Patrick Egan, PhD

Patrick Egan (Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin), PhD, an international scholar specializing in digital humanities, ethnomusicology and archival metadata. Currently a Metadata and Research Data Management Librarian at Munster Technological University, Cork. A wide-ranging creative, I am also a performer of Irish traditional music on concertina. I am a researcher of cultural heritage, developer of digital artefacts, digital preservation workflow, digital timeline visualisations and present papers at conferences in Ireland, England, Europe and North America.

Patrick Egan at the American Folklife Center, 2019. Photo by Steve Winnick
Patrick Egan at the American Folklife Center – Photo by Steve Winnick
April 11, 2024From Thursday 11th to Saturday 13th April 2024, a conference was brought together at the Ward Irish Music Archives in Wisconsin. The theme of the weekend event was “Archiving Irish America: Music, Dance, and Culture”. For this meeting, I presented a version of the research that I had conducted on a survey of practitioners of Irish traditional music across North America. The survey sought to understand the musical landscape more broadly, and the thoughts and interactions of practitioners with archival audio. The conference brought together a fascinating set of individuals, culminating in a weekend of engagement on Irish American culture. More on the Ward Irish Music Archives website. A description of this meeting: “In Irish America, archives have been essential in allowing recent generations to tap into the long history of music, language, oral traditions, dance and folklore essential to a vibrant and living culture. Archiving Irish America: Music, Dance & Culture will bring together those who engage with archival materials in their research or creative practice, those who have collected and curated cultural treasures for these archives, and those who wish to contribute to documenting and creating Irish American culture through these important institutions.” As circumstances dictated, I was unable to attend the event in person. However, I was able to record and deliver an mp4 of the work, and a full length presentation of my paper for this conference is now available here: [...]
April 9, 2024In 2019 and 2020, I conducted a survey on the website, SurveyMonkey.com, it involved over 528 practitioners of Irish traditional music across North America. This was the first survey of its kind to focus on this region and collect feedback about their musical lives and engagement with archival audio files. The survey consisted of forty questions, divided into two sections, in the first a look at the musical backgrounds of practitioners, and in the second a focus on their activities with audio and archives in North America and beyond. It was intended to develop a clearer picture of the musical landscape of Irish traditional music in North American, and how practitioners relate to archives. The following presents a series of digital visualisations of survey data from 528 respondents across North America, using the framework D3.js and with spatial analysis platform, Carto.com. Age See the Pen Age Now by Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin (@rootseire) on CodePen. Age Became involved in Irish Traditional Music See the Pen Untitled by Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin (@rootseire) on CodePen. Do you have experience playing other styles of music/song/dance? See the Pen Genres by Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin (@rootseire) on CodePen. Familiarity With Collectors In North America See the Pen Familiarity by Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin (@rootseire) on CodePen. Formative Places in Musical Development Resources Used To Share Irish Traditional Music See the Pen Resources by Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin (@rootseire) on CodePen. Devices Used to Listen to Irish Traditional Music See the Pen Devices Used by Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin (@rootseire) on CodePen. [...]
March 22, 2024It’s critical for the community to work together to guard against adopting policies, practices and business models that may make scholarly communications free to read, but in the process, create new barriers for authors to publish. As we have seen, these barriers to publish do not impact authors evenly, but rather disproportionately exclude voices from historically marginalized communities, the Global South, as well as those in the early stages of their careers.  Melissa Hagemann (2024) In March 2024, I began working for Munster Technological University (formerly the site of Cork Institute of Technology), where I joined MTU Library team as a Metadata & Research Data Management Librarian. In the lead up – February 2024 – I was lucky enough to be just in time to apply for and take up the post, which was cover for a current staff member who was out for a year. I had been ready for this type of role since finishing lecturing at UCC, and had been keenly aware of its emergence on the US scene after working at the Library of Congress in 2019. By the time this post was advertised, Ireland was well on its way to having more of these roles embedded in libraries across the academic landscape. This type of work – managing research data and metadata at a library, alongside activities such as promoting ways to make it FAIR and open, is coming into focus across Ireland and at a European level. There is also a lot to be reckoned with in a world of “open” data – predatory journals for example and how they can potentially threaten the integrity of evidence-based science. All of this is exciting because of a massive transformation that is also now happening at local and national levels. The Digital Humanities has a major role to play here, but across the academy there are great strides taking place, which bring digital tools, research data and research approaches into new territory. Of course, politics also has a role to play! For example. companies like Elsevier have made their own technological (see their software, “Digital Commons“) and what you might call – “leaning”, (check out the 70% agreement) towards open access, but in Europe there is another idea – to make absolutely everything free! A recent book chapter in The Bloomsbury Handbook to the Digital Humanities by yours truly (with the esteemed Dr Órla Murphy), shows why making data and research available to everyone is useful and important. Before reading on, check out why ORCID’s are important! My recently updated ORCID can be viewed here: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7400-4923 Ireland is progressing with its digital agenda in some interesting ways. Since 2012, some notable changes have been happening in the digital landscape in Ireland. The National Broadband Plan for example, which tackles the issue of digital divide2. A look back to 2008 and 2010 reveals some key insights into Ireland’s position at a European level. A study in digital divides between EU states at that time had sought to develop some key indicators that identified digital gaps between EU states, and Ireland has been ranked as a “digital follower”. This was calculated by two dimensions, ICT Infrastructure and Adoption by Population … ICT Infrastructure and adoption by Population, which is related to the availability of ICT infrastructures and their use by the population. This dimension includes the Internet and broadband penetration rates, the usage of mobile devices to access the Internet, the availability of e-government services by the supply (public) side, the adoption of e-government services by the users’ (population) side, as well as the nature and intensity of Internet use. The second dimension is related to the commercial use of the ICT and its access costs and is therefore named e-business and Internet access costs. This dimension is related to the diffusion of e-business, including the diffusion of ecommerce, e-safety concerns by firms, and e-government, as well as the Internet access costs … … Estonia, France, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovenia present high levels of ICT Infrastructure and adoption by Population and low levels of e-business and Internet access costs. This cluster has a highly unbalanced digital development. Therefore, we labelled these as the “individual-side focused” cluster. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, and Lithuania have an unbalanced digital development as well, but with opposite values for each dimension. Hence, ICT Infrastructure and adoption by Population is low in these countries, but on the other hand, the levels of e-business and Internet access costs are high. This group is labelled as the “firm-side and low access costs focused” cluster. Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom are comprised together, making this cluster the largest. It comes as no surprise that this cluster represents the average of the EU on the two dimensions of the digital divide. Despite the absence of high levels in either of the two dimensions, the fact is that neither of the two has significant negative values either… these countries are relatively digitally developed, with balanced levels on both dimensions. Hence they are called the ‘‘digital followers’’ cluster,considering that there is other group more advanced in terms of digital development. Finally we have Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Sweden together. This group comprises the most digitally developed countries in the EU. These countries present the highest levels for both dimensions of digital development. Hence they are labelled as the ‘‘digital leaders’’1 Cruz-Jesus, Oliveira & Bacao (2012) Now, at Higher Education Institution level in Ireland, NORF (National Open Research Forum) has become the leader in rolling out research infrastructure to enable Ireland on its way towards highly developed open research infrastructures and agendas. Along with several collaborators, a push is now being made to provide a digital infrastructure which supports open research. The National Action Plan for Open Research has been published as a strategy (2022-2030), to get HEI’s on board. The Action Plan involves a broad group that combines the expertise of representatives from policy, research funding, research performing, the library sector, research infrastructures, enterprise and other key stakeholders in the research system across Ireland. Amongst the aims are 100% open access to research publications, and enabling FAIR principles, a sea change at national level. This obviously involves a LOT of collaboration between institutions, a lot of shifts in the digital landscape, and a lot of development in awareness. Included in this work will be a focus on how to prepare research and research data for sharing and complying with standards and software that works with research that is being made openly available. The National Action Plan for Open Research 2022-2030 was launched 21 November by the National Open Research Forum (NORF). In tandem with the six projects funded by the 2022 National Open Research Fund, the Action Plan outlines objectives and actions for the next chapter in Ireland’s transition towards open research. HEA Net All well and good from NORF, but what is actually happening in HEI’s like MTU? As part of the National Development Plan (2021-2030), there is a National Strategy for Higher Education, seeing for MTU the merger of CIT and IT Tralee brings the vision closer, “The National Strategy for Higher Education to 2030 continues to provide the framework for far-reaching changes in the higher education landscape. One of the most significant changes is the development of multi-campus technological universities, an agenda which is central to regional development ambitions and is now well advanced.” National Development Plan 2021-2030 A section of the CINNTE Review 2023 for MTU stated that: “In recent years, MTU has been going through some major transitions within this, and reflected in their most recent reports, a strategic plan called “Our Shared Vision“, and CINNTE.” The University will embed open science/open research practices in its research, supported by key policiesincluding Open Access and Research Data Management. R&I outcomes will be disseminated widely, to support amore-informed public, evidence-based policy making, industry and by advancing fundamental knowledge CINNTE MTU has its own digital repository for research, entitled SWORD (South West Open Research Deposit), which is an instance of Elsevier’s “Digital Commons“, whose company BePress (Berkeley Press) was acquired by Elsevier in 2017. Currently, the majority of Digital Commons’ base are located in North America, and there are two from Europe – MTU being one of them! Digital Commons by Elsevier is not obliged to follow EU standards for open access or compatibility for software, so it does not align with OpenAire (a non-profit organisation with open source software that promotes open scholarship). OpenAire software aggregates and provisions scholarship in full-texts, dataset metadata, and Zenodo resources. In order for Digital Commons to join with OpenAire, metadata needs to be harvested (in much the same way that Europeana carried it out over the past 15 years). There are a number of research data fields that need to comply, and an XML schema, which needs to be validated using an Open Archives Protocol for Metadata Harvesting (OAPMH). This is an ongoing challenge, which needs constant support. MTU also works with initiatives, groups, and projects included in the push for open access in complying with EU standards in other ways such as: The TU Net (Technological Universities Network) group, which carries out several different initiatives, but one of them is to work on the Horizon Europe, 3-year funded “OSTrails” project (from OpenAIRE). This requires setting in place