Posts Tagged ‘technology’

LNCD funding available: Technology for Education

Posted on January 31st, 2012 by Paul Stainthorp

From today’s internal communications email to University of Lincoln staff:

Small grants and student bursaries are available to [University of Lincoln] staff and students to support research, teaching and learning initiatives that explore, develop or critique the use of technology for education.

LNCD is a progressive group that includes educational developers, technologists, teachers, researchers and students, and was set up to support the objectives of Student as Producer through the research and development of technology for education.

Small grants and student bursaries are available from LNCD to support work that relates to the use of technology for education. For more details, see the LNCD funding page. The next deadline is February 28th.

USTLG meeting on research data management

Posted on November 29th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

Clare CollegeYesterday I was at Clare College, University of Cambridge for a meeting organised by USTLG, the University Science & Technology Librarians Group. The group—open to any librarians involved with engineering, science or technology in UK universities—has meetings once or twice a year. The theme of yesterday’s meeting (free to attend, thanks to sponsorship from the IEEE) was data management, with an implied focus on research data.

The meeting consisted of a series of presentations (plus a fantastic lunchtime diversion, below) with plenty of time for networking – there were about 40 people there, all with an interest in research data management – though interestingly, a show of hands suggested very few people were actively engaged in looking after their own institution’s researchers’ data.

As usual, this blog post has been partially reconstructed from the Twitter stream (hashtag #ustlg).

First up, Laura Molloy, substituting for Joy Davidson of the Digital Curation Centre (DCC), on a project called the Data Management Skills Support Initiative (DaMSSI), looking at the [shades of information literacy] skills needed by different people involved in the research data curation process. “DaMSSI aims to facilitate the use of tools like Vitae’s Researcher Development Framework (RDF) and the Seven Pillars of Information Literacy model” developed by SCONUL. Key question: how do you assess the effectiveness of research data management training?

Useful links:

Second, Yvonne Nobis of Cambridge’s Central Science Library talked about supporting researchers at Cambridge: data sharing and the role of librarians; including her project—funded through CUL’s Arcadia library staff research scheme—looking at the issues involved in curating not research data per se, but the software code and techniques used to analyse that source data. Key points: [1] there are disincentives (time, and lack of recognition within ones own field) to researchers’ spending time on code/software for research data manipulation. [2] But without that investment in code, the transparency–openness–replicability of computational-data science is at risk. [3] “Librarians are missing a trick” by not engaging in research data software curation issues. Yvonne also talked about the work of the eScience Centre.

Links and articles…

Before lunch we also got a chance to inspect the USTLG’s brand new website (and smashing new logo), at ustlg.org

Then the highlight of the day… we were invited in groups over to go over to the adjacent University Library, where we were treated to a display and commentary on some of Cambridge University’s rare science manuscripts and early printed books. All laid out in a reading room were Isaac Newton’s notebooks containing his notes on the method of fluxions (i.e. early calculus), Darwin’s field notes from the Beagle, Ernest Rutherford’s lab diaries (still slightly radioactive! – “…not ever so, but Health & Safety made us do a risk-assessment…”), plus Prof. Stephen Hawking’s typed and ring-bound first draft of A brief history of time, along with several early printed herbals and a book containing the first known technical drawings (of machines of warfare). Inspiring stuff, and really quite brilliant of them to lay it out for us to see!

In the afternoon—not directly connected with research data, but certainly of interest to the engineers involved in the Orbital project—we heard from Rachel Berrington of the IEEE, about the work of the organisation and some of the planned developments to the IEEE Xplore platform: new journal titles in 2012, a mobile platform, the inclusion of CrossRef data, and new interactive HTML content.

Handful of interesting links:

Finally, a useful presentation from Anna Collins, Research Data and Digital Curation Officer (good job title) for Cambridge’s DSpace repository. Anna spoke about the Incremental project, a joint exercise between Cambridge and the University of Glasgow, aimed at providing a best practice approach to supporting data management techniques amongst research communities. This is really good practical nuts & bolts stuff (e.g. when’s the right time to broach the subject of data curation with a PhD student? Too early, and they won’t care – too late, and the best you can do is help pick up the pieces!). I’ll be recommending my colleagues at Lincoln take a look at the materials on both institution’s websites. Top quote: “be the boss of your hard drive”!

