Thursday, 16 November 2017

Andy Tattersall named as a Jisc Social Media Superstar for 2017

Andy Tattersall has been named in Jisc's top ten HE Social Media Superstars of 2017. Andy was nominated for the award after his work creating ScHARR’s YouTube channel, Andy’s video series’ include ScHARR Bite Size series which teaches the viewer “something new in 20 minutes”.  His Research Hacks series contains 44 helpful videos, and the more recent Cite Hacks series features engaging illustrations and information – such as this video that covers blogging about your research.  
 
Judges’ comments: Andy’s use of YouTube playlists to give bite-sized information is a really effective way to share knowledge simply with colleagues and peers across the world.  We thought the Cite Hacks series was particularly is good.
 
 
Andy said about social media
“Higher education is now in a continual state of change thanks to the web and social media, it offers a wealth of new opportunities for teaching and learning, knowledge sharing and opening up of our resources across the globe. Video plays an important part of that change as it allows bite size, cheap, accessible knowledge that is shared on all platforms and in the classroom, lab, or even on the bus.”
As well as @Andy_Tattersall, Andy can be found tweeting from @ScHARRSheffield and @MultiMediaIT . Each winner not only makes the top ten list, but also wins an edtech experience for their class, robot and virtual reality included. The competition sets out to celebrate the innovative ways in which social media is being used in HE to add value to sector-practice.

The final line-up was chosen by a panel of HE and social media experts, including; Jisc’s social media team, Sarah Knight (head of change – student experience), and award-winning social media editor for Times Higher Education, Chris Parr.
Richard Tatnall, digital communications manager at Jisc said:
“What really impressed me was the impact our superstars are making with their social media activity. We saw great examples of reaching vast audiences with a single message on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, as well as making big impacts on a small, defined audiences in closed and private networks. There’s no question that social media can be highly resource intensive so being able to demonstrate the value it delivers is vital and our superstars were able to do this in spades.”

Friday, 3 November 2017

Andy Tattersall interviewed by the Librarians Aloud Podcast

I was really delighted to be interviewed by Laura Rooney Ferris for the popular Librarians Aloud Podcast alongside Jan Holmquist. In the podcast I talk about scholarly communications, digital academia, open access and data. You can listen to the podcast here 


Thursday, 19 October 2017

Andy Tattersall at Internet Librarian International

Image of Andy Tattersall
Andy Tattersall
As with the previous six years (it might be longer), I attended the popular and exciting conference Internet Librarian International. I've given numerous talks there over the last few years and had a year off last year to moderate a really superb session titled 'Come and feel the love'. This year I returned to the speakers lectern, not to deliver one, two, but three talks. I had pitched two in which were accepted and had an invite by the conference organisers to make it a trio. This put me in the brackets as such luminaries Phil Bradley and Marydee Ojala by giving multiple talks this year.

The first was at the end of day one where I talked about the video collections I have created as part of my role using tools like Adobe Spark and Videoscribe. I was alongside a really good presentation on content creation by The King's Fund by Hong-Anh Nguyen (a member of Sheffield's iSchool Alumni) and Deena Maggs. With three presentations, I felt like I was going into a sporting tournament where I was keen to get my first fixture under my belt. 

The next one followed after hearing David White from The University of Arts deliver a superb keynote. David is a very engaging speaker who I've had the pleasure of delivering a webinar alongside him for Jobs.ac.uk a couple of years ago. His talk was on the opportunities to be had for librarians in a world of misinformation and people looking for quick and agreeable answers. I then gave my talk on the future or research support and potential roles that could appear in the future to deliver them at the coal face of research. I was introduced by Phil Bradley which was a real pleasure and was fortunate to have quite a packed room for the session. At the the end there was some useful debate as to where we might be going with this.

Finally, to finish on a high note I presented in the same session as four wonderful Irish librarians who between them have created two really informative and entertaining podcast series for their institutions - pretty much in their own time. The first of the talks was delivered by the team who the produce LibrariansAloud Podcast which regularly interviews professionals from within the library and information sector. I was also pleased to be in the same session as colleagues who deliver the enjoyable Shush Radio Podcast who spoke about their work making podcasts to promote their library service at University College Cork. My talk was about the work that myself and fellow ScHARR information specialist Mark Clowes undertakes each year to run a 24 hour pop up radio station to support the Inspiration for Life event to raise funds for local cancer charities. As a result of the session I was taken off to a quiet spot to be interviewed by Laura Rooney Ferris from LibrariansAloud for a future podcast, where you will hear us solve most of the world's problems with the aid of good quality information.

