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.

  • Aberystwyth University (12 Oct 15)
  • Cambridge University (05 Nov 15)
  • CONSER (18 Nov 15)
  • Directory of Open Access Journals (11 Nov 15)
  • Durham University (19 Nov 15)
  • ISSN (11 Nov 15)
  • London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (10 Nov 15)
  • National Library of Scotland (10 Nov 15)
  • Royal Society of Medicine (10 Nov 15)
  • Southampton University (15 Nov 15)
  • Warwick University (11 Nov 15)
  • Zoological Society of London (12 Nov 15)

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

Announcement on the Future of Jisc MediaHub

In 2011 Jisc MediaHub was set up to meet the needs of the UK’s education and research communities to access and use licensed audio-visual content for teaching, learning and research.

It has provided a single point of access to a number of multimedia archives, both purchased by Jisc as well as aggregated from other sources, thus enabling cross-searching and exploration of TV news, documentary films, still images and classical music.

Over the years technology has changed and so has online user behaviour and the availability of digital content from a range of services. This has prompted Jisc to re-assess the continuation of MediaHub.

From July 2016 the subscription service will no longer be available from Jisc and we are looking into alternative solutions to ensure continued access to the content post-July 2016.

We will communicate updates on progress as soon as they are available.

Christine Hine: Ethnography for the Internet: exploring multiple meanings of minimal infrastructures [LiveBlog]

Today I am delighted to be at a guest seminar from Christine Hine, from the Department of Sociology, University of Surrey at the University of Edinburgh Department of Sociology. You can read more about the event here.  I’ll be liveblogging her seminar and, as usual any corrections etc. are welcomed. 

Kate Orton-Johnson is introducing us to the session and the format: a formal talk then an then informal Q&A

And now, for Christine Hine…

I am going to talk about Ethnography for the Internet (Hine’s latest book) and then I’ll talk in more detail about the idea of “minimal infrastructures” – the kinds of peer to peer infrastructures (I’ll be talking about Freecycle), and some work I’ve been doing with Alix Rufas Ripol from Maastricht University.

I am going to be talking about this three way conceptualisation of the internet – as embedded, embodied, everyday – to talk about why some strategies are useful in research on the internet. And I’ll go on to talk about some of the challenges about this.

In my background… I was writing a handbook chapter last week and looking back and found myself saying “yes, I’ve been doing ethnographies of the internet for 20 years”… And the internet has such a different meaning now. My work began as the internet was just beginning to be seen as an ethnographic space as a field site to work in. The internet has evolved as a phenomenon, and the way it has become embedded in our day to day life has changed – although I don’t neccassarily buy into this web 1.0/2.0 shift.

And I continue to find Science and Technology studies useful for understanding the internet and the ways in which the internet is an upshot of social processes and site for social innovation, the infrastructural inversions (see e.g. Jeff Balfhurst). And the invisible work which makes this thing function so smoothly. So these ideas have been important, as has the idea of the internet as both culture, and a cultural artefact. Our expetations of it are shaped by social interaction, it impacts on us but it is impacted upon by us. We are shaped in what we do with it by our peer networks, what we see others doing with it, how the mass media presents it.

So my key question has been “What do people think they are up to when they use the internet?”

So we are at the point now that online only ethnography is legitimate but only as one choice among many. And many of our theoretical questions are better addressed by multi-sited and multi-modal designs buy what Postil and Pink’s (2012) idea of the “messy web of interconnections”. We don’t know where the site is, we construct that.

Ethnographers of the internet are often drawn in two directions. They are drawn outward, into diverse frames of meaning making. But they are also drawn inward to auto-ethnographic approaches, aimed at capturing modes of experience and feeling and acknowledging that.

There are, what I call, the “three e’s” of the internet…

The Embedded Internet is rarely a transcendent “cyberspace”, we do not grandly “go online”. Instead it is meaningful within specific contexts. It is subject to multiple frames of meaning -making. So you might look at the way it is embedded in towns, in households, or in particular devices (e.g. Freecycle is different on my phone vs my laptop), backchannels (and conversations), institutions (e.g. biologists engaging with their disciplinary colleagues) – and how this embeddedness must make sense for the discipline, of being accountable and rewardable activity, workplaces, structures of reward, accountability and recognition. So if we are conducting an ethnographic study of the internet, or some aspect of the internet, we have to make choices of the frame of meaning making to pursue, both arbitrary and important.

