Wednesday, 28 November 2012

And I just can't get enough, and I just can't get enough...

                                                                           Image by boo_licious used via CC BY 2.0

....enough Mendeley that is. IR's Andrew Tattersall and Claire Beecroft are finding themselves being called upon across campus this month as the demand for teaching on Mendeley snowballs. This week we've been teaching in the iSchool, and next week its the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics' turn to get in on the Mendeley magic. Hopefully Andy's Minute Mendeley site will help to spread the word, but in the meantime Andy and Claire will just have to keep gargling with honey and lemon to keep their voices limber and ready for action at a moment's notice!

Posted by Claire

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Educate. Aggregate. Organise - MmIT Journal Article

One of the perennial, if not biggest, problems we all face is not “how do I find information?”, but “where do I store it?”  We all too often hear the old saying ‘information overload’ 
and now I am increasingly coming across the problem of information storage overload. When I say information, I mean everything, Tweets, Google Docs, bookmarks, images, Excel 
files, RSS feeds, the whole kit and kaboodle. 

The level of the problem varies from person to person and according to how much they engage with technology, from personal photos on their smartphone to confidential patient data in the workplace. Finding a solution can take a lot of time and effort, putting it into practice more so, and getting your organisation to do this is pretty much impossible. 

I've written about this problem, that we all face in this month's issue of MmIT Journal which is published quarterly by the Multimedia Information & Technology Group of Cilip.

You can read the full article via subscription to the journal here:

Latest Research Funding Update: Projects and Programmes

Photo by MrMoaks
Post by Anna

Previous editions of the update can be viewed here

Monday, 26 November 2012

Social Media Video 2013: Social Media Revolution 4

I stumbled across this video guessed it Social Media conduit Twitter. I've seen a few quite similar before and the combination of booming music and startling facts that make you wonder, how do they really know all of this? The various aggregation tools probably really do know, but it's not as simple as that once you scratch the Social Media surface. I've always questioned statistics such as viewed numbers on platforms like YouTube - do we actually know whether they watched the video. Nevertheless certain numbers do jump out, they're too big to ignore, so on that evidence alone we would be foolish to ignore them.

And to counter-balance the story, here's one from those masters of news mirth - The Onion on Social Media.

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Welcome to the University of Google - Online Information 2012 Conference Presentation

This Tuesday I was lucky to present to a very full room at this year's excellent Online Information 2012 Conference. Moving from what I regarded as the conference's spiritual home of Earl's Court and Olympia to the Victoria Park Plaza there were a wealth of topics covered from my own on the Cloud to Social Media, ebooks and mobile devices.

Even though I only attended the first day, it was jam-packed with brilliant, educating and entertaining sessions - possibly the best day's conference schedule I'd been part of.

Sadly I missed Cory Doctorow, Editor of the popular weblog boing boing, Contributor to The Guardian, The NY Times, Publishers Weekly, Wired Magazine and his plenary - There is no copyright policy; there is only Internet policy. There is no Internet policy; there is only policy.

I did however get there in time to see the insightful presentation by The Guardian's Technology Editor Charles Arthur and his session Platform Wars: After the Digital Wars which looked at the on-going mammoth battle between Microsoft, Google and the biggest of them all Apple. Arthur is a superb speaker who moved across the platform landscape with a collection of statistics and figures that showed the technology arms race and the war is going to continue on a global scale. He was followed by Lucia Adams, Digital Development Editor, The Times, UK. Adams gave a brilliant talk about how the famous news company has tackled the problem every newspaper is facing - how to remain as a viable business. Since dipping its toe into the tablet and Apps market, The Times has now no less than 12 apps and is making a real fist of staying relevant in the era of more content, social media and less advertising revenue. As an ex-journalist, I found these two sessions really interesting, and I couldn't help but note my ex-employer, The Press Association’s London Office as I walked back to Victoria Tube Station at the end of the day, I gave a nod as I passed by
I have to say that I was impressed with the venue, despite looking grubby on the outside, the inside was very sleek and welcoming - the presenter’s green room felt more like a boardroom with several people doing some last minute cramming ahead of their sessions, I was sat next to Charle's Arthur who you'll be keen to know was using a Mac.
After a brief break it was my turn in track 3 - ‘Making sense of big data and working in the cloud’ alongside the co-founder of the excellent Altmetric site Figshare, Mark Hahnel
I hadn't been feeling the pressure as I'm usually OK speaking at large events, but felt a sudden wave of anxiety on the way down when I checked the #online12 Twitter feed to see a post by the Director of our computing services department, Dr. Christine Sexton. Christine had Tweeted: “Two fire alarms and hotel evacuations later, I'm up. Looking forward to talks from @doctorow, @charlesarthur and our own@Andy_Tattersall
Considering I was giving a talk on a topic that Christine had been instrumental in, by getting Google for the University, I was worried that I’d say something that wasn't factual, I did say that I used to be a journalist didn't I? Luckily my concerns were unfounded as I met with Chris beforehand and was reassured that there was nothing I could wrong. The room I was speaking in held 140 I was informed and it was evident that the word Google in my title was a crowd puller as the room filled up with just a few spare seats with many others stood to the side and back of the room (although they all could have been there so see Mark of course). I talked about how my own experiences of using Google Apps since 2006 and how that had aided myself and my department in adapting to the University transition to the Google Apps Suite. I covered why the University had taken the decision to not only move students, but staff on wholesale and what it meant logistically and culturally. I received lots of questions, more than I could have imagined and did the best to deal with them, but in the end as I’d already primed Chris - the Director of CICS eventually had to step in to answer questions on security, legacy and stability. Chris had been live blogging throughout the day, and a review of my session, which was written as I presented - it takes a real skill to do that - can be read here:

My slides can be viewed here:

Lunch was lovely, but isn't that one of the high points of a conference? Beef Bourguignon with a variety of sides, followed up by some kind of vanilla mousse - I know people usually rate events by the food, this was fine dining, for me anyway.
After lunch I attended a really entertaining and very popular debate titled : “Staying Safe Online: The Dark Side of Apps and Social Networks” with Mathias Klang, Researcher and Senior Lecturer, University of Goteborg, Sweden and Cory Doctorow again. Both argued the pros and cons of social media, the issue of how we protect our children and how to ensure their privacy. They discussed how do we manage the problem of giving away our data for free products and that we are giving away much more than we are aware of. Again the session was captured live on Chris Sexton’s blog and can be read here.

Finally after more snacks and a fly by of the trade stands to get a multi-colour highlighter from Emerald (thank you Emerald) for my little girl.
I finished the day with the session that featured 3 talks on the use of tablets in libraries. First up was Jan Magnusson, Librarian, Chalmers Technical University, Sweden and his presentation Surf Tablets in University Libraries. This was followed by an excellent talk by Guus van den Brekel, Medical Information Specialist, Coordinator Electronic Services, Central Medical Library, University Medical Center Groningen, The Netherlands. I first met Guus at EAHIL 2009 when he moderated a presentation I gave in Dublin with Andrew Booth. Guus’ presentation was excellent and showcased their project to lend iPads to medical staff. There were many benefits from this project, one being a better personal relationship between librarians and users, and more importantly gave users a new and improved insight into the library and its services. In Guus’ own words: “It proved to be the best PR & marketing activity for libraries since the invention of "sliced bread"!
Finally, the solar powered library from Denmark, this was an inspiring talk and from a man wearing shorts, in London in November. Rasmus Fange Vestergaard, Librarian, Tingbjerg bibliotek, Denmark gave a new slant to the mobile library, by actually taking one to the beach and running with power from the sun. His talk focused on their initiative to lend users tablet devices as well as books. A nice way to end the conference. I would certainly recommend this conference to anyone from the library and information world, and with an interest in technology. I'm sorry I could not attend both days, but certainly felt I got the better day for my own area of work.

Countdown to REF - Faculty MDH Bite Size - 29th November - 2.30pm @ Faculty Boardroom, Barber House

Learn something new in 20 minutes on a topic that will affect so many of us - the REF 2014. If you want to know how to maximise your return then join Andrew Booth for what will prove to be a very informative session. As always there will be Bite Size cakes available for you to munch on.

Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us

My lovely wife sent me this the other day, and even though it's not a library-information video - I thought it was pretty interesting and thought it would be good to share it on the blog. Plus it is enhanced by those cool people at RSA Animate who could make the dullest talk sound brilliant. Any way, find out what makes people tick and how to get the best out of them :-)

So put that carrot and stick away now and watch this.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

ScHARR Bite Size #30 for Research - Altmetrics

Here is a 21 minute screen cast for the ScHARR Library Bite Size on Altmetrics which my colleague Claire Beecroft ran on my behalf. It gives a brief overview of how we can use Altmetrics to improve our scholarly output. ScHARR Bite Size are sessions that last 20 minutes long, so my screen cast had a bit of injury time added.