As always Internet Librarian International is a well run conference with lots of energy that brings together regular faces as well as new ones. There was even a session for new professionals to help them on the right track career-wise. Another bonus of a really enjoyable conference was hearing that my book had sold out on the Facet Publisher's table, although I'm fairly certain they will have only packed one. Below are all my slides from the conference, the 24 Hour Inspire set seem to have gone strange after being imported into Slideshare, apologies for that. Seriously, who would want to work with technology?






Friday, 6 October 2017

Should Academic Libraries offer a policy or service for Text Data Mining?

Sheldon Korpet (Information Officer in ScHARR Library) reports on a Masters research project she undertook for the University of Sheffield Library.

While Text Data Mining (TDM) is not completely unheard of within Librarianship, it was a very unfamiliar area to myself and two other MSc Digital Library Management students at the University of Sheffield. We are tasked with exploring this area and how the library could support its growing popularity across disciplines.

Image of Sheldon Korpet
Download the report
What is TDM? 

TDM is a way of analysing data computationally. It can be used to look for themes and sentiment within documents or to compare documents’ word usage or sentence structure to determine similarity.

Why is TDM Important?
 


Scholarly publications are increasing at an overwhelming rate. TDM has helped the researchers we have interviewed deal with increasingly large amounts of information by examining it in new ways and deal with information overload. The ability to examine huge data sets has also enabled the study of social media data which would have been vastly time-consuming or simply impossible to analyse.

Who Uses TDM?


 On undertaking our interviews we were able to find researchers from all five of the University of Sheffield’s subject faculties, including Mark Clowes, Information Specialist at  ScHARR. These methods are being used widely, beyond computer science. However those researchers interviewed often spoke of a need for programming or statistical knowledge to be able to exploit the technology to its fullest extent.

How Could an Academic Library Support TDM?


 Academic libraries already host information and digital literacy skills programs, maintain publisher connections and content collections. In addition they have copyright specialists and have subject-neutral spaces. These key assets could help researchers access the information they need and counter the legal challenges of TDM to support its growth.



Read the report to learn what we recommended the University of Sheffield Library could do to support TDM in its institution.

A Practical Class Project


 Myself, Erica and Bálint decided to release this report in to the wild thanks to the recommendation of our supervisor, Dr Andrew Cox, and our interview participants — many of whom found the end result of interest.



Images of Sheldon, Erica and Balint
Left to right: Sheldon, Erica and Bálint
 


  • Sheldon Korpet is an Information Officer in the School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield.

  • Dr EricaBrown is working in Scholarly Communications at the University of Manchester.


Useful resources


Fact Sheet: Text Mining — NLPN
Text & Data Mining — University of Cambridge Library LibGuide



 

Friday, 22 September 2017

Intro Week at ScHARR Library

Image of Sheldon Korpet
Sheldon Korpet
This week, ScHARR Library welcomed our new Postgrad students. Information Specialists, Claire Beecroft and Mark Clowes, delivered an information skills session teaching students about searching for literature. ScHARR Library even created some goodie bags for the occasion!
Image of Rachel Walker
Rachel Walker

The library is a place to work within the department, use the PCs and Chromebooks or sit on the soft seats for a coffee and a chat. The meeting table is also bookable for group work.

Myself and Rachel, Information Officers on the library enquiry desk, look forward to meeting and helping our new students. 

Here are our #ScHARRIntro17 tips for new ScHARR students:

  • Improve your assignments by working on your information skills – try the IRIS quizzes on MOLE to find out how good you really are at finding and organising
  • We can help you find information –if you have any burning questions please ask Rachel or Sheldon at enquiry desk
  • Our books and dissertations can be searched through our catalogue here (Note: our items are not on StarPlus)
  • We hold core text books for your courses

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Cite Hacks - A new video series to support scholarly communications, digital academia and gain a few extra citations (hopefully)

Image of Andy Tattersall
Andy Tattersall
Over the last couple of years I have created three series of videos to help researchers and academics make more out of technology and the web to support their work. The first series was Research Hacks which appeared in 2015, Learn Hacks followed shortly and then last year App Hacks was launched. You might notice a bit of a theme here, but the purpose of these videos are to offer quick and simple suggestions for the progressive academic to work differently. They were part instructional and part inspirational and focused on a myriad of technologies, tools, websites and opportunities. The videos are usually shorter than three minutes long and are an introduction to such topics and how I can help others take advantage of them.