Links from Anna’s presentation:

(An aside: after the USTLG meeting had ended, I was lucky enough to get a quick tour of [about 1% of] the Cambridge University Library, along with a cup of tea in the staff room(!), thanks to a “badly-encoded” colleague. I won’t blog about it in any detail now—hopefully I should be back in Cambridge in January for another Orbital-related event—but it’s just a jaw-dropping library.)

The new USTLG website is at ustlg.org, and you can follow them on Twitter at @USTLG.

HELS bells!

Posted on October 27th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

We have a new structure in ‘my bit’ of the Library, and I’ve got a new boss. Dave Masterson has taken up the brand-new post of Head of Electronic Library Services (HELS), with responsibility over all technical, electronic, systems, and acquisitions/cataloguing services in the Library.

Diagram of the new Library structure

(Diagram of the new Library structure. The new HELS is in blue. My [very small] team and I are in yellow. N.B. that the new HELS post also has dotted-line responsibility for the work of the Academic Subject Librarian for computer science/engineering subjects.)

Congratulations, Dave!

The things that I used to do

Posted on July 29th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

In searching the web the other day, I found this, from 2007. When I was a subject librarian I used to create one of these new book lists every month, writing the HTML and CSS in Notepad. It was time-consuming, but it meant I got to know the collection inside-out.


Off-campus access to 14 engineering journals from IEEE Xplore

Posted on July 22nd, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

These 14 full-text engineering journals from IEEE Xplore are now available from off campus. Lincoln students and staff can log in via Athens, using their university network\accountID and password.

  1. Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on
  2. Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on
  3. Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs, IEEE Transactions on
  4. Control Systems Technology, IEEE Transactions on
  5. Energy Conversion, IEEE Transactions on
  6. Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on
  7. Industry Applications Magazine, IEEE
  8. Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on
  9. Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on
  10. Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on
  11. Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on
  12. Signal Processing, IEEE Transactions on
  13. Smart Grid, IEEE Transactions on
  14. Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on

You can access the IEEE Xplore journals through the Portal and e-journals A-to-Z. (Or, you could try accessing them through the new beta version of the e-journals A-to-Z, launching soon.) If you need any more information about the IEEE Xplore journals, Judith Elkin is the subject librarian for engineering.

10 practical & accessible library technology blogs

Posted on June 17th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

Here are ten of the best practical library tech blogs that I follow. They’re all about technology (ish), but they’re not geeky or inaccessible. Most but not all, are written by people in of UK Higher Education libraries. In case you want to subscribe to them en masse, I’ve bundled them up into an OPML file which you should be able to import into a feed reader (e.g. Google Reader).

Q. Have you got a good library technology blog? Care to share?

  1. Copac Developments
    What’s happening behind the scenes at Copac
  2. Electronic Resources Blog
    Library Services, University of Huddersfield
  3. eLibrary
    eLibrary team, Birmingham City University
  4. Fulup’s blog
    A librarian at De Montfort University
  5. Musings around librarianship
    Aaron Tay, a librarian at the National University of Singapore
  6. NewT Bham – where technology and libraries meet
    New Technologies Group at the University of Birmingham Library
  7. Phil Bradley’s Weblog
    Internet consultant and (2011) CILIP Vice-president
  8. ResourceShelf ResourceBlog
    We find the sources; you get the credit!
  9. “Self-plagiarism is style” – Dave Pattern’s blog
    Library Systems Manager at the University of Huddersfield
  10. UoL Library Blog – develop, debate, innovate
    University of Leicester

New edutech group: what we are and how we’ll work

Posted on May 17th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

From a recent post on Joss Winn’s blog; with no apologies for the cut-and-paste job:

“In January, I [Joss] wrote about how I had written a paper for the university about the role of technology in the context of Student as Producer. The paper included a recommendation that a new team be convened to “further the research, development and support of technology” at the university [...] This was approved.