a data management planning solution, as a case study, demonstrating how data can be made open on a national level as part of a wider European group of HEI’s. RESIN – National Research Service and Infrastructure forum headed up by Roberto Sabatino (and officially launched at the HEAnet Conference 2022 in Killarney). Open Aire Establishing a “RICO” Research Integrity and Compliance Officer, Dr Seán Lacey, who works on research integrity and responsible conduct of research. Seán collaborates on ethics with MTU to promote best practice in research design and outputs. In many ways, an awareness is developing around the world on the importance of research integrity, or “quality over quantity”, and this is reflected in moves that are being made by individuals and institutions at a high level. For example, The University of Zurich pulling out of the Times ranking, and Australia’s chief scientist calling out the research sector. On a national level in Ireland, this work that is being done at MTU has a broader meaning, as they collaborate and advocate with groups like NORF, TU Net, Sonraí (data stewards), and RESIN (National Research Service and Infrastructure Forum), all making an impact on how we think about data and our research. A recent article on the launch of TU NET shows the commitment that is behind such groups and initiatives on “Making publicly funded research easily accessible and reproducible”, as presidents across the Technological Universities are now supporting TU Net and its mission. A National Open Access Monitor Report has also been published, which describes the state of open access publishing and content delivery in Ireland. Just some of Susan Reilly’s takeaways from this report: Even given the current acknowledged limitations of the data, Ireland has made huge strides in OA in the past number of years It’s hugely important that we invest in and promote quality metadata, especially license metadata There are early signs that we are embracing transparency and the tracking of research through adoption of persistent identifications but we need coordinated action in this area Across the water in England, a survey working paper by OR4 project has been conducted on the state of Open Research (OR) and Responsible Research Assessment (RRA), which sees a take up of open research in recent years, but still a lot to do: UCD Research Strategist Michelle Dalton’s take away on this survey is that: In France and the Netherlands, open research and scholarship is becoming the new normal. Passports to Open Science have been developed. These are accessible guides to Open Research principles, practices and resources targeted at early career stage researchers. A similar passport is being developed for the Irish context. 8% (five) of institutions have Open Research (OR) criteria already included in academic promotion and recruitment35% (21) are in the process of integrating OR criteria1/3 of respondents did not know whether OR practices were included or notLack of awareness, understanding and prioritisation of RRA and OR still persists Reports, advocacy, collaborations, commentary, and articles like this are good news for research in Ireland. There is now a public voice to the words “findable, searchable, and reusable”, mirroring what the Force11 group has been defining as FAIR (Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable) since about 2015. In broad terms, leading up to and since 2020, the EU had advocated and now published rules on publicly funded research – it is now finally imperative that researchers publish the data underpinning their research to make it easily accessible and reusable. A lot of what you might call “digital maturity”. MTU is on its way as part of that movement! How My Skills fit in! An ambitious plan was drawn up in three phases for the year: Phase 1 – Spring 2024Reaching out across departmentsStarting networks-existing relationships (connect early with researchers)Le Chéile, MTU News, socialIdentify potential data storiesTechnical duties Phase 2 – Summer 2024Interview key researchersWhat data existsCommunications plan for telling storiesIdentify lessons learnedConnect with CONUL, Sonraí, DRI Phase 3 – Autumn/Winter 2024Expand MTU presence and visibilityPossibly develop an Open Educational RepositoryGet researchers to populateIdentify data stewardshipSWORD updates Some of the language in this plan needed to shift towards words such as “FAIR data management”, “engagement” and “training”. Another consideration was summer schedules for researchers and the possibilities that they may be more inclined to engage at that time of year. The plan was then modified alongside the outgoing staff member to take into consideration the various different tasks that were ongoing in the role. A final draft of this was submitted to management. Steps towards a better research presence To gain the best out of FAIR data, the researcher can first of all create and/or update their ORCID. The profile must be populated so that the research can actually be linked. You can fill in DOI (document object identifiers) to your profile manually, and you can also sync to your Zenodo account. For those used to GitHub.com, it is now possible to connect your ORCID with your repositories. How is this done? You need to create a release: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgRHm6EWuf4Video can’t be loaded because JavaScript is disabled: Github: Create a Release (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgRHm6EWuf4) Once the release has been created, you can then link from ORCID into any of your citable repos! More to follow! More Resources Check out other resources that advocate for open research in training and instruction: Foster Open Science, Centre of Open Science, Force 11, University of Edinburgh, JISC. For Research Data Management Plans, check out DMP Online, and Argos. At MTU there are a lot of resources on the ground, such as: RICO literature / earning a Digital Badge / and modules on Canvas Laggards, followers, and leaders! 1 Bulgaria and Romania form the group of the least digitally developed countries in the EU-27, having extremely low levels on the average of both dimensions. Besides the level of ICT Infrastructure and adoption by Population which is by far the lowest within the EU, the e-business and Internet access cost is also the lowest. Hence these countries form the “digital laggards” cluster. Estonia, France, Hungary, Latvia, and Slovenia present high levels of ICT Infrastructure and adoption by Population and low levels of e-business and Internet access costs. This cluster has a highly unbalanced digital development. Therefore, we labelled these as the “individual-side focused” cluster. Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, and Lithuania have an unbalanced digital development as well, but with opposite values for each dimension. Hence, ICT Infrastructure and adoption by Population is low in these countries, but on the other hand, the levels of e-business and Internet access costs are high. This group is labelled as the “firm-side and low access costs focused” cluster. Austria, Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain, and the United Kingdom are comprised together, making this cluster the largest. It comes as no surprise that this cluster represents the average of the EU on the two dimensions of the digital divide. Despite the absence of high levels in either of the two dimensions, the fact is that neither of the two has significant negative values either. Therefore, these countries are relatively digitally developed, with balanced levels on both dimensions. Hence they are called the “digital followers” cluster, considering that there is other group more advanced in terms of digital development. Finally we have Denmark, Finland, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Sweden together. This group comprises the most digitally developed countries in the EU. These countries present the highest levels for both dimensions of digital development. Hence they are labelled as the “digital leaders”. The National Broadband Plan: 2 Broadband connectivity is of strategic importance for European growth and innovation in all sectors of the economy and to social and territorial cohesion. It supports business efficiencies and growth, ensures that economies can remain competitive, and enables citizens to enhance their skills and learning and to benefit from online services and offerings, including key public services The Europe 2020 Strategy (‘EU2020’) underlines the importance of broadband deployment as part of the EU’s growth strategy and sets ambitious targets for broadband development. One of its flagship initiatives, the Digital Agenda for Europe (‘DAE’) acknowledges the socio-economic benefits of broadband, highlighting its importance for competitiveness, social inclusion and employment. The DAE restates the objective of the EU 2020 Strategy with the following targets for broadband development in Europe: (i) to bring basic broadband to all Europeans by 2013; (ii) for all Europeans to have access to internet speeds of above 30 Mbps by 2020; (iii) for 50% or more of European households to subscribe to internet connections above 100 Mbps by 2020 [...]
February 1, 2022Patrick Egan (Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin) performing at the Library of Congress in August 2019 alongside local musicians from Washington DC My research article “In search of the item: Irish traditional music, archived fieldwork and the digital” is now published in Archival Science journal, web version here: https://rdcu.be/cFzl9. Thanks to all at the Library of Congress, the American Folklife Center, Library of Congress Labs, Digital Specialist Matt Miller, and all the Irish Traditional Music Archive. In this article, I demonstrate the challenges and possibilities for using #LinkedData with archived fieldwork (audio collections) from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. The project, Connections in Sound, a case study that identified how archived audio metadata of Irish traditional music is important for infrastructure like @ITMADublin’s LITMUS project & Authority Files at @librarycongress & points towards future possibilities when using them. The team developed datasets, created proof-of-concept RDF Triples using Python to connect non-commercial audio material across AFC collections and then on the WWW, with LITMUS ontology, the Séamus Connolly Collection in Boston & tune ID web scrapes on Irishtune.info. This experimentation helps to inform possibilities & limitations for digital infrastructures as they evolve -ways of representing a more diverse selection of musical performers in archives & across the Web (especially musicians who perform but who do not record commercially) Suggestion: enable diversity by using collections such as the AFC’s, musicians recorded by collectors. Add them to resources like Wikidata/Wikipedia so they can be identified & linked to multiple other performances of a certain tune / song / dance (both professional & amateur) The ideal is a “multiplicity”, see Foley’s “Oral Traditions and the Internet”, “Listening to multiple versions…and programmatically denying priority to any single one – will go a long way toward providing a … sense of the song’s many-sided, irreducible character.” There are many ways to represent Irish traditional music, and digital infrastructures are evolving, but archived collections of fieldwork that contain a wide variety of material from oral traditions could have a big part to play if considered. This research was generously supported by the Fulbright Tech Impact Award and a Kluge Fellowship in Digital Studies. More to come as in 2022 I present my major survey of performers of Irish traditional music in North America. Engage with this discussion on Twitter: My research article “In search of the item: Irish traditional music, archived fieldwork and the digital” is now published in Archival Science journal, web version here: https://t.co/FuIaIb33Nw. Thanks to all @librarycongress & AFC, @LC_Labs, @thisismmiller, and @ITMA 1/— Patrick Egan (Pádraig Mac Aodhgáin), PhD (@drpatrickegan) February 1, 2022 In search of the item: Irish traditional music, archived fieldwork and the digital Abstract In the past ten years, a growing number of digital projects have emerged within archives, and they have placed a focus on using Linked Data to facilitate connections to be made between music related materials across the World Wide Web. Projects such as Linked Jazz exemplify the possibilities that can be achieved between researchers, digital experts and archivists. Recent developments for Irish traditional music at the Irish Traditional Music Archive (ITMA) in Dublin, Ireland mean that the genre can also now be described using an extensive ontology, LITMUS (Linked Irish Traditional Music). In 2019, we engaged this ontology within a digital project entitled Connections in Sound, exploring the challenges and possibilities for Linked Data based on audio collections of Irish traditional music from the American Folklife Center (AFC) at the Library of Congress in Washington DC. The project adapted an experimental approach to enriching metadata from audio materials of Irish traditional music, song and dance at the AFC by creating and working with proof-of-concept resources. Using the project entitled Connections in Sound as a case study, this paper will demonstrate the challenges, opportunities and particularities related to engaging a range of fieldwork and transcribed metadata as Linked Data. This paper suggests that the work of experimenting with certain types of non-commercial digital audio material for use in datasets and digital infrastructures informs ways to represent diversity of musical traditions in the archive and across the World Wide Web. View this article at the journal website Download a PDF directly Visit my Google Scholar Profile. [...]
