Data loading, processing, and more challenges with ISBNs — a technical update

A while back I wrote a post detailing some of the challenges we were encountering with resolving ISBNs through the API to ensure that items were allocated relevant recommendations.  This problem meant that not only could duplicate items appear in lists of recommendations, but also that the relevancy could be weakened.  We said then that we were opting to ‘settle for grabbing the first ISBN to get the demonstrator working’ purely for testing purposes.

But then we began work on aggregating and normalising the data from our four additional partners, and found (of course) that the issue only became significantly exacerbated as the quantity of data and variance between records increased significantly. Processing of data has also slowed considerably as we tackle these larger pots of data, and if this work were to be taken further then we’d be exploring how to enhance and streamline the database and processing workflows. In addition, right now calls upon the API would provide potentially very slow results, which is clearly not sustainable in the longer term if the API is to be used more broadly as part of a core service infrastructure.  For detailed information on the loading and processing routines we’re using, see this document prepared by our developer, Dave Chaplin.

In terms of the ISBN issue, we found our problem was not so much that we have duplicates appearing, but that when we implement it into Copac many results did not have recommendations at all – quite simply because we couldn’t easily match works with the same ISBN to one another.  The level of duplication currently existing in the Copac database compounds this issue further, and is something we’re tackling separately – calling upon the API against work level records will go a long way in making this issue go away for Copac users.

But for testing purposes, the problem of empty results has been resolved by the use of OCLC’s xISBN service, which is allowing us to cross-walk from one ISBN to any of its aliases that might appear in the transaction data (see figure below). Right now we’re using the free API which allows a pretty generous 1,000 calls day – but with the scale of data and use we’re talking about here, use of this free service is not going to be a viable solution in the long term.

The diagram below gives an overview of how the API currently works with the loan data from the 5 institutions.   Dave has stripped back the API so that it grabs one ISBN from each search result, and then we use xISBN to return all known variants.  These aliases are then matched to individual (and anonymised) user circulation data in the database (in other words, we find all the people who have that book in common) and we then trawl the database to see what other books those users have in common. Any items borrowed by 8 or more of the people from that subset will be automatically recommended.  Note that each recommendation is weighted by the total number of times the item has been borrowed (as per Dave Pattern’s methodology, see http://www.daveyp.com/blog/archives/1453) and ranked accordingly, with the top 40 suggestions offered; this is an attempt to present the user with relevant recommendations, rather than simply the related items that have been borrowed the most, while not swamping them with potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of suggestions.

Simple overview of how the API works

This approach has improved matters significantly – but not completely.  Behind the scenes there is a hell of a lot of processing going on, which is slowing things down somewhat – and the call upon the xISBN service in each instance is not helping matters.  The diagram above definitely belies the scale we’re often dealing with.

For example, Foucault’s History of Sexuality has been a seminal text in many advanced humanities, arts, and social science disciplines for several decades now. This work has 71 individual ISBN aliases, 3,327 individual borrowers, 182,270 cumulative ‘items’ associated with those borrowers (or loans, although we don’t count multiple loans of the same item by the same person). Of those 182,270 books borrowed by those 3,327 people, 12,497 have 8 people in common.  Using our current experimental system, the first time we ran that search it took around 70 seconds to process (!)

So we can test the qualitative value of the results with academic users, we’re storing that search locally so that the next user does not have the same problem, although (again) this is not a long-term solution for stable service delivery as it would be reasonable to argue that it goes beyond the fair use of the OCLC API. Obviously, further testing would need to be undertaken once the system was improved to evaluate the functionality and speed.

Work is now underway to put the prototype in front of groups of academics, undergraduates, and librarians, so we can further understand the value of the service in supporting learning and research. This will all be reported, along with the technical lesson learned and routes forward, in a final shared services feasibility study.  Certainly, working with the data in aggregate and at such large scale has unearthed challenges we’d not anticipated — all of them surmountable, but which mean if we take this development further we will need to go back to the drawing board in terms of system infrastructure, which is working fine as a live proof of concept, but is not production ready in terms of handling large amounts of data processing or usage.

