Earlier this week we launched the City Interaction Lab Podcast with an inaugural episode where we talk about graphic medicine with Dr Simon Grennan (University of Chester) and Peter Wilkins (Douglas College, Vancouver Canada).
In this inaugural episode we discuss work co-designing the comics ‘Parables of Care‘ and ‘I Know How This Ends’ centred on dementia care. These complementary issues shine light on those living with dementia and their carers.
We are aware of the issues with audio levels in this episode; we’ll do better next time!
The original audio file of the podcast has also been deposited in City Figshare.
Priego, Ernesto; Scott, Stuart; Wilkins, Peter; Grennan, Simon (2019): City Interaction Lab Podcast – Episode 1 – Discussing Graphic Medicine and Co-Designed Comics – Parables of Care. City, University of London. Media. https://doi.org/10.25383/city.11347799.v1
More on Parables of Care
Parables of Careexplores the potential of comics to enhance the impact of dementia care research.
The 16-page publication presents in comics form true stories of creative responses to dementia care, as told by carers, adapted from a group of over 100 case studies available at http://carenshare.city.ac.uk.
Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from
If you work in a library, hospital, GP practice or care home- or care for someone with dementia in the UK, you can order a free copy of Parables of Care here: in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.
I am very pleased that Parables of Care. Creative Responses to Dementia Care, as Told by Carers is now available. It is a 16-page publication presenting true stories of creative responses to dementia care, as told by carers.
Parables of Care can be downloaded as a PDF file, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, from City Research Online: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/18245/.
If you live in the UK you can request printed copies at no cost here.
Parables of Care was edited and adapted by Dr Simon Grennan (University of Chester) Dr Ernesto Priego (City, University of London) and Dr Peter Wilkins (Douglas College). Parables of Carewas drawn by Dr Simon Grennan with Christopher Sperandio.
Research has shown that comics have the potential to have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of people who engage in comics reading and creation, contributing to transform attitudes, awareness and behaviour around illness and contributing to create new opportunities for empowerment and more positive behaviour (Cardiff University 2014). Parables of Careexplores the potential of comics to enhance the impact of dementia care research in particular.
It’s been an incredibly busy year, at work and at home, in professional circles and in the wider public, political arena. As a keen advocate of blogging as a key component of scholarly communications and the research life cycle, I’ve regretted being too busy (or too exhausted) to blog more frequently. As the academic term draws to an end and we approach the Christmas holidays, I feel I have a lot of engagement and dissemination work I have to catch up with. This post is one attempt of doing so.
I am very pleased to share that this year I joined the Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design (HCID) at City, University of London. The Centre has a strong track record of research into accessible and interactive technologies and methods for people with disabilities and to support creativity in mental health (particularly for dementia care).
My own recent collaborative research has focused on Graphic Medicine, i.e the study, design and delivery of creative, therapeutic and educational uses of graphic narratives (comics, cartoons) for mental health care provision and public engagement.
I am very pleased that my application to obtain internal funding from the School to support activities and strategies to develop impact from HCID’s previous and ongoing research on these areas was successful. This is a modest internal award to support strategies to enhance the ‘public impact’ of recent academic outputs (2013-2016). Our proposal seeks to connect the dots between previous and ongoing work on dementia care and graphic medicine.
We will be organising knowledge exchange workshops with the participation of HCID researchers, mental health professionals, comics scholars and comics artists. The workshops will focus on the exploration, discussion, reuse and adaptation into comics of the dementia care best practice data collected and made available by the Care’N’Share project, which crowdsourced, curated and aggreagated a significant dataset of case studies of best practices for dementia care (Zachos et al, 2013; Maiden et al, 2016).
Our ongoing study on ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource engaged with members of the creative industries involved in the creation and publishing of comic books with mental health topics and mental health care students and professionals in partnership with the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust (Priego & Farthing 2016, Farthing & Priego, 2016b). The research shows the need of further knowledge exchange between academics, those creating graphic medicine materials, mental health care practitioners and members of the public.