August 4, 2021Week 2-3: A Finer Level of Detail Opening the new scanner (Epson DS50000) So much has happened within the space of one month at the Cork LGBT Archive! The next series of blog posts will be published throughout August, as we catch up with all the excitement that this project has had to offer. After some initial hurdles, we had some advances in terms of the workflow process. Previous scanning processes in the Cork LGBT Archive were made efficient by Orla and her colleagues by selecting software that was suitable and not too cumbersome. So my job was to look for ways to make this happen with their new scanner. A series of different image scanning software applications were identified which were available to us for free, but as we will see in this post, it is not an easy task to locate one that is both simple and straightforward! The way that scanner software has evolved in the past few years is simultaneously excellent and flawed – informing us that automation is not always the best way forward. And the Epson Workforce DS-50000 flatbed scanner had its quirks! setting up the scanner After we unboxed our new scanner, we found that a hardware component called a “Network Interface Component” was already installed. This caused problems for the installation, as it was not possible to setup a USB connection to the laptop out of the box. With the interface connection the idea is that you are connecting the scanner to a number of computers instead of the method that we have become accustomed to of “plug-and-play” – you plug it in, and it works! Coupled with that, there were no instructions included with the scanner to show what needed to be done when setting up the machine to carry out a simple scan to laptop via USB. So the initial excitement of getting setup right away and firing up a scan were dampened, instead calling for a bit of serious investigative work (some tinkering was needed). After attempting the network connection on a number of different pieces of software (Epson Scan 2, Document Capture Pro, Windows Fax and Scan), I tried to connect to the printer using a Mac. When this also failed, I had a conversation about it with Orla’s partner, Carol. Zooming out from the situation, we decided that the most obvious option to try was to actually remove the Network Interface component and to swap it for the standard component that had been left beside the printer. Image of network interface component on the left and the standard “USB” component on the right I was a little wary of taking the scanner apart since we had only just bought the product! This initial work with the scanner required that I dis-assemble the Network Interface component with an Allen key (and awkwardly removing screw covers that had somehow been turned the wrong way around inside of the screw slot)! It was a bizarre situation to have to swap this out, as it was awkward and risked breaking something on the scanner. However, once this had been swapped for the standard component, we discovered that the scanner software eventually recognised the scanner and then everything worked without a hitch. All better in hindsight of course! Scanner and scanner software in operation The Network Interface Component did sound useful for some situations – it means that a number of devices can be connected to the scanner at one time (phones, laptops, PCs). However, for a job such as this, it was determined that only one person and one computer was needed for the scanning job at any one time, this suited our workflow best. It was decided that it would make more sense for the workflow if one person was positioned at a designated computer, connected by USB to the scanner whilst scanning documents instead of multiple people connected to the machine at once. The Network Interface Component was returned to the original box! In terms of hardware, our initial sense of the scanner was that it operated quite fast, and the sound of a scan wasn’t too clunky! In general, it promised to make the scanning very efficient, one click of preview or scan button, the scanner moved across the bed quite fast, and you had an image within 4-5 seconds. However, a 600 dpi scan required the move across the bed to slow significantly, so we ended up with 10 seconds per scan. Finding Software For software needs, one of the most important areas needed for workflow in the Cork LGBT Archive was the ability to be able to create PDF documents that contained a number of different scanned images bundled together (to add or edit pages after scanning). It became apparent that this was available in both software packages that we tried out, Epson Scan and also Document Capture Pro. With this option available, we could then move on to testing for other features. There were a number of software packages that allowed us to scan PDF/A documents, which was a major boon as the Digital Repository of Ireland (the DRI) preferred PDF/A format. One of those packages that afforded PDF/A was Epson Scan, which also provided the option of scanning to a searchable PDF for text documents. Epson scan also allowed for rotation and “correct document skew”, both very helpful features. Another plus was that there was the ability to create “Multiple TIFF” images, and in advanced settings to remove background, to enhance text and to change brightness, contrast, and gamma. Another option we had for this was that with the utility installation of this scanner software came an image editor named “Document Capture Pro”. Overall, the settings available with both of these software packages were quite similar, as the Epson Scan software was used by Document Capture Pro every time a scan was requested. One feature that was not available in Document Caputre Pro was the ability to crop images during the workflow. During the testing of the scanner, it became apparent that the scanner software cropped images automatically, but in many cases not accurately. This meant that the white background surrounding images was in view on some occasions, and not on others. Worse still, sometimes part of documents were cut off. I then tested other scanner software options to see if manual crop could be available. ArcSoft PhotoImpression was a good option, but it didn’t meet our needs. Another option that allowed us to crop images was Digitech’s PaperVision Plugin for Document Capture Pro. This website was useful in our search – it compared some of the other free versions that are available, plus important information on which ones had auto and manual cropping: https://turbofuture.com/graphic-design-video/Whats-the-Best-Multiple-Photo-Scanning-Software We found that when using Document Capture Pro that there are two options in the main menu – 1) To do a job scan. This allows you to setup a workflow for a scanning job, which has predefined settings for the scan, a destination for the file once you have finished the scanning.2) Simple scan. This allows you to scan without taking any actions, and is not a workflow but just a scan that can give you the scanned image and then you can do what you want with it yourself. The following list of other scanning software options that demonstrate what is available as of summer 2021: AutoSplitter – very basic looking interface, has no PDF save format, has crop functionality but requires once-off payment of $30 for 2 yearsVueScan (also an app on android) Once-off payment of €20 – cropping is done based on pre-defined size of image, no crop toolPixEdit (Norway) €75 per month In previous version of Epson scanner software, the manual cropping tool was available. For example, Orla had used a very nifty tool in the Epson Expression 11000XL. With little availability of open-source tools for cropping images, I decided to test to see if the new scanner would work with older versions of the Epson scanner software (Epson Scan). However, this application did not open correctly as the scanner was not recognised (Epson Expression 11000XL). Error message, “Epson Scan cannot be started”. Eventually, after further searches for “cropping” in scanning software, a search result listed on an interesting website named UtahRails.net, where I found this thread: https://utahrails.net/tech-talk-photos.php … finally, a recommended software called “FastStone Image Viewer” proved to be an excellent find for our job. One contributor on the UtahRails website mentioned that, “I generally use FastStone Image Viewer for the basic stuff, like adjusting gray levels on black & white photos, or color levels on color photos. It also works very well for straightening and cropping, and simple resizing. It also has a good batch conversion tool to convert TIF to JPG, for uploading to SmugMug.“ This was a watershed moment. After all of our searching and testing, finally we found a suitable piece of open-source software that could produce scans to our liking, which were also of an excellent quality and we had the ability to crop manually. On to the workflow! Setting up a workflow As week three started, the excitement was building with the knowledge that we were now set up to scan our first box of documents. We ran some tests to check if the scanner and accompanying software would produce the desired PDFs of documents. Again, this was not without its problems, as we quickly discovered in some of the previews that the documents were not being imaged on the very outer edge of some of the documents. In some cases parts of documents were cut off when they were placed against the edge of the scanner. The scanner did have a line which demarcated the edge of an A4 scan, but even when following this rule we discovered that it sometimes cut off part of the image. We needed to come up with a way to push the document further into the scanner. As an interim decision, we placed wooden pegs at the edge of the scanner bed. This allowed documents to be placed up against their edges, facilitating an easier cropping and allowing for the full version of the document to be seen after a scan was made. Image of scanner “interventions” Innovative scanning at Cork LGBT Archive today!Trying to find something straight in @GayProjectIRL to line up Play Safe leaflet for scanning – eventually found colourful lollypop sticks in the Arts & Crafts corner. @MiraDean8 @drpatrickegan @OrlaEgan1 Creative #DigitalArchives pic.twitter.com/6pLZRIKDWZ— Cork LGBT Archive (@CorkLGBThistory) June 15, 2021 As we began to scan documents, we discovered that the workflow was turning out to be perfect for our needs. We were able to scan efficiently (with minimal set up for documents), and the process was uncomplicated (move the documents towards the sticks, crop later). With the scan process set up correctly (and happy staff working away on the scanning!), I could now turn my attention to metadata description, to getting an overview of items that were already within the DRI and Cork LGBT Archive, on to some coding and “motivational Cork LGBT Spotify Playlists”! Have you had similar experiences with scanning setup and workflow? We would love to hear from you, please leave your comments below. [...]
