This article’s peer review and editorial processes were managed independently by Benoît Crucifix, Björn-Olav Dozo, and Aarnoud Rommens.
We are very grateful to the editors and peer reviewers for their rigorous, robust, extensive and thoughtful critical review and feedback, which enabled us to significantly improve the original submission into its present form.
We have had an overwhelmingly kind and positive response so far– thank you everyone for reading and for your feedback.
I will participate in this event along curator Marisol Rodríguez and comics artist, editor and publisher Francisco de la Mora. We will discuss the current state of Mexican comics in a panel chaired by Jessica Fernández de Lara, University of Cambridge.
This event is open to all.
Date and time: Thursday, February 16, 2017 – 5:15pm
Location: Seminar Room, Radcliffe Humanities Building, Woodstock Road, Oxford, OX2 6GG
The title of my talk is “Graphic Medicine: Using Comics as a Mental Health Information Resource”.
The seminar will be held in AG08, College Building, from 1pm – 2pm. [map]
All welcome. Bring your lunch!
“Graphic Medicine – Using Comics Within the Mental Health Domain”
Recent literature suggests that a growing number of comics are being published on health-related topics, including aspects of mental health and social care (Williams 2012; Czerwiec et al 2015; Priego and Farthing 2016; King 2016) and that comics are increasingly being used in higher education settings as information resources. The term ‘Graphic Medicine’ denotes ‘the role that comics can play in the study and delivery of healthcare’ (Green and Myers 2010: 577; Williams (no date)).
Fairly recently, more researchers have also turned to comics creation to disseminate research findings (Priego 2016). These researchers argue that comics (print and/or online publications) can lead to a wider adoption of research and enhance educational practices, widen public engagement, and improve the possibilities for research to influence public policy. The seminar will introduce the key terminology and methodologies employed and will discuss insights from qualitative analysis of data collected from comics creators and disseminators involved in the creation and dissemination of ‘Graphic Medicine’ (Farthing & Priego 2016).
In order to contextualize this exploration of ‘Graphic Medicine’, the seminar will also provide an introduction to non-fiction comics research, and conclude with reflections on what the study and use of comics can contribute to Medical Humanities and Human Computer Interaction Design research within the mental health domain.
I have done revisions to this post since publication.
[I don’t have time. What is this about?
My view is that altmetrics are not merely tools for the measurement of online attention but tools that can help us discover the literature that is being tracked as mentioned. I used the Altmetric Explorer as a tool to discover articles about inequality. I cleaned the data into three tables to reflect only the articles that interested me from three journals and then checked them for access and license type. Most are paywalled and if free access the licensing is not clear. Scroll down to see the tables, or download the dataset here.
It’s better if you read the post, though. ;-) ]
Using the Altmetric Explorer to Discover Literature
I‘ve been doing some research on the concept of ‘inequality’ from an economic and sociological perspective to add background to ongoing research on academic publishing and ‘monopolies of knowledge‘. I am interested in finding out more about the potential relationships between inequality of access to information (particularly access to peer-reviewed research publications) and other forms of inequality affecting social and economic development.
As you may (or not) know I am also interested in the potential for altmetrics as tools to help us in the discovery of research outputs. Some may not like it but needless to say people do search for and discover all sorts of information online. To give an example, these days many of us rarely get invited to a party with a paper invitation sent on the post (unless it’s a wedding, and even that is culture and country-dependent now); it’s likely, however, that there will be a Facebook invite, an Instagram account, or an email. OK, you may hate weddings or have never been invited to one. You must like music. If you are reading this you are likely to know people who discover new (and old!) music by looking into what other people listen to on apps like Spotify or Soundcloud, etc. (Yes, this sounds so old and so obvious!). We trust other people to recommend us stuff. (Think of how many of us travel today: TripAdvisor is a good example too).
More to the point, libraries and library web sites are no longer the only gateways to academic information (why should they be?). You don’t have to be a declared open education advocate to share, search for and discover interesting materials on Slideshare or YouTube. The distinction between ‘social networking’ or ‘social media’ sites and the rest of the Web is at best artificial: most platforms today imply inter-linking and therefore social interaction. Surely, I think, web platforms tracking social media activity like Altmetric can be used to discover what research people are mentioning online. One does not need a personal or institutional Altmetric account to discover other outputs from the articles themselves when they have Altmetric widgets. In other words, my view is that altmetrics are not merely tools for the measurement of online attention but tools that can help us discover the literature that is being tracked as mentioned.
The bibliography collection is an important part of a literature review. We may collect bibliography we are interested in reading before we properly review or collect as we read/review (hopefully once one is reading one follows leads in an article, checks the references and notes, clicks on links, gets elsewhere). To discover published research I have used the Altmetric Explorer many times before (see, as an example, “Ebola: Access and Licenses of 497 Papers Crowdsourced in 7 Days”, 14/08/2014).
