in projects since (like this special issue on feminist queer digital media praxis that I just edited for the online journal Ada).

Julia: You end up being rather critical of how popularity works on YouTube. You argue that “YouTube is not democratic. Its architecture supports the popular. Critical and original expression is easily lost to or censored by its busy users, who not only make YouTube’s content, but sift and rate it, all the while generating its business.” You also point to the existence of what you call “NicheTube,” the vast sea of little-seen YouTube videos that are hard to find given YouTube’s architecture of ranking and user-generated tags.” Could you tell us a bit more about your take on the role of filtering and sorting in it’s system?

Alex: YouTube is corporate owned, just as is Facebook, and Google, and the many other systems we use to find, speak, navigate and define our worlds, words, friends, interests and lives. Filtering occurs in all these places in ways that benefit their bottom lines (I suggest in “Learning From YouTube” that a distracted logic of attractions keeps our eyeballs on the screen, which is connected to their ad-based business plan). In the process, we get more access to more and more immediate information, people, places and ideas than humans ever have, but it’s filtered through the imperatives of capitalism rather than say those of a University Library (that has its own systems to be sure, of great interest to think through, and imbued by power like anything else, but not the power of making a few people a lot of money).

The fact that YouTube’s “archive” is unorganized, user-tagged, chaotic and uncurated is their filtering system.

Julia: If librarians, archivists and curators wanted to learn more about approaches like yours to understanding the significance and role of online video what examples of other scholars’ work would you suggest? It would be great if you could mention a few other scholars’ work and explain what you think is particularly interesting about their approaches.

Alex: I assign these books in “Learning from YouTube”: Patrick Vonderau, “The YouTube Reader”; Burgess and Green, “YouTube” and Michael Strangelove, “Watching YouTube.” I also really like the work of Michael Wesch and Patricia Lange who are anthropologists whose work focuses on the site and its users.

Outside of YouTube itself, many of us are calling this kind of work “platform studies,” where we look critically and carefully at the underlying structures of the underlying structures of Internet culture. Some great people working here are Caitlin Benson-Allott, danah boyd, Wendy Chun, Laine Nooney, Tara McPherson, Siva Vaidhyanathan and Michelle White.

I also think that as a piece of academic writing, Learning from YouTube (which I understand to be a plea for the longform written in tweets, or a plea for the classroom written online) is in conversation with scholarly work that is thinking about the changing nature of academic writing and publishing (and all writing and publishing, really). Here I like the work of Kathleen Fitzpatrick or Elizabeth Losh, as just two examples.

Julia: I would also be interested in what ways of thinking about the web you see this as being compatible or incompatible with other approaches to theorizing the web. How is your approach to studying video production online similar or different from other approaches in new media studies, internet research, anthropology, sociology or the digital humanities?

Alex: “Learning from YouTube” is new media studies, critical Internet studies, and DH, for sure. As you say above, my whole career has looked at video; since video moved online, I did too. I think of myself as an artist and a humanist (and an activist) and do not think of myself as using social science methods although I do learn a great deal from research done with in these disciplines.

After “Learning from YouTube” I have done two further web-based projects: a website that tries to think about and produce alternatives to corporate-made and owned Internet experiences (rather than just critique this situation), www.feministonlinespaces.com; and a collaborative criticism of the MOOC (Massive Online Open course), what we call a DOCC (Distributed Open Collaborative Course): http://femtechnet.newschool.edu.

In all three cases I think that “theorizing the web” is about making and using the web we want and not the version that corporations have given to us for free. I do this using the structures, histories, theories, norms and practices of feminism, but any ethical system will do!

FOSS4Lib Recent Releases: Library Instruction Recorder - 1.0.0

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 13:31
Topics: bibliographic instructioninstructioninstruction schedulinglibrarylibrary instructionlibrary instruction recorderteachingPackage: Library Instruction RecorderRelease Date: Friday, August 29, 2014

Last updated September 5, 2014. Created by Cliff Landis on September 5, 2014.
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Initial release of Library Instruction Recorder

FOSS4Lib Updated Packages: Library Instruction Recorder

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 13:28

Last updated September 5, 2014. Created by Cliff Landis on September 5, 2014.
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The Library Instruction Recorder (LIR) is a WordPress plugin designed to record library instruction classes and provide statistical reports. It is simple, easy-to-use, and intuitive.

