Taking the Long View: Conference Report Now Available

Old College, University of Edinburgh

Old College, University of Edinburgh

On the 7th September 2015 EDINA and the ISSN International Centre hosted ‘Taking the Long View: International Perspectives on E-Journal Archiving’. Organised as part of the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra project, the conference was attended by delegates from around the world and focused on exploring the international challenges involved in increasing preservation coverage. The conference report is now available: the progress of the Keepers Extra project can be followed on our blog.


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SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the last week. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • British Library (01 Oct 15)
  • Cardiff University (30 Sep 15)
  • CONSER (07 Oct 15)
  • Dundee University (01 Oct 15)
  • Glasgow University (05 Oct 15)
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (01 Oct 15)
  • Nottingham University (02 Oct 15)
  • Queen’s University Belfast (05 Oct 15)
  • Royal Geographical Society (15 Sep 15)
  • Sheffield University (01 Oct 15)
  • Southampton University (04 Oct 15)
  • York University (01 Oct 15)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

National Badger Day

Today (6th October) is National Badger Day,which celebrates how magnificent and important one of the oldest native species is to the British countryside and its people. As part of the celebrations many badger groups around the UK are holding events  between the 4th and 12th October. They are very interesting animals and so it is not surprising that there are several weird and interesting titles containing ‘badger’. Disclaimer: some titles are not strictly about the animal!

Image of a postal stamp for the USSR, Zoo Relief Fund of a badger, from 1989.

Stamp of USSR, Zoo Relief Fund. Badger, 1989. Scanned and processed by A. Sdobnikov (Personal collection) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons from Wikimedia Commons.

  • Badger chess.
  • Badger buzz.
  • Badger trucker.
  • Maple Street Press Badger kickoff.
  • The Badger birder.
  • The Badger enterprise.
  • The Badger common tater.
  • The Menomonie badger.
  • The badger philatelist.
  • Badger saves the world.
  • Badger stamp notes.
  • Badger country : news and views from the Badger Brewery.
  • The Badger : newsletter of the Badge Collectors’ Circle.
  • The Badgerscope.

For more badger titles and other weird and wonderful journals take a look in SUNCAT.

Jisc’s 50 most influential HE professionals using social media (#jisc50social) and a #codi15 update

Today I am delighted to share the news that I have been included in Jisc’s 50 most influential higher education (HE) professionals using social media! I am also very pleased to see others on this list whose work I follow and admire, including Jennifer Jones and Sue Beckingham.

The list of 50 influencers forms a really useful array of snapshots of practice and mini case studies of how social media is being used across UK Higher Education and I’d recommend taking a look for inspiration and ideas. It would be lovely to also get more great people and social media best practice shared, so I would recommend sharing your own additions and tips to the hashtag, #jisc50social, as there is such a rich variety of use that a list of 50 people cannot, of course, capture that is taking place in the sector.

My write up in the Jisc list of influencers particularly talks about the Managing Your Digital Footprint work, which is progressing well. If you missed my posts from the European Conference on Social Media you can get a good sense of how the project is developing from my paper with project lead Louise Connelly, “Managing your digital footprint: possible implications for teaching and learning“. We are in an exciting phase of the project so do look out for new resources appearing on the project website very soon, and further research publications in the months to follow.

Finally, as the individuals who nominated me for this list did let me know that they would be putting me forward I would like to share my thanks to them for their support and enthusiasm. I feel honoured to have been regarded so highly by colleagues from the University of Edinburgh who are engaged in their own wonderful, creative, critical and playful use of social media in their day to day practice.

#codi15 update

Finally, and on a somewhat unrelated note, you may remember that I blogged earlier this summer about writing our Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas show, Back to the Statistical Future. The show took place on 26th August and I’m delighted to say that both a follow up blog post and a video recording of the full show are now available so, if you have an hour spare, do have a watch and let us know what you thought of it!



October training dates with Ordnance Survey

Darren Bailey from the Education Team at Ordnance Survey will be out and about through October running CPD sessions which include training in Digimap for Schools.  Dates and locations are:

6/10 Newham

13/10 Dorking

14/10 Wigan

15/10 Oswestry

19/10 Islington

If you’d like to find out more about attending, please contact Darren – Darren.Bailey@os.uk

(VIDEO) Back to the Statistical Future

A few weeks ago, we took the Statistical Accounts to the Edinburgh Fringe as part of the Beltane network’s Cabaret of Dangerous Ideas. Board member Helen Aiton and EDINA’s Nicola Osborne wrote and presented ‘Back to the Statistical Future’, a delorian-powered tour that brought to light some uncanny parallels between the historical world of the accounts and contemporary Scotland.  We posted about the show at the time, and we’re now pleased to be able to make this recording available.