Three Sets of Articles on Inequality
Recently I have been using it to search for articles on the topic of ‘inequality’. I am interested in which articles on this topic are being tracked by Altmetric as mentioned online, but I am also interested in the access and license types of the outputs tracked.
As I do normally in my research workflow I have been exporting the results of my searches and then cleaning the data. I do this by manually applying spreadsheet filters and adding and deleting columns, and using OpenRefine to deduplicate and standarise the data. I then check each output (i.e. I click on each link) and make a note whether I can access the full version without academic library credentials or not.
In this case I am sharing with you three sets of articles, each corresponding to a different journal that has published articles on inequality that have been tracked as mentioned online by Altmetric within the last year. In the tables below I have left the Altmetric score in timeframe (one year) in the first column and have organised the outputs in that order (from the highest score to the lowest). Having checked each article one by one manually not using any institutional credentials or IP, I have indicated in the last column the access type of each article. As Altmetric scores can change over time often quite quickly I have also left the most recent mention online according to Altmetric. This is of course not live data so it merely reflects the score and the most recent mention at the time of my data collection.
Information, Communication & Society
Altmetric Score in timeframe
Most recent mention online according to Altimetric
Racial formation, inequality and the political economy of web traffic
I am not sure if this humble blog would be tracked by Altmetric so (ironically) I may or may not be contributing to the Altmetric score of the outputs above as I am linking to them. (It is insightful that altmetrics can be tracked when people have reached merely abstracts but not full texts). In this instance I am not listing them above because I necessarily recommend them but as a small sample of articles on inequality from recognised journals, noting their access type.
I do not know if the authors of these articles have deposited open access versions of these papers in their respective institutional repositories or elsewhere (if you are so inclined, you can check the three journals’ archiving policies here), and I am not publishing this post because I cannot personally access the articles above (so thank you very much indeed but please do not contact me, dear reader, to offer me the PDFs via email or Twitter). I am not saying the articles above are all there is on the subject; I am just sharing those results and detailing their access type (which you can’t easily get unless you click on them and try to access them, and even if you can access them -this means full versions- you may find it difficult to tell why you happen to have access to them).
In this post I have wanted to make a very simple point: following the links to the publishers’ versions of record of these articles discovered via the Altmetric Explorer, the access conditions were the ones detailed above.
It could be argued that as an academic I have used the wrong tool to access these resources. It can be said that in my case, as an academic based in London, UK, it is my fault to expect to access these resources from outside my library (you say you can’t access them, dear reader? Your fault!) What I am trying to do here is try to see and share what happens when someone who normally has access to this kind of research steps out from their traditional/standard discovery tools and/or position of privilege. If you don’t have the right credentials, how much can you access? [I must also note that the Altmetric Explorer requires registration and normally membership too; however, all the links listed above can be reached via regular search engines and Google Scholar].
Things are changing slowly but academics’ distrust and complaints about the low quality and lack of trustworthiness of information found on the Web are common, but at the same time we have allowed paywalled online academic journals to remain (to me weirdly) disconnected from the rest of the Web, with links leading to abstracts that promise you a full version if you pay or have the right library credentials. This breaks the flow of information that has made the Web the amazing invention it is, and contributes to the separation between the outputs of higher education and the ‘general’ public.
In my opinion it is a serious problem that if you don’t have the right credentials then so much detective work is required to access some important research (or to elucidate articles’ licensing conditions, even if they are ‘free’ or ‘complimentary’). Others, as we know, can’t be bothered at all and merely jump all the hoops, against all policies. The more barriers you impose, the more people will want to circumvent them. Ideally.
In reality, it is more likely that paywalled outputs remain inaccessible/invisible to the larger public, and perhaps even more to those affected by the very conditions studied in them. Even as an academic or student in an elite institution it is often hard (read: not straight-forward, not friction-free) to access them! A non-academic searching for this research online is likely to have already transcended many of the structural barriers created by inequality. Once you finally get to an interesting article, how great it must be then to be greeted by a huge ‘pay or keep off’?
Some might say my hypothetical non-academic individual seeking access does not really exist. Some have suggested to me that there is no evidence there is interest from the public, and that those who have access are the only ones interested. That the non-academic public wouldn’t understand the research anyway. That those interested could try harder to find surrogates. That in case they exist they are likely to know people who can ‘share’ the research with them anyway. The list of justifications of the current system can be long.
Having lived, studied and worked in a developing country I know intelligent, curious, well-informed bilingual individuals who have no access to versions of record do exist. This is people who face the inequalities of access to scientific information. They may be relatively privileged, because they have transcended the most pressing needs to enable them to seek out research. This, however, does not mean they do not exist and that their needs are not important.