July 8, 2021In June 2021, I began a four month position with the Cork LGBT Archive, working for my friend and colleague, Orla Egan. We both attended UCC together since 2014, and shared an office during the past number of years. Orla’s work has always interested me, as the archive that she works on originated in a basement! Since I have known Orla, she has been sorting, digitising, promoting and sharing all sorts of interesting insight into this fascinating project. CAHG Scotland & SCA As digital archivist, my job has been to oversee the workflow of digitisation from box to digital repository. I also liaise with the Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) on best practices, and have been set up by Orla on the webinar series by the Community Archives and Heritage Group (CAHG) Scotland & Scottish Council on Archives (SCA). The CAHG & SCA deliver training and networking events to support and provide skills to volunteers in community heritage groups (more about them here: https://www.scottisharchives.org.uk/). The 2021 series deals with the following topics: How to digitise your archive collections.Increase visibility of your digital collections.Strategically promote your digital collections and optimise your collection for discovery via Google and other search tools.Increase your engagement with your local community and beyond. Armed with these connections, some research, webinars, library experience and a good deal of enthusiasm, I was ready to make a start with the Cork LGBT Archive project. Week 1: An Overview First and foremost, to keep track of steps involved with the project, a series of promotions were in order. Sharing tweets about the first weeks working with the Cork LGBT Archive, and representation with the Irish Heritage Council were important. The main aim was to document the process alongside other members of the team as we went along. The promotion was backed up with these detailed blog posts about the steps involved in the project. In week one, three important first steps were to: * plan for the project review every month* manage ingesting documents into the DRI* investigate formats that were needed for this ingestion The DRI provides a very helpful formats guide, which allowed us to understand their requirements for Cork LGBT Archive to be ingested into their repository. The general guideline was that PDF/A was a preferred format for archiving, and that PDF was also acceptable. Some initial explorations into this revealed that: PDF/A is good for some images and not for others (see: http://www.archives.nysed.gov/records/mr_advisories_pdfa.shtml)PDF for multiple images is okay, but PDF/A is better. It allows you to add extra “technical” metadata to the PDF file so that the metadata can be portable – it can move with the file wherever it goes. PDF/A also embeds fonts, which makes sure it is reproducible across systems. It is also strict – it doesn’t allow embeddings other than images (videos etc.). Organising a workflow The most important step in the digitisation and ingestion process for the DRI was to establish a way of organising how every part of the process fitted together. This has obvious advantages, “fail to plan, plan to fail”, but it also has others – for speed, efficiency, accuracy and quality. Audit of the Cork LGBT Archive Firstly, what material has been digitised, and if material exists elsewhere, will it be needed for this phase of the projectDo we need to update new scans with consistency of what has already been completed? How might this work on an ongoing basis?What is the process for digitisation with this scanner (Epson DS50000)What are the goals of these outputs – how much more material in the DRI and/or the Archive?Will this phase produce best practices / guidelines to enable consistently in the future? Backup The main goal of backup is to ensure that the Cork LGBT Archive is safe from data loss. In order to achieve this, we looked to best practices in establishing the most reasonable methods that a community archive could align with for cost, quality and consistency. We decided to work out the “3 2 1” rule of data backup for this project (https://www.armstrongarchives.com/3-2-1-rule-data-backup/) This rule basically means three things – 3 copies, 2 on media, 1 offsite. For the Cork LGBT Archive, this meant – Where is data currently stored?How is it currently stored?How can we meaningfully back up the new data as it comes in, without creating a whole new system? To answer the first question, it was determined that there were three locations:1) On a recently purchased HP laptop2) On a 4TB external hard-drive3) In the cloud (Dropbox) The recently purchased laptop had a capacity of 256GB which was determined to be unfeasible as a permanent backup. There were 2TB storage capacity on cloud storage through Dropbox and 300GB was already in use. Traversing different storage locations was an important aspect of the process of backup. The External Hard Drive contained 4TB, and as each item was saved, it could be sent to Dropbox. A further external hard-drive could then be bought to store the final permanent backup off-site and backed up every month. The next question we arrived at was, what type of software did we want to use to monitor changes in backups, and how would this workflow be established. I had already used AOMEI Backup on my own machine, but our team member Jacob suggested to use GitHub. The Digital Repository of Ireland (DRI) It was determined that a previous ingest of material from the Cork LGBT Archive was carried out with the DRI, where they already had a repository on their website. Orla had previously worked with Anita, Kathryn and Kevin at the DRI to make this happen. This setup allowed me to become familiar with the way that material has been presented there and the way that the backend looked. Day 1 I identified that there are some aspects to the original workflow that could be improved. The first is the scanning of documents. In the case of scanning to jpeg, it was determined that the project workflow could be made more efficient with the use of batch operations to convert TIFF files to JPEG in new destination folders. Carrying out this type of batch operation meant that this would cut the scanning workload in half, as previously both JPEG and TIFF files were created during the digitisation process. It was determined that automating made no difference to the quality of the operation as the file names of TIFFs and JPEG could be the same (and were previously). Secondly, it was found that booklets that were originally scanned as JPEGs had been scanned to the PDF format, and this made one file out of many. This was determined to be a reasonable compromise, as PDF/A is not currently available without subscription on Adobe software. Also, the benefits of PDF/A are not relevant, as the project does not have a need for portable fonts, or for technical metadata (that is metadata which is stored inside of the PDF file itself). *See later posts for updates on this. Europeana: DRI data had already been harvested for Europeana. We needed to make sure new material was also ingested. So a key goal was to find out if this was to ask staff at the DRI if Cork LGBT material gets updated with Europeana, and what the protocol is for new items that are added to a collection after the first ingest. Developing a Catalogue It was found that Cork Museum is currently carrying out a project to catalogue a number of documents that are from the Cork LGBT Archive, which will include pencil marks itemizing each document that is catalogued. It was determined that a catalogue could be made of these documents for retrieval later on by researchers. It was suggested by Orla that these documents could be used to form a catalogue in such formats as EAD, ISAD(G) or some other suitable archiving standard, and that this catalogue numbering system could then be used in other resources of the Cork LGBT Archive situated either on the DRI website or on the corklgbtarchive.com website within the “Related To” Dublin Core metadata. Goals for this section became to: Find out how you can start a catalogue. What way will the numbering system work? How do we get those numbers into all digital systems?Meet with Orla and staff from the museum to discussResearch suitable finding aids for this type of material (interns at the museum had started to add identifiers in pencil marks on material)An identification system was needed to let people know what is in the museum and on DRI (maybe an item number added to the “related to” field of the Dublin Core metadata here), so that they could get access to each document Subject headings The metadata subject heading options for LGBT are varied, but two main ontologies are available and currently in use: Homosaurus and the Library of Congress authorities which are available at https://authorities.loc.gov Example 1: A list of Irish organisations is needed – an archives guide, for how to put names of people (eg egan, orla 1966-)Example 2: there are no “dike bars” in Homosaurus It was found that some of the subject headings that were previously missing from the Library of Congress can be found under a different heading name (for example “Dike Bars” can be found under “Lesbian Bars”). In this case, there can be confusion around what heading should be used, as it may be political or a preference depending on who is being referred to. It has been made clear from the Cork LGBT Archive team that previous attempts to add information were not carried out, as the information was not made available to the person(s) contributing items to the Archive. It is recommended therefore to print out a series (maybe one page list) of possible subject headings (with brief descriptions) that are already either in Homosaurus or on the Library of Congress Subject Headings resource in order to make prompts available to the person who is scanning / contributing material. Digital Repository of Ireland Through investigating what the DRI recommended, it was found that we could scan in high-res JPEG, in TIFF and PDF. The latter is an acceptable format, even though PDF/A is preferred. A number of smaller issues also arose when discussing the PDF format. Without the Adobe Pro software to rotate PDFS, a previous staff member would get her partner to rotate the PDF instead. In a previous batch ingest for the DRI, the Cork LGBT Archive team had utilised a file for the operation. Similar to the audit of the state of the Cork LGBT Archive then, the Archive’s presence on the DRI resource needed to be understood. Part of this understanding was to investigate the system that was set up for workflow in previous ingests. For a start, it was determined that this involved DCMES xml files Another minor issue was to define a method for file naming, as this had not been made clear. It was determined that complying to a standard was best, and this involved some important rules. A helpful guide for best practices is located here:https://libguides.princeton.edu/c.php?g=102546&p=930626 At this point 397 items were already on the Cork LGBT Archive website A question to be asked was: how were booklet PDF’s originally made, and what was the process? Could it be that we use this process: Scan > Save as images > Open Acrobat > Add images > Send to DRI > Save in archive? For the new scanner that was acquired, we needed to think about PDF/A and the auto-rotate feature. Our scanner (Epson WorkForce DS-50000) facilitated both PDF/A creation, and auto-rotate. It also came with a “Dual Image Output”. However, there were other problems with this workflow. The process of cropping images manually was used in the older version of this scanner software, but did not seem to be available to us in the newer model. Test scans revealed some issues with the auto-crop, which will be explored in the next blog post. Conclusion In all, the first weeks of this project demonstrated a wide variety of different processes at work, and a lot of variables to manage. Within each stage of the process (from box to digital repository), there were specific challenges and a number of “to do” lists, each one having a potential impact. On the other hand, this archive is not represented by any institution, and so there is a great deal of flexibility on what can happen with material and the workflow that is involved with the project. This has been the interesting part of the Cork LGBT Archive, and gives it an “edge”. More to come in the next blog post! [...]
February 9, 2021In January 2021, Dr Egan worked with the Department of Digital Humanities and the Department of Music in UCC to create a web resource, www.ArtisticDoctorateResources.com which required a novel digital visualisation for a text-heavy website navigation. In order to achieve this, the Javascript library D3JS was used by implementing a version of a force layout. The existing D3 . More on that type of visualisation can be seen here. The resultant visualisation can be seen below and is available to developers at: https://github.com/rootseire/forceCluster rootseire.github.io/forceCluster [...]
July 2, 2020Since graduating with minor corrections in his PhD research, Patrick has been writing articles for publication in digital humanities, interdisciplinary studies and ethnomusicology. His latest article has been submitted for peer review. A word cloud that hints at its contents can be explored below. [...]
