Thursday, November 29, 2012

Digital Technologies and Health Research

The Young and Well program is a fairly well-funded research institution in Australia. Their program is to "Explore the role of technologies in improving young people’s mental health and wellbeing."
They have three research programs:
Safe and Supportive (led by Phillippa Collin- UWS)
Connected and Creative (led by Amanda Third - UWS)
User-Driven and empowered (led by Lena Sanci - University of Melbourne).

They have a good "news" section, with things like: 

The Centre for Mental Health Research at ANU is also doing some good work with Digital Technologies. Kylie Bennett is the Development Manager. 

Here is a paper on "Young Men, Mental Health, and Technology: Implications for Service Design and Delivery in the Digital Age" coauthored buy members of the Young and Well research team and published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.
Here is another article from the same journal entitled "Increasing Physical Activity with Mobile Devices: A Meta-Analysis".

The Cochrane Library just published a review of mobile messaging-based smoking cessation interventionsFor further commentary on mobile apps for smoking cessation see this report from "mobile health news".

The Australian Men's Health program, "The Shed" has gone online.

Here is a guide to health- related tracking apps (mostly fitness) called "The Quantified Self".

Here is a discussion about the newest mobile application from National Center for Telehealth and Technology (T2). Designed for those experiencing post-combat stress, “Positive Activity Jackpot,” available for Android systems, helps users creatively plan fun activities using “pleasant events scheduling,” a behavioral health therapy used to help regulate emotions and cope with stress. In short, it "encourages you to get moving"

There is also a new journal called "Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine" - although this seems to be aimed more at Physicians.
(The Medecine 2.0 conference takes place next year in London).

For more general (non-heath orientated) journals on the Digital Humanities, Digital Humanities Quarterly and Journal of Digital Humanities are probably the most relevant. Some people also cite Literary and Linguistic Computing and Digital Studies / Le champ numérique, although these last two are getting pretty technical.

On a non-digital, health-related issue, a link for "Australia's domestic response to the World Health Organization's (WHO) Commission on Social Determinants of Health report "Closing the gap within a generation" can be found here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Digital Humanities References, Guides, Sources and Tools

Here's a recent post about "What do you do if you’re curious about DH but aren’t at a school with a DH program" published on the American Studies Association site.

The University of North Carolina Digital Innovation Lab, lists a series of tools.

There are a number of good links here including The Programming Historian, a set of programming lessons that are designed to be relevant to humanists. This is a series of tutorials that starts off with some gentle programming.

The Journal of the Digital Humanities has a good Getting Started page with lots of links, including to the "Spatial Humanities" page. This includes a list of Spatial Humanities Projects, which includes, in turn, the David Rumsey Map Collection, the Newberry Library Map Collection.

Those interested in mapping should consult the mapping tools provided at Bamboo Dirt.

There's also a CUNY Digital Humanities Resource Guide, which includes Sample projects, some reading, hot topics, blogs, journals, conferences,tools and methods, syllabi, etc. See also "Getting Started in the Digital Humanities" here.

For training etc, the Digital Humanities Sumer Institute at Victoira Uni, British Columbia, has Scholarships, CCI Winter School Applications are open (Brisbane) and the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media have Digital History Research Awards for students entering the History and Art History doctoral program. Those interested should also check out the blog of Dan Cohen, Director of the Centre.

For reading:
Consult the "Critical Senses" reading list on Delicious.

 from #NDF2012 provided a list of tools, as did Tim Sherratt (@wragge).

There are discussions abut Syllabi here and here (Hacking History).
See also the "Social Network Analysis" course on Coursera. There are some discussion related to that course here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Open Access Explained

Network Analysis

Lada Adamic is teaching a course on "Social Network Analysis" through the School of Information at teh Universityof Michigan.
The course is run through "Coursera" and its free to sign up, look at tlectures and participate.
  • The course uses Gephi and some of its tutorials. 
  • To explore networks interactively, you can visit the NetLogo demonstrations. The Easley and Kleinberg free text on Networks, Crowds and Markets is an excellent source. The chapters pertinent to this class are 1-5, 13-14,19-21.
Class Notes are available here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

eResources Update

There are a number of subjects and courses out there on the Digital Humanities, including at the ANU Digital Humanities Hub.
Here is another one: "This year-long course examines the relationships among academic history, digital media, and community formation"

Tim Sherratt is the author of Query Pic and other Digital ToolsHere are the slides of a talk he gave at the University of Melbourne’s Faculty of Arts eResearch Forum:

"Basically I was arguing that as well as making stuff, digital humanities can involve a lot of stretching, twisting, pushing and breaking stuff. The web is not fixed or static, there are many points at which we can intervene and change the way information is presented. What we need is confidence to pull things apart, and the ability to critically examine why things work the way they do (or don’t). And imagine alternatives."

