Week Beginning 14th September 2015

I attended a project meeting and workshop for the Linguistic DNA project this week (see http://www.linguisticdna.org/ for more information and some very helpful blog posts about the project). I’m involved with the project for half a day a week over the next three years, but that effort will be bundled up into much larger chunks. At the moment there are no tasks assigned to me so I was attending the meeting mainly to meet the other participants and to hear what has been going on so far. It was really useful to meet the project team and to hear about their experiences with the data and tools that they’re working with so far. The day after the project meeting there was a workshop about the project’s methodological approach, and this also featured a variety of external speakers who are dealing or who have previously dealt with some of the same sorts of issues that the project will be facing, so it was hugely informative to hear these speakers too.

Preparing for, travelling to and attending the project meeting and workshop took up a fair chunk of my working week, but I did also manage to squeeze in some work on other projects as well. I spent about a day continuing to work on the Medical Humanities Network website, adding in the teaching materials section and facilities to manage teaching materials and the images that appear in the carousel on the homepage.  I’ve also updated the ‘spotlight on’ feature so that collections and teaching materials can appear in this section in addition to projects. That just leaves keyword management, the browse keywords feature, and organisation / unit management to complete. I also spent a small amount of time updating the registration form for Sean’s Academic Publishing event. There were a couple of issues with it that needed tweaking, for example sending users a notification email and things like that. All fairly minor things that didn’t take long to fix.

I also gave advice to a couple of members of staff on projects they are putting together. Firstly Katherine Heavey and secondly Alice Jenkins. I can’t really go into any detail about their projects at this stage, but I managed to give them some (hopefully helpful) advice. I met with Fraser on Monday to collect my tickets for the project meeting and also to show him developments on the Hansard visualisations. This week I added a couple of further enhancements which enable users to add up to seven different lines on the graph. So for example you can compare ‘love’ and ‘hate’ and ‘war’ and ‘peace’ over time all on the same graph. It’s really quite a fascinating little tool to use already, but of course there’s still a lot more to implement. I had a meeting with Marc on Wednesday to discuss Hansard and a variety of other issues. Marc made some very good suggestions about the types of data that it should be possible to view on the graph (e.g. not just simple counts of terms but normalised figures too).

I also met with Susan and Magda on Monday to discuss the upcoming Scots Thesaurus launch. There are a few further enhancements I need to make before next Wednesday, such as adding in a search term variant table for search purposes. I also need to prepare a little 10 minute talk about the implementation of the Scots Thesaurus, which I will be giving at the colloquium. There’s actually quite a lot that needs to be finished off before next Wednesday and a few other tasks I need to focus on before then as well, so it could all get slightly rushed next week.