Weeknote 9 (2021)

§1 Zotero PDF Reader

A new look and functionality for Zotero’s PDF Reader is still in beta.

I can’t wait for this version to be unleashed!

§2 MIT D2O

Earlier this week, MIT Press announced a new Open Access Monograph program. It appears that the transition of scholarly ebooks to another form of subscription product is continuing.

§3 AI but Canadian

I’m glad to see that the Federal Government has an Advisory Council on AI and I hope they are going to meaningfully fulfill their mandate. We are already late of the gate on this front. The city where I live is already trialing software that will suggest where road safety investments should be made based on an AI’s recommendations.

§4 Discovering Science Misconduct via Image Integrity

Not new but new to me. I’ve recently started following Elisabeth Bik on Twitter and it has been an eye-opening experience.

Bik, a microbiologist from the Netherlands who moved to the United States almost two decades ago, is a widely lauded super-spotter of duplicated images in the scientific literature. On a typical day, she’ll scan dozens of biomedical papers by eye, looking for instances in which images are reused and reported as results from different experiments, or where parts of images are cloned, flipped, shifted or rotated to create ‘new’ data…

Her skill and doggedness have earned her a worldwide following. “She has an uncommon ability to detect even the most complicated manipulation,” says Enrico Bucci, co-founder of the research-integrity firm Resis in Samone, Italy. Not every issue means a paper is fraudulent or wrong. But some do, which causes deep concern for many researchers. “It’s a terrible problem that we can’t rely on some aspects of the scientific literature,” says Ferric Fang, a microbiologist at the University of Washington, Seattle, who worked on a study with Bik in which she analysed more than 20,000 biomedical papers, finding problematic duplications in roughly 4% of them (E. M. Bik et al. mBio 7, e00809-16; 2016). “You have postdocs and students wasting months or years chasing things which turn out to not be valid,” he says.

Nature 581, 132-136 (2020), doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/d41586-020-01363-z

§5 And here’s one thing I did this week!

Weeknote 8 (late) 2021

Last week I had a week that was more taxing than normal and I had nothing in the tank by Friday. So I’m putting together last week’s weeknotes today. Also, going forward each section heading has been anchor tagged for your link sharing needs. e.g. §1 §2 §3 §4 §5 and §6.

I say this recognizing that the weeknote format resists social sharing which I consider a feature not a bug.

§1 We Are Here

From Library and Archives Canada:

Over the past three years, We Are Here: Sharing Stories has digitized and described over 590,000 images of archival and published materials related to First Nations, Inuit and the Métis Nation.

Digitized and described content includes textual documents, photographs, artworks and maps as well as numerous language publications. All items are searchable and linked in our Collection Search or Aurora databases.

In order to make it easier to locate recently digitized Indigenous heritage content at LAC, we have created a searchable list of the collections and introduced a Google map feature – allowing users to browse archival materials by geographic region!

Visit the We Are Here: Sharing Stories page to pick your destination and start your research!

Those who know me, know that I’ve been advocating for more means of discovery via maps and location for a while now. While my own mapping has slowed down, I still bookmarked Georeferencing in QGIS 2.0 from The Programming Historian today.

If used appropriately, maps hold a great deal of potential as a means to discover works related to indigenous peoples. Some forms of Indigenous Knowledge Organization such as the X̱wi7x̱wa Classification Scheme emphasize geographic grouping over alphabetical grouping.

§2 Bookfeedme, Seymour! *

Not every author has a newsletter that you can subscribe to in order to be informed when they have a new book out.

You would think it would be easier to be notified otherwise, but with the mothballing of Amazon Alerts, the only other way I know to be notified is through Bookfeed.io which uses the Google Books API at its core.

If don’t have a familiarity with RSS, see About Feeds for more help.

* musical reference

§3 Best article title in librarianship for 2021

Ain’t no party like a LibGuides Party / ’cause a LibGuides Party is mandatory **

** musical reference

§4 This is the time and this is the record of the time ***

ScholComm librarians ask: Do we want a Version of Record or Record of Versions?

