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Studying people who can talk back, Meyer 2013 DH at Oxford summer school


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Studying people who can talk back, Meyer 2013 DH at Oxford summer school

  1. 1. Studying People Who Can Talk Back Social Science Insights into the Humanities Dr Eric T. Meyer Research Fellow & DPhil Programme Director @etmeyer Oxford University Summer School, 08 July 2013
  2. 2. Social Informatics -Socio Technical Examining the hyphen
  3. 3. Source:
  5. 5.
  6. 6. Methods Quantitative methods • Webometrics • Web Analytics • Log file analysis • Scientometrics / bibliometrics • Content Analysis • Web 2.0 Qualitative methods • Interviews • Focus groups • User feedback • Referrer analysis • Content Analysis
  7. 7. University of Oxford Podcasts Proceedings of the Old Bailey Online
  8. 8. British History Online Siobhan Davies RePlay
  9. 9. 25 Recommendations, including: 1. Plan ahead to measure impact 4. Make your resource easy to find 9. Adopt Cool URIs 10. Provide automatic citations that are easy to copy or download 12. Create training materials using examples from real research 15. APIs are the future
  10. 10. EXAMPLES Selected
  11. 11. SECT: Sustaining the EEBO-TCP Corpus in Transition Siefring, J. & Meyer, E.T. (2013). Sustaining the EEBO-TCP Corpus in Transition: Report on the TIDSR Benchmarking Study. London: JISC. Available online: Bodleian Libraries
  12. 12. Usage Statistics (ProQuest) 0 50000 100000 150000 200000 250000 Jan-04 Jun-04 Nov-04 Apr-05 Sep-05 Feb-06 Jul-06 Dec-06 May-07 Oct-07 Mar-08 Aug-08 Jan-09 Jun-09 Nov-09 Apr-10 Sep-10 Feb-11 Searches Sessions Page Image Views Text Views
  13. 13. When accessing EEBO-TCP, which of the following interfaces have you used? 6.3% 7.7% 14.4% 34.6% 39.4% 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% JISC’s Historic Books University of Michigan’s EEBO-TCP University of Oxford’s EEBO-TCP Don’t know ProQuest’s EEBO N=172
  14. 14. EEBO-related Publications in Scopus, and Citations of those Publications 4 3 5 10 18 17 20 41 38 48 34 1 0 0 1 6 12 17 25 53 59 67 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Publications Citations
  15. 15. Publications related to Early English Books Online Source n Google Scholar 3,450 JSTOR 299 Scopus 239 Scopus Theses & Dissertations 1,875 ProQuest Dissertations & Theses 458 [1] Google Scholar search term: "eebo-tcp" OR "eebo tcp" OR eebo OR "early english books online" [2] JSTOR search term: eebo-tcp OR "eebo tcp" OR eebo OR "early english books online" in full-text, including all content [3] Scopus search term: ALL("eebo-tcp" OR "eebo tcp" OR eebo OR "early english books online") [4] ProQuest Dissertations & Theses: The Humanities and Social Sciences Collection search term: "eebo-tcp" OR "eebo tcp" OR eebo OR "early english books online" in full-text
  16. 16. How do you prefer to learn to use digital resources? 1.0% 13.5% 20.7% 22.6% 23.6% 30.3% 48.6% 90.9% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90%100% Other Web tutorials By attending training sessions Reading research papers that have used them Being shown uses in specific research Help pages and documentation Learning about them from peers Exploring them yourself N=208
  17. 17. Bulger, M., Meyer, E.T., de la Flor, G., Terras, M., Wyatt, S., Jirotka, M., Eccles, K., Madsen, C.
  18. 18. The Case Studies
  19. 19. Reconfiguring Resources
  20. 20. “ Old Bailey Online hasn’t replaced anything for me or displaced anything for me, but it is part of this general transformation of how I do what I do.
  21. 21. “The amount of time I now spend doing the very mechanical, laborious, time- consuming work is much smaller. You can now do things in 5 seconds which it took you 3 months to do a few years ago.
  22. 22. Transformations in Use
  23. 23. It’s a huge change. You can do things much more quickly, read much more widely, find connections…it’s very, very important. “
  24. 24. With something like the Burney Collection, 5 years ago for writing an article I would need to review the newspapers, I would have gone into the British Library and done it on microfilm. 20 years ago, I would have gone into the British Library and done it with the actual paper in front of me. Now I sit at home and I do a keyword search. “
  25. 25. I get pretty much everything I need by way of primary sources now from the web. For primary sources, I’ve now got more material than I will need probably for the rest of my lifetime. “
  26. 26. Enhanced vision
  27. 27. Cambridge polyphonic manuscript, 13th C. Source: The Digital Image Archive of Medieval Music (DIAMM) Florence polyphonic manuscript, 13th C. Source: Teca Digitale Ricerca (TECA) Graduale Triplex, 6/7th C.
