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teaching:curating-sources [2019/01/25 15:51] (current)
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 +<​markdown>​
 +# Curating Sources
  
 +## Introduction
 +
 +Hi Class, welcome to the week where we begin to discuss tools that you can use 
 +to curate information sources. Please remember that this is a short 
 +module---only two weeks long---and thus all work for this module is due by the 
 +end of the upcoming assignment.
 +
 +In the previous forum we examined tools to manage academic sources of 
 +information. Some of the tools you'll look at this week can be used for those 
 +kinds of sources too, but what I want us to do this week is think more broadly ​
 +about the kinds of information that we need, use, or like and that we may want 
 +to hold onto and the kinds of tools that will help us curate such sources. ​
 +Generally the same issues hold true here as they do for managing academic ​
 +sources, but it's also true that different tools afford us different ​
 +capabilities,​ and that today, managing academic and non-academic sources has 
 +become more social.
 +
 +## Reading
 +
 +This week we're reading a short and simple article that lists and describes a
 +bunch of different platforms that are available for us to use to manage the
 +sources we collect.
 +
 +Valenza, J. K., Boyer, B. L., & Curis, D. (2014). Curation platforms: ​
 +*Library Technology Reports, 50*(7), 60-65. ​
 +https://​journals.ala.org/​index.php/​ltr/​article/​view/​4792/​5739
 +
 +Astute observers will note that the term *curation* is used in that article and
 +in the title of this week's discussion forum and lecture. That begs the
 +question: what do we mean by curation? Well, it's a term we use to signify the
 +caring for something or someone. Thus someone who actively and intentionally
 +curates sources of information is a person who is engaged with the tools and
 +the sources to do that best. By implication,​ this means not simply adding
 +sources to a personal library and then forgetting about them, but paying
 +attention to them, updating them, and removing them, if necessary. It's a
 +continual process---akin to gardening or other activities that require an
 +attending to.
 +
 +## Managing the Information Glut
 +
 +Just like scholarly or academic information,​ there'​s also all kinds of 
 +regular or niche information. Each of you already know that because you 
 +experience it just about every day. That is, aside from being students and 
 +having to manage academic or related information,​ it's certainly true that we 
 +also interact with information related to personal health, various kinds of 
 +logistics that come with being a 21st person in a particular place, with 
 +hobbies and interests, shopping, personal records, business pursuits, things ​
 +about friends, and so forth.
 +
 +In our analog days, managing information of any kind may have meant putting ​
 +documents in files and placing those files in folders and those folders in 
 +folder cabinets. Or it meant putting photographs in physical binders that we'​d ​
 +call photo albums. This kind of behavior has informed how we we practice this 
 +now but it was much more restrained because it was far more costly and time 
 +intensive. Even so, though we may use fewer beige folders for our physical ​
 +papers, receipts, and other documents, and fewer binders for our printed ​
 +photographs,​ we still create digital albums and digital folders to house all 
 +this stuff, and we do it just as a matter of course, that is, less 
 +intentionally,​ or it's done for us, algorithmically,​ by some company like 
 +Google Photos or Facebook.
 +
 +Another big difference between then and now is that things have gotten much 
 +more social. When the social web was born, a number of tools arose that 
 +helped us not only manage how we collect and store information,​ but also 
 +allowed us to share it in newer ways and with more people, as well as create ​
 +new content via engagement with those people. As a result, almost every tool 
 +that helps us manage information and sources of information has some kind of 
 +social component to it. The funny thing about this is that, in those analog ​
 +days, there was a running joke about forcing friends and family to sit through ​
 +photo slides or home movies, but now whole industries exist around sharing our 
 +photos and videos just because of that social aspect of the web.
