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10 FEBRUARY 2013

Inventory of research methods for librarianship and informatics

"This article defines and describes the rich variety of research designs found in librarianship and informatics practice. Familiarity with the range of methods and the ability to make distinctions between those specific methods can enable authors to label their research reports correctly. The author has compiled an inventory of methods from a variety of disciplines, but with attention to the relevant applications of a methodology to the field of librarianship. Each entry in the inventory includes a definition and description for the particular research method. Some entries include references to resource material and examples."

(Jonathan D. Eldredge, 2004, Journal of the Medical Library Association)

TAGS

2004academic researchanalysisaudit • autobiography • bibliomining • biographycase study • citation analysis • cohort design • comparative study • content analysisdata mining • definition and description • delphi method • descriptive survey • focus group • gap analysis • historyinformaticsinventory • inventory of methods • JMLA • Journal of the Medical Library Association • librarianship • library science • library studies • longitudinal studymeta-analysis • narrative review • participant observation • programme evaluation • randomised controlled trial • research designresearch methodresearch methodsresearch reports • summing up • systematic reviews • unobtrusive observation

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
10 FEBRUARY 2013

Archaeology is about our relationships with what is left of the past

"Archaeology is what archaeologists do. This answer is not a tautology. It refers us to the practices of archaeology. And to the conditions under which archaeologists work – the institutions and infrastructures, the politics and pragmatics of getting archaeological work done.

Archaeologists work on what is left of the past. Archaeology is about relationships – between past and present, between archaeologist and traces and remains. Archaeology is a set of mediating practices – working on remains to translate, to turn them into something sensible – inventory, account, narrative, explanation, whatever.

Archaeology is a way of acting and thinking – about what is left of the past, about the temporality of remainder, about material and temporal processes to which people and their goods are subject, about the processes of order and entropy, of making, consuming and discarding at the heart of human experience.

'Archaeological Sensibility' and 'Archaeological Imagination' are terms to summarize components of these mediating and transformative practices. Sensibility refers us to the perceptual components of how we engage with the remains of the past. Imagination refers us to the creative component – to the transforming work that is done on what is left over."

(Michael Shanks)

TAGS

archaeological imagination • archaeological sensibility • archaeologist • archaeologybetween past and presentclassificationconsumingconsumptioncultural significance of objects • discarding • entropyephemerahuman experienceinterpretationinventorymakingmaterial processesmaterial worldmaterialitymediating practices • Michael Shanks • orderremainder • remains • remains of the pastsymbolic meaning • tautology • temporal processes • temporality • the discipline of things • theory buildingthingstraces • transformative practices • useful significancewhat is left of the past • what is left over

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
29 OCTOBER 2010

Re.ViCa project: systematic review of Virtual Campus initiatives

"The Re.ViCa project [Reviewing (traces of) European Virtual Campuses] ran from October 2007 until October 2009. Re.ViCa has been making an inventory and carrying out a systematic review of cross–institutional Virtual Campus initiatives of the past decade within higher education at European, national and regional levels. The main objective of the Re.ViCa project was to identify relevant parameters and success factors for evaluating and comparing Virtual Campuses, based on thorough research and expert input. The Re.ViCa Consortium organises in–depth discussions with experts in order to incorporate the input of different interest groups."

(Re.ViCa project)

TAGS

20072009 • ATiT • change • cross-institutional • EEA • elearningEU • EuroPACE ivzw • EuropeEuropean Commission • FernUniversität in Hagen • higher educationinformation societyinitiativesinnovationinventory • Katholieke Universiteit Leuven • Koulutuskeskus Dipoli • Lifelong Learning Programme • Matic Media Ltd • Nyugat-Magayarországi Egyetem • pedagogy • Re.ViCa • reviewSwitzerlandsystematic reviewTechnology Enhanced Learning • Teknillinen korkeakoulu • Università Telematica Internazionale UNINETTUNO • Université de Strasbourg • Virtual Campus • wiki

