Etherpad from THATCamp London 2013

A copy of the Etherpad created on the day.

THATcamp 2013

This is:

Hashtag for the day: #ThatcampLDN – we don’t use ISO codes!

Eliot will be ‘Europeana hackathon’ all day.



== General remarks ==
No lunch today – get your own.

Basically: whatever happens, happens. Don’t complain.

== First session ==

* Sandra hedendaagse kunst
* Martin open library of humanities
* David Europeana hackathon
* Joris DBpedia visualization
* Melodee create a course
* Pat technical newbies, teaching session about how to code and develop. Combine with previous
* John session about how to get people the right information in the right time
* Fabian social enterprises. Impact of Wikipedia (social/economics). Survey
* Andrew session on how to edit Wikipedia
* Jonathan (GLAM organiser) session on how to upload an image to Commons and how to add it to the article
* Shany update the glam portal. The current list of projects and WIR is outdated
* Deror ideas about WLM or other glam events more attractive for the public
* Sandra again, now how to edit Wikidata and what part should be done by hand and what by bot

* Andy (the voice) VIP project to get famous people to record a short soundbite <= You are here? ** and * Sebastiaan about Wiki Loves Sound * …. Wikimania GLAM session * Stella about website * Deror about taking photos from the sky * Kat about new CC licenses * Andy about Orcid ==Notes from sessions== ===Coding for Beginners=== Get us over the hump of coding  What languages are for what purposes 1 hour session for undergraduate sessions idea of students bringing their own data  Freely available online courses Udacity: Python Codeacademy Harvard introductory computer science course in C Coursera: CS 101 Wikipedia T House , Adopt a user on Wikipedia Hacker mindset (Gabriella Coleman) Stack Overflow Talking about mentoring for coding, the mentors need to get something out of it.  Meeting at auditorum at 1330. What coding is for and why it’s useful ( examples from different disciplines) Top 10 things I wish I’d known when I’d started A good starting point is here >

==Wikidata Session by Katie Filbert ==
Infoboxes and Wikidata

One of the core of DH is collabration. I think humanities should have a sense of what programing can do but not really put himself / herself as a programmer.
Since even those you can write a program, it is much more then that in computation problem to make the computation really work in real, complicated problem.

==Making Wiki Competitions Attractive to the Public==
Start editathons with a workshop for beginners

Ask new users to sign up – we need stats, we need to show how many new users are involved and what they do (at the event and afterwards)
This tool is good for tracking users:
Competitons are tools to get more wiki-volunteers and to raise public awareness re. open data:  tell your audience what else you are doing and how they can support it.

===Star Trek tricorder session===

Learning classification system as you learn about the objects

citizen science

using audio as a way of engaging with both the objects and information at the same time
zoonivese project with a guided taxonomy system

dgital information to enhance engagement to improve understanding, engagement and learning

processing what you’re looking at

guided appreciation, starting points rather than restricting people’s understanding

The Problem of the Yellow Milkmaid – A Business Model Perspective on Open Metadata


annotation and image maps on wikimedia commons,_Hugo_Vogel_edit.jpg,7.jpg

treasure hunt
easter eggs 😉

evaluation rather than evangelsim

Open Access and the Open Humanities Library (Bronte 1415).

Humanities face different challenges from the science, in terms of funding and research cycles, tenure

Cost of academic publishing (for user) have risen far beyond inflation (percentage?)

What Open Access is not:
*a way to bypassing peer review
*vanity publishing
*facilitating plagiarism

Green does not fix extant problems, Gold requires new economic model

*free labour
*institutional subsidy
*advertising (conflict of interest?)
* pay forprint copies
* Article processing charge (unviable in humanities)

Wikipedia is a socialist project o_O

People like their niche areas, we should facilitate curation withhin the MegaJournal

Print on demand functionality could solve funding problems ONCE start up funds have been acquired

Curation has some difficulties in terms of typsetting (similarly liscenced material) and missing material (paywalll content left out of reader?)

Citation with the system would be to the mega journal (singke DoI) rather than individual curations

peer review conveys value – open access publishing still requires peer review.
Including expected standards of referencing and format for disciplines

Ability to update and evolve articles exciting but might put off a certain viewpoint (journal articles are static objects to be referenced)

Would like to join?

“May all your problems be technical” – the social ones are far harder to solve.

How to publish is technical, but establishing authority is social.  Traditionally this has been peer review, publications, which institution do you work for.  We need to transition towards a crowdsourced model. But somehow signpost the quacks Quickly and effectively, Lest we all end up with measles   or fall off the ends of the earth

Open hardware movement – could they provide the answer?

‘What is scholarship is a key question that at some point we will have to address’

Digital is the great democratiser – Andy M

‘The crowd are the people we need to persuade’

The open hardware movement as a model–Open-Access-for-the-3rd-World/

value is added by curation

journal publishers v. monograph publishers – Martin E believes the latter add more values.

‘Open Access from the Publisher’s Perspective’ – ‘has anyone actually read this?’ ‘is that the one that costs £40?’  High prices for individual publications deter libraries from dropping their subscription bundles.

Saylor foundation – open access textbooks.