Here is a call for papers for the annual international conference of the Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations, which includes the Association for Computers in the Humanities, the Association for Literary and Linguistic Computing, the Society for Digital Humanities/Société pour l’étude des médias interactifs, and centerNet.

Here is a link to the keynote talk Bethany Nowviski gave last month, at the second annual conference of the Japanese Association for Digital Humanities. I her Bio, Bethany is Director of Digital Research & Scholarship at the University of Virginia Library, Associate Director of the Scholarly Communication Institute, and President of the Association for Computers and the Humanities (ACH). She has  recently directed two projects funded by the NEH, IMLS, and Library of Congress: the Institute for Enabling Geospatial Scholarship and Neatline: Facilitating Geospatial and Temporal Interpretation of Archival Collections.

The Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media have Digital History Research Awards for students entering the History and Art History doctoral program. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2013.

Here is a link for the 2012 National Library of Australia Forum. It includes talks by:

  • Marie-Louise Ayres, Assistant Director-General, Resource Sharing, National Library of Australia
  • Debbie Campbell, Director of Collaborative Services, National Library of Australia
  • Merrilee Proffitt, Senior Program Office, OCLC Research
  • Judy Stokker, Director, Library Services, Queensland University of Technology
  • Laurel Paton and Ms Joanna Meakins, Libraries Australia Search Project, National Library of Australia
  • Rob Walls, Director of Database Services, National Library of Australia
  • Bill Macnaught, National Librarian, National Library of New Zealand 

Here and here are a couple of posts on the difficultiues of finding work in the field of Digital Humanities.

Here are some sources on eGovernment in Victoira. Here is the Blog for the Federal Government 2.0 Taskforce. Here is the site for the upcoming Gov 2.0 Conference: Delivering a More Open, Transparent and Consultative Form of Government.

The ARC is interested in opportunities in crowdfunding for cultural and creative projects.

The Australian Society of Archivists and the Recordkeeping Roundtable are hosting an upcoming workshop on "Reinventing Archival Methods".

The National Archives of Australia has a series of Research Guides.

Finally- here is one link on the e-publishing revolution.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

eResearch Events

 There are some upcoming eResearch events around the place.

The Eidos Institute in partnership with National and State Libraries Australasia is hosting: "Where is the evidence?  Policy, research and the rise of grey literature".

National Library of Australia, National Library of Australia, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory
Wednesday October 10
Recent advances in information and communication technologies are disrupting traditional publishing models, radically changing our capacity to reproduce, distribute, control and publish information. This is particularly so in the case of policy research which is often produced outside formal commercial publishing channels as 'grey literature'. The kind of research publications listed on Australian Policy Online.
Grey literature provides both opportunities and challenges  but there is no doubt that it continues to grow in volume, importance and complexity. This National Conference will explore these opportunities for increased access to knowledge and research communication as well as the challenges presented in producing, disseminating, evaluating, collecting and accessing policy grey literature.
The conference is part of an ARC Linkage research project: Follow the conference at: #GreyLit on Twitter.

Some of the Presentations fro "Grey Literature" are available here.

 Dipping a Toe into the Digital Humanities and Creative Arts
 Date: Friday October 19, 2012
Time: 9.30am - 4.30pm
Location: Deakin University Melbourne City Centre, Level 3, 550 Bourke St, Melbourne, 3000
Digital Humanities describes research, teaching and knowledge realisation at the intersection of computing and the humanities, social sciences, creative and performing arts. It is broadly interdisciplinary and encompasses a wide variety of emerging practices, ranging from curating digital research collections, developing new tools for exploring archives to visualising information from large data sets.

