How librarians support TDM in the research environment


I presented on the topic of how librarians can support text and data mining (TDM) in the research environment at the recent Text and Data Mining Symposium organised by the University of Cambridge Office of Scholarly Communication on 12th July. For anyone watching the livestream, I also gave a speech about ethics in librarianship during the panel discussion at the end so I hope people enjoyed that!

Without any further ado, here is a written up version of my talk with bonus slides for anyone who is interested.

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Top 5 things Millennials hate!

1. Sweeping generalisations of an entire age group based on poor scholarship. (see: digital natives)


2. Judgmental articles blaming Millennials for problems created by earlier generations.


3. Criticism of Millennials asking for (legal) fair pay and hours.


4. Being labelled as a selfish and apathetic generation when actually being engaged with global social issues.


5. Being called Millennials. Seriously. We hate it.


This post was inspired by a conversation with Ned Potter on Twitter about that awful article criticising Millennials for daring to have a work/life balance. As a supposed Millennial (urgh) myself, I am also aware how negative stereotypes can affect how we interact with members of this generation in our services, whether intentionally or otherwise. So I hope this post made you chuckle but also reflect. Thanks.


So I’m a big fan of sharing practice and approaches, so this is me sharing my review of 23 Research Things…with stats!

Welcome to the 23 Research Things Cambridge blog! For those of you who haven’t been here before, 23 Research Things ran for the first time in Cambridge between October and December 2016 and we had lots of lovely people taking part with their blogs, video views, comments and much more. So, we’ve taken a look […]

via Review of 2016 programme — 23 Research Things Cambridge

Halfway through 23 Research Things

So today marks the upload of Thing 12 of my 23 Research Things programme which means we’re over halfway through.

I was going to blog about the programme on a weekly basis but then life and work got in the way so hey. So far I think the programme is going pretty well. I think we have a lot of ‘lurkers’ in that there are many people out there looking at the programme blog, following the blog and watching the content even if they aren’t engaging through actively blogging about the programme. And that’s ok. I don’t really mind how people interact with the content that I’ve put online, just that they do in some way.

But of those that are actively getting involved, I have had 17 individual people message me and let me know that they’re blogging along with the programme. Of those people, some are keeping up and being really regular, some are following at their own pace and a few seem to have stopped entirely but I hope they’ll be able to pick up where they left off and keep getting something out of the programme.

My favourite Thing so far has been Thing 10 where I recorded a podcast with Ryan Cronin about communicating complex ideas to non-expert audiences. It was a really interesting discussion and even more pertinent given the state of affairs in our political and social worlds at the moment, especially when it comes to misinformation and distrust of experts. Check out the podcast if you haven’t already.

In addition to the online programme, I have been running new teaching sessions at the Moore Library which have been fairly well attended so far with a mix of students and researchers coming in from different STEM disciplines. It will take time to build on these initial few sessions but all in all I think they’ve gone well so far and I’ve been able to follow up on things with participants after the sessions themselves.

Looking ahead

So far the programme has been fairly easy to maintain and that’s mostly because I did a ton of work throughout the summer to preload as much content as possible so everything posts automatically and I can spend my time checking in on participants’ blogs and promoting each Thing when it launches. This all takes time and planning of course but it is doable alongside my other responsibilities.

I hope that as many of the current participants as possible complete the programme as it would be nice to see them finish and enjoy getting to the end. If some don’t but they still enjoyed what they did, then that is fine too. Nothing is wasted. I also hope that people are inspired by the programme to do similar things in their institutions. I’m getting a lot of traffic from around the world so people are obviously interested in what I’m doing which is quite nice. If you are one of those people and have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch!

There’s some fun stuff coming up in the programme and in the Real World, some of the Things that I have covered have sparked conversations with researchers and have opened doors to running new teaching sessions and getting guest speakers in to build on interests sparked in my immediate communities which is ace.

So, here’s to the next few Things!


Creating a 23 Research Things programme

Today is the launch of the 23 Research Things programme that I have been working on and developing for the past few months. A lot of work has gone into it and over the next few weeks I will blog about the various Things as and when they are released. But I also wanted to write about why I developed this programme. So read on!

When I started my sort-of-not-really-anymore new job as a Research Support Librarian, an immediate challenge struck me. There is only one of me. Let me unpack this seemingly obvious observation. I work for a library that used to cover just maths, a complex subject area in itself. But since the closure of the main science library in Cambridge which was then merged with aforementioned maths library, we suddenly found ourselves responsible for supporting the vast majority of STEM across the whole of the University of Cambridge.

Now for those of you that aren’t familiar with the *interesting* and *unique* library system at Cambridge, we don’t have one almighty library to rule them all. Oh no. Well we have the main University Library but that’s a bit of a red herring. We have generally speaking over 120 individual libraries. A good chunk of those are college libraries which are libraries based within colleges which are, in the Cambridge world, students’ homes. A student gets allocated a college which often has nothing to do with their subject. They THEN get access to their department library, whichever that might be and those department libraries make up the rest of the rather confusing array of library options open to students.

Don’t get me wrong, all those libraries are amazing and offer lots of great opportunities for students and staff alike. But it’s still a confusing system in comparison to most typical universities.

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