== GLAM page redesign ==
brief explanation on the main page
seperation between press / wikimedians / glams
bookshelf containing best practices, was intended for institution

get started page for institutions

portal for wikimedians (portal for wikimedians) | press portal | portal for GLAMs
main page (main page) | stuff (best practices, success stories, case studies) | get started |

portal of wikimedians: volunteer sign-up

get started | contact us | portal for wikimedians

priorities |  projects | case studies | tools | newsletter | mailing list | discussion

==Artists & Free Licences==

‘Society wants everything in packages but we’re not interested in how it’s got there’

95% of people still don’t know about of wikimedia and its uses

Conflict of interest – monetising content; fear that content is without value

Greater issue with modern art where the artist is alive or recently deceased e.g. Jeff Koons – v few images on his wiki article

97% artists don’t make money from sales of images & don’t know the possibilities of releasing images under creative commons:  an Education & Information issue

Categories: General | Comments Off on Etherpad from THATCamp London 2013

Some tweets from #thatcampldn

The above is based on the incomplete record at Topsy

For a more complete record of tweets from #thatcampldn, see PeopleBrowsr.

THATCamp London 2013 tweets have also been archived at Eventifier

Categories: General | Comments Off on Some tweets from #thatcampldn

A community for mentoring new programmers

UPDATE: Programming Mentors has now been created. It’s a community where people support each other in learning programming.

The site is newly created, and hasn’t yet been promoted. Please come over and help  build this new community.

This post is a reflection on and response to yesterday’s session “Learn & Teach:  Programming for Beginners – I can haz codings>??!”

What’s the problem?

It can be hard to learn programing on your own. Whether you want to be able to solve a specific concrete problem, or whether you’re simply curious to understand the power and potential of programming, making a start can be difficult.

Often beginners approach this problem by choosing a language and attempting to learn it. But it can be hard to make a good choice – you don’t know what the different types of language are, or which of them could be useful for the sort of work you might be interested in doing. You might choose a language that is less approachable than others, or embark on a particular course of study that is unhelpful or even counter-productive.

As you try to make a start learning programming, there are lots of things that you don’t know. Worse still, there are lots of unknown unknowns. You’re a smart and driven person, but your ignorance in this new area is pretty total. You don’t know where your new knowledge could take you, and you don’t know how to interrogate your way through this unfamiliar realm.  You’re in darkness, surrounded by a space of unknown size and dimensions, and you don’t know what questions to ask to begin shedding light.

This means that existing knowledge spaces and repositories aren’t always helpful. Extensive documentation for programming already exists, and communities like Stack Overflow drill down into most problems you’ll encounter. But they require a significant level of prior understanding. Finding the answer to a question online requires you to be able to formulate a query, and beginners often don’t know how to express the problem they’re having, let alone be able to articulate it in the phrasings that an experienced programmer would use. Even if a beginner does come across information on the topic they’re interested in, they might not be able to understand the answer when they get there. Or the problem they’re experiencing might be so trivial as to not be reflected anywhere online.

How might we improve the situation?

So how do we help people venture into programming as a new area of knowledge? I think that beginners need a mediator to help understand and clarify their goals, needs and aims, and to propose positive actions they can take to build their understanding and move towards their goals.

Does an online mentoring community for new programmers exist?

To my knowledge such a space doesn’t yet exist. There are “massive open online courses” teaching programming – eg Coursera’s CS101, Udacity’s CS101, or EdX’s CS50 – that have dedicated discussion spaces. These are helpful, as they give learners the opportunity to engage at their own level of understanding .

But these spaces can be noisy, large and impersonal. Open Study is another attempt to wrap a social element around courses, but there’s still a problem of the connections between people existing for the solving of a specific problem, rather than being closer or long-lasting. And there’s still the problem of formulating good questions, and of knowing which direction to take with one’s learning.

So I think that mentoring could be a great addition to open question and answer forums for learners.

What could an online mentoring hub for budding programmers look like?

We could create a community space designed to help new and potential programmers get on their feet. Here are some ideas about what the space could look like:

  • The space will have a culture of generous, patient explanation, and a drive to empower individuals in their learning.
  • It won’t replicate resources that exist elsewhere. It’s primarily a hub for interactions,  signposting and curating good resources.
  • It will be a space in which one-to-one mentorship can be carried out.
    Mentors can help beginners frame their understanding, and point then in the direction of useful resources. A programming mentor is an adviser, an enabler, a clarifier. They don’t do the learning for the beginner; rather they direct the beginner to the learning, and make sure that they have the right tools for the hunt. They help the beginner set up the right mental models for their learning.
  • It will give new programmers the opportunity to share their experience.
  • It won’t be affiliated to any particular course or way of study. Rather, it will take an overview of the discipline of programming, and support people in the direction that suits them best.
  • It will be a space for advertising in-person meetups. Mentors and mentees could meet up; groups could discuss common challenges, share and celebrate achievements, and learn collaboratively on small projects overseen by mentors.

I would like to find out if this would be a useful community to try and build:

  • Does such a space already exist?
  • Would such a community/platform be valuable?
  • Would you like to help build this space?
  • Would you like to join such a community, as a mentor or mentee?

