I am delighted to announce that The British Library (British Library) and City, University of London (City) will be offering a fully-funded PhD studentship (including fees and living allowance) on the research theme of ‘Understanding UK digital comics information and publishing practices: From creation to consumption.’ The supervision team for this particular collaborative PhD will be:
City, University of London Supervisors: Dr Ernesto Priego (Lecturer, Centre for Human Computer-Interaction Design) and DrStephann Makri (Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction)
British Library Supervisors: Ian Cooke (Head of Contemporary British Publications) and Stella Wisdom (Digital curator)
We are super excited that another collaborative studentship on UK Digital Comics, between the British Library and the University of the Arts London (co-supervised by Dr Ian Hague and Professor Roger Sabin) will soon be advertised too.
This means that two of four fully-funded AHRC British Library Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships will focus on UK digital comics. These are incredible news for UK comics scholarship, and a testament of the growth of the field in recent years.
The projects have been developed for the AHRC Collaborative Doctoral Partnerships scheme. The successful candidates will be able to work with the project supervisors to further develop and refine the agreed focus of the research.
‘Social Media Data: What’s the use‘ was the title of a panel discussion held at The British Library, London, on Wednesday 21 September 2016, 18:00 – 20:00. The official hashtag of the event was #TheDataDebates.
I made a collection of Tweets tagged with #TheDataDebates published publicly between 12/09/2016 09:06:52 and 22/09/2016 09:55:03 (BST).
Again I used Tweepy 3.5.0, a Python wrapper for the Twitter API, for the collection. Learning to mine with Python has been fun and empowering. To compare results I also used, as usual, Martin Hawksey’s TAGS, with results being equal (I only collected Tweets from accounts with at least 1 follower). Having the collected data already in a spreadsheet saved me time. I only collected Tweets from accounts with at least one follower.
Here’s a summary of the collection:
First Tweet in Archive
Last Tweet in Archive
Number of Tweets
Number of links
Number of RTs
Number of accounts
From the main archive I was able to focus on number of Tweets per source and user language setting.
Twitter for iPhone
Twitter Web Client
Twitter for Android
Twitter for iPad
Mobile Web (M5)
Twitter for Windows Phone
Big Data news flow
User Language Setting (user_lang)
6 of it are spam
The summary above is of the raw collection so not all the activity it reflects is either ‘human’ nor relevant, as some accounts tweeting have been identified as bots tweeting spam (a less human readable hashtag could have potentially avoided such spamming given the relatively low activity). Except where I identified spam Tweets, in this post I have not looked at the Tweets’ text data (i.e. I haven’t shared here any text or content analysis). Maybe if I have time in the near future. As Retweets were counted as Tweets in this archive a more specific and precise analysis would have to filter them from the dataset.
I am fully aware this would be more interesting and useful if there were opportunities for others to replicate the analysis through access to the source dataset I used. There are lots of interesting types of analysis that could be run and data to focus on in such a dataset as this. As in previous posts about other events, I am simply sharing this post right now as a quick indicative update published only a few hours after the event concluded.
It was pointed out last night that “social media data mining is starting but still has a way to go to catch up with hard analytical methodologies.” A post like this does not claim to employ a such methodologies, it simply seeks to contribute to the debate with evidence that may hopefully inspire other studies. Perhaps it’s a two-way process, and “hard analytical methodologies” (and researchers’ and users’ attitudes regarding cultural paradigms around ethics, privacy, consent, statistical significance) have also a way to go to catch up with new/recent pervasive forms of data creation and dissemination that perhaps require different, media-community- and content-specific approaches to doing research.
Other Considerations [I am reusing my own text from previous posts here]
Both research and experience show that the Twitter search API is not 100% reliable. Large Tweet volumes affect the search collection process. The API might “over-represent the more central users”, not offering “an accurate picture of peripheral activity” (González-Bailon, Sandra, et al, 2012). Apart from the filters and limitations already declared, it cannot be guaranteed that each and every Tweet tagged with #TheDataDebates during the indicated period was analysed. The dataset was shared for archival, comparative and indicative educational research purposes only.
Only content from public accounts, obtained from the Twitter Search API, was analysed. The source data is also publicly available to all Twitter users via the Twitter Search API and available to anyone with an Internet connection via the Twitter and Twitter Search web client and mobile apps without the need of a Twitter account. These posts and the resulting dataset contain the results of analyses of Tweets that were published openly on the Web with the queried hashtag; the content of the Tweets is responsibility of the original authors. Original Tweets are likely to be copyright their individual authors but please check individually.This work is shared to archive, document and encourage open educational research into scholarly activity on Twitter.