 +
 +## Social Collecting on the Web
 +
 +Many websites offer ways to collect and save information. At its most basic, ​
 +there'​s the simple ability to star, like, favorite, heart, thumbs up, etc 
 +some thing that somebody has shared. E.g., Twitter has a heart button, and if 
 +you so-call *heart* a tweet, you end up saving it to a list of other tweets ​
 +you've *hearted*. Consider also YouTube. If you give a video a thumbs up, 
 +then you've added that video to a list of others that you've liked. As such, 
 +this hearting or liking serves two main functions:
 +
 +1. A *communicative function*: e.g., when you click on that heart, you notify
 +   a person that you like her/his tweet;
 +2. A *collecting function*: e.g., when you click on that heart, you save
 +   that tweet in a collection of other favorite tweets, which you can revisit ​
 +   and browse later.
 +
 +Thus, sometimes favoriting/​hearting serves to acknowledge a response to
 +someone, but it also functions as a kind of bookmark. This dual activity is
 +common across many social bookmarking sites, too, such as Pinterest.
 +
 +## Digital Curation ​
 +
 +Curating and managing general information may or may not have a social ​
 +component. Even without social, there is a whole area of work called ​
 +digital curation. People who work in this area are responsible for working ​
 +with a broad range of non-personal information,​ such as institutional ​
 +documents, corporate documents, government documents, research data, and so 
 +forth. But when I talk about curating information,​ I'm talking about how 
 +you personally curate your own information that you save and use. Just like 
 +there are professional gardeners, there are also personal gardens. These 
 +are different areas, but we can definitely borrow from the ideas, best 
 +practices, and tools that professional digital curators use in their jobs.
 +
 +Like professional digital curators, when we focus on curating our own
 +information,​ we're focused on managing digital objects, evaluating them
 +periodically,​ preserving them, if possible, for future use, organizing them,
 +and ensuring we have access to them. For now, let's focus on two aspects of
 +personal digital curation: organizing information and accessing that
 +information.
 +
 +## Organizing Information
 +
 +Collecting information and sources on the Web doesn'​t serve much of a 
 +purpose if we don't have a system to organize the information. Tags help
 +serve this purpose.
 +
 +Tagging can be a powerful tool, especially when it's social. Each of you 
 +already know what a tag is---you use tags on sites like Twitter, where they'​re ​
 +called *hashtags* or on sites like Instagram. Tags enable us to describe ​
 +sources or things and share them or retrieve them later from our own personal ​
 +stores or from others. This is because not only do tags say something *about* ​
 +the thing we're tagging, but they are often hyperlinked to things, and clicking ​
 +on them will retrieve those things.
 +
 +Although we're talking about non-academic information,​ let me use my old
 +CiteULike account to explain the process. (I no longer use CiteULike, but I 
 +keep this image around because it helps convey what I mean.) The logic and 
 +functions hold true even for non-academically oriented sites. ​
 +
 +Each one of the tags you see here in the right side image serves as a link.
 +Clicking on one of those tags would retrieve all articles and books that were 
 +in my bibliographic reference library that share that tag.
 +
 +So, as an illustration,​ if I click on the article title, that you see in
 +this image, I'll only retrieve the full record of that article reference
 +that I've collected. If I click on the link that begins with DOI, what that
 +will do is take me to the web page for the article, so that I can read the
 +full text if I like. If I click on the author, Stefan Gradmann, that will
 +retrieve a list of all articles that I've saved that include him as an
 +author, if I've saved other works by him. Because CiteULike is a social
 +computing platform, that is, because others use this website for the same
 +purpose I do, clicking on this author'​s name here will also retrieve other
 +articles by this author, if others have saved works by him too. If I click
 +on any of those tags that are links, I'll retrieve all articles or books, or 
 +even other types of scholarly communication,​ that share that tag. So if I
 +click on the *academic-libraries* tag, I'll retrieve all articles, books,
 +etc., that I've saved in my collection that have also been tagged with this
 +term. 
 +
 +## Accessing Information
 +
 +Here's an example. I clicked on the *scholarly communication* tag/link from the
 +previous slide'​s example, and I retrieved all the articles and other works that
 +I had tagged under *scholarly communication*. You'll notice that I had 116
 +articles and works in my library that have this tag. As a result, I also
 +retrieved articles that have other tags that my previous example did not. E.g.,
 +these two articles have the tag *peer-review*,​ which tells me that these
 +articles are about *peer review* and *scholarly communication* in some way. 