  28. 28. S: That'a just a – it's not a note H: I think it's part of the decoration isn't it? I mean the colours would have been really vivid wouldn't they - blues and greens, yellows S: It's quite deteriorated H: I'm guessing this is a sort of slice in the – through the parchment isn't it? S: Yeah H: It's showing white there S: Goodness only knows how it got there H: These are binding fragments. They've been man-handled into the binding of another book and presumably a binder's knife has sliced through the pages. It's lucky in a way it’s only sliced through the parchment note or decoration? colours binder's knife Reconstructing the materiality of digital objects
  29. 29. Asking new questions? “
  30. 30. I’m not sure all of this raises the quality of anybody’s work. I think it would be quite daft to pretend that all of this makes us better scholars, or makes our books or papers of higher quality. I don’t know if that is true by any means, but it certainly makes it easier and I suppose makes the quantity of stuff that you can produce greater. “
  31. 31. What might take you several months if not years of research, you could do in hours, days, a week. So I think that means that it makes the nature of your research different because it allows you quantitative information much more quickly, which then allows you to maybe think about how you might use that information differently, because you’ve got so much more time. “
  32. 32. My greatest frustration in life is that we can now answer all the questions we had in 1980 faster, much, much faster. And we can get around to publishing them much, much more quickly. But what we haven’t yet done is develop the new questions and the new paradigms that should be possible, and that we as imaginative scholars should be able to imagine. “
  33. 33. It also puts a much higher premium on creative use of the resources. There’s no reason not to be creative. There’s no excuse not to get it just right. And so it’s like how word processing changed the way we write. When you don’t have to physically retype each page, you make a lot more changes, and so there’s no excuse not to have better writing “
  34. 34. Complexity Continuum Humanities
  35. 35. Complexity Continuum Physical Sciences
  36. 36. Source: Or:
  37. 37. Annotation Size (no. of words) Entries (topical + alphabetical + page-by-page) Contributors Book Form Annotation: Weisenburger’s Gravity’s Rainbow 162000 904 1 (22) Wiki: Against the Day 455057 120 + 1358 + 4067 235 Comparison of book and wiki annotation efforts Source: Schroeder, R., & Besten, M. D. (2008). Literary Sleuths Online: e-Research collaboration on the Pynchon Wiki. Information, Communication & Society, 11(2), 167 - 187. Weisenburger vs. the Wiki on Pynchon
  38. 38. Source:
  39. 39. Available online:
  40. 40.
  41. 41. SCHOLARLY INFORMATION Digital Transformations of
  42. 42. Browsing and Searching: Humanities Libraries Journals Peers 79% 66% Google Google Scholar 59% 55% 62% 83% 48% 76% 95% Visit the library Browse library materials online Search library materials online Citation chaining Browse printed journals Browse online journals Consult peers and experts Source: Bulger, M., Meyer, E.T., de la Flor, G., Terras, M., Wyatt, S., Jirotka, M., Eccles, K., Madsen, C. (2011). Reinventing Research? Information practices in the humanities. London: RIN. Online:
  43. 43. Browsing and Searching: Physical Sciences 83% 78% 78% 72% 72% 63% 39% 37% 36% 36% 33% 29% 29% 26% 25% 16% 14% 12% 7% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% Google Browsing or reading online journals Peers or experts Searching databases (e.g. Web of Science, arXiv) Citation chaining Browsing databases (e.g. Web of Science, arXiv) Students Notification services Google Scholar Email lists Browsing library materials online Browsing or reading print journals Keyword searches of journals Wikis Web 2.0 services Keyword searches of library materials Browsing library materials in person RSS Feeds Social network sites n=76 Physical Sciences Source: Meyer, E.T., Bulger, M., Kyriakidou-Zacharoudiou, A., Power, L., Williams, P., Venters, W., Terras, M., Wyatt, S. (2011). Collaborative yet Independent: Information Practices in the Physical Sciences. London: RIN and the Institute of Physics. Online:
  44. 44. I get pretty much everything I need by way of primary sources now from the web. For primary sources, I’ve now got more material than I will need probably for the rest of my lifetime. “
  45. 45. Digital as a dirty word I do feel pressure to work more with originals than with the digital images, but for the most part I do feel like I get more out of using these images on my computer. But there’s a certain pressure that that’s not what top scholars do because that’s not what top scholars did 25 years ago “
  46. 46. 9% 36% 53% 38% 43% 55% 36% 38% 50% 48% 36% 21% 6% 13% 10% 0% 7% 2% 0% 0% 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% HistPop BOPCRIS BL News BL Sounds Med Backfiles Original version Original + URL Online version Other 46% 29% 35% 20% 43% 0%20%40%60% Have you ever published a piece based on your work in this collection? If so, how did you cite the collection?
  47. 47. Citation Habits 8% 8% 42% 45% 15% 6% 25% 34% 9% 8% 0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100% Teaching Students Researchers Online version only Print + URL Print + [online] (no URL) Print only Other How do (or would) you cite materials from EEBO-TCP? Researchers, n=172; Teaching students, n=97
  48. 48. So what?
  49. 49. Whose portrait is on the U.S. 100 dollar bill? 1977: 2013: CC Images
  50. 50. From Information to Analysis Skills OII master’s students Alexander Furnas and Devin Gaffney saw a large spike in then-US presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s Twitter followers, and decided to look at the new followers, which turned out to be Twitter-bots: Furnas, A. and Gaffney, D. (2012). ‘Statistical Probability That Mitt Romney's New Twitter Followers Are Just Normal Users: 0%’. The Atlantic, July 31, (accessed August 31, 2012).
  51. 51. With support from: Digital Transformations of Research Dr Eric T. Meyer Research Fellow & DPhil Programme Director @etmeyer With Ralph Schroeder, Forthcoming 2013