 

Progress so far, and some of the challenges around identifiers and ISBNS we’re facing along the way

Over the last few weeks we’ve been liasing with our cohorts at the University of Sussex, Cambridge University Library, and Lincoln University to extract data and bring it over here to Mimas to start processing. Our aim is to add those sets to the existing API (along with updated data from JRUL and Huddersfield), so that the recommendations or aggregations of related texts produced are less ‘skewed’ to the JRUL context (course reading lists, etc).

When we ran the SALT project, we worked only with the substantial JRUL set of circulation data.  Interestingly (and usefully), the way that JRUL set up their system locally allowed us to see both ISBNs, as well as the JRUL assigned work-ID to identify items. This meant we could deal with items without ISBNs — somewhat critical to our ‘long tail’ hypothesis, which posited that recommenders could help surface under-used items, many of which might be pre-1970s, when ISBNs were phased in.

But now we’re dealing with circulation data from more than one source, and of course there are issues with this approach. The JRUL local solution for items without ISBNs is not widely applied and now we’re dealing with more datasets; we need to map items between different datasets, and the only common ID we have is ISBN. This means that for now we need to shift back to using only ISBN as the ID we deal with, and then adjust our tables and API accordingly.  We do see this as limiting, but for our key objectives in this project, it’s good enough. However, we want to return to this challenge later in the project to see if we can refine the system so it can surface older items.

The other issue emerging currently is that of multiple ISBNs for the same work – a perennial and complex issue, which is particularly coming to the fore in the debate on how to identify eBooks: http://publishingperspectives.com/2010/11/isbns-and-e-books-the-ongoing-dilemma/

With some of our partners’ data, this field has only one value – it seems to be difficult to pinpoint exactly where in the supply chain the decision as to which ISBN to assign seems to occur (depending on vendor systems and cataloguing practices), but it’s clear it will vary a great deal according to institution and processes. On the other hand, in other datasets, multiple ISBNs for one work are recorded, and we need to make a call as to which ISBN we work with.   We could just go with the first ISBN that appears, but this will likely result in duplicates appearing in the recommendations list; it also means that the algorithm on which the recommendation itself is made is watered down (i.e., recommendations will be less meaningful).

For now, we’re going to have to settle for grabbing the first ISBN to get the demonstrator working.  But we’ll also need to develop a stage in our processing where we map ISBNs, and this would also need to be part of the API (so institutions using the API can also map effectively). Right now we’re trying to find out if there is some sort of service that might help us out here. General consensus is that ‘there must be something’ (surely we’re not the first people to tackle this) but so far we’ve not come across anything that fits the bill.  Any suggestions gratefully received!

 

 

Announcing the Copac Activity Data Project (otherwise known as SALT 2)

We’re extremely pleased to announce that thanks to funding from JISC, we are about to commence work that builds on the success of SALT, and provides further understanding of the potential of aggregating and sharing library circulation data to support recommender functionality and the local and national levels. From now until July 31st 2012, we want to  strengthen the existing business case for openly sharing circulation data to support recommendations, and will produce a scoping and feasibility report for a shared national service to support circulation data aggregation, normalisation, and distribution for reuse via an open API.

To achieve this we plan to aggregate and normalise data from libraries in addition to JRUL and to make this available along with the John Rylands Library, University of Manchester dataset through a shared API; our new partner in this include: Cambridge University library, Lincoln University Library, Sussex University Library, and University of Huddersfield Library.

CopacAD will conduct primary research to  investigate the following additional use cases:

  • an undergraduate from a teaching and learning institution searching for course related materials
  • academics/teachers using the recommender to support the development of course reading lists
  • librarians using the recommendations to support academics/lecturers and collections development.

At the same time, we’re going to develop a Shared Service Scoping and Feasibility study will explore the options for a shared service for aggregating, normalising and hosting circulation data, and the potential range of web services/APIs that could be made available on top of that data.

