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Reading List Mashup using Yahoo Pipes
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Reading List Mashup using Yahoo Pipes

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Slides for a talk given by Edith Speller at Middlemash, Birmingham City University, looking at the process of creating a tool to help academics update reading lists.

Slides for a talk given by Edith Speller at Middlemash, Birmingham City University, looking at the process of creating a tool to help academics update reading lists.

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  • Going to talk about a tool which was started at the Mashed Library event in July in Huddersfield during the free afternoon session. I’m talking from perspective of a dabbler – I am interested in coding, mashups and so on but don’t have the time to dedicate to them to become expert. Instead I play around with things when I get the opportunity, and the Mashlib events are great for this.
  • This is what I aim to cover in the next 15 minutes.
  • Our college has externally validated degrees, and this year its courses were revalidated by a new university. The uni commented that the reading lists were a bit out of date and could do with revision (familiar?). We particularly want to encourage the use of our journal subscriptions when revising the reading lists. I thought it would be good to give our academics a starting point by analysing each course’s existing reading list and using the content to generate suggested searches.
  • RILM is a great database which abstracts music literature – ideal for my college.Give it a go! (felt that as this is my first talk, and only 15 min long, a live demo was a Bad Idea!).
  • These are the stages we went through on the day to create the tool. Input = reading list data – I knew I could get this in a rudimentary RSS format from my library’s catalogue, but hadn’t yet done the custom work required. However I had set up feeds for new items, including one for new books, so we chose to use this as a proof of concept.Output = We scaled this back – originally a list of results from carrying out suggested searches, we decided instead to provide a list of suggested searches which the user can click on to execute.Magic = the tricky bit! We decided Yahoo Pipes would allow us to manipulate the data.
  • Not going into too much detail – Tony will demo Pipes later!Pictured is the Keywords pipe: Fetch feed from entered URL Regex: Use a regularexpression (eek!) to extract the subject Unique/Sort/Truncate: Get the top 3 subjects by filtering non-unique items, which adds a count of how many times each subject appears, then sorting and snipping off the top 3. Sub-element/Create RSS:Make the subject terms into a new RSS feed RILM pipe (not pictured): Takes in output of the keywords pipe, reformatsdata, then builds the search URLs using the cleaned search terms.Output – three-item RSS feed with the title ‘Search RILM for x’, linking to the search URL. Could build more pipes: use subjects to create searches for other resources.
  • Next weekI’m giving a half-hour training session to academic staff on revising reading lists, covering searching relevant literature indexes, current awareness etc, so that’s when I’ll see what the target audience think of the tool. Wish me luck!
  • Here’s some other ideas for utilising existing reading lists - thanks to Tony Hirst who commented with these ideas after I blogged about the tool.
  • Thanks, attempt to answer questions, etc. 
  • Transcript

    • 1. Mashing Reading Lists
      Using resources you’ve got to suggest something new
      (a work in progress by a mash-up dabbler)
      Edith Speller
      Librarian (Systems and User Education)
      Trinity College of Music
      espeller@tcm.ac.uk
      @wiilassie
    • 2. In 15 minutes...
      The problem
      The solution
      Getting between the two (with the help oftalented Mash Oop North participants)
      The reaction..?
    • 3. The problem
      Module reading lists too static; getting out-of-date
      University validating our courses advised revision
      We wanted to give academic staff a ‘helping hand’ with locating relevant material (and increase use of expensive subscriptions!)
    • 4. The solution
      A tool which examines current reading list items, extracts subject terms and creates suggested searches for a relevant database (RILM)
      Available at http://bit.ly/tcmlists(RSS feeds from http://bit.ly/tcmrss)
      Constructed using Yahoo Pipes in a few hours
    • 5. From problem to solution
      Ask for help! You never know who’s listening
      Plan the mashup:
      Input (data sources)
      Output (what you want at the end)
      ...Magic!
      Figure out which tools to use to get hold of/manipulate the data
      Get mashing!
      (getting from one to the other)
    • 6. Some pipework
    • 7. The reaction..?
      Not yet known...
      Demoing the tool with academic faculty next week (meeting postponed from September)
      Wish me luck!
    • 8. Other possibilities
      Use ISBN of book on current reading list to look up ‘people who bought this also bought that’ recommendations using Amazon webservice;
      Use the Mosaic API to:
      do an ISBN lookup to find the courses associated with people who have borrowed that book;
      use the course codes to look up what other books were borrowed by people on those courses.
      Both ideas written by Tony Hirst (thanks!) – any takers?
    • 9. Questions?
      Thanks to other Mash Oop North team members: Owen Stephens, Fiona Bradley, Nicole Harris and Chris Langham
      Edith Speller
      Librarian (Systems and User Education)
      Trinity College of Music
      espeller@tcm.ac.uk
      @wiilassie