Features

Accessible only from the WordPress Dashboard, allowing it to be used on either internally- or externally-facing WordPress instances.
Displays classes by: Upcoming, Incomplete, Previous and My Classes
Customizable fields for Department, Class Location, Class Type and Audience.
Customizable flags (i.e. "Do any students have disabilities or special requirements?" "Is this a First Year Experience class?")
Ability to duplicate classes for multiple sessions.
Statistical reports can be narrowed by date range or primary librarian. Reports are downloadable as .csv files.
Email reminder to enter the number of students who attended the class.

Package Links Releases for Library Instruction Recorder TechnologyLicense: GPLv3Development Status: Production/StableOperating System: Browser/Cross-PlatformProgramming Language: PHPDatabase: MySQL

HangingTogether: Linked Data Survey results 5 – Technical details

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 13:00

OCLC Research conducted an international linked data survey for implementers between 7 July and 15 August 2014. This is the fifth post in the series reporting the results.   

20 of the linked data projects that publish linked data are not yet accessible. Of those that are, 25 make their data accessible through Web pages and 24 through SPARQL Endpoint. Most offer multiple methods; when only one method is offered it’s by SPARQL Endpoint or file dumps.

The alphabetical list below shows the ways survey respondents make their linked data accessible; those that include methods used by Dewey, FAST, ISNI, VIAF, WorldCat.org and WorldCat.org Works are checked.

Of the 59 responses to the question about the serializations of linked data used, the majority use RDF/XML (47 projects/services).  Here’s the alphabetical list of the serializations used; those that include uses by Dewey, FAST, ISNI, VIAF, WorldCat.org and WorldCat.org Works are checked.

Trix was the only other serialization cited. The remainder of the “other” responses was for projects that hadn’t yet been implemented or the respondent wasn’t sure.

The technologies used by respondents for consuming linked data overlap with those used for publishing linked data.  Most are mentioned only once or twice so these lists are in alphabetical order.

Technologies mentioned for consuming linked data:

  • Apache Fuseki
  • ARC2 on PHP
  • Bespoke Jena applications (or bespoke local software tools)
  • CURL API
  • eXist database
  • HBase/Hadoop
  • Javascript
  • jQuery
  • Map/Reduce
  • Orbeon Xforms (or just Xforms)
  • RDF Store
  • Reasoning
  • SKOS repository
  • Solr
  • SPARQL
  • Web browsers
  • XML
  • Xquery

Technologies mentioned for publishing linked data:

  • 4store
  • AllegroGraph
  • Apache Digester
  • Apache Fuseki
  • ARC2 on PHP
  • Django
  • Drupal7
  • EADitor (https://github.com/ewg118/eaditor)
  • Fedora Commons
  • Google Refine
  • HBase/Hadoop
  • Humfrey
  • Java
  • JAX-RS
  • Jena applications
  • Lodspeakr
  • Map/Reduce
  • MarkLogic XML Database
  • Orbeon Xforms
  • OWLIM RDF triple store API
  • OWLIM-SE Triple Store by Ontotext Software
  • Perl
  • Pubby
  • Python
  • RDF Store
  • RDFer by British Museum
  • Saxon/XSLT
  • Solr
  • SPARQL
  • Sublima topic tool
  • The European Library Linked Data Platform
  • Tomcat
  • Virtuoso Universal Server (provide SPARQL endpoint)
  • xEAC (https://github.com/ewg118/xEAC)
  • XSLT
  • Zorba

Coming next: Linked Data Survey results-Advice from the implementers (last in the series)

About Karen Smith-Yoshimura

Karen Smith-Yoshimura, program officer, works on topics related to renovating descriptive and organizing practices with a focus on large research libraries and area studies requirements.

Mail | Web | Twitter | More Posts (50)

Lukas Koster: Looking for data tricks in Libraryland

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 12:12

IFLA 2014 Annual World Library and Information Congress Lyon – Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge

After attending the IFLA 2014 Library Linked Data Satellite Meeting in Paris I travelled to Lyon for the first three days (August 17-19) of the IFLA 2014 Annual World Library and Information Congress. This year’s theme “Libraries, Citizens, Societies: Confluence for Knowledge” was named after the confluence or convergence of the rivers Rhône and Saône where the city of Lyon was built.

This was the first time I attended an IFLA annual meeting and it was very much unlike all conferences I have ever attended. Most of them are small and focused. The IFLA annual meeting is very big (but not as big as ALA) and covers a lot of domains and interests. The main conference lasts a week, including all kinds of committee meetings, and has more than 4000 participants and a lot of parallel tracks and very specialized Special Interest Group sessions. Separate Satellite Meetings are organized before the actual conference in different locations. This year there were more than 20 of them. These Satellite Meetings actually resemble the smaller and more focused conferences that I am used to.