Our proposal seeks to address and respond to these findings through graphic medicine workshops and the creation of deliverables in comics (print and online) form. Initially, we will host comics workshops at City, University of London between late February and April 2017. We will focus primarly in working together to explore and discuss the Care’N’Share dataset and the different possibilities in which the data can be adapted into comics form, leading to the creation, distribution and user testing of a professional comics publication, under the artistic direction of Dr Simon Grennan. We will be sending out public and personalised invitations to participate in the workshops and to provide feedback in early 2017.
The end users will be those interested in dementia care (carers, mental health professionals, patients, relatives, members of the public interested in comics and/or mental health). They will benefit by gaining knowledge about the best practices for dementia care collected and the affordances of graphic medicine to make these practices communicated more widely and distributed in an accessible form.
Carers and people with dementia, care homes and health trusts are logical beneficiaries of enhanced impact of dementia care research, but so is society at large: it is estimated 750,000 people suffer from dementia in the UK alone. It is predicted that by 2051 dementia will affect “a third of the population either as a sufferer, relative or carer” (Zachos et al, 2013; Wimo and Prince, 2010).
Research shows that comics have the potential to have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of people who engage in comics creation (for example by participating in workshops) or reading (publications), contributing to transform attitudes, awareness and behaviour around illness and contributing to create new opportunities for empowerment and more positive behaviour (Cardiff University 2014).
Ours is a small initiative that seeks to make a contribution to enhancing the public impact of the best practice data resulting from research by exploring and embracing the communicative affordances of graphic storytelling in general and graphic medicine in specific. We hope that by enabling stronger links between academia, dementia care practice and comics scholars and practitioners, we will be taking steps in the right direction.
Zachos, K., Maiden, N., Pitts, K., Jones, S., Turner, I., Rose, M., Pudney, K. & MacManus, J. (2013). A software app to support creativity in dementia care. Paper presented at the 9th ACM Conference on Creativity & Cognition, 17-06-2013 – 20-06-2013, Sydney, Australia. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/3837/ .
Maiden, N., Schubmann, M., McHugh, M., Lai, A.Y. & Sulley, R. (2016). Evaluating the Impact of a New Interactive Digital Solution for Collecting Care Quality In-formation for Residential Homes. Paper presented at the 30th British Human Computer Interaction Conference, 11-15 Jul 2016, Bournemouth, UK. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/15127/.
Priego, E. & Farthing, A. (2016). ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 6, doi: 10.16995/cg.74 http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/13441/ .This research was presented at the Graphic Medicine Conference 2016, 7-9 July 2016, University of Dundee, UK.
Farthing, A. & Priego, E. (2016). Data from ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. Journal of Open Health Data, 4(1), e3. doi: 10.5334/ohd.25. http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/15251/ .
Originally, UKSG stood for the United Kingdom Serials Group. Now that their geographic appeal has grown beyond the UK, and the scope has broadened to include e-books, e-learning and other e-resources as well as serials and e-journals, UKSG have stopped expanding the acronym.
I was honoured to participate in the morning plenary on Tuesday 15 April 2014 9:30-10:30 AM BST. My title was “The Impacts of ‘Impact’: challenges and opportunities of ‘multichannel’ academic work”. You can now see it on UKSG’s YouTube channel… [embedded below].
The conference had a lively backchannel under the #uksglive hashtag. I archived the tweets using Martin Hawksey’s Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet (TAGS).
Some insights from the conference’s backchannel:
Number of tweets in archive started 09/04/2014 17:14:33 BST; last tweet in archive 16/04/2014 18:24:45 BST:
Twitter Activity during the 3 days of the conference:
Top tweeters, 9-16 April 2014:
I have shared the source data on figshare as a CSV file containing tweets tagged with #uksglive from Friday April 11 12-00-51 +0000 2014 to Wednesday April 16 17:24:45 +0000 2014. The dates in the CSV file are GMT (not BST).
The original archive contained tweets dating back to 9 April 2014 but for relevance this dataset concentrates on the main activity immediately before, during and a few hours after the actual conference. Some of the data has been cleaned but duplications and even one or two spam tweets might have remained. The data is shared as is.
Please note there was also some Twitter activity around the conference using the hashtags #uksg and #uksg14, but those tweets were not included in this collection.
If you find this data useful and/or use it for your research, please kindly cite this file as indicated above and share it openly with others. Please feel free to get in touch via Twitter @ernestopriego or by sending me an email via my contact page on this blog.