We’re keen to introduce as many audiences as possible to the rich and diverse historical content of the Statistical Accounts:  if you’d be interested in having us come along and talk at an event you are organising, please get in touch.


SUNCAT updated

SUNCAT has been updated. Updates from the following libraries were loaded into the service over the past two weeks. The dates displayed indicate when files were received by SUNCAT.

  • CONSER (30 Sep 15)
  • Cranfield University (20 Sep 15)
  • De Montfort University (21 Sep 15)
  • Exeter University (21 Sep 15)
  • Kent University (01 Oct 15)
  • Leicester University (23 Sep 15)
  • The London Library (25 Sep 15)
  • London Metropolitan University (25 Sep 15)
  • Loughborough University (22 Sep 15)
  • National Archives (01 Oct 15)
  • National Museums Scotland (25 Sep 15)
  • Oxford University (22 Sep 15)
  • Robert Gordon University (21 Sep 15)
  • Royal College of Music (22 Sep 15)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (24 Sep 15)
  • Southampton University (27 Sep 15)
  • Strathclyde University (21 Sep 15)
  • University of the West of England (UWE) (23 Sep 15)

To check on the currency of other libraries on SUNCAT please check the updates page for further details.

Quick start guide now available

We’ve put together a two page quick start guide with our top ten tips to get going with Digimap for Schools.  The guide is a PDF file available from the link below.  You can print it, download or view on screen.  Please share with your colleagues and pupils, anyone that is unsure about how to get started using Digimap for Schools.

Digimap for Schools Quick Start Guide – Click to view, download and print.

If you are then looking for ideas, remember we have fantastic resources available here – http://digimapforschools.edina.ac.uk/resources

The Geographical Association have also created a fantastic page with examples of use from teachers across different stages – http://geography.org.uk/resources/ordnancesurveymappingresource/workingwithdigimap/

SUNCAT 2015 Survey Report

We’ve just made the report from the latest SUNCAT survey available on our website. The survey was conducted by Jisc in early summer and the feedback we received has been invaluable in helping us to identify any areas which need improvement or development to keep the service relevant to our users’ current requirements.

The vast majority of respondents were Information Professionals from a range to institutions, including HE, FE, the NHS and national libraries.

User affiliation2








The two most popular reasons for using SUNCAT were related to:

  • Locating serials for library users
  • Checking serials’ bibliographic information











Respondents favourite features of the service were SUNCAT’s:

  • Speed and ease of use
  • Accuracy and currency of data provided
  • Aggregation of serials and holdings data
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • Holdings information and display

Over 70% of respondents reported that SUNCAT saved them time:

“I can go to quality records easily, trusting the information there, without wasting time browsing in places like COPAC etc�

 “Enables me to locate locations to apply to for ILLs without needing to check individual library catalogues or use Worldcat which is often unreliable�

 “There are a number of things I can see at a glance from the result page. When upgrading serial records, I can quickly move between several records in the SUNCAT display and the layout is easy to navigate.�

 “It is a more convenient union catalogue to use than copac for searching journals only, as it immediately shows all available holdings data for different institutions on each catalogue record. It also seems to run faster than both copac and Search25 much of the time�

  • 77% reported that the effectiveness of the SUNCAT search was either good or very good
  • 74% reported that with regard to ease of use SUNCAT was either good or very good
  • 74% indicated that their overall satisfaction with the service was either good or very good

Respondents were also asked how likely they would be to recommend SUNCAT and why

“In terms of locating UK serials information it’s unrivalled. Copac is not as comprehensive, Worldcat a lot more unwieldy.â€�

 “Very useful for checking journals holdings for lots of libraries at once – ideal for sourcing locating for ILLsâ€�

 “As it is based on British libraries’ holdings it often records more obscure and rarer European periodicals, especially in foreign languages, than perhaps WorldCat. It is invaluable as a source of bibliographic information on serials as well as a record of quite detailed library holdings.â€�

 “It is so useful to have all serials in one catalogue to locate which library has what you want. Also saves a lot of time.�

 “Very clear interface. Comprehensive coverage.�

Finally users were asked for suggestions for improvements to the service. These included:

  • Better deduplication of records for the same title
  • Improved exact title search
  • Improving the visibility of the advanced search and browse options
  • Enabling viewing of older as well as current tables of contents
  • Providing a reset search button to clear previous search terms

The complete list or suggestions and our response to them can be found in the full report. We will be reviewing and evaluating each suggestion to enable us to prioritise our development plans over the next year.

