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 After identifying conspiracy content that has been archived by human actors with the Wayback Machine, we report on user patterns of “screensampling,” where images of archived misinformation are spread via social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.