28 October - 2 November.
eResearch Australasia focuses on new information centric research capabilities, and how information and communication technologies help researchers to collaborate, collect, manage, share, process, analyse, store, find, understand and re-use information.
There are also some great workshops at the conference.
66 Goulburn Street  Sydney NSW 2000

A symposium to explore what it measn to do digitla humanities
When: 1 & 2 November 2012 – 9.00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Room 219 in the Sir Llew Edwards Building
Free (supported by the Faculty of Arts Strategic Initiatives Fund)

Thursday 15 November 2012 - Friday 16 November 2012 
UWS, Parramatta, New South Wales
The humanities are currently presented with a rare combination of intellectual challenges such as changing policy environments; the financial crisis; new technologies and infrastructures; and the environmental challenges presented by the conception of the anthropocene. The Symposium will debate these challenges and the responses that these have elicited, including the increasingly prominent role of Indigenous perspectives.

20-21st November

When: 9:30am – 4:00pm, 29 and 30 November 2012
Where: ATP Innovations, Australian Technology Park, Redfern, NSW
Cost: $300 ASA/RIMPA/ALIA members, $375 non-members (Lunches, morning and afternoon teas will be provided)
The digital deluge is upon us: On 13 July 2012, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that globally, the amount of data created, collected, and shared in 2009 was 800,000 petabytes. By 2020 this figure will be 35 zettabytes (one zettabyte is equivalent to 260,000,000,000 DVDs).

4-6 December, 2012
The theme for the 2012 conference is “Materialities: Economies, Empiricism, and Things”. The organisers are calling for proposals of papers and panels on this theme and reflecting contemporary research in the field of Cultural Studies. Keynote speakers: Jennifer Biddle (UNSW), Brenda Croft (UniSA), Ross Chambers (Michigan), Katherine Gibson (UWS), Ros Gill (University of London), Gay Hawkins (UQ), Lesley Head (Wollongong), Bev Skeggs (Goldsmiths, London). Other plenary speakers will include: Ien Ang (UWS), Tony Bennett (UWS), Stuart Cunningham (QUT), John Frow (Melbourne), John Hartley (Curtin/Cardiff), Meaghan Morris (Sydney), Stephen Muecke (UNSW), Tom O’Regan (UQ), and Graeme Turner (UQ).

5-7 December 2012
The conference is designed to encourage reflection on both Australian effects in transnational circuits of meaning and ideas, but also the inherently interdisciplinary and global nature of Australian studies. The movement of ideas and people across Australian borders is mirrored in the academy, compelling an immensely productive, constantly shifting context for thought and contention that this Biennial InASA conference will showcase.

In Hindsight,
The New Zealand eResearch Symposium tookmplace recently.
Highlihgts can be found at digitalGLAM and eresearchNZ.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Convict Research

The State Library of Queensland has compiled a convict database of more than 123, 000 of the estimated 164, 000 convicts who were transported to Australia by the British government throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. The database has been compiled from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP). The HO 11 Criminal – Convict Transportation Registers series has been indexed by the State Library of Queensland and the index contains the following information:

  • Name of convict, including any known aliases
  • Place of trial 
  • Term of years
  • Name of ship and date of departure
  • Place of arrival
  • Miscellaneous notes e.g. Died at sea; Ticket of Leave, etc.

    More information on the sources used to compile the database is available here. Other sources relevant to convict research include the Picture Australia archive and Trove (Picture Australia has now been incorporated into Trove). Some Library Hack related applications which can be used to explore these convict records include Conviz and Convictbook
    For more on Library Hacking see the site for the 2011 Libraryhack competition. See also the winners of the 2012 GovHack competition held by 
    Other events which enable this kind of "Hacking" to take place include the NSW State Records Open Data Project, work taking place at the National Archives of Australia, the Trove Application Programming Interface (API), which replaced the unofficial Trove API developed by Tim Sherritt
    It's also worth keeping an eye on the Mander Jones Award administered by the Australian Society of Archivists, which just had their annual conference in Brisbane. Next year's conference will take place in Canberra.
    The State Records Digitization project is entitled "Future Proof".
    There is also the ARC Centre for Creative Industries and Innovation at QUT, the Mapping Online Publics project, the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) Virtual Laboratory and courses on Digital History.
    Also keep an eye out for Grants, including the Grants and Awards Scheme of the Australian National Library.
    See also the upcoming National Digital Forum Conference in New Zealand.