February 22, 2020R is a free software environment for statistics and graphics. Alongside Python, it is one of the most popular tools used for statistical analysis. R was released in 1995 and the current version is 3.1.3. As of 2018, Python is still an extremely popular programming language, but R has been rising in popularity of late, according to the Tiobe Index. https://www.tiobe.com/tiobe-index/r/ A word of caution however – the popularity of programming languages can change quite rapidly within the space of a year. R vs Python One of the main differences between R and Python is that instead of being a general purpose tool, its main focus is on statistics. Therefore, it enables features for powerful data visualisation that are not possible elsewhere. Another difference is that Python focuses on code readability, whereas R comes with support for user friendly data analysis. Why Learn R? There are numerous advantages to learning R. It is easier for beginners who want to explore, as you can setup a model within a few lines of code. In other programming languages and tools, you would have to carry out a number of tasks in order to get something up and running. By seeing the possibilities of your code early on, you can imagine and understand the possibilities sooner rather than later. Part I: Getting Started with R This first tutorial will guide you through the basics of R through to an example from them of how to get it to work. We will run through an example download, setup and run of the software. In part II, we will then look at using a CSV file with R in order to understand how to use real-world examples. There are two ways to install and use R, one is with the R Studio, available at https://www.rstudio.com/. R Studio is an Integrated Development Environment (IDE) which basically allows you to use a source code editor, build automation tools and provides a way to debug your code. Why use the console version then? The main reason for using the console is that the IDE is normally used by developers for making programs, but in this tutorial we only want to run some lines of code to see what is possible – so we don’t need all the extra add-ons. If involved in a large project, it would then make sense to have the extras of the IDE. For this tutorial, you can use a any text editor (such as Notepad or Text-Edit or even R’s Command-line interface to edit and run an R script). So first off – visit R’s official project homepage. https://www.r-project.org/. You should see this screen: There are a number of different installation packages available depending on your computer setup. To select the correct software from the R website, visit the page https://cloud.r-project.org/ where you will be presented with the following screen: Choose the software download that you need by clicking on the “Download R” link for your computer’s operating system at the top of the page. For demonstration purposes, this tutorial will look at the Windows installation. Once you have picked your own operating system, you will be brought to a page that should have your operating system appear as the heading with the download link for R underneath. As can be seen in the example below, the file we are going to download is about 60Mb in size, so we can select the first link at the top of the page: Once you click on this link this software is downloaded, and you can install it. Run the setup and once you have finished, you should be presented with the following window: Double click on the newly installed software’s icon on your desktop or in the program menu, and the Graphical User Interface for R appears. You can see a menu at the top with a sub-menu  then a “console” which has some copyright and licencing information, followed by some system information and then a cursor with some options. This is where you can communicate with the software. R looks a bit daunting at first, because there are no handy buttons to open files with, and when you click on the “open” button, the only files that can be opened are “R” files or it’s predecessor “S”. The reason for this is that you are supposed to open scripts that are written in R so that you can complete programming operations on your data files, but you are supposed to actually import your data files. To communicate with the software, click inside of the console window and type the command that simply says print ("Hello World") the program should respond like this: print ("hello world") "hello world" Digging Into Data – The Activity of “Old Faithful”  Now that we are getting a response from the program, we will want to do more. To clear the console, simply use the keyboard shortcut, Ctrl+L or on a Mac, Option+Ctrl+L. You can bring up a list of datasets by simply typing data(). This will bring up a window that shows the list of datasets which are already built in (real-world examples which have been downloaded with the software) and some information on them: To load these datasets, simply type the command data(name of dataset) and this command adds that dataset into your console. It doesn’t show it, because data(name of dataset) is simply loading the data. To view these datasets, you only have to type the actual name of them once they are loaded. In this example we loaded the eruption data for Old Faithful by typing data(faithful) and then just faithful You can see the data on the left hand side, inside the console which looks like a database entry – the id of the eruption is in the first column, and the “Waiting time between eruptions and the duration of the eruption for the Old Faithful geyser in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA.” The “Format” of this dataset then is described as “A data frame with 272 observations on 2 variables.”  For more information on what these datasets do, visit the R documentation website at: https://stat.ethz.ch/R-manual/R-devel/library/datasets/html/ These datasets can now be traversed with R commands and visualised in seconds! For example, in the case of Old Faithful, visit the webpage https://stat.ethz.ch/R-manual/R-devel/library/datasets/html/faithful.html and copy all of the code at the bottom of that webpage, it starts off like this: require(stats); require(graphics) f.tit <- “faithful data: Eruptions of Old Faithful” Paste this code into your console window, and observe what it does with the data. The code loads in some graphics and tells R what needs to be drawn. R then plots this data with the graphics and under instruction it produces a visualisation: This simple example shows what can be done using R. Think about your own ideas and what it might be useful for. Try the other examples and see what they show and how the plotting is done. Continue to get an idea for what R is useful for, and then we will try out our own data. More R Commands Return to the console and type ‘summary(faithful)’ to see what this does. Below we can see the minimum, the maximum and the average wait times overall. Interpreting Our Code, Working with Variables (advanced) In order to understand the above code for our graph, we need to go through it line for line (this will help us later when we create our own graphs). f.tit <- “faithful data: Eruptions of Old Faithful” This means that the graph title on the right hand side will be stored as f.tit Think of f.tit simply as shorthand for the sentence Now look at the other code such as “ne60 <- round(e60 <- 60 * faithful$eruptions) faithful$better.eruptions <- ne60 / 60 te <- table(ne60)” These lines of code simply assign values to different parts of the graph that we draw. In the end, they are plotted with x and y axes, title, colours and values. So any time you see <- in a line of code that means that the value on the right hand side is being stored in the value on the left hand side. Once it is stored, it is then called a “variable”. You can access all of your variables by typing 'ls()' To remove any of these variables, simply type ‘rm(name of variable)’ and then type ‘ls()’ again. Part II: Creating Your Own Projects Now that you have went through a setup of R, opened datasets that are built-in and understood what the code is about, we’ll look at a real-world example. Once you have a hang on this second part, you can really start to see how practical examples can be carried out. For this second part, we will download a sample CSV dataset from the World Wide Web, and see what we can do with it. The dataset chosen for this tutorial is “Angling Stands” around Roscommon, a practical (and small) example to work with. It can be found here: https://data.gov.ie/dataset/roscommon-angling-stands1 From this webpage, download the CSV file Roscommon_Angling_Stands.csv, and rename it to file.csv for ease of use. What we need to do now is feed in the CSV file from outside of the R program – to locate the file in a directory on your computer. Before we can access the file, we need to setup a directory. In order to import your data files, you need to set the directory where R is going to look for them. In some cases it is best to create a folder on your C: drive. Go onto your start menu and open “My Computer”. When Windows Explorer opens up, double-click on C: and create a new folder in there called “RData”: Now return to the R program, clear the screen CTRL+L or Option+Ctrl+L and in the command section type: setwd("C:/RData") – this sets the current working directory to RData (where you will store file.csv) getwd() – shows the current directory that R is pointing towards list.files() – shows the current list of files within that directory The setwd has now set the current working directory of the R software to the new folder created on the C: drive. Put the Roscommon Angling file (which you renamed to file.csv earlier in this tutorial) into the RData directory on the C: drive. You can now read that file into the console by typing: myData <- read.csv(“C:/RData/file.csv”, header=TRUE) This will add your data to the software’s memory, in shorthand (or variable) as myData. It can now be read by the software in different ways. See if you can access it – here are some examples: myData – view all of your data head(myData) – shows the column headers for your data with some data myData – all of the rows between 1 and 20 plus the columns names(myData) – shows the columns only Just as in Excel where you can view and edit data based on columns and rows, you can run a line of code in R to see a similar type of layout. Here is that line: fix("myData") Mapping with Leaflet Our file.csv contains a number of different latitudinal and longitudinal co-ordinates. Next thing we are going to do is to plot these points in R in combination with LeafletJS, an open-source mapping tool. R brings the processed data, Leaflet brings the mapping software. Our file.csv is already loaded into memory and waiting to be processed, we can now add the leaflet package. Adding Leaflet In the R GUI, go to Packages>Install Package(s) In the next window, select “UK”, and then in the following window, scroll down and double click on “leaflet” It will begin loading up the package. Once this has installed, return to the console window and type: library(leaflet) There should be no response, only that the cursor moves onto a new line. If so, now we are ready to combine file.csv with leafletJS. To create a new map simply type the following: newmap=leaflet() newmap=addTiles(newmap) newmap = addProviderTiles(newmap, provider = "CartoDB.Positron") newmap=setView(newmap, lng =-8.18333, lat=53.63333, zoom=15) To view this new map simply type newmap Congratulations – You have created your first map with R and Leaflet! You can change the BaseMap simply by editing the “CartoDB.Positron” above, and running that same line of code. Have a look at your options on the right hand side over at this page: http://leaflet-extras.github.io/leaflet-providers/preview/ So now that this is working, we want to read in the markers in order to populate this map. First we will create one marker to test. Copy and paste the code below into your console window and hit enter: newmap=addMarkers(newmap, lng =-8.18333, lat=53.63333, popup="Roscommon") If that runs ok, that’s one marker completed. Go ahead and test your map with the “newmap” command to see if it shows up. To fill everything in from the csv file, just copy and paste the following code in the same way: newmap=addMarkers(newmap, lng = myData$WGS84Longitude, lat =myData$WGS84Latitude, popup = paste("Name:", myData$Name, " ", "Type:", myData$Type)) Summary and Full code for part II: Download the CSV (from https://data.gov.ie/dataset/roscommon-angling-stands8b404) Rename it file.csv Create a folder on the C: drive called RData Copy and paste the file.csv into RData folder In R: setwd(“C:/RData”) myData- read.csv(“C:/RData/file.csv”, header=TRUE) library(leaflet) newmap=leaflet() newmap=addTiles(newmap) newmap = addProviderTiles(newmap, provider = “CartoDB.Positron”) newmap=setView(newmap, lng=-8.1333, lat=53.65333, zoom=10) newmap=addMarkers(newmap, lng = myData$WGS84Longitude, lat =myData$WGS84Latitude, popup = paste(“Name:”, myData$Name, ” “, “Type:”, myData$Type)) This is just one of the many ways you can work with R. Have a look at the other tutorials online, such as at The Programming Historian which shows how to work with Tabular Data: https://programminghistorian.org/lessons/r-basics-with-tabular-data. What other ways can we get R to help us with datasets? [...]