*** musical reference

§5 The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T ****

A Hand With Many Fingers is a first-person investigative thriller. While searching through a dusty CIA archive you uncover a real Cold War conspiracy. Every document you find has new leads to research. But the archive might not be as empty as you think…  

Slowly unravel a thrilling historical conspiracy

Discover new clues through careful archival research

Assemble your theories using corkboard and twine

Experience a story of creeping paranoia

**** musical reference / movie reference

Hat tip: Errant Signal’s Bad Bosses, Beautiful Vistas, and Baffling Mysteries: Blips Episode 8

§6 Citational politics bibliography

I’m not entirely sure how this bibliography on the politics of citation and references crossed my twitter stream, but I immediately bookmarked it. The bibliography is from a working group of CLEAR from Memorial University:

Civic Laboratory for Environmental Action Research (CLEAR) is an interdisciplinary natural and social science lab space dedicated to good land relations directed by Dr. Max Liboiron at Memorial University, Canada. Equal parts research space, methods incubator, and social collective, CLEAR’s ways of doing things, from environmental monitoring of plastic pollution to how we run lab meetings, are based on values of humility, accountability, and anti-colonial research relations. We specialize in community-based and citizen science monitoring of plastic pollution, particularly in wild food webs, and the creation and use of anti-colonial research methodologies.

To change science and research from its colonial, macho, and elitist norms, CLEAR works at the level of protocol. Rather than lead with good intentions, we work to ensure that every step of research and every moment of laboratory life exemplifies our values and commitments. To see more of how we do this, see the CLEAR Lab Book, our methodologies, and media coverage of the lab.


I have no musical reference for this.

Weeknote 7 (2021)

Today the library is closed as is my place of work’s tradition on the last day of Reading Week.

But as I have three events (helping in a workshop, giving a presentation, participating in a focus group) in my calendar, I’m just going to work the day and bank the time for later.


Barbara Fister in The Atlantic!

We are experiencing a moment that is exposing a schism between two groups: those who have faith that there is a way to arrive at truth using epistemological practices that originated during the Enlightenment, and those who believe that events and experiences are portents to be interpreted in ways that align with their personal values. As the sociologist and media scholar Francesca Tripodi has demonstrated, many conservatives read the news using techniques learned through Bible study, shunning secular interpretations of events as biased and inconsistent with their exegesis of primary texts such as presidential speeches and the Constitution. The faithful can even acquire anthologies of Donald Trump’s infamous tweets to aid in their study of coded messages.

While people using these literacy practices are not unaware of mainstream media narratives, they distrust them in favor of their own research, which is tied to personal experience and a high level of skepticism toward secular institutions of knowledge. This opens up opportunities for conservative and extremist political actors to exploit the strong ties between the Republican Party and white evangelical Christians. The conspiracy theory known as QAnon is a perfect—and worrisome—example of how this works. After all, QAnon is something of a syncretic religion. But its influence doesn’t stop with religious communities. While at its core it’s a 21st-century reboot of a medieval anti-Semitic trope (blood libel), it has shed some of its Christian vestments to gain significant traction among non-evangelical audiences.


New to me: Andromeda Yelton’s course reading list dedicated to AI in the Library. Hat-tip to Beck Tench.


I recently suggested that MPOW’s next Journal Club should deviate from looking at the library literature and reflect on personal knowledge management. I’m not sure how much take up there will be on the topic, but I love reading about how other people deliberately set up how they set up systems to help them learn.

Case in point: Cecily Walker’s Thoughts Like A Runaway Train: Notes on Information Management with Zettelkasten

Fun fact: I first learned of Zettelkasten from Beck Tench.

Weeknote 6 (2021)

Another week in which I was doing a lot of behind the scenes work.


Duly noted:

Here’s the article in full.


Years ago, I gave a keynote called Libraries are for use. And by use, I mean copying that featured the short and sad story of a person who was unable to donate their ebook to their local library.

