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24 MARCH 2014

The Digital Methods Initiative

Call for Participation – Digital Methods Summer School 2014, On Geolocation: Remote Event Analysis (Mapping Conflicts, Disasters, Elections and other Events with Online and Social Media Data), 23 June – 4 July 2014

"The Digital Methods Initiative is a contribution to doing research into the 'natively digital'. Consider, for example, the hyperlink, the thread and the tag. Each may 'remediate' older media forms (reference, telephone chain, book index), and genealogical histories remain useful (Bolter/Grusin, 1999; Elsaesser, 2005; Kittler, 1995). At the same time new media environments – and the software–makers – have implemented these concepts, algorithmically, in ways that may resist familiar thinking as well as methods (Manovich, 2005; Fuller, 2007). In other words, the effort is not simply to import well–known methods – be they from humanities, social science or computing. Rather, the focus is on how methods may change, however slightly or wholesale, owing to the technical specificities of new media.

The initiative is twofold. First, we wish to interrogate what scholars have called 'virtual methods,' ascertaining the extent to which the new methods can stake claim to taking into account the differences that new media make (Hine, 2005). Second, we desire to create a platform to display the tools and methods to perform research that, also, can take advantage of 'web epistemology'. The web may have distinctive ways of recommending information (Rogers, 2004; Sunstein, 2006). Which digital methods innovate with and also critically display the recommender culture that is at the heart of new media information environments?

Amsterdam–based new media scholars have been developing methods, techniques and tools since 1999, starting with the Net Locator and, later, the Issue Crawler, which focuses on hyperlink analysis (Govcom.org, 1999, 2001). Since then a set of allied tools and independent modules have been made to extend the research into the blogosphere, online newssphere, discussion lists and forums, folksonomies as well as search engine behavior. These tools include scripts to scrape web, blog, news, image and social bookmarking search engines, as well as simple analytical machines that output data sets as well as graphical visualizations.

The analyses may lead to device critiques – exercises in deconstructing the political and epistemological consequences of algorithms. They may lead to critical inquiries into debates about the value and reputation of information."

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TAGS

academic researchalgorithm • Almila Akdag Salah • Amsterdam • analytical machines • Anat Ben-David • Anne Helmond • Bernhard Rieder • blogosphereCarl Rogers • Carolin Gerlitz • Cass Sunsteinchart • chart data • Christine Hine • critical enquirydatadata analysisdata scraping • data sets • data visualisation • device critiques • digital methods • Digital Methods Initiative • Digital Methods Summer School • discussion forum • discussion lists • epistemological consequences • Erik Borra • Esther Weltevrede • folksonomiesFriedrich Kittler • Govcom.org • graphical visualisationshyperlink • hyperlink analysis • index • information environments • information validity • Issue Crawler • Jay David Bolter • Koen Martens • Lev Manovich • Liliana Bounegru • Lonneke van der Velden • Marc Tuters • Marieke van Dijk • Matthew Fuller • Michael Stevenson • Nadia Dresscher-Lambertus • Natalia Sanchez Querubin • natively digital • Net Locator • new medianew methods • older media forms • online newssphere • politicalrecommender culturereferenceremediationRichard Grusin • Richard Rogers • Sabine Niederer • scrapesearch engine • Simeona Petkova • social bookmarking • software-makers • summer schooltag • technical specificities • telephone network • Thomas Elsaesser • thread • virtual methods • web epistemology

CONTRIBUTOR

Linda Carroli
20 MARCH 2011

General Practice Notebook: an online medical encyclopaedia

"GPnotebook is a concise synopsis of the entire field of clinical medicine focussed on the needs of the General Practitioner.

The database is continually being updated by a team of authors. We take a pragmatic approach to authoring: we look out for topical issues, keep track of the journals and update material in response to user feedback.

We use a range of knowledge sources, including clinical experience, knowledge taken from literature reviews, original research articles and guidelines published by national and international bodies. In many cases references are made to sources of information; we are committed to making GPnotebook fully referenced in the near future. As a team we review each other's work but we also rely in the feedback from experts in primary care and the various clinical specialities to keep us on the right track.