If you have any thoughts, or think this is a good idea, please leave a comment here. If this is a useful project to embark on, I’m ready to roll up my sleeves and get building.

Categories: Coding, Collaboration | 38 Comments

Get ready for THATCamp London 2013!

THATCamp London 2013 is tomorrow – post your session ideas here or bring them with you to our scheduling session at 11.30am.

You can also comment on existing proposals, or start tweeting #THATCampLdn.

What should I propose?

There are roughly four things people do in THATCamp sessions: Talk, Make, Teach, and Play. Sometimes one session contains elements of all these, but it’s also a fair taxonomy for THATCamp sessions. In a Talk session proposal, you offer to lead a group discussion on a topic or question of interest to you. In a Make session proposal, you offer to lead a small group in a hands-on collaborative working session with the aim of producing a draft document or piece of software. In a Teach session, you offer to teach a skill, either a “hard” skill or a “soft” skill. In a Play session, anything goes — you suggest literally playing a game, or you suggest some quality group playtime with one or more technologies, or what you will.

Talk session examples

Make session examples

Teach session examples

Play session examples

Categories: Session Proposals | Comments Off on Get ready for THATCamp London 2013!

Visualising DBpedia data with Timeliner

DBpedia is one of the greatest sources for humanities researchers that can be found online. The incredible amounts of structured data can be used to create overviews of periods in history, showing the great thinkers of the enlightenment, create a network of medieval philosophers, show all paintings form France during the Renaissance and so on.

At the moment however, the easy to use tools to make these kind of queries and to visualise them are not very well available. It is hard for a user to start using the SPARQL explorer, the DBpedia query builder is being redesigned and the facetted search browser unfortunately stopped working.

At the same time the tools for easy visualisation of this data are lacking. For that reason I would to use this day to work together with DBpedia experts to query data and to visualise it with the Timeliner tool being developed by the Open Knowledge Foundation. This tool allows you to easily create timelines by filling in a Google doc spreadsheet. We can query the data we want from DBpedia, clean it up a bit and visualise it. For an example see this timeline of Medieval Philosophers

Everybody is of course welcome to join this session, but in order to make it work I am explicitly looking for people with a good basic knowledge how to query DBpedia. It would be great if you could get in touch before the session to discuss the possibilities. You can contact me via joris.pekel [at]

The Timeliner is an open source tool still under development. If people attending are interested in further developing it this day that would be great. A list of Github issues can be found here

Categories: Data Mining, Visualization | Comments Off on Visualising DBpedia data with Timeliner

The Open Library of the Humanities: Building an Open, Scalable, Massive, Sustainable, Humanities Megajournal

So it looks as though the long-awaited, messianic “tipping point” has come for the Open Access movement, particularly in the UK. RCUK have mandated and, it seems likely that HEFCE will mandate, a combination of green and gold routes to open access scholarship. Predictably, though, owing to the way in which “gold” has been made synonymous with “article processing charges” in the popular academic imagination, the resistance has not abated.

I am currently leading a project, along with Dr. Caroline Edwards, called the Open Library of Humanities. We’ve solicited a great deal of academic capital in order to address as much of the social problem ahead of the technological, along with an innovative funding model of distributed Library Partnership Subsidies (LPS).

In this session, we’d like to tell you more about the project but also begin a discussion around the technological elements that could feed into the success of a massive humanities megajournal system. The primary aspects that we’d like to talk about are:

  1. Pluses and pitfalls of existing journal implementations (Ambra, OJS etc.)
  2. TEI or NLM? Best route to an automated workflow including XML-first typesetting
  3. Third-party technological partnerships vs. in-housing for independent OA projects
Categories: Open Access, Publishing, Session Proposals, Session: Talk | Comments Off on The Open Library of the Humanities: Building an Open, Scalable, Massive, Sustainable, Humanities Megajournal

You are invited to THATCamp London 2013

THATCamp London 2013 is an unconference exploring the humanities and technology. We’d love for you to join us!

Date: Sunday 14th April

Cost: free

This one-day event is held at the British Library with the support of Wikimedia UK.  It is free and open to all – whatever your background or level of knowledge and skill.

The unconference coincides with the GLAM-WIKI conference, which runs on Friday 12th and Saturday 13th April. We’re hoping for THATCamp London 2013 to see lots of exciting thoughts and creations around free-licensing and open access as a result of the preceding two days of activity.

What do I do now?

1) Book your ticket for THATCamp London 2013 on eventbrite (and for the GLAM-WIKI conference if you’d like to attend that too).

2) Register here. This will give you a user account to create and share with other participants.

3) Start thinking about a session you’d like to facilitate. THATCamps are informal and participant-driven, and we encourage everyone to get involved in proposing sessions. Or perhaps you’d like to run a workshop or help facilitate the scheduling session on the morning of the unconference?

4) Spread the word! We’d keen to have as many people as possible involved, so please do let other people know.

If you’ve got any questions, please get in touch by leaving a comment here, emailing thatcamplondon2013 at gmail, or by messaging @THATCampLdn on twitter.

Categories: General | 1 Comment