I thought of this slide this week when I learned the the DPLA is now offering an ebook creation service that allows library to an ebook collection — albeit of openly licensed or public domain works.

I downloaded the SimplyE app for my iPad and I found it simple and well-designed. Having access to a good set of public domain work is great although I was slightly disappointed that there it wasn’t possible to import my own collection of ebooks into the app. But if I was a library, that’s what I could do.


I’m not ready to share my thoughts on this next matter yet but I’ve been recently re-considering how much of our knowledge is socially constructed.

As such, I am still mulling over Harold Jarche’s Subject Matter Networks.

It begins,

We live in a networked world. Is it even possible for one person to have sufficient expertise to understand a complex situation such as this pandemic? So do we rely on one subject matter expert or rather a subject matter network?

Weeknote 5 (2021)


Last Friday I was interviewed for the podcast The Grasscast — a game-themed podcast named after the book, The Grasshopper: Games, Life, and Utopia. I ramble a little bit in the episode as I tried to be more open and conversational than concise and correct. But I also spoke that way because for some of the questions, no pat answer came immediately to mind.

There was one question that stumped me but in my trying to answer, I think I found something I had not considered before. The question was, What is one bad thing about games? And I tried to convey that, unlike video games where you can play with strangers, most tabletop games are generally constrained by the preferences of your social circles. In order to convince others to spend time on a game that might think is too complicated for them or not for them, you need to have be a successful evangelist.

Also the episode drifts into chatter about libraries, copyright and ebooks.


This week, I reviewed and published another batch of works for our institutional repository from our department of History that was prepared by our library assistants at Leddy At this point, we have reviewed and uploaded the works of half the faculty from this department. I’m hoping to finish the rest this month but I think I have some outstanding H5P work that might push the end of this project til March.


This morning I assisted with an online workshop called Data Analysis and Visualization in R for Ecologists that was being lead by a colleague of mine.

R Version 4.0.3 (“Bunny-Wunnies Freak Out”) was released on 2020-10-10.

The release of R 4.0.4 (“Lost Library Book”) is scheduled for Monday 2021-02-15.


On Sunday, I published a short response to “Windsor Works – An Economic Development Strategy” which is going to City Council on Monday.

Why am I writing about this document here?

I am mention this here because the proposed strategy (L.I.F.T.) lists the following as potential metric for measuring the strategy’s success…

Take it from me, someone who knows a quite a bit about citations — the city should use another metric — perhaps one pertaining to local unemployment levels instead.


A viral post from 2019 resurfaced on my FB feed this week and unlike most of the posts I read there, this one did spark joy:

And it struck me how much I loved that the anti-prom was being at the library.

So I started doing some research!

It appears to me that some anti-proms are technically better described as alternative proms. These proms have been established as an explicitly safe place where LGBTQ young people can enjoy prom. Other anti-proms are true morps.

I now wonder what other anti-traditions should find a home at the public library.

Weeknote 4 (2021)

I don’t have much that I can report in this week’s note. You are just going to have to take my word that this week, a large amount of my time was spent at meetings pertaining to my library department, my union, and anti-black racism work.


Last year, around this same time, some colleagues from the University and I organized an speaking event called Safer Communities in a ‘Smart Tech’ World:

We need to talk about Amazon Ring in Windsor.

Windsor’s Mayor proposes we be the first city in Canada to buy into the Ring Network.

As residents of Windsor, we have concerns with this potential project. Seeing no venue for residents of Windsor to share their fears of surveillance and loss of privacy through this private-partnership, we hosted an evening of talks on January 22nd, 2020 at The Performance Hall at the University of Windsor’s School of Creative Arts Windsor Armories Building. Our keynote speaker was Chris Gilliard, heard recently on CBC’s Spark.

Since that evening, we have been in the media raising our concerns, asking questions, and encouraging others to do the same.

The City of Windsor has yet to have entered an agreement with Amazon Ring. This is good news.

This week, the City of Windsor announced that it has entered a one-year deal partnership with Ford Mobility Canada to share data and insights via Ford’s Safety Insights platform.