 +
 +So I have what is basically a broad term, called *scholarly communication*,​ and
 +then I have more narrow terms, one of which is *peer-review*. So this tag,
 +*peer-review*,​ is for me a function of *scholarly communication*,​ just as
 +*metadata*, a tag used in the reference on the previous slide, is also a
 +function of *scholarly communication*,​ at least with respect to the topic
 +discussed in that article on the previous slide.
 +
 +## Accessing Information
 +
 +On some platforms, I can view my entire list of tags -- all of the ones that 
 +I've created and used in my entire library. The image on the right is a 
 +partial screen shot of my tag list or tag cloud. You can see that I'​ve ​
 +created and used over 1,000 distinct tags and that the size of each tag 
 +indicates the number of articles that use that tag. In my library, as an 
 +example, I've tagged 87 articles under *academic-libraries*,​ 75 articles ​
 +under *bibliometrics* (down there at the bottom left of the image), and two 
 +articles that are tagged under *authority* (there just around the center of 
 +the image). If I click on any of those tags, I'll retrieve articles and other 
 +works that share that tag.
 +
 +## Technical term: folksonomy
 +
 +Another way to refer to or talk about tagging is to use the term
 +*folksonomies*. What this term indicates is the overall structure of the tags
 +created by users of a system. It's the portmanteau of the words *folk* and
 +*taxonomy*.
 +
 +Take a moment and access these slides in Google Drive and watch this short
 +video of this guy driving and talking about *folksonomies*. Despite the 
 +craziness of this, it's a good video with a nice overview of what 
 +folksonomies are. 
 +
 +Source: [https://​www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=kMLy7qNCdoE&​t=][1]
 +
 +## Technical term: folksonomy
 +
 +Aside from what the speaker mentions, there are some disadvantages of tagging ​
 +and with creating *folksonomies*. These are:
 +
 +- polysemy: the ambiguity of an individual word or phrase that can be used (in
 +  different contexts) to express tow or more different meanings (ex: crane as
 +  in bird, crane as in construction equipment) (from WordNet).
 +- synonymy: sameness of meaning (from WordNet)
 +- plurals and parts of speech
 +- depth of tagging - specificity
 +
 +An example of specificity,​ say I have a tag in my library called *lis-history*.
 +Now the odds of anyone else in the universe using the tag *lis-history* is low.
 +It's my shorthand for *library and information science history* or *the history
 +of library and information science*. This is problem of specificity---that is,
 +relatively speaking, it's a tag that embodies a narrow concept, at least among
 +non-library and information science professionals,​ among whom it might be a
 +general term. It's the kind of tag that may be only used by me and perhaps a
 +few other people, at most. And this specificity limits the likelihood that
 +others would find and know what that tag means, especially because I use an
 +acronym in the tag. Consequently,​ it limits possible sharing of the
 +bibliographic reference, that is, dissemination,​ and collaboration. But it's
 +still a useful tag for me, and so I keep it, because it represents something
 +that I will be able to retrieve later on easily, since it has meaning to me.
 +
 +## Technical term: folksonomy
 +
 +There are other important disadvantages to keep in mind when we use tagging ​
 +or folksonomies. These are observed when we compare folksonomies to 
 +traditional controlled vocabularies or terms, the kinds that you became ​
 +familiar with when you investigated your databases in previous weeks.
 +
 +Consider LCSH or the Library of Congress Subject Headings. In the image to 
 +the right of the screen, there are three subject headings
 +for this book:
 +
 +- decision-making
 +- organizational-behavior
 +- social sciences
 +
 +These are all subject headings and if you click on a link to one, you'll
 +retrieve all books in the online catalog that share that subject heading.