The purpose and function of hashtags is to organise and describe information/outputs under the relevant label in order to enhance the discoverability of the labeled information/outputs (Tweets in this case). Tweets published publicly by scholars or other professionals during academic conferences or events are often publicly tagged (labeled) with a hashtag dedicated to the event n question. This practice used to be the confined to a few ‘niche’ fields; it is increasingly becoming the norm rather than the exception. Though every reason for Tweeters’ use of hashtags cannot be generalised nor predicted, it can be argued that scholarly Twitter users form specialised, self-selecting public professional networks that tend to observe scholarly practices and accepted modes of social and professional behaviour. In general terms it can be argued that scholarly Twitter users willingly and consciously tag their public Tweets with a conference hashtag as a means to network and to promote, report from, reflect on, comment on and generally contribute publicly to the scholarly conversation around conferences.
As Twitter users, conference Twitter hashtag contributors have agreed to Twitter’s Privacy and data sharing policies.Professional associations like the Modern Language Association and the American Pyschological Association recognise Tweets as citeable scholarly outputs. Archiving scholarly Tweets is a means to preserve this form of rapid online scholarship that otherwise can very likely become unretrievable as time passes; Twitter’s search API has well-known temporal limitations for retrospective historical search and collection. Beyond individual Tweets as scholarly outputs, the collective scholarly activity on Twitter around a conference or academic project or event can provide interesting insights for the contemporary history of scholarly communications. Though this work has limitations and might not be thoroughly systematic, it is hoped it can contribute to developing new insights into a discipline’s public concerns as expressed on Twitter over time.
González-Bailon, Sandra and Wang, Ning and Rivero, Alejandro and Borge-Holthoefer, Javier and Moreno, Yamir, Assessing the Bias in Samples of Large Online Networks (December 4, 2012). Available at SSRN: http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2185134
In this interview Adrian Edwards, lead curator of Printed Historical Sources, The British Library talks to me about the Comics Unmasked: Art and Anarchy in the UK exhibition at The British Library which opens on Friday and will stay open until 19th August 2014.
How to cite: Priego, E 2014. Comics Unmasked: A Conversation with Adrian Edwards, lead curator of Printed Historical Sources, The British Library. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship 4(1):2, DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5334/cg.an
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).
Published on 30 April 2014.
With many thanks to Ludi Price for her super speedy transcription help and to everyone at Ubiquity Press, who worked at neck-breaking speed to ensure this article was published before the opening of the exhibition.
Today we will be discussing how library collections and archives interrogate (disrupt?) previous and current conceptions of “publishing”. We’ll do this through two presentations by two very special guest speakers:
Dr James Baker, Digital Curator, British Library
Dr Geoff Browell, Senior Archives Services Manager, Library Services, King’s College London
By hearing about their two different professional experiences in the present day, we will be hoping to stimulate a discussion about how future libraries and future publications will co-exist.
This year’s SpotOn London conference will take place at the British Library.
I have cancelled my appearance. If I have time I might write a post about it later.
SpotOn is a series of community events for the discussion of how science is carried out and communicated online. The flagship conference is the annual SpotOn London two day event, formerly called Science Online London, and now in its fifth year. They also host monthly SpotOn NYC events in New York City.
This year I’ll be participating in the following workshop:
SpotOn London 2013: Interdisciplinary research: what can scientists, humanists and social scientists learn from each other?
Friday 8 November, 2013 4:30 pm-5:30 pm.
Academics are increasingly turning to interdisciplinary working to maximise the potential of their research. Benefits allegedly include increased access to funding, resources, knowledge and impact (to name but a few) – but how do these partnerships work in real life? What can researchers from polar opposites of the academy learn from each other? And can we ever really get along? This will be an interactive session which will include drafting of a new contract for interdisciplinary scientists, humanist and social scientists.
Coordinator: Dr Philippa Grand (Head of Social Sciences, Palgrave Macmillan, @PalgraveSoc)
Dr Simon Bastow, (Senior Research Fellow, LSE Public Policy Group @simonjbastow)
Laura Hood (The Conversation, @Lahoo)
Des Fitzgerald (Sociologist at Kings College London, @Des_Fitzgerald)
Dr Ernesto Priego (Lecturer in Library Science, City University London @ernestopriego)
Tomorrow at the British Library, I will facilitate an internal one-day workshop titled “Digital Scholarship 101”. The workshop, for British Library staff, will provide an opportunity to brainstorm together what digital scholarship is and how we can engage in it/with it within the Library.
In this introductory workshop we will familiarise ourselves and engage critically and creativelly with key trends such as definitions of digital scholarship, digital collaboration and authorship, online sharing and open licensing, digital content; digitisation, copyright in the digital age, the Text Encoding Initiative, text and data mining, text analysis, crowdsourcing, georeferencing and data/text visualisation.