I don’t think this is good news for reasons outlined in this post called Safety Insights, Data Privacy, and Spatial Justice.


This week I learned a neat Tweetdeck hack. If set up a search as column, you can limit the results for that term using the number of ‘engagements’:



I haven’t read this but I have it bookmarked for potential future reference: The weaponization of web archives: Data craft and COVID-19 publics:

An unprecedented volume of harmful health misinformation linked to the coronavirus pandemic has led to the appearance of misinformation tactics that leverage web archives in order to evade content moderation on social media platforms. Here we present newly identified manipulation techniques designed to maximize the value, longevity, and spread of harmful and non-factual content across social media using provenance information from web archives and social media analytics. After identifying conspiracy content that has been archived by human actors with the Wayback Machine, we report on user patterns of “screensampling,” where images of archived misinformation are spread via social platforms. We argue that archived web resources from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine and subsequent screenshots contribute to the COVID-19 “misinfodemic” in platforms. Understanding these manipulation tactics that use sources from web archives reveals something vexing about information practices during pandemics—the desire to access reliable information even after it has been moderated and fact-checked, for some individuals, will give health misinformation and conspiracy theories more traction because it has been labeled as specious content by platforms.


I’m going to leave this tweet here because I might pick up this thread in the future:

This reminds me of a talk given in 2018 by Data & Society Founder and President, danah boyd called You Think You Want Media Literacy… Do You?

This essay still haunts me, largely because we still don’t have good answers for the questions that Dr. Boyd asks of us and the stakes have only gotten higher.

Weeknote 3 (2021)

Hey. I missed last week’s weeknote. But we are here now.


This week I gave a class on searching scientific literature to a group of biology masters students. While I was making my slides comparing the Advanced Search capabilities of Web of Science and Scopus, I discovered this weird behaviour of Google Scholar: a phrase search generated more hits than not.

I understand that Google Scholar performs ‘stemming’ instead of truncation in generating search results but this still makes no sense to me.


New to me: if you belong to an organization that is already a member of CrossRef, you are eligible to use a Similarity Check of documents for an additional fee. Perhaps this is a service we could provide to our OJS editors.


I’m still working through the Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship special issue on Academic Libraries and the Irrational.

Long time readers know that I have a fondness for the study of organizational culture and so it should not be too surprising that the first piece I wanted to read was The Digital Disease in Academic Libraries. It begins….

THOUGH several recent books and articles have been written about change and adaptation in contemporary academic libraries (Mossop 2013; Eden 2015; Lewis 2016), there are few critical examinations of change practices at the organizational level. One example, from which this paper draws its title, is Braden Cannon’s (2013) The Canadian Disease, where the term disease is used to explore the trend of amalgamating libraries, archives, and museums into monolithic organizations. Though it is centered on the impact of institutional convergence, Cannon’s analysis uses an ethical lens to critique the bureaucratic absurdity of combined library-archive-museum structures. This article follows in Cannon’s steps, using observations from organizational de-sign and management literature to critique a current trend in the strategic planning processes and structures of contemporary academic libraries. My target is our field’s ongoing obsession with digital transformation beyond the shift from paper-based to electronic resources, examined in a North American context and framed here as The Digital Disease.

I don’t want to spoil the article but I do want to include this zinger of a symptom which is the first of several:

If your library’s organizational chart highlights digital forms of existing functions, you might have The Digital Disease.

Kris Joseph, The Digital Disease in Academic Libraries, Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship, Vol 6 (2020)

Ouch. That truth hurts almost as much as this tweet did:

Weeknote 1 (2021)

This week’s post is not going to capture my ability to be productive while white supremacists appeared to be ushered in and out of the US Capitol building by complicit police and COVID-19 continued to ravage my community because our provincial government doesn’t want to spend money on the most vulnerable.

Instead, I’m just going to share what I’ve learned this week that might prove useful to others.

This week I added works to three faculty member’s ORCiD profiles using ORCiD’s trusted individual functionality.