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 MARCH 2006

Chris Marker's image-inventory: thesaurus rather than taxonomy

"[Chris] Marker's production of an inventory for his filmic archive through gathering – shooting, finding existing footage, and editing – is enabled by this double power of the image. On one hand, the image–inventory simply lists images as instances of a collection, allowing each to resonate on its own, evoking its own possible meaning, descriptions, feelings, and thoughts and on the other, the shared qualitative aspect that links the images creates a pictorial inventory or catalogue of the growing filmic archive. The particularity of this catalogue is noteworthy. In linking images or collection–items by shared qualitative criteria, rather than by qualitative measures, this inventory constitutes a thesaurus of the collection rather than a taxonomy or classification. For, whereas the former loosely groups instances conceptually (words/images sharing a concept), the latter tightly organises the archive nomologically (according to a law: alphabetically, chronologically, etc.). This difference is crucial: classification is linear, laying out flat the vast heterology that is the archive, taming difference through a system that is based on sameness – items or terms belonging to the same latter of the alphabet, originating in the same year, being related to the same place etc. – imposing order through a movement from the many to the one. The inventory–building of the thesaurus, on the other hand, is rhizomorphous, starting from similarities and affinities and proceeding three–dimensionally from the one to the many, from similarity to difference. The shared quality or concept, the broader term of the thesaurus, moves through analogical bifurcations and creates a network of related, narrower terms, and arborescence of possible meanings without a classificatory claim on, or hope for precision, certainty and unique locatability. As such, the thesaurus enables a radically different kind of access to the archive from that gained through classification. Classification privileges individual items of a collection through a structure which allows their precise tracking while the thesaurus creates a conceptual archive from the archive that highlights the connections between items."

(Uriel Orlow, 2002)

2). Orlow, Uriel (2002) 'Chris Marker: The Archival Powers of the Image'. In: Comay, Rebecca and Knechtel, John, (eds.) Alphabet city #8: lost in the archives. Alphabet City Media Inc., Toronto, Canada, pp. 436–451. ISBN 0887846432

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TAGS

affinity • arborescence • archivecatalogueChris Markerclassificationcollectionconceptual archivedifferencedigressive approachephemera • heterology • inventory • loose classification • multi-media collagistnetworknomologicalorderingpictorial inventoryrhizomerhizomorphousSans Soleil (1983)similaritytaxonomythesaurus • Uriel Orlow • video essayvideo synthesizervisual essay

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
02 JANUARY 2004

Things Spoken: a catalogue of Her belongings

"Most people collect objects during their lives. These can be gifts, souvenirs, momentos, personal artifacts, found things, etc. Their significance for their 'collectors' are usually contextual and personal.

This CD–ROM presents a selection of about 50 objects that I have collected, put together in such a way that the viewer can make an interactive exploration of both their singularities and their possible (inter)relationships. Each object has been digitized on a flat–bed scanner, whose consequent transformation of the original object is a form of aesthetic reconstitution characteristic for 'multimedia'. Embedded in a machinal darkness, the objects reveal themselves insubstantially, idiosynchratically in the reflected red, green and blue light of the scanning process.

The viewer can sort these objects by various criteria such as size, weight, colour, function, or such as in the case of gifts, the gender of the persons who gave them to me. In this way that 'feverish' method by which digital archives can be reorganised according to any criteria is here applied in a manner that is as gratuitously personal as the objects themselves.

Each object is accompanied by my personal narrative that led me to keep these often trivial things and by the account of friends. The third layer of interactivity comes from within these spoken narratives. Specific words are hypertextually linked to any reoccurences oaf those words elsewhere. In this way the viewer can instantly make links between objects and their associated stories. These chance conjunctions in the narratives amplify potential relationships that let the viewer discover further layers of congruency and signification within this very personal of objects."

(Media Art Net)

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