 +Note the terms after the dashes: *political aspects* after the
 +*decision-making* and *organizational behavior* headings and *philosophy*
 +after the *social sciences* heading. These are called subdivisions and
 +represent, in these cases, *political aspects of decision-making*,​
 +*political-aspects of organizational behavior*, and *philosophy of social
 +sciences*. You can do the same kind of thing with tagging, that is, divvy up
 +the broader terms, but in a less controlled fashion.
 +
 +Source: [UK Libraries link to Bounded Rationality and Politics][2]
 +
 +## Technical term: folksonomy
 +
 +*Polysemy* is when a word has more than one meaning. For example, the term 
 +*library* may refer to something like the thing you find when you visit WT 
 +Young or something like the thing you use when you write a computer program. ​
 +*Synonymy*, or synonyms more commonly, as you know, is when two or more words 
 +have similar meanings. Controlled vocabularies and things like thesauri are 
 +created to help resolve these confusions in our language. While folksonomies ​
 +offer a lot advantages, one's person use of *library* as a tag can't always ​
 +be paired with another person'​s use of that term.
 +
 +How is this resolved? Let's take a simple example of the thesaurus. Here's an 
 +image of a controlled term, *chewing gum*, which is a term the Library of 
 +Congress uses to describe works about *chewing gum*. You can see here that 
 +this main term has a variant, *gum, chewing*. Users who search using the 
 +terms *gum chewing* will be directed to works that have been assigned the 
 +controlled term *chewing gum*. Some controlled terms have many variants since 
 +there may be many ways to refer to the idea.
 +
 +We also see that *chewing gum* has a broader term, *confectionary*,​ and a
 +narrower term, *bubble gum*. The connection between these three terms, and
 +the relation (broader than, narrower than) highlights how controlled
 +vocabularies are not simply lists of specified terms to describe works and
 +other objects, but that they are, more importantly,​ terms that are fixed in 
 +meaning, and then indexed and connected to each other in a web of other 
 +related terms.
 +
 +So what *folksnomies* lack, *controlled subject headings* are good at. And vice
 +versa.
 +
 +Source: [http://​id.loc.gov/​authorities/​subjects/​sh85023185.html][3]
 +
 +## Conclusion
 +
 +In conclusion:
 +
 +- Collecting information often means collecting packages that contain
 +  information. A journal article, an image file, a music file, and so forth,
 +  are all instances of information packages.
 +- Collecting information on the Web can be the result of the function of a
 +  web service (e.g., Twitter) that is used for other things (i.e., where the
 +  primary service is not collecting or bookmarking),​ or it can be the result
 +  of a site that is specifically used for collecting information,​ such as
 +  CiteULike, but also others that you may be more likely familiar with, such
 +  as Delicious and EverNote.
 +
 +## Conclusion
 +
 +- Collecting information is a useless activity if we do not have some means
 +  to organize that information for later retrieval.
 +- Tags, and folksonomies,​ are a useful and interesting way to organize
 +  information.
 +- Since tags are uncontrolled,​ they do suffer from some limitations. But in
 +  a way:
 +- The advantages of controlled vocabulary are the disadvantages of
 +  folksonomies. And the advantages of folksonomies (such as being able to
 +  use my own terms) are the disadvantages of controlled vocabulary.
 +
 +In these slides and in this presentation,​ I've discussed some of the
 +advantages of controlled vocabularies and compared to folksonomies. In our 
 +forum this week, you'll
 +discuss some of the advantages of folksonomies.
 +
 +[1]: https://​www.youtube.com/​watch?​v=C1Z7mXyKq-I
 +[2]:​https://​saa-primo.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/​primo-explore/​fulldisplay?​docid=UKY_ALMA21209444810002636&​context=L&​vid=UKY&​search_scope=alma_scope&​tab=alma_tab&​lang=en_US
 +[3]: http://​id.loc.gov/​authorities/​subjects/​sh85023185.html
 +</​markdown>​
teaching/curating-sources.txt ยท Last modified: 2019/01/25 15:51 by seanburns