A conference like this requires a lot of preparation and organization. Many people are involved, but I especially want to mention the hundreds of volunteers who were present not only in the conference centre but also at the airport, the railway stations, on the road to the location of the cultural evening, etc. They were all very friendly and helpful.

Another feature of such a large global conference is that presentations are held in a number of official languages, not only English. A team of translators is available for simultaneous translations. I attended a couple of talks in French, without translation headset, but I managed to understand most of what was presented, mainly because the presenters provided their slides in English.

It is clear that you have to prepare for the IFLA annual meeting and select in advance a number of sessions and tracks that you want to attend. With a large multi-track conference like this it is not always possible to attend all interesting sessions. In the light of a new data infrastructure project I recently started at the Library of the University of Amsterdam I decided to focus on tracks and sessions related to aspects of data in libraries in the broadest sense: “Cloud services for libraries – safety, security and flexibility” on Sunday afternoon, the all day track Universal Bibliographic Control in the Digital Age: Golden Opportunity or Paradise Lost?” on Monday and “Research in the big data era: legal, social and technical approaches to large text and data sets” on Tuesday morning.

Cloud Services for Libraries

It is clear that the term “cloud” is a very ambiguous term and consequently a rather unclear concept. Which is good, because clouds are elusive objects anyway.

In the Cloud Services for Libraries session there were five talks in total. Kee Siang Lee of the National Library Board of Singapore (NLB) described the cloud based NLB IT infrastructure consisting of three parts; a private, public and hybrid cloud. The private (restricted access) cloud is used for virtualization, an extensive service layer for discovery, content, personalization, and “Analytics as a service”, which is used for pushing and recommending related content from different sources and of various formats to end users. This “contextual discovery” is based on text analytics technologies across multiple sources, using a Hadoop cluster on virtual servers. The public cloud is used for the Web Archive Singapore project which is aimed at archiving a large number of Singapore websites. The hybrid cloud is used for what is called the Enquiry Management System (EMS), where “sensitive data is processed in-house while the non-sensitive data resides in the cloud”. It seems that in Singapore “cloud” is just another word for a group of real or virtual servers.

In the talk given by Beate Rusch of the German Library Network Service Centre for Berlin and Brandenburg KOBV the term “cloud” meant: the shared management of data on servers located somewhere in Germany. KOBV is one of the German regional Library Networks involved in the CIB project targeted at developing a unified national library data infrastructure. This infrastructure may consist of a number of individual clouds. Beate Rusch described three possible outcomes: one cloud serving as a master for the others, a data roundabout linking the other clouds, and a cross cloud dataspace where there is an overlapping shared environment between the individual clouds. An interesting aspect of the CIB project is that cooperation with two large commercial library system vendors, OCLC and Ex Libris, is part of the official agreement. This is of interest for other countries that have vested interests in these two companies, like The Netherlands.

Universal Bibliographic Control in the Digital Age

The Universal Bibliographic Control (UBC) session was an all day track with twelve very diverse presentations. Ted Fons of OCLC gave a good talk explaining the importance of the transition from the description of records to the modeling of entities. My personal impression lately is that OCLC all in all has been doing a good job with linked data PR, explaining the importance and the inevitability of the semantic web for libraries to a librarian audience without using technical jargon like URI, ontology, dereferencing and the like. Richard Wallis of OCLC, who was at the IFLA 2014 Linked Data Satellite Meeting and in Lyon, is spreading the word all over the globe.

Of the rest of the talks the most interesting ones were given in the afternoon. Anila Angjeli of the National Library of France (BnF) and Andrew MacEwan of the British Library explained the importance, similarities and differences of ISNI and VIAF, both authority files with identifiers used for people (both real and virtual). Gildas Illien (also one of the organizers of the Linked Data Satellite Meeting in Paris) and Françoise Bourdon, both BnF, described the future of Universal Bibliographic Control in the web of data, which is a development closely related to the topic of the talks by Ted Fons, Anila Angjeli and Andrew MacEwan.

The ONKI project, presented by the National Library of Finland, is a very good example of how bibliographic control can be moved into the digital age. The project entails the transfer of the general national library thesaurus YSA to the new YSO ontology, from libraries to the whole public sector and from closed to open data. The new ontology is based on concepts (identified by URIs) instead of monolingual text strings, with multilingual labels and machine readable relationships. Moreover the management and development of the ontology is now a distributed process. On top of the ontology the new public online Finto service has been made available.