The Embodied Internet is about the idea that “going online” is not necessarily a discrete form of experience. Being online occurs alogside and complements other embodied ways of being and acting in the world. That emphasises the significance of sensory sensitivity in ethnography as we navigate the mediated world. And thinking about contingencies and choices, and what it means to navigate this complex texture, where we cross between different ways of communicating. If we are not just engaged in one discussion or community, we are moving between different ways of being or knowing, we need to know and recognise that… That moment when you try to contact an informant or participant in an interview and you are thinking about how you might approach them, what you don’t know… Reflecting on that, what that means for you to be with these people, etc. and how that can mirror the experience of others. All of these spaces let us have the same experience, in some way, with th eparticipants in the setting. We may not be full participants, we are using the same medium and can use that as a resource.

The Everyday Internet is indexing a very specific methodological problem – the fact that what we want to look at and study is not neccassarily what our participants want to talk about. We want to look at varying visibility of the phenomenon “internet” and specific platforms…Ethnographers have always relied on observing and eavesdropping and that is much harder to do here. It is an issue of dealing with silence in everydat discourse. Examining the specificity of occassions when the internet is foregrounded as such. Sometimes. If you look at newspapers now, versus 15 years ago… There is some commonality about the coverage of the internet as a problematic, disruptive, corrupting space… But now it is not “the internet” but specific platforms. So it can be topical at the same time as being almost forgotten. So we have to treat the silence and the topicality of infrastructures as complementary methodological challenes.

So, the methodological challenges is that the world does not make sense one medium at a time, but many of our methods carve it up in this way. Ethnography is a really important tool to do that, it is a key resource here. Situations develop rapidly and unpredictably before we have stable methods to suit them. So an ethnography that can move through this terrain and reflect upon it is certainly an important part of the reportoire. And we are also in a world where there is a real complexity about understanding where “there” is. So we have to take responsibility for crafting objects to study to suit strategic objectives.

We have to turn to reflexivity, autoethnographu to explore the individualised experience – a way to deal with this silence that we encounter. We need to use connective and mobile methods to explore interdeterminate and emergent fields. Actually using visualisation and large scale data analysis can aid us to formulate questions. We also need responsive methods.

So, that was a swooping overview. I now want to talk about a particular example.


[Keepers Extra] September 2015 Workshop Report now Available

On September 8th 2015, EDINA and the ISSN International Centre hosted a workshop designed to explore the challenges of increasing preservation coverage of e-journals and related digital resources. Following the conference Taking the Long View International perspectives on E-Journal Archiving, the workshop was attended by representatives of the agencies who report into the Keepers Registry, other national libraries, and related initiatives including the Digital Preservation Coalition, the Digital Curation Centre, and UNESCO. It was organised as part of the Jisc-supported Keepers Extra Project and the key objective of the day was to scope the challenges and barriers to improving preservation coverage and to explore potential for collaborative action at an international scale.

A workshop report which documents the event is now available. The workshop discussions produced a set of common interests and challenges for the participants.  We are now using the workshop outcomes as a basis for planning further research and development work to be carried out under the Keepers Extra project.


Posted in Uncategorized

16th November 2015

Current developments

  • MediaHub Mobile App (Android).
  • HTML User guides / learning resources.

Under Consideration

  • Substantially revised and improved help and support section.
  • Live Text Chat for support queries.
  • COUNTER Multimedia reporting.
  • Users can create and share their own Media Trails.
  • Embedding video and audio content from MediaHub in web pages.
  • Interoperability with reading list software.
  • Plugins for VLEs including Moodle.
  • Linking to related material in other online services.
  • Simplifying the login process and adding institutional login URLs (“targeted URLsâ€�) that direct users via the preferred log in mechanism, direct to media items.
  • Users can contribute moving images and sound through an embedded YouTube.
  • Refine Content-Development Strategy.
  • Bulk uploading as well as existing uploading of individual images.
  • Enhanced tool to upload images.


July 2015
  • MediaHub Mobile App (iOS – for iPhone/iPad).
  • Help and support resources updated.
  • My MediaHub syncing enabled in order to support bookmarking across devices.
  • More detailed usage statistics.
September 2014
  • Filtering of Collections by ‘attribute’ e.g. exploring only Jisc-licensed content or only content that requires no login.
  • Suggested formats for citing video, audio and images.
  • Improved service resilience.
  • Higher quality video.
January 2014
  • Advanced Search: Updated interface, including sort by proximity.
  • Users can contribute content.
  • Crowd-sourcing metadata.
  • Zoom tool for images.
April  2013
  • Simpler classification of collection types.
  • Advanced Search: time/date, people.
  • My MediaHub: bookmarking, commenting, tagging.
September 2012
  • Explore by Place.
  • Embedding of MediaHub search into your website.
August 2012
  • Explore Newsfilm.
December 2011
  • Explore by Learning Materials: now including Reviews.
  • Interactive Guided Tour accessible via the Help page.
  • New metadata and better display of data on Full Record Page.
  • Improved Display of Brief Records Page.
October 2011
  • Personal preferences in My MediaHub.
  • Combining and re-running previous searches in My MediaHub.
  • “Show allâ€� similar and recently viewed items.
  • Searches that match any one or more words.
  • Help guides.
August 2011
  • Advanced Search: title/description, subject, media type, collection and collection type indexes.
  • Most Popular: Items, searches.
  • My MediaHub: search history, recently viewed items, marked items.
  • Sharing and social networking via external services such as Twitter.
  • Machine-to-machine interface: SRU and OAI-PMH.
June 2011
  • Explore by Subject.
  • Explore by Collection.
  • Explore by Time.

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.

  • Bradford University (05 Nov 15)
  • Bristol University (04 Nov 15)
  • British Museum Library (09 Nov 15)
  • Brunel University (01 Nov 15)
  • Glasgow School of Art (04 Nov 15)
  • Glasgow University (04 Nov 15)
  • King’s College London (02 Nov 15)
  • London Metropolitan University (28 Oct 15)
  • London School of Economics and Political Science (01 Nov 15)
  • Queen’s University Belfast (03 Nov 15)
  • Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh (06 Nov 15)
  • Southampton University (08 Nov 15)
  • Strathclyde University (27 Oct 15)
  • University College London (09 Nov 15)
  • University of East Anglia (04 Nov 15)
  • York University (01 Nov 15)

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

Birthday celebration

Yesterday EDINA and Ordnance Survey colleagues took time out of their regular Digimap for Schools planning meeting to celebrate five years of delivering Ordnance Survey digital mapping to the primary and secondary school sectors.  Peter Burnhill, EDINA Director, praised everyone’s work on the service, particularly the tireless travelling by Ordnance Survey’s Darren Bailey across the length and breadth of Great Britain to promote and run workshops on the service.  A toast was made to continuing to grow our user community over the next five years!

Digimap for Schools birthday celebration

L-R Pete O’Hare, Anne Robertson, Peter Burnhill, Carol Blackwood, Emma Diffley, Elaine Owen, Darren Bailey, Johnny Hay, Dimitrios Sferopoulos

Runner-up of the British Library Labs Research Award

During last week’s British Library Labs Symposium, the BL Labs team led by Mahendra Mahey announced the results for the BL Labs Awards in different categories recognising digital humanities activities involving data from the British Library.  The Palimpsest team is proud to have been selected as runner-up in the research awards category for our work on mining Edinburgh’s literary landscape and it’s fantastic to see our work recognised in this way.

Announcement of the British Library Labs Awards

Announcement of the British Library Labs Awards

The data behind the LitLong interfaces, which were developed by the SACHI lab as part of Palimpsest, was created by text mining out-of-copyright literary works as well as a select number of contemporary books, and included work from Robert Louis Stevenson, Walter Scott, Muriel Spark and Irvine Welsh. It is also accessible via a search API. 111 books and over 12600 excerpts – over 20% of the Palimpsest data – were retrieved from the British Library Nineteenth Century Books collection, a set of over 65000 works covering philosophy, history, poetry and literature.  We would like to thank Mahendra Mahey and his team for their support in giving us access to the data.