February 21, 2020Title: Exploring ethnography and digital visualisation: a study of musical practice through the contextualisation of music related projects from the Seán Ó Riada Collection. PhD Thesis, University College Cork. Abstract: This thesis explores how cultural data of musical practice is contextualised during the process of digital visualisation and ethnographic research. The investigation utilises a two-pronged approach to examine music related projects from an archive, the Seán Ó Riada Collection, and focuses on how mid-twentieth century Irish artist Seán Ó Riada rose to prominence. Humanities scholars and digital humanists are increasingly engaged with digital technology in their work. Although ethnography and digital visualisation have often been used in research, both processes are beginning to be used in tandem. This project makes an original contribution to the scholarly literature through interrogations of how a hybrid of concepts and methodologies drawn from digital humanities and ethnomusicology may work in tandem or may be complementary. Practice theory is advanced as a suitable methodology for historical analysis, facilitating an investigation of musical practice in order to reveal evidence of change or continuity during the development of Seán Ó Riada’s career. Analysis of music related documents discovered within the Collection is framed by the circumstances through which projects were rehearsed and presented to audiences in a number of different mediums. I argue that the development of digital datasets and iterations of visualisation enable more informed questions and suitable theories to emerge when engaging with the contents of archival collections. I also argue that as a result of this activity, the selection process for suitable methodology and theory (such as event-based research) are important considerations when attempting to combine the practices of ethnography and digital humanities. This thesis also examines the complexities that emerge with exploring musical practice with digital cultural data, arguing for deeper engagement with data and digital tools in the structures where they are recombined and represented. Digital practices are perceived as challenging, informative and evolving processes of engagement. The debate concerning the use of more elaborate systems of classification for the representation of cultural data is not solved, instead it is utilised constructively and considered as part of an ongoing, self-reflexive process of research that enables knowledge discovery. In addition, this study introduces a series of semi-structured interviews that were carried out in order to assess the accounts of performance related activities, related by contemporaries and critics of Seán Ó Riada. The ethnographic section of this thesis demonstrates how ethnomusicology contributes to an improved interpretation and understanding of digital data. This study contributes to the ongoing discussion about digital humanities activities in ethnomusicology and ethnomusicology in digital humanities. It demonstrates the use of novel digital processes alongside long-form ethnographic fieldwork to contextualise historic materials in archive collections. Cite: Egan, P., 2019. Exploring ethnography and digital visualisation: a study of musical practice through the contextualisation of music related projects from the Seán Ó Riada Collection. PhD Thesis. Cork: University College Cork. Digital visualisation of Seán Ó Riada’s music-related projects: https://oriada.o-em.org Download here Full description available at https://cora.ucc.ie/handle/10468/9604 [...]
December 12, 2019Datasets from the Library of Congress include all outputs from the Connections in Sound project. The following is a description of these resources, which can be found at www.github.com/rootseire/LC-ITM AFC Sankey Sankey visualisation of audio recordings from the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress Dataset originally created 03/01/2019 UPDATE: Packaged on 04/18/2019 UPDATE: Edited README on 04/18/2019 I. About this Data Set This data set is a snapshot of work that is ongoing as a collaboration between Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies, Patrick Egan and an intern at the Library of Congress in the American Folklife Center. It contains a combination of metadata from various collections that contain audio recordings of Irish traditional music. The development of this dataset is iterative, and it integrates visualizations that follow the key principles of trust and approachability. The project, entitled, “Connections In Sound” invites you to use and re-use this data. The text available in the Items dataset is generated from multiple collections of audio material that were discovered at the American Folklife Center. Each instance of a performance was listed and “sets” or medleys of tunes or songs were split into distinct instances in order to allow machines to read each title separately (whilst still noting that they were part of a group of tunes). The work of the intern was then reviewed before publication, and cross-referenced with the tune index at www.irishtune.info. The Items dataset consists of just over 1000 rows, with new data being added daily in a separate file. The collections dataset contains at least 37 rows of collections that were located by a reference librarian at the American Folklife Center. This search was complemented by searches of the collections by the scholar both on the internet at https://catalog.loc.gov and by using card catalogs. Updates to these datasets will be announced and published as the project progresses. II. What’s included? This data set includes: data-april-2019.zip – zip file containing 2 .CSV files and a README file items – a .CSV containing Media Note, OriginalFormat, On Website, Collection Ref, Missing In Duplication, Collection, Outside Link, Performer, Solo/multiple, Sub-item, type of tune, Tune, Position, Location, State, Date, Notes/Composer, Potential Linked Data, Instrument, Additional Notes, Tune Cleanup. This .CSV is the direct export of the Items Google Spreadsheet collections – a .CSV containing Viewed?, On LOC?, On other website?, Original Format, On Website, Search, Collection, State, Other states, Era / Date, Call Number, Finding Aid Online?, Tune Names?, Tune Details, Quantity of Recordings III. How Was It Created? These data were created by a Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies and an intern on this program over the course of three months. By listening, transcribing, reviewing, and tagging audio recordings, these scholars improve access and connect sounds in the American Folklife Collections by focusing on Irish traditional music. Once transcribed and tagged, information in these datasets is reviewed before publication. IV. Data Set Field Descriptions IV a) Collections dataset field descriptions ItemId – this is the identifier for the collection that was found at the AFC Viewed – if the collection has been viewed, or accessed in any way by the researchers. On LOC – whether or not there are audio recordings of this collection available on the Library of Congress website. On Other Website – if any of the recordings in this collection are available elsewhere on the internet Original Format – the format that was used during the creation of the recordings that were found within each collection Search – this indicates the type of search that was performed in order that resulted in locating recordings and collections within the AFC Collection – the official title for the collection as noted on the Library of Congress website State – The primary state where recordings from the collection were located Other States – The secondary states where recordings from the collection were located Era / Date – The decade or year associated with each collection Call Number – This is the official reference number that is used to locate the collections, both in the urls used on the Library website, and in the reference search for catalog cards (catalog cards can be searched at this address: https://memory.loc.gov/diglib/ihas/html/afccards/afccards-home.html) Finding Aid Online? – Whether or not a finding aid is available for this collection on the internet b) Items dataset field descriptions id – the specific identification of the instance of a tune, song or dance within the dataset Media Note – Any information that is included with the original format, such as identification, name of physical item, additional metadata written on the physical item Original Format – The physical format that was used when recording each specific performance. Note: this field is used in order to calculate the number of physical items that were created in each collection such as 32 wax cylinders. On Webste? – Whether or not each instance of a performance is available on the Library of Congress website Collection Ref – The official reference number of the collection Missing In Duplication – This column marks if parts of some recordings had been made available on other websites, but not all of the recordings were included in duplication (see recordings from Philadelphia Céilí Group on Villanova University website) Collection – The official title of the collection given by the American Folklife Center Outside Link – If recordings are available on other websites externally Performer – The name of the contributor(s) Solo/multiple – This field is used to calculate the amount of solo performers vs group performers in each collection Sub-item – In some cases, physical recordings contained extra details, the sub-item column was used to denote these details Type of item – This column describes each individual item type, as noted by performers and collectors Item – The item title, as noted by performers and collectors. If an item was not described, it was entered as “unidentified” Position – The position on the recording (in some cases during playback, audio cassette player counter markers were used) Location – Local address of the recording State – The state where the recording was made Date – The date that the recording was made Notes/Composer – The stated composer or source of the item recorded Potential Linked Data – If items may be linked to other recordings or data, this column was used to provide examples of potential relationships between them Instrument – The instrument(s) that was used during the performance Additional Notes – Notes about the process of capturing, transcribing and tagging recordings (for researcher and intern collaboration purposes) Tune Cleanup – This column was used to tidy each item so that it could be read by machines, but also so that spelling mistakes from the Item column could be corrected, and as an aid to preserving iterations of the editing process V. Rights statement The text in this data set was created by the researcher and intern and can be used in many different ways under creative commons with attribution. All contributions to Connections In Sound are released into the public domain as they are created. Anyone is free to use and re-use this data set in any way they want, provided reference is given to the creators of these datasets. VI. Creator and Contributor Information Creator: Connections In Sound Contributors: Library of Congress Labs VII. Contact Information Please direct all questions and comments to Patrick Egan via www.twitter.com/mrpatrickegan or via his website at www.patrickegan.org. You can also get in touch with the Library of Congress Labs team via LC-Labs@loc.gov. [...]