The final talk of the day “The local in the global: universal bibliographic control from the bottom up” by Gordon Dunsire applied the “Think globally, act locally” aphorism to the Universal Bibliographic Control in the semantic web era. The universal top down control should make place for local bottom up control. There are so many old and new formats for describing information that we are facing a new biblical confusion of tongues: RDA, FRBR, MARC, BIBO, BIBFRAME, DC, ISBD, etc. What is needed are a number of translators between local and global data structures. On a logical level: Schema Translator, Term Translator, Statement Maker, Statement Breaker, Record Maker, Record Breaker. These black boxes are a challenge to developers. Indeed, mapping and matching of data of various types, formats and origins are vital in the new web of information age.

Research in the big data era

The Research in the big data era session had five presentations on essentially two different topics: data and text mining (four talks) and research data management (one talk). Peter Leonard of Yale University Library started the day with a very interesting presentation of how advanced text mining techniques can be used for digital humanities research. Using the digitized archive of Vogue magazine he demonstrated how the long term analysis of statistical distribution of related terms, like “pants”, “skirts”, “frocks”, or “women”, “girls”, can help visualise social trends and identify research questions. To do this there are a number of free tools available, like Google Books N-Gram Search and Bookworm. To make this type of analysis possible, researchers need full access to all data and text. However, rights issues come into play here, as Christoph Bruch of the Helmholtz Association, Germany, explained. What is needed is “intelligent openness” as defined by the Royal Society: data must be accessible, assessable, intelligible and usable. Unfortunately European copyright law stands in the way of the idea of fair use. Many European researchers are forced to perform their data analysis projects outside Europe, in the USA. The plea for openness was also supported by LIBER’s Susan Reilly. Data and text mining should be regarded as just another form of reading, that doesn’t need additional licenses

IdeasBox

IdeasBox packed

A very impressive and sympathetic library project that deserves everybody’s support was not an official programme item, but a bunch of crates, seats, tables and cushions spread across the central conference venue square. The whole set of furniture and equipment, that comes on two industrial pallets, constitutes a self supporting mobile library/information centre to be deployed in emergency areas, refugee camps etc. It is called IdeasBox, provided by Libraries without Borders. It contains mobile internet, servers, power supplies, ereaders, laptops, board games, books, etc., based on the circumstances, culture and needs of the target users and regions. The first IdeasBoxes are now used in Burundi in camps for refugees from Congo. Others will soon go to Lebanon for Syrian refugees. If librarians can make a difference, it’s here. You can support Libraries without Borders and IdeadBox in all kinds of ways: http://www.ideas-box.org/en/support-us.html.

IdeasBox unpacked

Conclusion

The questions about data management in libraries that I brought with me to the conference were only partly addressed, and actual practical answers and solutions were very rare. The management and mapping of heterogeneous and redundant types of data from all types of sources across all domains that libraries cover, in a flexible, efficient and system independent way apparently is not a mainstream topic yet. For things like that you have to attend Satellite Meetings. Legal issues, privacy, copyright, text and data mining, cloud based data sharing and management on the other hand are topics that were discussed. It turns out that attending an IFLA meeting is a good way to find out what is discussed, and more importantly what is NOT discussed, among librarians, library managers and vendors.

The quality and content of the talks vary a lot. As always the value of informal contacts and meetings cannot be overrated. All in all, looking back I can say that my first IFLA has been a positive experience, not in the least because of the positive spirit and enthusiasm of all organizers, volunteers and delegates.

(Special thanks to Beate Rusch for sharing IFLA experiences)

Open Knowledge Foundation: OKFestival 2014: we made it! A write-up & Thank You note

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 09:12

Open Knowledge Festival 2014! We built it, made it and ran it – it was a blast, thank you!

  • 1056 participants from 60 countries
  • 215 facilitators and moderators
  • 17 Programme Team members
  • 70 volunteers

made it all happen. Who says that numbers are dry? Just by writing them down, our hearts are melting.

Group work! – Pic by Gregor Fischer

Six weeks have passed since the end of OKFestival 2014, many of you participated in our feedback survey, we all caught up with the lack of sleep and are now hard at work with the public post-event report which will be shared on the festival website in the next few weeks (keep your eyes peeled!).