    Sunday, August 5, 2012

    Creating and Visualizing Research Networks

    Reflecting contemporary complexities associated with providing and consuming health, health research is inter- and multi-disciplinary. Program foci include:
    • 1. Health Consumer Studies 
    • 2. Health Professional Education, Professional Learning and Workforce Development 
    • 3. Redesigning Health Services or Successful Health Service Redesign
    • 4. Health literacy, knowledge management and emerging (digital) technologies
    • 5. Health Communication 
    • 6. The Body
    This research is dispersed. 
    • It takes place in multiple institutional locations (media studies, gender studies, cultural studies....
    • It draws on multiple research methodologies. 
    • It collects and analyses numerous forms of data, qualitative and quantitative, photography, film, social media.
    This dispersed nature makes it difficult to create a research identity, articulate strengths and interests and identify important problems to address. There is a need to identify and visualize networks of relationships and Research Strengths.

    Current investments in eResearch have focused on enabling scholars to collaborate on research projects, share data and research in virtual work environments - hence the investment in "Collaboration Infrastructure" (including cloud storage) that is taking place at UTS - where its is being supported by the Research IT Services Group; at a state level, where it is supported by Intersect (the UTS Intersect representative is Luc Small Intersect Projects include SURE, providing a secure, remote-access data analysis facility specifically for use by population health, health services and clinical researchers working with linked data) and also Federally, where it is supported by NeCTAR (National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources). See also the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI) -  which is NeCTAR funded. Also useful is a program like a program like SEASR, which is being used by Ian Wood of the Digital Humanities Hub at ANU to identify patterns in a single text, or across broader entity categories and relations across a million words or a million books. SEASR is also useful because it can provide a visualization landscape.

    An emphasis on mapping and visualizing research networks also fits under the heading of eResearch. 
    Two recent projects involving mapping and visualizing networks and relationships include:
    • The Black Loyalists run by Cassandra Pybus, Kit Candlin and Robin Petterd of USYD. The project traces webs of interconnection and patterns of slave family formation and kin networks. The complexity of the many interconnections required the development of a  network visualization that could provide an effective interpretative tool for the mass of complex and fragmentary data. The project maps relationships based on eleven criteria: 
        •  Common names, similar testimony, proximity in the ship(s), proximity in Musters, proximity in tithable lists, proximity in ownership, kin relationship between owners, shared group membership, shared indenture or employment, common owner and appropriate ages

    • Stanford's Republic of Letters project aims to create visualizations by mapping the writing and exchange of sixteenth and seventeenth century letters by merchants and missionaries which helped to create global information networks and colonial outposts. The Mapping draws its information from the Electronic Enlightenment, an online collection of 57,685 letters and documents from a wide range of correspondences. (The website is currently being update).

    These examples use eResearch methods to analyze and organize historical data. However contemporary relationships between scholars (both intra- and inter- institutional) can also be mapped and visualized in the same way provided an appropriate taxonomy or list of categories or codes.

    Monday, July 30, 2012

    Men, Music and Consumption - High Fidelity

    Online Resource- Plastics Collection

    Syracuse University Library has a "Plastics Collection" online. The collection includes approximately 3,000 objects with high-quality photographs, information about plastic materials and processes, and twice the previous number of biographies and company histories.  
    It's very easy to search by:
    •  "subject"
    • "material"
    • "material trade name" 
    • or "manufacturer".
    • Manuscripts are catalogued by "subject".
    • There is a collection of short "essays".
    • A time line.
    • A catalogue of people, companies, materials and processes.
    The links page includes "films", "industry resources", and other "sites" and "museums".
    The films include "Le Chant du Styrene part 1 and part 2, a 1958, 19 minute French documentary film depicting plastics manufacture as industrial sublime. The film was directed by Alain Resnais who went on to direct Hiroshima Mon Amour (1959), L'Année dernière à Marienbad (Last Year in Marienbad) (1961) and Muriel (1963). The film was ordered by the French industrial group Pechiney. The commentary script, was written by French novelist Raymond Queneau. The script was all in Alexandrines, a very old kind of poetic meter comprising 12 syllables pre-dating Marlowe and Shakespeare. The script was narrated by French actor Pierre Dux.