Research Information published an article based on my UKSG presentation. Read it here.
I have deposited on figshare a third alluvial diagram, this time focusing on the country of affiliation of the Principal Investigator/Author of the articles and the geographical area mentioned in the article title.
Like the previous two diagrams the source data is an Altmetric Explorer report I exported on 19 February 2014 including the 25 articles which according to Altmetric were the articles with the highest Altmetric score. Fourteen of those 25 are Open Access articles; 11 are paywalled.
Columns in the diagram correspond to 1) Country of affiliation of the article’s Principal Investigator/Author, 2) Geographical area covered in the title of the article, 3) Journal title 4) Access type.
Nine of the 25 PIs are from the USA; 6 from South Africa; 3 from the UK; 2 from France; 2 from Spain; 1 from Sweden and 1 unknown (author information was paywalled).
Nine of the 25 article titles mentioned the geographical term “South Africa”; 6 “Africa”; 3 “Southern Africa”; 2 “West Africa”; 1 “Central Africa”; 1 “Guinea” and “Africa”; 1 “North Africa” and “Southern Europe”; 1 “Northwest Africa”; and 1 “Southern and Eastern Africa”.
Also as previously indicated source data was deduped and cleaned and non-peer-reviewed outputs were removed from the original export. Source data is likely to change in future reports and it represents the online activity as tracked by Altmetric at that given point in time.
The MLA has been a pioneering academic organization in embracing Twitter. Since 2007 the so-called “conference back channel” has been growing considerably. Adoption of Twitter amongst scholars and students seems on the rise as well, and reporting live from the conference is no longer an underground, parallel activity but pretty much a recognized, encouraged aspect of the event.
Microblogging, with special emphasis on Twitter.com, the most well known service, is increasingly used as a means of undertaking digital “backchannel” communication (non-verbal, real-time, communication which does not interrupt a presenter or event, (Ynge 1970, Kellogg et al 2006). Digital backchannels are becoming more prevalent at academic conferences, in educational use, and in organizational settings. Frameworks are therefore required for understanding the role and use of digital backchannel communication, such as that provided by Twitter, in enabling participatory cultures.
Ross et all studied the Twitter activity around three digital humanities conferences (#dh09, #thatcamp and #drha09, #drha2009), collecting and analysing a corpus of 4574 tweets (90%, 4259 original tweets and only 313 Retweets).
Though this was activity that took place in 2009 for events considerably smaller than the MLA, the study by Ross et al remains an important reference for studies on Humanities scholars use of Twitter in general and for the data collection that I’ve been conducting (not only of the MLA backchannel) and the research I’ve been meaning to publish eventually.
As a comparison from another discipline, Desai et al (2012) collected and analysed 993 tweets over the 5 days of the American Society of Nephrology (ASN) annual scientific conference in 2011 (#kidneywk11).
There is still a paucity of reliable, timely research of how scholarls use Twitter around (before, during, after) academic conferences of different diciplines. Part of the problem is that often studies of social media are not disseminated through social media channels (either as fragmentary outputs on Twitter or as blog posts) and the “publishing delay” involved in peer-reviwed formal publication means that the data reaches us, as in the two cases cited above, two years later.
I have been following and participating remotely with the MLA convention through Twitter since 2010, attempting different ways of both engaging with and analysing the scholarly activity taking place under/with the hashtag(s) associated to the event. By far, this year #MLA14 (or #mla14; it’s not case sensitive) seemed to surpass all expectations of adoption.
I have been using Martin Hawksey‘s Twitter Archiving Google Spreadsheet TAGS (now in it’s fifth version) for a few years now, and it’s what I used to start collecting tweets tagged with #MLA14 from the 1st September 2013. In Hawksey’s words, TAGS is “a quick way to collect tweets, make publicly available and collaborate exploring the data.”
The archives I set updated automatically every minute, but the limit imposed by Google Sheets is 400,000 cells per sheet, and TAGS populates 18 columns with the tweets and associated metadata.