At the festival, we tried a lot of experiments, and experimenting is both risky and thrilling – and you were up for the challenge! So we thought it was time to take a moment to have a look at what we built together and celebrate the challenges we bravely took on and the outcomes that came out of them (and, yes, there are also learnings from things which could have gone better – is there any event with bullet-proof WiFi? can a country not known to be tropical and not used to air conditioning experience a heat wave on the 2 days out of 365 when you’ll run an event?)

Rocking selfies! – Pic by Burt Lum

Summing it up:

  • an event for the whole open movement: we were keen to be the convenor of a global gathering, welcoming participants from all around the world and a multitude of folks from open communities, organisations, small and big NGOs, governments, grassroots initiatives as well as people new to the topic and willing to dive in. We wanted to create an environment connecting diverse audiences, thus enabling a diverse groups of thinkers, makers and activists to come together and collaborate to effect change.

Ory Okolloh & Rufus Pollock fireside chat – Pic by Gregor Fischer

  • hands-on and outcome-driven approach: we wanted the event to be an opportunity to get together, make, share and learn with – and from – each other and get ready to make plans for what comes next. We didn’t want the event to be simply wonderful, we also wanted it to be useful – for you, your work and the future of the open movement. We’ve just started sharing a selection of your stories on our blog and more is yet to come this month, with the launch of our public post-OKFestival report, filled out with outcome stories you told us in the weeks after the event – who you met, what did you start to plan, what’s the new project coming out of the festival you’re already working on as we speak!

Meeting, talking, connecting! – Pic by Gregor Fischer

  • narrative streams: We made a bold choice – no streams-by-topic, but streams following a narrative. The event was fuelled by the theory that change happens when you bring together knowledge – which informs change – tools – which enable change – and society – which effects change. The Knowledge, Tools and Society streams aimed to explore the work we do and want to develop further beyond the usual silos which streams-by-topic could have created. Open hardware and open science, open government and open sustainability, open culture and open source, arts and privacy and surveillance.

Your vote, your voice! – Pic by Gregor Fischer

  • crowd sourced programme and participatory formats and tools (and powerpoints discouraged): We encouraged you to leave the comfort zone with no written presentations to read in sync with slides, but instead to create action-packed sessions in which all participants were contributing with their knowledge to work to be done together. We shared tips and tricks about creation and facilitation of such formats and hosted hangouts to help you propose your ideas for our open call – and hundreds of community members sent their proposals! Also, in the most participatory of the spirits, OKFestival also had its own unconference, the unFestival run by the great DATA Uruguay Team, who complemented our busy core programme with a great space where anyone could pitch and run her/his own emerging session on the spot, to give room and time to great new born ideas and plans. And a shout out also goes to a couple of special tools: our etherpads – according to the OKFestival Pad of Pads 85 pads have been co-written and worked with – and our first code of collaboration which we hope will accompany us also in future ventures!

Green volunteering power – always on! – Pic by Gregor Fischer

  • diversity of backgrounds, experiences, cultures, domains: months before we started producing the festival, we started to get in touch with people from all around the world who were running projects we admired, and with whom we’d never worked together before. This guided us in building a diverse Programme Team first, and receiving proposals and financial aid applications from many new folks and countries later on. This surely contributed to the most exciting outcome of all – having a really international crowd of the event, people from 60 countries, speaking dozens of different languages. Different backgrounds enriched everybody’s learning and networking and nurtured new collaborations and relationships.

Wow, that was a journey. And it’s just the beginning! As we said, OKFestival aimed to be the fuel, the kick-off, the inspiration for terrific actions and initiatives to come and now it’s time to hear some of most promising stories and project started there!

You can start having taste following the ever-growing OKFestival Stories article series on our blog and be ready for more, when in the next weeks we’ll publish more outcomes, interviews, quotes and reports from you, the protagonists of it all.

Thank you again, and see you very soon!

Your OKFestival Team

Riley Childs: The Universal Library Search and Then Some, Part One

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 05:35

Let’s talk about universal searches… I recently had the pleasure of partaking in a focus group (actually more of a user group) at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library, here we talked about the upcoming plans to upgrade their ILS and what the users (patrons) wanted, one of the things we talked about in particular was the library’s […]

The post The Universal Library Search and Then Some, Part One appeared first on Riley Childs.

Tim Ribaric: Grad School Round Two: This time it's personal (Sabbatical Part 5)

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 01:32

 

Tomorrow I start grad school again. This time for serious & as an old man.