    Sunday, July 29, 2012


    Experimenta is thrilled to announce the 5th International Biennial of Media Art set to launch in Melbourne at RMIT Gallery September 14 to November 17, 2012. 
    Experimenta Speak to Me is an invitation to consider what it means, at this time, to be together. Speak to Me: 3 Days, 3 Programs from 2 - 4 August. The program includes three individually curated events which will form a prelude to the launch of Experimenta Speak to Me in September. 
    Three 'Soundwwwalks' will be hosted at West Space, Level one, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne, on Thursday 2 August, a video art program including works by Ann Hirsch (US), Eugenia Lim (AUS), and Yu Cheng-Ta (TW) will be installed at street level on the ground floor of City Village, 225 Bourke Street, Melbourne on Friday 3 August, and Nobuhiro Shimura's Dress will be installed the following day, Saturday 5 August.  


    E-Research, or "technologically enabled research" is an emergent area. It has received significant support from the Gillard Government.  Important in this regard is NeCTAR (National eResearch Collaboration Tools and Resources), an Australian Government project to build new infrastructure specifically for the needs of Australian researchers. 
    E-Research is important in the context of Climate Change Researchchoice modeling and Legal Research - including the Australian Legal Information Institute, AUSLII, which has compiled over 525 databases, all from from all Australasian jurisdictions. 
    E-Research also plays an important role in humanities research and has seen the rise of the "Digital Humanities". Federal investment in the Digital Humanities in Australia has funded the Humanities Networked Infrastructure (HuNI). HuNI is NeCTAR funded and is one of the first large scale eResearch Infrastructure projects for the humanities in Australia. The project will integrate a number of important cultural data-sets in Australia and will also build what is termed a Virtual Research Environment’ (VRE). A VRE or ‘Virtual Lab’ is online environment of tools and services to allow specialist researchers to come together to perform certain computational research tasks with the possibility of uncovering new insights into Australia’s cultural landscape.
    The Australasian Association for Digital Humanities (AADH) was formed in March 2011. The inaugural Secretary is Craig Bellamy. Their "Resources" page is useful.
    Journals include The Fibreculture Journal, which recently published FCJ20, a special edition on "Network Utopias" edited by Su Ballard (Otago / University of Wollongong), Zita Joyce (Canterbury) and Lizzie Muller (UTS).
    Other resources and events in Australia include:
    • Lev Manovich's work on Data Visualization. 
    • Textvre (UK) aims to "support the complete lifecycle of research in e-Humanities textual studies.
    • Project Bamboo (international- including ANU) is facilitating the collaborative curation of digital texts by building services and connecting tools.
    • The Townsend Humanities Lab (berkeley) offers a community driven suite of digital tools to support interdisciplinary collaboration.
    • MIT Media Lab: Applies an unorthodox research approach to envision the impact of emerging technologies on everyday life—technologies that promise to fundamentally transform our most basic notions of human capabilities.
    • ALiVE, the Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment, is an interdisciplinary research initiative of the City University of Hong Kong School of Creative Media. It is an incubator and innovations showcase for new forms of creativity, whose challenge led programs are at the cutting edge of digital media in society.
    • The Virginia Library's Scholars Lab.
    • Department of Digital Humanities and the Centre for eResearch at Kings College London. The DDH is interested in the application of technology in the arts and humanities, and in the social sciences.

    Visualizing Research

    The UTS Library has been running some fantastic workshops on Visualizing Research.
    The link for the workshop can be found here:
    The workshop started out with this 5 minute video.

    Some visualisations included: The "Billion Euro-Gram", a visualization of various global financial phenomenon, such as the cost of the global war on terror (€1047 billion) and the size of the global pharmaceutical market (€651 billion). 
    Billion Euro-o-gram
    And: An analysis of Gender differences on social networking sites, showing that women use facebook and twitter more than men, while men use soundcloud and youtube more than women. Overall women use social media more than men.
    Chicks Rule
    For more visualization projects see: