Wolfram has an Image Identification Project with a simple “search and ID” tool.
The once-great Flickr continues to deteriorate…
computer generated tags have been added retrospectively to everyone’s photos … If you want to delete a Flickr generated tag you have to do it tag by tag, photo by photo.
It seems just about every small furry animal is now auto-tagged as ‘dog, cat, pet’. Even when it’s very clearly titled and tagged as a Pine Marten. There’s obviously absolutely zero checking of the picture’s surround context, and the new tagging is all coming from some dumb autobot.
Omeka 2.3 has been released. And if you missed 2.2 in late 2014, it was labelled as a “major upgrade”.
Omeka is a complete WordPress-like digital collections management system, for academics. I note that their hosted Omeka service at Omeka.net now offers the option of a free single site with 500Mb and five themes.
The DOAJ has announced that, sometime in 2015, “every single article entry in DOAJ will have, once again, its own landing page”, and each page will also have enhanced metadata to make it more Google Scholar friendly.
In a WordPress.com blog, you can now use a Greasemonkey script to get you past the dumb and childish “Beep Beep Boop” method of posting to your blog. Seems to work fine in the Firefox browser, as starting a new blog post takes me to the full-featured Classic editor. Why is this script needed?…
“on March 13, 2015, the preference setting for the choice of [WordPress.com blog] editor, which was implemented by a cookie through a link back to the classic editor, was removed.”
Bald’s Leechbook, an ancient leather-bound Old English manuscript from the 10th century, which is kept in the British Library in London, has yielded a potent new weapon against the MRSA ‘superbug’.
Over 3,000 scanned volumes from 336 Historical American Medical Journals. Not added to JURN, but noted here.
SpaceX, Elon Musk’s private space fleet, has started to place its mission and craft pictures online, under Creative Commons Attribution.
Google’s StreetView views inside art museums are having some of the public domain paintings painted out, due to copyright claims.
The world’s first scientific journal, the Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society of London, was published on 6th March 1665. 350 years later, it’s still behind a padlock symbol on Hathi…
Notey is a new topic-focused blog finding directory. Yeah, I know… but it just reportedly raised $1.6 million in funding.
It has a slick iPad-focussed design, so on a widescreen desktop PC I hit some clunky navigation points a few times. Top of the ‘recent blog posts’ pile on entering was “40+ Insanely Clever Products Your Dog Deserves To Own”, which suggests the marketeers are already in Notey, via marketeering blog-a-zine articles.
The search box is hidden away, as if they’re ashamed of it. The search experience is not great. I searched for “Lovecraft” (H.P. Lovecraft, famous horror and SF author, on whose life I’m an expert) and the results were incredibly poor. A Google search for…
… reveals more of the semantic messiness, and the ways that the database is being skewed by the vast cloud of fanboy crapware that now surrounds the man and his fiction.
Sadly Notey doesn’t look like the new Technorati to me, and nor is it of much used to academics seeking a specialist single-topic blog. For discovery of single-topic blogs Google is still your friend, and the following Google Search modifier still works despite Google having abandoned a dedicated blog search box…
Free version of Microsoft Office OneNote. It’s of interest to scholars working with older documents or Google Books pages, who need to quickly and accurately OCR snippets of online scans. It has industry leading OCR for small text in archival scanned documents (Insert | Screen Clipping | Recognize Text), a benefit of Microsoft’s massive investment in typography R&D in the 1990s and 2000s.
Lots of press chatter in the last few days about a not-yet-public new academic search engine from Helsinki Institute for Information Technology called SciNet. It seems it’s been in development for some years. Here’s a screen capture of the UI sliders seen briefly in the video…
I seem vaguely to remember similar style experimental search interfaces, maybe ten years ago now.
But the sliders made me think I’d like to see Google offer such a set of fine-tuning sliders, to change a variety of their currently fixed or on/off search parameters. Although I guess that might then be gamed by the SEO hucksters to winkle out a few of the secrets of Google’s algorithm weightings.
Do we need a unified tool for discovering online versions of primary history sources? THATCamp AHA 2015 has a proposed session on the need for new tools to find primary sources online.
Pinterest for chaps. If you’re registered as male, Pinterest now applies an auto-filter that draws other Pins by known male users to the top of the search results. It works well with a single keyword, but their search seems to go a bit haywire when two keywords are used. For instance, here are my top results for [ caps mens ] none of which is the kind of traditional Irish tweed outdoors cap or baseball cap that you might be looking for…
Amazon has launched KDP Edu…
Amazon’s new Kindle Textbook Creator Beta helps you convert PDFs of your textbooks, course notes, study guides and other educational content that includes complex visual information like charts, graphs and equations into Kindle books. Books created through Kindle Textbook Creator take advantage of features that enhance a student’s learning experience such as dictionary look-up, notebook, highlighting and flashcards. Plus, preview your book across all supported devices.”
Highlighting is a technique of very dubious worth, on a par with hucksterisms such as ‘preferred learning styles’. A recent survey in Scientific American, of what has been robustly proven to work, stated of underlining and highlighting…
In controlled studies, highlighting has failed to help U.S. Air Force basic trainees, children and remedial students, as well as typical undergraduates. Underlining was ineffective regardless of text length and topic, whether it was aerodynamics, ancient Greek schools or Tanzania. In fact, it may actually hurt performance on some higher-level tasks.”
Flashcards are probably bad for English language learning at the infant/junior level, where actual active use of the language and reading of whole books is to be preferred. But cards do seem to be useful for undergraduates when used as quick prompts, enabling the recall and ‘sharpening up’ of key ideas encountered in recent reading or listening.
HEFCE report on Monographs and open access is out now…
The perception that academic books are not being read, or even read in depth, does not appear to be sustained by the evidence.”
A quick search and read-through of the main report shows no use of the words “index” or “indexing”, in the context of discovery. There are only fleeting and cursory mentions of “discovery”. Discovery for download-and-reading barely merits a full paragraph…
There appears to be disagreement about whether providing open access to a book without active measures to disseminate it is sufficient. … the rise of aggregation and distribution services for open-access books, as well as increasing sophistication in search engine technology and an ever-greater reliance among academics and others on the Web as a discovery tool, might help smaller operations to challenge the larger publishers … For policymakers this is a critical area of concern: a key benefit of open access is surely increased dissemination; if particular models are likely to fail in this regard, then the benefit could be lost.”
It would have been interesting to know if the current standard monograph practice requires that the author must submit a publicity and marketing plan along with their open monograph. That practice isn’t mentioned, so I wonder how often it happens in the UK. It seems a pity to overlook active paid-for marketing, of the sort that proper publishers take for granted. Especially when there might be an opportunity now to embed this widely for even the most diffident or overworked authors, potentially enhancing everything from the scholar’s career and the university’s standing through to the UK’s wider projection of ‘soft power’. So the report might have suggested (at least) a new flowchart / guide for planning some basic academic book marketing, and a requirement that it be completed and submitted along with the monograph. Something that would take just six hours to enact, by someone other than the author (one has to factor in how utterly sick of a book an author can be by the time it’s completed, and how they just want to see the back of it). Asking for specifics such as a list of Facebook groups and listservs etc; contacts for likely book reviewers; magazine and newsletter contacts for tailored press releases; ‘local author writes book’ local newspaper contacts (since their stories, naff though they may be in tone, show up in Google News); niche radio and podcast interview possibilities, and so on. Such a one-day publication-day campaign might then most usefully be handed off to a freelance marketeer on oDesk for $350 or so, rather than be dumped on someone who either lacks the skills or doesn’t have the time.
Note that there’s also an “Annex 3: Patterns of scholarly communication in the humanities and social sciences” for the report…
Humanities and social science researchers also seem to make significant use of relatively old content, compared to other disciplines. Tenopir et al (2012) find that around half of the ‘last articles read’ in the critical incident component of their survey were more than 6.5 years old; a quarter were more than 15 years old.”
NEH and Mellon will give [$1m in] grants to publishers to identify great humanities books [in copyright, but out-of-print], secure all appropriate rights, and make them available for free, forever, under a Creative Commons license [as .ePub files …] Books proposed under the Humanities Open Book program must be of demonstrable intellectual significance and broad interest to current readers.”
“On the visibility of Empirische Sonderpadagogik: a bibliometric analysis” (2014) examines how well Google Scholar covers seven German ‘special educational needs’ journals. It’s in German with a complex table but Google Scholar Digest kindly presents the article’s core findings in a more user-friendly format…
Google Scholar Digest also reports that the researchers found…
Only one of the [titles] is present in Web of Science, and two of them are in Scopus.”
This wasn’t a test of Open Access visibility, since on a quick investigation it seems the chosen titles are all paywalled. Three are published by Reinhardt Verlag, which are the journals indexed at 100% or very near by Google Scholar. Which to me suggests that for larger publishers Scholar may be doing a much better indexing job than Web of Science or Scopus. Google Search itself sees all of them, if only at the title/abstract level.
Psychologie in Erziehung und Unterricht (Paywalled)
Empirische Padagogik (Paywalled, TOCs seem to be Web-accessible only via their listings on PubPsych)
Zeitschrift für Heilpädagogik (Paywalled)
Heilpädagogische Forschung (Paywalled)