“I was pleased with the outcome as it means that our current work is being recognised as well as the strategic direction we wish to go in. In terms of resourcing, we will have at least one more full-time (Intern) post and hold a £20K annual budget which will be used to provide grants and bursaries to staff and students, pay for hardware and software as needed and pay for participants to go to conferences to discuss their work and learn from the EdTech community at large. This doesn’t include any external income that we hope to generate.”

The new, as yet unnamed group will include staff from CERD, ICT, the Library, and elsewhere, and will act as a locus for development and support for the use of technology in teaching and learning. We have a timetable for development over this summer (I’ll be writing about that development here). By September…

“…we’ll have a website that offers clear information on what we do, what we’re working on, how to get involved and the ways we can support staff and students at the university. The site will allow you to review all aspects of our projects as well as propose new projects which can be voted up and down according to staff and students’ priority. There will be an application form for you to apply for funding from us and a number of ways for you discuss your ideas on and offline. We’ll be continuing our current provision of staff training, but will be looking to re-develop the sessions into short courses that are useful to both staff and students.”

An important(ish) aspect of the work of the new group will be the way we organise our own work, and the tools we’ll use to plan, manage and document projects in a distributed environment where most of us work in different parts of the university campuses.

“For the Geeks, you might be interested to know that we’ve decided upon a set of tools for managing our work online in a distributed environment where most of us work in different parts of the university campuses [...] We won’t be prescriptive with the tools we adopt, using whatever is appropriate, but with an emphasis on those that offer decent APIs, data portability and good usability.”

On-campus access to 14 engineering journals from IEEE Xplore

Posted on April 20th, 2011 by Paul Stainthorp

The University of Lincoln now has an online subscription to the full text (published since 2005) of a small number of engineering titles from IEEE Xplore, which provides access to the world’s highest quality technical literature in engineering and technology.

These 14 journals are AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS ONLY:

  1. Automatic Control, IEEE Transactions on
  2. Circuits and Systems I: Regular Papers, IEEE Transactions on
  3. Circuits and Systems II: Express Briefs, IEEE Transactions on
  4. Control Systems Technology, IEEE Transactions on
  5. Energy Conversion, IEEE Transactions on
  6. Industrial Electronics, IEEE Transactions on
  7. Industry Applications Magazine, IEEE
  8. Magnetics, IEEE Transactions on
  9. Neural Networks, IEEE Transactions on
  10. Power Electronics, IEEE Transactions on
  11. Power Systems, IEEE Transactions on
  12. Signal Processing, IEEE Transactions on
  13. Smart Grid, IEEE Transactions on
  14. Systems, Man, and Cybernetics, Part B: Cybernetics, IEEE Transactions on

You can access them through the Portal and e-journals A-to-Z. Judith Elkin is the subject librarian for engineering.

Kindred spirits (the computing student as critical friend)

Posted on November 19th, 2010 by Paul Stainthorp

I’ve just finished the second of two Friday afternoon demo-lectures for third-year students in the computing school (covering for my colleague, the subject librarian for Computer Science).

I used to be the point of contact for technology subjects (before I made the move to my current e-resources post), and I’d half-forgotten how enjoyable it can be to talk to a body of students who [in general] understand data and the web, can put forward coherent ideas about improving the University’s online services, and in front of whom I’m more prepared to admit the shortcomings of [insert name of any given library or resource discovery tool here] because I’m less afraid of my words being taken out of context.

I’m not (definitely not) trying to imply that there aren’t students of every stripe and subject who possess this attitude and this level of understanding. Just that computing/technology courses naturally attract a higher concentration of them.

Now, if only we could convince the computing lot to borrow a book from time to time… (I joke! I joke!!!)

I’m sure this relates to the Student as Producer agenda somehow, but pardon me if—this late in the working week—I can’t quite articulate how.

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