The treadmill of academia is a relentless one: proposal, research, write, present and then hopefully publish before starting all over again all in the hope your work is of good quality, worthy and recognised. There's one problem though - journals are not geared up for the modern on-line world of sharing and communication. Altmetric tools such as Mendeley, Twitter, Google+, ResearchGate, Slideshare and many others are though. They are alternative metrics to improve scholarly communication and they want to help you shout about how great your work is.

If you want to know more about Altmetrics - go to:

Take Five - November 2012

Photo by  M Hillier
Post by Anna

The latest edition of Take Five is packed full of research funding opportunities, news and new websites.

An archive of the Take Five Newsletter and other research funding updates can be viewed here

Latest: Research Funding Update

Photo by  mikesm
Post by Anna

Previous editions of the update can be viewed here

Monday, 12 November 2012

ISPOR 15th Annual European Congress

Ruth Wong from Information Resources Group in HEDS presented her poster entitled “Assessing the quality of manufacturers' searches in NICE single technology appraisals by evidence review groups” at the ISPOR 15th Annual European Congress in Berlin on Monday 5th November 8:45-14:15.  Over 3500 attendees were present at the conference and 1600 presentations between 5th-7th November. Ruth had the opportunity to speak to several people who came from academia, pharmaceutical or consultancy organizations from various countries about her poster during the author discussion hour.  Conference posters presented by HEDS at ISPOR Berlin could be viewed here.

Thursday, 1 November 2012

ScHARR Library @ Internet Librarian International 2012

No less than four members of the team attended this year's Internet Librarian International Conference at London Olympic this week. Two dual presentations from Andy and Claire titled Video Saved the Library Star, whilst Anna and Anthea talked about their experiences of Using Blogs, Twitter and Wikis to Deliver e-Learning.

Both presentations were well received at the very popular conference, you can see the Tweets if you search for the #ili2012 hashtag. 

Andy and Claire were keen to come on stage to the Buggle's famous No.1 Video Killed the Radio Star, but decided against it due to attending previous sessions on eCopyright ;-) just in case anyone was recording the presentation. Our presentation can be viewed below.

Video Saved the Library Star

In 2011 Cisco predicted that video would make up over 50% of all consumer Internet traffic by 2012, whilst YouTube recently reported that one hour of content is uploaded per second. Like mobile technology, video is becoming increasingly important in our lives. At ScHARR, University of Sheffield, we have identified a range of ways to employ video in our research, teaching and marketing:

  • Using screencasts to instruct students, researchers and NHS staff on topics including literature searching and reference management
  • Delivering information study skills via our 3elearning series of  3-minute, multi-format videos
  • Replacing photographs on staff profile pages with short videos giving a more personal introduction and conveying staff academic activities in a more friendly and engaging way
  • Marketing our research and Masters courses via video and screencasts including feedback from successful graduates
  • Using video within our virtual learning environment, including module introductions, updates and ice breaker videos for distance learners based around the world

We are empowering our colleagues to produce their own content by running video and screencasting workshops and we host our content via the University’s own streaming video servers in addition to YouTube and Vimeo. These platforms have been employed to embed the content in other locations including our virtual learning environment, blogs, social platforms and University web pages.

We believe that video is a vital part of the future of higher education, and in our session we’ll share our passion for video, along with practical low and no-cost solutions to producing video content!

Back to the conference

This conference goes from strength to strength featuring a whole range of interesting topics from eCopyright to the Cloud, from search to discovery as new skills and the future of the library and information profession. Several high profile speakers in their area were present as always including Phil Bradley who once again entertained and educated a packed room with the many tools he had discovered in recent months.

 Roly Keating, Michael Stephens, Brian Kelly, Dave Pattern and Karen Blakeman all made strong presences to name but a few, whilst there were countless trade stands to visit and even plunder for goodies if the inner-magpie in you took control. It was really good to see the joint SWETS Mendeley stand and of course the food was top notch.
Internet Librarian International goes from strength to strength and no doubt will be well represented by IR again next year at ILI2013 - hopefully we'll see you there.

ScHARR Library YouTube Channel

Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011–2016