Our editorial decisions are based on merit and are not influenced by any funding bodies.

We make every effort to ensure that the contents of the site are correct however we cannot be held responsible for any errors or ommissions."

(Oxbridge Solutions Ltd., UK)

TAGS

body • clinical • clinical medicinedatabasediagnosisdiseasedoctorencyclopaediaexpert knowledge • general practitioner • GP • GP Notebook • guidelineshealthhuman patientsillnessinformationinjuryknowledge baseknowledge repositorymedicalmedical practice • medical reference • medical researchnotebook • online encyclopaedia • operationpainpractitioner • prevention • primary care • prognosis • public healthreferencerepositoryresearch findingssearchsearch enginesexual healthsufferingtherapytreatmentUK

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
25 MAY 2010

Preserving the Knowledge Commons

"when scholars use systems of reference to link one work to another, they establish and exercise underlying fabrics of trust. These fabrics serve to tie researchers to other researchers, teachers to students, and creators to users over time and place into durable and productive scholarly communities. The linked works represent the common pools of knowledge – the knowledge commons – over which members of these communities labor to produce new knowledge. And the links work, the trust endures, and the commons nourishes the intellectual life if and only if cited material is preserved so that, when a link is made, the reader is able to check the reference at the other end."

(Donald J. Waters)

[1] Waters, D. J. (2006). Preserving the Knowledge Commons. Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice, MIT Press.

TAGS

authorship • cited material • common pools of knowledge • copyrightcreatorsdiscursive field • fabrics of trust • footnoteinformation in contextintellectual lifeknowledge commonsLibrary of Congresslinks worknew knowledgereferencerepositoryresearcher • scholarly communities • Section 108 Study Group • systems of reference

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
20 AUGUST 2009

PaperScope: a tool for graphically representing reference and citation chains

"PaperScope is a tool for graphically exploring the Astrophysics Data System (ADS) which is a database of published astrophysics papers. PaperScope is extremely useful for identifying the citation/reference relationships between papers, and enables the user to visualize these relationships to make locating papers of interest easier. Use it for constructing reference or citation chains, as well as identifying common references/citations between several key papers. It is a tool designed to simplify the process of searching for relevant papers to an astrophysics researcher whether they be a professor, post doc, or student."
(Mark Holliman, Royal Observatory, Edinburgh)

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TAGS

ads • Astro Grid • astronomyastrophysics • Astrophysics Data System • citation • citation chains • cone treedatabasediscursive field • e-Infrastructure • Edinburghgraphic representationhierarchical visualisationhierarchyICTinformation graphicsintegrationJava • Mark Holliman • metadatanotationordering • PaperScope • precedencepublishreference • reference chains • relationshipsrepositoryresearchresearch papers • Royal Observatory Edinburgh • technologytoolvisual depictionvisualisation • WFAU

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
23 OCTOBER 2008

What is a literature review?

"A literature review is the review of a collection of published research relevant to a research question. All good research and writing is guided by a review of the relevant literature.
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the purpose of the literature review remains the same. It is an essential test of the research question against that which is already known about the subject.

The literature review reveals whether or not a research question has already been answered by someone else. If it has, often the question needs to be changed or modified, so that an original contribution to the research is made.

What are some tips for literature review research?

Focus the search.
Having the research question written down, and on hand, can prevent inefficient wandering into research areas unrelated to the subject.

When to narrow the search.
If too many citations appear for a question then it is too broad, and a more focused question needs to be asked.

When to broaden the search.
If few citations appear for a question, then the topic is too narrow. Perhaps the question needs to be broadened.

Conduct a systematic search.
If little research has been done in an area, then a systematic search is necessary. One option is journals that print abstracts in a subject area which can provide an overview of the scope of the available literature. Other options are a general source, such as a book, or a specific source, such as a research paper, which can provide a starting point and a list of references to begin investigating.

Take thorough notes.
Taking thorough notes saves research time, as references can be quickly accessed again. (Suggestion: open a document in WordPad (Windows) or SimpleText (Macintosh) while running a computer search, and toggle back and forth between the search screen and document to record findings)."
(Union Institute & University)

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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