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My New Venture

Today is my final day at EDINA. Rather than stepping into a new role in another institution, I’m taking a bit of a leap into the unknown. I have started my own consultancy business, Antleaf, a vehicle which allows me to take on new, challenging and rewarding work. I’m pleased to say that, through Antleaf, I have a contract to act as the Managing Director of the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative (DCMI), and I’m negotiating a contract with an institute in Japan to help with an exciting development there, so Antleaf seems to be off to a good start!

Leaving EDINA

After four good years, I am moving on from EDINA. My last day there will be the 16th October. I have very much enjoyed my time at EDINA, which has allowed me to work with some very smart people, on some great services and projects. For many years EDINA has made a valuable contribution to the fabric of teaching, learning and research in universities in the UK and I am grateful for having had the chance to be a part of that, working in such areas as scholarly communications, digital preservation, mobile development and citizen science, metadata management, open-access repositories and more.

Melissa Terras keynote, BL Labs Symposium, 2016

These are some rough notes from what I thought was an interesting keynote from Melissa Terras, Director of the UCL Centre for Digital Humanities, at this year’s BL Labs Symposium. Melissa has a blog: Adventures in Digital Cultural Heritage and a recommended book: Defining Digital Humanities Melissa started by asserting that reuse of digital cultural heritage data is still rare, and that preservation of such data is problematic. Of the content digitised in the National Lottery Fund’s New Opportunities programme around the turn of the Millennium, ~60% of the content digitised then is no longer available now.

Cooperative Open Access eXchange (COAX)

(This is the second of two posts forming my contribution to Open Access Week 2015.) The following proposal was written as a thought-experiment to test, in a recognisable problem-space, the idea outlined in my previous post, The Active Repository Pattern. I was able to call on the the advice of colleagues at EDINA who have world-class expertise in the area of ‘routing’ open-access metadata and content. The United Kingdom Council of Research Repositories (UKCoRR) was invited to comment, and many members of that organisation provided some very valuable feedback, for which I am very grateful!

The Active Repository Pattern

(This is the first of two posts forming my contribution to Open Access Week 2015.) Context Institutional repositories It is easy to overlook, or take for granted, the way in which the drive towards open-access (over the last decade or more) has succeeded not only in creating several viable “institutional-repository” software packages, but also in encouraging libraries and IT departments in universities to deploy them. It should be recognised that individual universities have shown, and continue to show commitment to maintaining their repositories in spite of shrinking budgets.

Virtual reality on a shoestring

A while ago, Google released Cardboard, an inexpensive virtual-reality system for smartphones running Android. As well as the software, Google has made available the plans for building a viewer which is designed to wrap around the smart-phone, producing a set of virtual-reality ‘goggles’. I found this intriguing - but I don’t own an Android-based smartphone. I do have an iPhone, and it turns out that there are a few compatible apps available for iOS, including the two which I downloaded onto my iPhone 6:

What (Organisational) Strategy Isn't

At EDINA we are just entering into that period where we review and revise our organisational strategy. In the course of a little light research this afternoon to refresh my thinking about and understanding of approaches to doing this, I came across a briefing paper by Ken Chad called Developing and reviewing strategy. Making reference to a book by Richard Rumelt called Good strategy, bad strategy. The difference and why it matters, Ken offers a short and clear list of things which are confused with, but which are not, strategy:

Buzzed by a drone on the London Eye

Yesterday, I went on the London Eye with the family. We were very lucky with the weather which provided excellent visibility - so good in fact that I noticed a small drone in the distance. The drone came gradually closer until it hovered a few tens of metres away (although it’s difficult to estimate distance when all available points of reference are so far away). I guess it says something about me that I found this more fascinating than the lovely view of the Thames and North London.

EDINA Geoforum 2014

I attended EDINA’s Geoforum 2014, described as: … a free all day event aimed at lecturers, researchers and support staff who promote and support the use of geo-services at their institution. I came along primarily to learn more about the services that my own organisation, EDINA, provides in this space. These are my notes from the day - I had to dip in and out of parts of the day to deal with other things so my notes are quite selective - my aim is to give a flavour of the day.

BL Labs and AHRC Digital Transformations

Last week I attended an event, organised by BL Labs working with the Arts and Humanities Research Council, at the British Library’s Centre for Conservation. The event, described as a showcase event for British Library Labs and AHRC Digital Transformations, consisted of a packed series of presentations - I won’t describe them all (and I missed Bill Thompson’s talk anyway) but will, instead, pull out some snippets which interested me in particular.

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