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Karen Coyle: WP:NOTABILITY (and Women)

planet code4lib - Fri, 2014-09-05 01:04
I've been spending quite a bit of time lately following the Wikipedia pages of "Articles for Deletion" or WP:AfD in Wikipedia parlance. This is a fascinating way to learn about the Wikipedia world. The articles for deletion fall mostly into a few categories:
  1. Brief mentions of something that someone once thought interesting (a favorite game character, a dearly loved soap opera star, a heartfelt local organization) but that has not been considered important by anyone else. In Wikipedian, it lacks WP:NOTABILITY.
  2. Highly polished P.R. intended to make someone or something look more important than it is, knowing that Wikipedia shows up high on search engine results, and that any site linked to from Wikipedia also gets its ranking boosted.
Some of #2 is actually created by companies that are paid to get their clients into Wikipedia along with promoting them in other places online. Another good example is that of authors of self-published books, some of whom appear to be more skilled in P.R. than they are in the literary arts.

In working through a few of the fifty or more articles proposed for deletion each day, you get to do some interesting sleuthing. You can see who has edited the article, and what else they have edited; any account that has only edited one article could be seen as a suspected bogus account created just for that purpose. Or you could assume that only one person in the English-speaking world has any interest in this topic at all.

Most of the work, though, is in seeing if you can establish notability. Notability is not a precise measure, and there are many pages of policy and discussion on the topic. The short form is that for something or someone to be notable, it has to be written about in respected, neutral, third-party publications. Thus a New York Times book review is good evidence of notability for a book, while a listing in the Amazon book department is not. The grey area is wide, however. Publisher's Weekly may or may not indicate notability, since they publish only short paragraphs, and cover about 7,000 books a year. That's not very discriminating.

Notability can be tricky. I recently came across an article for deletion pointing to Elsie Finnimore Buckley, a person I had never heard of before. I discovered that her dates were 1882-1959, and she was primarily a translator of works from French into English. She did, though, write what appears to have been a popular book of Greek tales for young people.

As a translator, her works were listed under "E. F. Buckley." I can well imagine that if she had used her full name it would not have been welcome on the title page of the books she translated. Some of the works she translated appear to have a certain stature, such as works by Franz Funck-Brentano. She has an LC name authority file under "Buckley, E. F." although her full name is added in parentheses: "(Elsie Finnimore)".

To understand what it was like for women writers, one can turn to Linda Peterson's book "Becoming a Woman of Letters and the fact of the Victorian market." In that, she quotes a male reviewer of Buckley's Greek tales, which she did publish under her full name. His comments are enough to chill the aspirations of any woman writer. He said that writing on such serious topics is "not women's work" and that "a woman has neither the knowledge nor the literary tact necessary for it." (Peterson, p. 58) Obviously, her work as a translator is proof otherwise, but he probably did not know of that work.

Given this attitude toward women as writers (of anything other than embroidery patterns and luncheon menus) it isn't all that surprising that it's not easy to establish WP:NOTABILITY for women writers of that era. As Dale Spender says in "Mothers of the Novel; 100 good women writers before Jane Austen":
"If the laws of literary criticism were to be made explicit they would require as their first entry that the sex of the author is the single most important factor in any test of greatness and in any preservation for posterity." (p. 137)That may be a bit harsh, but it illustrates the problem that one faces when trying to rectify the prejudices against women, especially from centuries past, while still wishing to provide valid proof that this woman's accomplishments are worthy of an encyclopedia entry.

We know well that many women writers had to use male names in order to be able to publish at all. Others, like E.F. Buckley, hid behind initials. Had her real identity been revealed to the reading public, she might have lost her work as a translator. Of late, J.K. Rowling has used both techniques, so this is not a problem that we left behind with the Victorian era. As I said in the discussion on Wikipedia:
"It's hard to achieve notability when you have to keep your head down."

Cherry Hill Company: Cherry Hill to present at DrupalCamp LA this weekend

planet code4lib - Thu, 2014-09-04 22:03

Cherry Hill is looking forward to DrupalCamp LA this weekend! Come join us for some of our sessions to expand your Drupal knowledge. Whether you are a seasoned Drupal ninja, or a green newbie, LA Drupal community members, including the crew at Cherry Hill, will be on hand to show you some ins and outs of the Drupal world. 

Check out our sessions below:

Saturday: Morning InstallFest: Get PHP & Drupal running in under 15 minutes with Tommy Keswick

8:30am Pacific Ballroom AB 
InstallFest volunteers will help guide and verify the installation of PHP and/or Drupal on your personal laptop.

Drupal Camp Into for Newbies with John Romine and Ashok Modi

8:40am Pacific Ballroom C
Pre-camp cup of coffee and a quick introduction to how to get...

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