Overall the results of the survey are very positive for SUNCAT. Respondents continue to have a high level of satisfaction with the service, finding it fast and easy to use. The redeveloped search platform has now had the opportunity to become embedded and appears to have been well received. However, the results also highlight a number of areas where improvements could be made. EDINA is aware of and has development plans around some of these and will investigate others as potential future developments.



Clipper @ National Library of Scotland

Today I am at the National Library of Scotland for a Clipper project workshop (info here). Clipper is a project to create a content creation tool for multimedia, with funding from Jisc.

After an introduction from Gill Hamilton Intro it’s over to John Casey who will be leading this through the day…

Introduction – John Casey

The tagline for the project is basically Clipper 1. 2. 3: Clip, Organise, Share.

We want your input early on in the process here but that means we will be trying out a prototype with you – so there will be bugs and issues but we are looking for your comments and feedback etc. The first outing of Clipper was from 2009, as a rapid development project which used Flash and Flex. Then it went to sleep for a while. Then we started working on it again when looking at Open Education in London

Trevor: I’m Trevor Collins – research fellow at the Open University. My background is very technical – computer engineering, HCI but all my research work is around the context of learning and teaching. And we have a common interest in HTML5 video. And my interest is working, with you, to ensure this will be helpful and useful.

Will: My name is Will and my background is engineering. Originally I worked with John on this project in Flash etc. but that’s really died out and, in the meantime HTML has really moved on a long way and with video in HTML5 we can just use the browser as the foundation, potentially, for some really interesting application. For me my interest today is in the usability of the interface.

With that we have had some introductions… It is a really interesting group of multimedia interested folk.

John Casey again:

This project is funded by Jisc as part of the Research Data Spring Initiative, and that is about technical tools, software and service solutions to support the researchers workflow, the use and mangement of their data. Now it’s interesting that this room is particuarly interested in teaching and learning, we are funded for researcher use but of course that does not proclude teaching and learning use.

The project partners here are City of Glasgow College as lead, The Open University and ?

So, what is Clipper? One of the challenges is explaining what this project is… And what it is not. So we are punting it as a research tool for digital research with online media / time-based media (ie audio/video data). The aim is to create a software toolkit (FOSS) deployed in an institution or operated as a n national service. We are about community engagement and collavorative design delivering a responsive design. And that’s why we are here.

So, why do this? Well time-based media is a large and “lumpy” data format, hard to analyse and even harder to share your analysis. There are barriers to effective (re)use of audio and video data including closed collections (IPR) and proprietary tools and formats. So we want to be able to create a “virtual clip” – and that means not copying any data, just metadata. So start and stop points on reference URI. And then also being able to organise that clip, to annotate it, and group into cliplists. So playlists of clips of excerpts etc. And then we can share using cool URIs for those clips and playlists.

This means bringing audio and video data to live, enabling analysis without breaking copyright or altering the soure data. We think it had streamlined workflows and facilitate collaboration. And we think it will lead to new things. It is secure and safe – respecting existing access permissions to data and does not alter or duplicate the original files. And it creates opportunities for citizen science/citizen research; user generated content – e.g. crowd sourcing etdata and user analytics. Colleagues in Manchester, for instance, have a group of bus enthusiasts who may be up for annotating old bus footage. The people who use your archives or data can generate analytics or para data and use of that can be useful and interesting as well.

So Clipped is… An online media analysis and collaboration tool for digital researchers (ie it supports human-based qualitative analysis, collavoboration and sharing. It is not an online audio/video editing tool. It is not a data repository. It is not using machine analysis of time based media. 


John: The best way to understand this stuff is to demonstrate and test this stuff out. We are going to take you through three workflows – these are just examples: (1) One source file, many clips, (2) Many source files, many clips, (3) Many source files, many clips, and annotations.

Over to Trevor and Will for examples.

Trevor: Hopefully as we work through these examples we should get more questions etc. and as we look through these examples.

Do bear in mind that what we will show you today is not a finished product, it’s a prototype. We want you to tell us what is good, what needs changing… You are the first of our three workshops so you get first say on the design! We want clear ideas on what will be useful… We hope it is fairly straightforward and fairly clear. If it isn’t, just tell us.

So, example (1): Analysing a source file – the idea is an app developer (researcher) interviewing a user when testing an app. So the flow is:

  • Create and open a new project
  • Add the source file to the project
  • Preview the file – to find emerging themes etc.
  • Create clips – around those themes.
  • Add clips to cliplist