Cite Hacks
Cite Hacks are about what academics can do to improve their chances of getting cited. More than that, the videos are about making your research easier to discover and exploit fresh opportunities within digital academia. There is conflicting evidence as to the many ways you can improve citations but these videos offer opportunities for explore much more. If you don't try then you won't know. The exercise of blogging, making data and research open, using social media and using better keywords and titles are all part of where academia is heading.



Cite Hacks Playlist

Monday, 11 September 2017

The Digital Transformation of Research Support - Northern Collaboration Workshop Presentation

Image of Andy Tattersall
Andy Tattersall
Myself and Alison McNab (University of Huddersfield) delivered a workshop of the Northern Collaboration Conference held at The University of York. The conference is a regular joint event between 27 northern based university libraries. Our workshop explored the potential for the creation of a specialist role that helped support research that was very much aligned to the library and information community.

The workshop was an opportunity to ask attendees what digital, research and library competencies they already had that could contribute to the role of an academic/research technologist. We asked them to suggest other attributes form our list and then chose which ones they would most like to focus on. It was a really good opportunity to discuss these embryonic ideas at the conference. The findings from this workshop will form more presentations and writing as we explore this idea further. Our slides and abstract are below.  

Abstract 
This session will provide delegates with an overview of the digital research landscape, an introduction to tools and resources to tame the landscape, the opportunity to consider the skillsets required in the context of their own workplace, and an introduction to the research technologist manifesto. Please bring a mobile device (and your Eduroam password) to contribute to this interactive session.
Image of Alison McNab
Alison McNab

Researchers increasingly need to understand a multitude of topics including digital copyright, impact, altmetrics, communications, social media, research data management and sharing, open access, infographics, video, animation and mobile apps. Yet all too often they have little time, support or encouragement to explore these topics and have they need to make informed judgements on the most appropriate technologies. 

For decades skilled LIS professionals have provided researchers with excellent services around collection management, content curation and discovery, critical appraisal and reference management. More recently they have stepped into new areas of support and applied their knowledge around social media, metrics, scholarly communications and research data management. Given that the modern LIS professional is adept of working across platforms, good at problem solving and the use of new technologies, are they positioned to guide and work alongside researchers as research technologists?



Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Andy Tattersall featured in new ebook on digital academia


Andy Tattersall has been featured in a new e book by Jobs ac uk called 'The Digital Academic. It comes off the back of a talk he delivered for Jobs ac uk in 2015 at The University of Warwick alongside Dr Inger Mewburn and Dr Nadine Muller.

Image of Andy Tattersall and quote text
Andy Tattersall
The talks were all about digital academia and using technology to be a modern academic, Andy's talk is below. The book offers useful on how to use social media, blogs, altmetrics and productivity tools as part of the academic process. The book is short, snappy and offers introductory advice as to help the novice explore some of the tools and ideas easily. Of course with is beign an online book there are plenty of links to further resources and tools. You can read the book here

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Article on Information Overload in The Statesman by Andy Tattersall

Image of Andy Tattersall
Andy Tattersall
Image of The Statesman newspaper
© The Statesman
Andy Tattersall has published an invited piece on information overload in the Indian newspaper The Statesman. The piece came off the back of his 2017 Pint of Science talk on how to deal with information overload. His article looks at different ways of creating protected periods of time for work and personal pursuits. It also includes a few extreme options such as having a NoPhone or using Pavlok to discharge an electric shock if you spend too much time on Facebook. The article can be read here and slides from his Pint of Science talk are below.



Monday, 24 July 2017

Book Review: Communicating Your Research With Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video