I know interested individuals that are not academics exist here in the UK too. I also know for a fact that there are academics worldwide who do not have access to a lot of paywalled research. I am often one of them myself. I know there are others because I know them personally and because we know that not all libraries can afford to subscribe to the same ‘bundles’ (for the latter there is a growing body of evidence). My personal experience does not count as scientific evidence, but it matters to me and I know it matters to others. I question why we assume that if there is supposedly no current public demand for research then it is acceptable to paywall it and not encourage further public interest and demand.
I am aware it is getting boring because I have been repeating this for several years know, but legal ‘frictionless sharing‘ wouldn’t go amiss, especially for this type of research. We call it “open access”.
Priego, Ernesto (2016): Inequality: Three sets of Journal Article Titles and URLs/DOIs from Three Different Journals, with Altmetric Score in Timeframe (1year), Last Mention at the Time of Collection and Access Type Noted. figshare. https://dx.doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.3808134.v2 [CC-0].
Sometimes academic publishing is like London buses. You wait for what it feels like an eternity and then suddenly three appear at the same time.
Yesterday the editorial my colleague Nicolas Pillai and I co-wrote was published on The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship:
Pillai, N. & Priego, E., (2016). Brilliant Corners: Approaches to Jazz and Comics. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship. 6, p.12. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.92
It’s been an absolute honour and pleasure to work on this project with Nic; stay tuned as there might be further collaborations! We were fortunate to get such exciting submissions for the collection.
Like all Comics Grid articles our editorial cited above is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. You can read it online, and/or download the PDF or XML, openly and without restrictions. You are also free to share it, use it or reuse it without prior permissions as long as you attribute properly. (For more info see http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Unlike many open-access publishers, the OLH does not charge any author fees. This does not mean that their journals do not have costs. Costs are paid by an international library consortium.
If your institution is not currently supporting the platform, you could ask your librarian to sign up. The OLH is extremely cost effective and is a not-for-profit charity. However, while the OLH cannot function without financial support and they encourage universities to sign up, institutional commitment is not required to publish in any of their journals.
In the paper we describe a dataset containing the full text transcripts from 15 semi-structured interviews (approximately 44,100 words) conducted during November and December 2014 with participants involved in various aspects of the process of health-related comics production. These participants are authors and publishers and their work is publicly recognised in the comics community.
An initial domain analysis of the interviews was published on 8 February 2016 as Farthing, A., & Priego, E. (2016). ‘Graphic Medicine’ as a Mental Health Information Resource: Insights from Comics Producers. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship, 6(1), 3. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.74
Little by little we might see more qualitative research datasets openly available. It’s not just quantitative datasets that have reuse potential. Many thanks to @up_healthdata for the helpful feedback and for encouraging multidisciplinary open research data description, archiving and preservation!
Over the last forty years, the fields of jazz studies and comic studies have gained currency within the academy and have been enriched by interdisciplinary approaches. The New Jazz Studies has invigorated the discipline beyond its musicological roots, while Comics Studies has thrived in the digital age.
The call for papers for this special collection was published on 30 July 2015 and the deadline for submissions was 15 January 2016. The articles in this collection have been published in the order in which they were ready for publication (i.e. not as a ‘bulk’ or single issue).
Yesterday we published a new addition to the collection:
Political, social, and cultural controversies are the main fodder of staff cartoonists at newspapers. From the serious to the silly, newspaper cartoonists are expected to comment on whatever happens to be in the news cycle on any day. This commentary creates both ephemera and historical evidence of events and their effects on society. This article investigates an incident at a jazz concert in Auckland in 1952 at which the musicians were charged with abusing the new Steinway grand piano and the following controversy about the jazz musicians’ use of town hall facilities. From this incident New Zealand Herald cartoonist Gordon Minhinnick responded with a cartoon and a comic strip about the debate. By examining Minhinnick’s contributions via the lens of cultural history we can apprehend the shape of this dispute (politically and culturally), how it impacted Auckland society, and also gain a sense about how jazz was perceived by society at large at that time. We can also see how Minhinnick used the debate to illustrate other important political issues facing Auckland at the time.
Keywords: history, jazz, jazz concert, New Zealand, politics
How to Cite: Ward, A., (2016). New Zealand Jazz Concerts, the Use and Abuse of Grand Pianos, and One Cartoonist’s Response. The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship. 6, p.10. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/cg.75
Even though this particular collection is now closed to new submissions, The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship receives submissions on an ongoing basis. More information at http://www.comicsgrid.com/about/submissions/.
If your institution is not currently supporting the platform, we request that you ask your librarian to sign up. The OLH is extremely cost effective and is a not-for-profit charity. However, while we cannot function without financial support and we encourage universities to sign up, institutional commitment is not required to publish with us.