All location mentions within the Palimpsest data were geo-referenced by the Edinburgh Geoparser to a fine-grained Edinburgh gazetteer, and excerpts containing them are linked back to the original electronic documents of its data provider, and in the case of the BL works to JISC Historical Text, to enable close reading.

The well deserved winners of the BL Labs research award are Professor Ian Gregory and his team working on the Spacial Humanities project. Their work examines the London based newspaper The Era made available by the British Library to determine how the Victorian Era discussed and portrayed disease, both temporally and spatially.

New Serials Holdings Comparison Service – request for feedback

With information about the serials holdings of over 100 UK research libraries SUNCAT is the ideal tool for providing an overview of serials holdings across the UK. Currently, however, it is only possible to search the web interface title by title, which makes the comparison, of any significant collection of serials, a resource intensive exercise. Therefore, to enable libraries to easily conduct a more comprehensive comparison we have developed a new Serials Holdings Comparison service.

The service enables libraries to submit a file of ISSNs for comparison purposes. The results produced can help with decision making around collection management tasks, such as cancelling or renewing subscriptions, moving titles into storage, or deselecting lower use material.

The service consists of a simple interface where a library can upload a CSV file of ISSNs. They can then:

  • Choose to run the comparison against all 103 libraries on SUNCAT, or against a particular selection of libraries
  • Choose to compare against print only holdings, or against print and electronic holdings

The submission process is very straightforward and a validation stage will highlight any missing or invalid ISSNs in the file, which may be useful beyond the scope of the comparison.

There are a number of different outputs, including:

Graph view: a visual overview or snapshot of the level of holdings for titles across the selected libraries

holdings comparison graph

List view: this displays the total number of holding libraries for each ISSN and lists each holding library and its summary holding statement. The list can be ordered by number of holding libraries and can be filtered to show those titles submitted which are held in a small or, alternatively, a large number of libraries and by those titles marked for UKRR retention.

holdings comparison list view

CSV file: a detailed report of all the libraries holding each title, an indication if the holdings are print or electronic, their summary holdings statements and an indication of whether a title is marked for UKRR retention.

We have completed some initial testing on the service with a number of our contributing libraries and have subsequently made some improvements to the service. We would now like to open up the test service to a wider group of libraries to gather further feedback before we make the service available to all. If you have a task or project, with which you think the service might assist, and would be willing to provide some feedback on the process and the service in general, then please contact us at as soon as possible. We will be happy to arrange a short demo of the service and for access to the test site.

If you have any questions about the new service please also contact us at, we look forward to hearing from you!

SUNCAT is the Serials Union Catalogue for the UK. Visit the service at

Posted in Uncategorized

Digimap for Schools 5th birthday!

It is hard to believe, but Digimap for Schools is 5 years old today!

It is 5 years since the service was officially lunched and we haven’t stopped growing in that time.

Back in 2010, Digimap for Schools looked a lot different! Despite it’s more limited functionality of only being able to view and print maps, it was quick to make it’s mark and was an instant success. This was recognised in early 2011 by the Geographical Association by being awarded Gold in the Publisher’s Awards at the GA conference.

How Digimap for Schools looked when it was launched

How Digimap for Schools looked when it was launched

The interface and functionality has constantly developed over the years in response to feedback from the users we meet at conferences, training sessions and email contact. User feedback is invaluable in guiding the development of the service.

We’ve added many notable enhancements since 2010 including: historical maps, annotation tools to add your own data, measurement tools, saving maps and a superb range of free resources written by curriculum experts.

The Digimap for Schools Community keeps on growing with over 2400 schools across Great Britain using the service. Millions of screen maps are generated every month, in June 2015 nearly 4,070,000 screen maps were generated making it the busiest month ever for Digimap for Schools. Just last month in October 2015, Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough became a record breaking school generating over 116,000 screen maps, uploading 1199 images and saving 374 maps in one month – they were busy!

The Digimap for Schools team will enjoy celebrating this special anniversary, sorry we can’t send a piece of birthday cake to all of our wonderful subscribing schools!