August 22, 2019The latest news on Patrick’s research: Patrick Egan is a scholar and musician from Ireland, who has just served as a Fellow in Digital Studies at the Kluge Center in the Library of Congress and is now on a Fulbright Tech Impact scholarship. He has recently submitted his PhD in digital humanities with ethnomusicology in at University College Cork. Patrick’s interests over the past number of years have focused on ways to creatively use descriptive data in order to re-imagine how research is conducted with archival collections. Throughout 2019, Patrick has had a number of digital projects underway under the working title, Connections in Sound. Patrick is sharing data about recordings of Irish traditional music collected and held by the American Folklife Center (AFC). Patrick’s research aims to understand more fully the role that archives and collections might play in the lives of performers, as a result of the digital turn. He’s created a number of prototypes for exploring the collections and some examples can be seen below. Patrick agreed to share his research and these ongoing digital projects with the public as he creates them and he’s interested in receiving feedback from researchers and the Irish traditional music community. Visualisations: Pathways to the collections that contain Irish traditional music at the American Folklife Center: https://bit.ly/30qrZgv Irish born emigrants in the US (1850-1980) and locations of collections that were discovered during the “Connections in Sound” project: https://bit.ly/2HkjtYN Patrick is conducting a survey of Irish traditional music in North America, with specific reference to the use of sound files on the internet and with the websites of archives. A visualisation of results so far is shown below, with over 439 responses and counting. This survey is online and open until the end of October. If you are involved with Irish traditional music in North America, responses are greatly encouraged at this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/B7F626T These projects are work-in-progress. You can follow Patrick as he documents his fellowships on Twitter. Comment and share your ideas with him there or in the comments below. A final note from Patrick: “This research is digital and cultural in nature, and community feedback is greatly encouraged and much appreciated.” Patrick is sharing his work in a number of ways. He is documenting his research and thoughts via Open Science Framework. You can dig into his wiki activity and explore the collections data for yourself. You can find code for these visualizations at Patrick’s GitHub account here. Event: Revealing and uniting hidden recordings of Irish traditional music  During his time here as a Kluge Fellow in Digital Studies and Fulbright Tech Impact scholar, Patrick Egan’s project, Connections in Sound has been focused on experimental ways to re-combine archived audio material in the digital age. On Thursday 29th August 2019 at 12pm in Library of Congress room LJ119, Patrick will be in conversation with staff from the American Folklife Center and digital experts about the audio collections that contain Irish traditional music. He will also present some digital visualizations and digital infrastructures that he is using for linking music recordings, and finish with a performance of Irish traditional music with local DC musicians. More about this event here: https://www.loc.gov/item/event-397418/revealing-and-uniting-hidden-recordings-of-irish-traditional-music/2019-08-29/ Check out this inspiring TED talk by Jaron Lanier on “how we need to remake the internet”. [...]
November 13, 2018Timeline tools have become very popular within the digital humanities. From the dhresources website, here are a few that are well known to DHers: ChronoZoom timelines Dipity (timeline infographics) Histropedia (“Discover a new way to visualise Wikipedia. Choose from over 1.5 million events to create and share timelines in minutes”) Simile Widgets (embeddable code for visualizing time-based data, including Timeline, Timeplot, Runway, and Exhibition) Tiki-Toki (web-based platform for creating timelines with multimedia; capable of “3D” timelines) Timeline Builder (online tool for building interactive Flash-based timelines from the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media) Timemap (“Javascript library to help use online maps, including Google, OpenLayers, and Bing, with a SIMILE timeline. The library allows you to load one or more datasets in JSON, KML, or GeoRSS onto both a map and a timeline simultaneously”) Timeline JS (the Knight Lab’s “open-source tool that enables anyone to build visually rich, interactive timelines. Beginners can create a timeline using nothing more than a Google spreadsheet…. Experts can use their JSON skills to create custom installations, while keeping TimelineJS’s core functionality”)   Timeline JS is an open source timeline tool that was built by designers, developers, scholars and professors at Northwestern University. The initiative is known as Knightlab, a space dedicated to the creation and development of open source software. It’s slogan is “Beautifully crafted timelines that are easy, and intuitive to use”. TimelineJS basically allows you to upload event data and embed it on your webpage through the use of their software, albeit with a few options for display which are provided by them. The content is also embedded fully responsively. This means that you will have a decent display of the timeline you create on any device or browser window. The content for Timeline JS is fed through to it by Google Sheets, basically Excel online. The types of data it accepts are text, images, audio, maps and audio-visual material among others (see list of media types here: https://timeline.knightlab.com/docs/media-types.html). Below is an example of a fully integrated timeline. The gallery style display makes each individual event a show piece of its own. As you click through the timeline, it shows the next or previous event in relation to its position on the timeline below each item. The timeline is also zoomable. On the left hand side of the image above, you can see the magnifying glasses for zooming into an item or zooming out. This is very helpful if for instance you have a large amount of data spanning the timeline. To test out the software, follow these steps: Make sure you are logged into your Google account first. Visit the website at https://timeline.knightlab.com Click on “Get the Spreadsheet Template“. Once the template is open, click on “Use This Template“. Select most of the data which has already been entered and delete it from your new template. This will allow you to take control of data and see where your own entries are placed. Add your own event information into the template – make sure you fill in Dates, Headline and Text. Adding start and end dates will allow your events to run for a specific amount of time rather than one specific event. For more on adding content, visit this link: https://timeline.knightlab.com/docs/using-spreadsheets.html The media section allows you to add links to media files online. Once you have a few events added, you need to make the file public. Go to File > Publish to Web. The window that appears will give you the message “Make your content visible to anyone by publishing it to the web. You can link to or embed your document”. For this tutorial you want to click Publish right away. Next, it will show you a message, “are you sure you want to publish this selection?”, you can click OK. You will then be given a URL that needs to be copied. Copy the link that is at the top of your browser window (in the address bar of the browser). Return to the page https://timeline.knightlab.com/ and go to Step 3, paste the new url into the box labelled “Google Spreadsheet URL“. Change some of the options such as size, font or the default starting slide. Check out the Irish language setting that I have added to the open source code for example! Once you are happy with those options, scroll down to the button “Preview“. Use this button to check out your new timeline. If all looks good, you can embed this new timeline in your website. Now, every time you update your Google Spreadsheet, you will see the timeline updated automatically, saving you time because you don’t have to republish the timeline after updating the data. So as you can see in this test example, TimelineJS allows us to create visual representations of our work over time in a really quick way. Have a look at other Timeline tools out there and see what advantages they have over TimelineJS and what is possible. http://www.publishinglab.nl/dekunstvandekritiek/wp-content/uploads/sites/4/2015/04/ArchiNed_Comparison-chart.pdf https://storymap.knightlab.com http://timeglider.com http://simile-widgets.org/timeline/ [...]
February 14, 2017Example Timelines: There are a host of tools available to visualise your data using timelines. Some of these examples afford different levels of flexibility depending on your needs. Some of the more sophisticated ones include: TimelineJS (http://timeline.knightlab.com) TimeLineCurator (http://bit.ly/2lGTtxw) TimeMapper: (http://timemapper.okfnlabs.org) Chronos Timeline: http://hyperstudio.mit.edu/software/chronos-timeline/   Introduction To D3 D3, created by former New York Times developer Mike Bostock, is an abbreviation for Data Driven Documents. Here is a good example of it in use: https://www.nytimes.com/elections/results/president It began in 2011 as a library of code written in Javascript that enables you to create interactive visualizations in web browsers. Currently in version 4.5, it works by using HTML5 and CSS alongside Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG). D3 allows you to control the result of the representation of your data by giving you the freedom to grab selections of your data and control how it outputs on the browser. Examples of D3 In order to get going with D3, most developers recommend that you ‘dive in’ and use some of the examples that appear on the http://bl.ocks.org/ website. There are thousands of examples of D3 in use. On this website, developers have displayed their projects, added a description of what they do, and provided code with some sample data. You can re-use this code and add your own data to see how the code works. If you change some of the values in the code, you will be able to see the possibilities you will have for your own visualisations. Here is a quick example of how to get D3 working. First the HTML code: D3 Hello World   Then we add script tags inside the code goes here... tags like so: <script src="http://d3js.org/d3.v3.min.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript">   d3.select("body").style("background", "#efefef").append("p").text("Hello World"); </script> Save this as example.html and upload to your hosting space if you haven’t got a server installed on your machine. The result should look like this: Play around with the values defined above to see how D3 changes the output. Next, we’ll plot some arbitrary data in the browser.Take for example three countries with income, life expectancy and population. We are going to plot these values to get an interactive graph. <script src="http://d3js.org/d3.v3.min.js"></script> See how the code above constructs the graph. Some of it is self explanatory, but make sure you know what it does before moving on. Save this file as d3-example.html and it should produce a visualisation like this: http://patrickegan.org/d3-example.html Timelines With D3 In some projects, D3 allows you to create timelines by drawing X and Y axes, adding time markers and then it allows you to feed your data into this timeline using HTML elements. A good example of this would be Timeline For D3 – Proof of Concept by user “Reinhard Rengel” http://bl.ocks.org/rengel-de/5603464. This particular timeline is based on the popular open-source visualisation Simile Timeline from 2005 that was created’ by ‘David François Huynh’ available here: http://www.simile-widgets.org/timeline/   Visit the url http://bl.ocks.org/rengel-de/5603464 and follow the instructions for “Create your own timelines”. To create your own timeline, you need: A data file (see ‘The file structure’ above). The file ‘timeline.js’; download and put into your working directory or on your path. The file ‘timeline.css’; download and put into your working directory or on your path; change settings according to your preferences. Use ‘index.html’ (without comments) as a template and put in your filenames and paths. *Hint: When copying these files to your own computer, you will need to have a server. If you haven’t got WAMP or XAMPP installed, you can still try out this code online. I would recommend you put the copied files on your own hosted website (such as Reclaim Hosting), or else use JSFiddle.net This is just one example of many hundreds of different ways that you can use D3 for interactivity. As you can see from the same website (https://bl.ocks.org/) there are many ways to visualise your data. [...]