Over the last forty years, the fields of jazz studies and comic studies have gained currency within the academy and have been enriched by interdisciplinary approaches. The New Jazz Studies has invigorated the discipline beyond its musicological roots, while Comics Studies has thrived in the digital age. This collection aims to find meeting points between the disciplines.
The call for papers for this special collection was published on 30 July 2015 and the deadline for submissions was 15 January 2016. The articles in this collection will be published in the order in which they were ready for publication (i.e. not as a ‘bulk’ or single issue).
Even though this particular collection is now closed to new submissions, The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship receives submissions on an ongoing basis. More information at http://www.comicsgrid.com/about/submissions/.
Last term I taught the Digital Information Technologies and Architectures (DITA) postgraduate module at #citylis.
Sessions are divided in an hour and half of lecture and an hour and a half of computer lab work. As part of the module students created datasets obtained using data from the Twitter and Altmetric APIs.
We also looked at the data obtainable from the Old Bailey Online and tried text analysis and basic visualisations using Voyant. In my lectures I have also used some of the datasets I have created and shared on figshare to teach. The Open Knowledge Foundation’s Open Data Handbook is part of the reading list.
The awareness amongst researchers that open data is citeable is increasing rapidly, and the benefits of open data for research are being widely acknowledged by learned societies, publishers and funders from various disciplines.
My colleagues Javiera Atenas (University College London), Leo Havemann (Birkbeck College) and I have been interested in Open Educational Resources and the interconnections between research, publishing and educational practices for some time now (for example see our recent article on Open Educational Resources Repositories here).
We are interested in finding more about how other colleagues in higher education are using open data in teaching.
We are conducting a mini survey to understand which portals, tools or repositories fellow academics are using to retrieve open datasets and how this data is being used in teaching and learning in Higher Education.
If you have used open data in your teaching practice we would like to hear from you.
Back in December 2014 we posted an idea on the “Research Data Spring” (also named “Research at Risk”), a collaborative initiative for UK Research hosted by Jisc. This is an idea I am hoping to develop in conjunction with the Centre for Information Science at City University London (#citylis) and the researcher-led open access publisher Ubiquity Press. The members of the team are Andy Byers at Ubiquity and David Bawden, Lyn Robinson and myself at #citylis.
Here’s the idea as posted on the Jisc Ideascale platform. The ideas posted on the platform Jisc used for this initiative could be voted for by members of the community and receive comments. We are very grateful to everyone who voted, “agreed” and commented. We got 40 votes and 12 comments. Thank you.
In mid January 2014 we learned our idea was successful in passing to the next stage in Research Data Spring (of 70 ideas posted, 44 were shortlisted). We will participate in a sandpit workshop on 26-27 February in Birmingham, and today I will present the idea and network with other participants at a workshop within the International Digital Curation Conference. The detailed programme for today is in PDF here.
The idea has two main components, one that we could call “technical” (in the sense it implies the development of a tool) and one that we could call “research” (in the sense that it implies researching what has already been done, learning from the process of developing the tool and from its implementation).
Our idea is to write a plugin for Open Journal Systems that sends data automatically or semi-automatically to Institutional Repositories.
1. To make data submission easier in terms of data by allowing people to upload directly to Dryad (an international repository of data underlying peer-reviewed scientific and medical literature) and Figshare (an open access repository developed by Digital Science) via API.
2. To make depositing easier by connecting OJS to other services via the JISC publications router which can be subscribed to by institutions to receive submissions.
The key thing to say here is that we are aware there’s important work that has been done already in this area, with tools that are already in use. We don’t want to reinvent the wheel. We want to build on what has been done, as there seems to be consensus that none of the existing solutions are completely satisfying. We are not saying we can come up with THE tool; we would use this opportunity to
discover what has already been done,
work with what already exists,
use the development phase itself as research data,
implement and test the tool and obtain research data,
produce a research output and an open source tool that can be used by the community.
For example, Stuart Lewis alerted us that the University of Edinburgh uses both SWORD and OJS (http://journals.ed.ac.uk/). We also know Rory McNicholl made a plugin based on the OJS SWORD plugin that gives editors the option to deposit to repositories as part of the OJS workflow. This was developed for and is in use by UCL at http://ojs.lib.ucl.ac.uk/. Rory was interested in collaborating with us and we believe the knowledge and expertise exchange would be vital.
The points made by Martin Eve are vital. We believe it is authors (not publishers) who must be responsible for depositing their work in repositories. This is also why this is a researcher-led idea, one that seeks knowledge exchange between researchers (who are also journal editors), publishers, developers, librarians (including repository managers) and university administrators.
I am a researcher and editor, not a developer, and developing this project would be an opportunity to continue learning about the technical component, which can only give a more thorough understanding of the pragmatic challenges and opportunities, from an implementation point of view, of open access and data and manuscript deposit. I believe it is essential that authors gradually become more involved in the publishing and depositing process, and this collaborative idea is one step in this direction.