One of these professors was works in the field of Psychology and I found the most works for that researcher using BASE (Bielefeld Academic Search Engine) including APA datasets not found elsewhere. Similarly, I found obscure ERIC documents using The Lens.org. Unfortunately, you can’t directly import records into The Lens into an ORCiD profile unless you create a Lens profile for yourself.

I’ve added The Lens to my list of free resources to consult when looking for research. This list already includes Google Scholar and Dimensions.ai.


Weeknote 50 (2020)


It looks like Andromeda Yelton is sharing weeknotes (“This week in AI“). I can’t wait to see what she shares with us all in 2021.


Earlier this fall, Clarivate Analytics announced that it was moving toward a future that calculated the Journal Impact Factor (JIF) based on the date of electronic publication and not the date of print publication…

This discrepancy between how Clarivate treated traditional print versus online-only journals aroused skepticism among scientists, some of whom… cynically suggested that editors may be purposefully extending their lag in an attempt to artificially raise their scores.

Changes to Journal Impact Factor Announced for 2021, Scholarly Kitchen, Phil Davis, Dec 7, 2020

I don’t think there is anything cynical about the observation that journal publishers picked up a trick from those booksellers who actively engage in promoting pre-publication book sales because those weeks of sales are accumulated and counted in the first week of publication which results in a better chance of landing on the New York Times Bestseller list.


In 2020, a team at Georgia State University compiled a report on virtual learning best practices. While evidence in the field is “sparse” and “inconsistent,” the report noted that logistical issues like accessing materials—and not content-specific problems like failures of comprehension—were often among the most significant obstacles to online learning. It wasn’t that students didn’t understand photosynthesis in a virtual setting, in other words—it was that they didn’t find (or simply didn’t access) the lesson on photosynthesis at all.

That basic insight echoed a 2019 study that highlighted the crucial need to organize virtual classrooms even more intentionally than physical ones. Remote teachers should use a single, dedicated hub for important documents like assignments…

The 10 Most Significant Education Studies of 2020, Edutopia, By Youki Terada, Stephen Merrill, December 4, 2020


I’m pleased to say that with some much appreciated asssistance, our OJS instances are now able to allow to connect authors with their ORCiD profiles. This means that all authors who have articles accepted by these journals will receive an email asking if they would like to connect to ORCiD.

I was curious how many authors from one of our existing journals had existing ORCiD profiles and so I did a quick check. This is how I did it.

First, I used OJS’s export function to download all the metadata available at an article level.

Next, I used the the information from that .csv file to create a new spreadsheet of full names. I then opened this file using OpenRefine.

Then, through the generosity from Jeff Chiu, I was able check these last names with the ORCiD api using the OpenRefine Reconciliation Service and Chiu’s SmartName server: http://refine.codefork.com/reconcile/orcid/smartnames.

Using the smart name integration, I can limit the list to those names very likely to match. With this set of likely suspects in hand, I can locate the authors in the OJS backend and then send invitations from the OJS server from their author profile (via the published article’s metadata page):


I can’t wait to properly tuck into this issue of The Canadian Journal of Academic Librarianship with its Special Focus on Academic Libraries and the Irrational


Happy Solstice, everyone.

Weeknote 49 (2020)


I don’t have much to report in regards to the work I’ve been doing this week.

I tried to get our ORCiD-OJS plugin to work but there is some small strange bug that needs to be squished. Luckily, next week I will have the benefit of assistance from the good people of CRKN and ORCiD-CA.

What else? I uploaded a bunch of files into our IR. I set up a site for an online-only conference being planned for next year. And I finally got around to trying to update a manuscript for potential publication. But this writing has been very difficult as my attention has been sent elsewhere many times this week.


Unfortunately I wasn’t able to catch the live Teach-In #AgainstSurveillance on Tuesday but luckily the talks have been captured and made available at http://againstsurveillance.net/

So many of our platforms are designed to extract user data. But not all of them are. Our institutions of higher education could choose to invest in free range ed-tech instead.


Bonus links!