Image of Andy Tattersall
Andy Tattersall
With Communicating Your Research with Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video, authors Amy Mollett, Cheryl Brumley, Chris Gilson and Sierra Williams offer a definitive guide to communicating research using different social media tools. Reflecting on the utility of social media to all facets of the research landscape and lifecycle, this is a valuable book that will encourage readers to find the right platform for their voice, writes Andy Tattersall. 
If anyone was going to write a definitive book about communicating research using social media, it would be some of the people behind the various engaging blogs hosted by the London School of Economics and Political Science. The four authors either work or have worked for the LSE, and anyone who has ever followed the LSE Impact of Social Sciences blog will know that it has been at the forefront of social media and science communication for some time.
Social media, like most of the web, is a cross between a goldfield and a minefield. There are opportunities aplenty for those who engage with it, but also many potential problems lurking below the surface. For most academics, it still appears an unknown land when they come at it from a wholly professional perspective. There are those who know what they are doing, and often doing it well; there are those who are not engaging with social media at all; and there are those who are but just aren’t sure why. All three groups can benefit from a book like Communicating Your Research with Social Media: A Practical Guide to Using Blogs, Podcasts, Data Visualisations and Video, as no matter what you think you know about social media as part of your research communication, it probably isn’t enough.
This is because social media is in a constant state of flux, always changing and always spiralling off into new areas. Like the gold- and minefield analogy, many of these require some degree of support to help navigate them successfully. Whether you are new to Twitter or mastering video, podcasts and blogging as part of your research communication lifecycle, you still have things to learn. This title begins quite rightly at the theoretical and historical end of social media, which it covers in adequate depth. As with learning to drive, there is the practical and there is the theoretical: the latter in this case helps put some flesh on the bones as to why the web is how it is and what that means to anyone working in academia. The authors do this really well as they start out by defining social media from its early beginnings right up to recent times and how it has impacted for change on a global scale, such as through the Arab Spring and the Black Lives Matter campaign.
Contrary to many people’s beliefs about social media in an academic setting, it is not just about learning to use a new technology: it is not like unpacking your new kettle, looking for the ‘on’ switch and making your first cup of tea. It requires a reason to use that technology and considerations around that choice, which this book explains throughout. You can be told to use Twitter as it will help share your research, but you need to understand what the benefits will be as well as the potential barriers and costs. Thankfully, this book highlights those considerations through each practical chapter.
Image Credit: (Mike Mackenzie CC BY 2.0 vpnsrus.com)
Quite importantly, the research lifecycle and social media are also given their own chapter as both are not mentioned in close proximity to each other nearly enough. Yet, to myself and the authors, these two spheres seem to have been destined to be together for quite some time now. For those familiar with the research lifecycle as it exists, in Chapter Two the authors present their own iteration broken into six areas: Inspiration, Collaboration, Primary Research, Dissemination, Engagement and Impact. Social media is linked to all six, and the book addresses those connections to reflect on what the research landscape looks like for those who have embraced these digital opportunities.
The next four chapters are well-signposted and cover the main areas of interest: writing blog posts; creating infographics and visualisations; making audio and podcasts; and creating videos and images for social media. Each sets out to define these areas as there are plenty of academics still unsure what each element is and how it applies to their world. So the book’s approach is to work from the basics upwards and give clear signposting along the way.
The blog chapter tackles that most fundamental of problems: ‘what to write about?’ Advice on this and how to structure your blog (with the temptation being to just write a shorter version of your research paper) are plenty as well as on applying the right tone. Careful consideration is also given as to what platforms to go to when first starting your blog. The tone is light and positive so that anyone coming in from a basic level entrypoint will not feel overwhelmed by the content. The chapters regularly pause to ask questions to guide the reader towards understanding the reason for applying any of these digital approaches to their research communication, whilst also containing no shortage of textual and visual examples of cases studies to inspire the reader to consider as part of their own application.
The chapters also make clear connections between what a tool is and how it can be applied in research communication: an area many academics fail to link. For those looking to overhaul their research practices, keen to communicate their findings and ideas and to future proof their work, the book is a good place to start. Useful waypoints are added throughout the book so you can assess your progress before launching any new social content. The temptation when given new creative tools is to rush and get content out there for your peers and the world to see. Yet if the data is distorted, unreadable or not properly labelled and branded, you could be left with problems. Thankfully, the book sets out key checkpoints throughout to negate that, a good example being the infographics and data visualisation checklist which asks seven important questions before publishing your poster and data. The book also comes with a useful companion website that includes blog posts on everything from social media and the research lifecycle to guides on using Twitter and making podcasts.
Communicating your Research with Social Media does not require the reader to start at page one and work through it in a linear fashion. As with many books, it can be digested in one large sitting or bit-by-bit as and when needed. How you engage with this book will also depend on your level of ability to use social media professionally: it is important to note a difference here between this and how you use it on a personal level. The book is aimed at a very wide market: from students to established academics, from professional support staff to journal publishers and funding bodies, all will have useful things to take away from the text.
As with other work written by the authors about social media in research, this book is another valuable addition to the collection. Of course, with everything social media these days, there is no getting away from Donald Trump, who is mentioned six times. But his appearance is a reminder that in these uncertain times, with the suppression of experts and research evidence, it has never been a more crucial period for academics to learn new digital skills. The authors conclude that the research lifecycle has in many ways always been a social process, so it should make good sense to employ new digital technologies of communication to aid that. By communicating your research, not only can academics build networks and possibilities for collaboration, gather evidence of impact and share their research, but they can be a voice of truth in a world of fake news. To do this they must first find a platform for their voice, and this book will set them off on the right path or move them further along it.
Originally published on the LSE Review of Books