This means that the spreadsheets can fill very quickly and scripts can become unresponsive. I knew that if I wanted to collect as much as possible from what I knew would be a very busy feed. In other words I would require more than one archive, and I would have to hope I’d be able to deduplicate and collate the data in more manageable chunks later. In practical terms it meant that I had to be very attentive monitoring both the feed and the Google spreadsheets, following the event on Twitter almos as if I were literally there. It meant being attentive to the live archives and start collecting before the previous one had collapsed.
After the conference I was contacted by Chris Zarate from the MLA, who had also been archiving the #MLA14 feed with TAGS. He had some gaps in his data, and so did I, and only working together we have managed to have some glimpses of a more or less complete dataset of #MLA14 tweets.
A First Finding: How Many
Chris and I had more than 75,000 tweets in our combined sets, and after deduplicating them with OpenRefine we were down to 27,491 tweets.
The MLA annual convention might be a mega conference (around 7,500 paid attendees this year, according to Rosemary Feal) but 27,491 tweets is still an amazingly healthy figure reflecting some undoubtable adoption of Twitter from humanities scholars.
Chris did a quick plot over 9-12 January 2014 (the days of actual conference). It is possible we may have missed some tweets here and there due to the Twitter API rate-limiting, but there are no glaring gaps:
Not suprisingly, the overall Twitter activity peaked in the afternoon of Saturday 11 January (remember the conference took place from 9 to 12 January 2014). It was that morning Central Time that I tweeted that the #MLA14 feed was receiving 21.1 tweets per minute.
Logically many research questions arise.
What’s Next: More Soon
Chris and I are still working on the dataset so as to have it in different and manageable forms that allow for easier qualitative and quantitative analysis.
We are also looking forward to eventually sharing a CSV file containing data and metadata of tweets posted between Sunday September 01 2013 at 20:35:07 to Wednesday January 15 2014 16:16:41 (Central Time).
If you have a dataset including #MLA14 tweets before Sunday September 01 2013 at 20:35:07, we would love to hear from you.
I will keep sharing some insights from the dataset here. Hopefully I’ll have another post on this blog tomorrow with some interesting findings.
N.B. Sadly, in spite of constant efforts by me and many other colleagues to encourage the recognition of blog posts as academic outputs, research of this type that is not presented in the traditional academic venues (read: peer-reviewed academic article or monograph) rarely gets cited (this is frankly disappointing). Therefore I regret I will be unable to blog the complete analysis or share the whole dataset until I have at least secured one formal output for this ongoing research. Were I in a different stage of my career I could probably afford to, but it’s not the case at the moment.
Again, with many thanks to Chris Zarate for collaborating in this project.
Desai, T., Shariff, A., Shariff, A., Kats, M., Fang, X., Christiano, C., & Ferris, M. (2012). Tweeting the meeting: an in-depth analysis of Twitter activity at Kidney Week 2011. (V. Gupta, Ed.) PloS one, 7(7), e40253. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0040253. Accessed 16 January 2013
There I argue that practical and sustainable ways of increasing access to scholarly materials will require a more thorough transformation of the entire academic landscape, which includes publication, assessment and promotion.
I reused two previous blog posts to emphasise yet again that ultimately, open access advocates are fighting for the right of scholars at all career stages to ensure their work has more prospects of getting read, cited and ‘reused’. I believe that the role of early career scholars in adopting open access is essential if the model is to have a sustainable future.
This piece will also appear in the eCollection in for the Open Access Futures in the Humanities and Social Sciences conference on Thursday 24 October 2013 in Senate House, University of London. Printed copies will be available as well as electronic versions then.
More information on the collection and the conference is available here:
My Altmetric blog post on the LSE Future of Academic Impact conference (7 December 2012) was published as “Editor’s Choice” at Open Access Now (11 December 2012).
It was also published by the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog under the title “A new paradigm of scholarly communications is emerging: A report from the Future of Impact conference” (12 December 2012).
With many thanks to both publications and to Altmetric for allowing the reblogging of the piece.
For another report on the LSE event, see Dr David McGillivray’s Storify, “Narrating impacts in the Arts & Humanities” (12 December 2012).
In my previous Fieldwork post I posed some initial questions about how humanities and social sciences scholars and journals might benefit from alt-metrics data. In my latest Fieldwork post I take a quick look at the Library Science journals currently available through the Altmetric Explorer.