October 25, 2016The following video tutorial will aid your understanding of how to add categories in the “Pages” section of your WordPress dashboard. There is also some information on how to add these categories to your main navigation menu. http://bit.ly/2kGQEIu Disabling Top Level Links in WordPress Following some recent requests for information on how to disable the top-level links in WordPress, I would suggest you read this article on the Stack Exchange (SE) website. SE is a resource where you can exchange information related to web development. As you can see there are many different ways to disable your website visitors clicking through to your top level menu items. However, the solution that I would recommend that you use is to use jQuery code: jQuery(document).ready(function( $ ) { $(‘#your-menu-item>a’).click(function(e) { e.preventDefault(); }); }); Which you should strip using Notepad on Windows or Text Wrangler on Mac. Make sure the single quotations are properly formatted when editing in either of these text editors. #your-menu-item will the id of the element where you want to make sure the user cannot click. To find this code, right click on one of the top level items in the main navigation on any of your pages, and then select “inspect element”. See below where I studied the layout of my theme and found that each top level item has a unique ID. In this case I targeted #menu-item-35. When I add this to the jQuery, the top level item will no longer be clickable. Save the code above as a file called script.js in the “js” directory of your website theme folder. You can find this directory by logging into your hosting account (Reclaim hosting for example) and accessing the file manager of your site. Then navigate to the folder where your theme’s files are stored. In my account they are stored here: wp-content>themes>your-theme>js and save it in there. Once you have saved your file here, you need to tell your WordPress theme to access this file. So login to the backend of your site, www.yoursite.com/wp-admin. On the menu to the left, hover the mouse over “Appearance”. Scroll down to “Editor” and click on it. Now on the right hand side look for a file called “function.php”. Click on this file. Then paste the following code in there after the first line of code that says <?php function add_js() { wp_enqueue_script( ‘script’, get_template_directory_uri() . ‘/js/script.js’, array( ‘jquery’ ), ‘1.0.0’, true ); } add_action( ‘wp_enqueue_scripts’, ‘add_js’ ); This will activate the javascript file in your WordPress theme, and you should now be able to see that the top level link does not allow clicks to go through.   Stack: The term used to refer to stacks of software for Web development environments. These stacks, usually open source, will contain your computer, the server, a database and a programming language. One of the most most well-known web stacks is LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) but there are other versions like XAMMP and WAMP. [...]
September 27, 2016(For Zotero version 4.0.29.1) Introduction What is Zotero? How do you use Zotero? And, how can a researcher get the most out of it? In recent weeks, I have been sending out questionaires my colleagues who are pursuing MAs, PhDs and postgraduate studies. I wanted to know how people organise their research. I asked them some simple questions about how they go about their daily business. In many cases I found that people (just as I am) are still using folders and MS Word on their computers to organise research materials and references. There are also a small number of software programs that most people like to use. Zotero has, without a doubt, been the most popular tool mentioned. However, in some cases, researchers have returned to me after I interviewed them with questions like, “is there an easy way to manage citations and bibliography?”Apparently we still need to address the question, “Why and how would you use Zotero?” Zotero, as suggested by the company website, is a free, easy-to-use tool to help you collect, organize, cite, and share your research sources. They even have the phonetic translation for those of us who would feel embarassed getting the name wrong: Zotero . The software models itself as a “personal research assistant”. On the website, the merits of using the software are described as follows; “Zotero is the only research tool that automatically senses content in your web browser, allowing you to add it to your personal library with a single click. Whether you’re searching for a preprint on arXiv.org, a journal article from JSTOR, a news story from the New York Times, or a book from your university library catalog, Zotero has you covered with support for thousands of sites.” It all seems so easy and straight forward. The homepage explains how you can “add” PDFs, images audio and video, make snapshots of web pages and “really anything else” so that you can find exactly what you are looking for with just a few keystrokes. But what after that? How does the researcher get the most out of it from there, where does it fit into the writing process, and what extras allow you to feel like you are using the software in a correct and efficient way? The following posts aim to address these questions, explore how to combine Zotero with writing in MS Word in the MLA style, and finish out with an overview of its advantages over traditional research management methods. Why now? I started using Zotero in 2012, at the beginning of my research at King’s College, London. I was previously using folders on my laptop which just grew and then became categorised until I could not decide which folders to reference by date, and which folders to reference by subject or by researchers. I also had other folders for certain conferences and folders for places where fieldwork was carried out. When I downloaded Zotero it became both a help and a hindrance. Finally, here was a way to bring all my work together in a dedicated program, easily. But as I was using it I found it to be really buggy, and it often slowed down on my computer. Sometimes it would not work properly when I tried to re-access material. It was slow to start up, and wasn’t compatible with all browsers. On top of that I was then using a new system alongside the good old folders. Which one to choose? The good news: since 2012, Zotero has gotten better, and there are some new improvements which really make it stand out from before. In particular, it has improved in speed and this means that saving references quickly and effectively while you work can become a reality. Starting With Zotero and the “connector” A very straightforward tutorial on getting it installed can be found here: One of the most important points in this “getting started” tutorial is that you install the “Zotero connector” extension on your browser so that you can create references in a more accurate manner. 1) Install Zotero Standalone from this link 2) Install Chrome browser here 3) Search for the connector plugin and add it to your browser “extensions” by visiting this url: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/category/extensions?hl=en-US 4) Restart your browser (use Chrome), fire up Zotero, and check them out. The Zotero Structure – Collections The basic structure of Zotero is that it allows you to create a bunch of folders which are then seen as “collections”. The difference between Zotero and simply creating folders on your computer for your research is that Zotero allows you to save your documents and citations inside of multiple collections (folders) at the same time – you don’t have to move them around between folders when you think your documents might belong in more than one collection. To understand how to manage these collections, check out this screencast: https://www.zotero.org/support/screencast_tutorials/collections Most of the time when I see something I need to cite, I can save snapshots of webpages by right-clicking anywhere in the page and selecting “Save Page to Zotero”, but you can also simply click on the button next to the address bar and it saves automatically. But here is the catch – Zotero will be useful to you depending on how you save your references. For me, the goal of using Zotero is to get my references into Zotero and then prime them for use as footnotes in Word when I begin writing. If you are going this route, you should make sure that your referencing style matches exactly every time you export a reference from Zotero to Word. I usually check my reference on www.citefast.com to see that the exported Zotero items correspond with the MLA 7th Edition style. Saving in Zotero – Youtube clip example First thing to remember when saving items is that on many websites the icons show up differently depending on the type of website or the content in the webpage that you are on. What you need to understand is what goes on when you click on the button that shows up in the browser and also which option is best to select when you right-click on a webpage. For example, if you visit www.youtube.com and hover over the Zotero button on the top right, you will find that it doesn’t ask you to save the web page, but instead Save to Zotero (Embedded Metadata). Here is how that button will look: If you then view a Youtube clip, a different button will appear – “Save to Zotero (Youtube)” like this: The second button saves the reference as a type “video recording” – along with all metadata which is embedded with the uploaded clip. The advantage of this method is that when you want to access this video again, you can double click on the reference in Zotero and it will open the address of the reference that you saved correctly in the browser without having to copy and paste anything. However, the problem with using the metadata button to save is that it will save as metadata in the Info panel, and when the time comes to writing, your reference will not export neatly into Word. So instead of clicking on this button, I usually right click the webpage, and with “Zotero Connector” I am then allowed to Save as Webpage. This can then be exported as a footnote perfectly formatted (for the purposes of this article in MLA format). Saving references as webpages allows me to access the url in the info panel anyway, so I tend to use this button most. Saving to Zotero correctly for future use of footnotes Saving References in Zotero – JSTOR example JSTOR has it sorted when it comes to citation – visit their site and you’ll see a “cite” button beside any article which brings up MLA, APA and Chicago styles. They also have export for RefWorks, RIS and Text formats. When I first starting using Zotero, I chose to “Export a RIS file” which downloaded onto my computer (apparently you can easily create references when using this method). I then went to Zotero standalone and clicked on File > Import and added the RIS file. This seemed for a while to be the most straightforward method – below is the resultant footnote (the only difference is the word “Web” being used in Zotero references instead of Print which is more appropriate for articles in MLA) Prince, J. Dyneley. ‘Slav and Celt’. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 59.3 (1920): 184–193. Print. Prince, J. Dyneley. “Slav and Celt.” Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society 59.3 (1920): 184-93. Web. Unfortunately I found out when using this method that it creates a new collection (folder) in My Library of Zotero for the RIS file, as if I didn’t already have enough of these collections! However, if you right click on the webpage on JSTOR’s website (in Chrome) and select Save to Zotero (JSTOR) from the connector menu, the reference will save as a “Journal Article”. In this way you are also saving the reference exactly as you will want it for MLA. Saving from the JSTOR website So these are just two examples of the types of saving that you must understand before you can get the best out of Zotero. Helpful tips: Identifying Collections an Item is In To see all the collections an item is in, select the item and then hold down the Option (OS X), Control (Windows) or Alt key (Linux). Keep the key pressed. After a brief delay, this highlights all the collections that contain the item. 2. Unfiled Items Items that are not in any collection can be found in the “Unfiled Items” folder found under “My Library”. This folder can also be selected by right-clicking “My Library” and selecting “Show Unfiled Items”. In my post next time, I will go into more examples, see what it looks like in MS Word, and then finish off with an discussion on the tips, tricks and advantages of Zotero. Let me know what your thoughts are, especially what might be improved in this article, by adding a comment below (note you need to click on submit once and then refresh the page for comments to be seen). Click on the “subscribe” button to be notified of the next article in the series. [...]
June 28, 2015Welcome. This site has been setup to share some of my activities as a digital humanist, ethnomusicologist, web developer, educator and musician. I am currently fellow in digital studies at the Kluge Center (Library of Congress, Washington DC) and also a Fulbright scholar (2019). I recently completed my PhD at University College Cork, Ireland. This project (2014-2018) focused on exploring a library’s special collection, the “Seán Ó Riada Collection” at University College Cork in Ireland. In my research, I am interested in the ways by which we can explore these types of collections with the use of ethnography and digital visualisation. My current project based at the Kluge Center (January 2019 – August 2019) explores ways to reveal hidden field recordings from collections of Irish traditional music, with the goal of connecting and understanding them in new and alternative ways. If you have any thoughts, comments or ideas, I would be interested in hearing from you.     Many of the ideas that I express here will not be complete, but i’m constantly revising. Get in touch on the contact page, or tweet at www.twitter.com/mrpatrickegan. [...]
ORCID iD icon https://orcid.org/0000-0002-7400-4923