Issues we’ll address will include identifying what infrastructure would need to be in place, how scaleable the service would need to be, and whether the service can scale with demand, the potential use cases for such a service, and benefits to be realised, the projected costs of such a service on an ongoing basis, technical and financial sustainability, including potential business model options moving forward.

If you’re interested in learning more, here’s the proposal for this work [doc].  And as with SALT, we will be regularly updating the community on our progress and lessons learned through this blog.

Introducing the SALT recommender API (based on 10 years of University of Manchester circulation data)

I’m pleased to announce the release of the SALT recommender API which works with over ten years of circulation data from the University of Manchester’s John Rylands Library.

The data source is currently static, but nonetheless yields excellent results. Please experiment and let us know how you get on. Stay tuned for a future post detailing some work we have planned for continuing this project, which will include assessing additional use cases, aggregating more data sources (and adding them to the API) and producing a shared service feasibility report for JISC.

Final blog post

In this final post I’m going to sum up what this project has produced, potential next steps, key lessons learned, and what we’d pass on to others working in this area.

In the last five months, the SALT project has produced a number of outputs:

  1.  Data extraction recipe: http://salt11.wordpress.com/recipe-data-extraction-from-talis/
  2.  Details on how the algorithm can support recommendations (courtesy Dave Pattern): http://www.daveyp.com/blog/archives/1453
  3. Technical processes documentation for processing the data and supporting the recommender API (though the API itself is not yet published): http://salt11.wordpress.com/technical-processes/
  4. An open licensing statement from JRUL which means the data can be made available for reuse (we’ve yet to determine how to make this happen, given the size of the dataset; and we also need to explore whether CC-BY is the most appropriate license going forward): http://salt11.wordpress.com/2011/07/26/agreeing-licensing-of-data/
  5. A trial recommender functionality in the live Copac prototype: http://salt11.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/copac_recommender.jpg
  6. A recommender function the JRUL library search interface prototype: http://salt11.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/salt_jrul.jpg
  7. User testing instruments:SALT Postgraduate User Discussion Guide  SALT user response sheet and results
  8. Feedback from collections managers & potential data contributors helping us consider weaknesses and opportunities, as well as possible sustainable next steps.

 

Next steps:

There are a number of steps that can be taken as a result of this project – some imminent ‘quick wins’ which we plan to take on after the official end, and then others that are ‘bigger’ than this project.

What we plan to do next anyway:

  • Adjust the threshold to a higher level (using the ‘usefulness’ benchmark given to us as users as a basis) so as to suppress some of the more off-base recommendations our users were bemused by.
  • Implement the recommender in the JRUL library search interface
  • Once the threshold has been reset, consider implementing the recommender as an option feature in the new Copac interface. We’d really like to, but we’d need to assess if the results are too JRUL-centric.
  • Work with JRUL to determine most appropriate mechanisms for hosting the data and supporting the API in the longer term (decisions here are dependent on how, if at all, we continue with this work from a Shared Services perspective)
  • Work with JRUL to assess the impact of this in the longer term (on user satisfaction, and on borrowing behaviour)

The Big Picture (what else we’d like to see happen):

1.       Aggregate more data. Combine the normalised data from JRUL with processed data from additional libraries that represent a wider range of institutions, including learning and teaching. Our hunch is that only a few more would make the critical difference in ironing out some of the skewed results we get from focusing on one data set (i.e. results skewed to JRUL course listings)

2.  Assess longer term impact. Longer-term analysis of the impact of the recommender functionality on JRUL user satisfaction and borrowing behaviour.  Is there, as with Huddersfield, more borrowing from ‘across the shelf’? Is our original hypothesis borne out?

3.  Requirements and costs gathering for a shared service. Establish the requirements and potential costs for a shared service to support processing, aggregation, and sharing of activity data via an API.  Based on this project, we have a fair idea of what those requirements might be, but our experience with JRUL indicates that such provision need to adequately support the handling and processing of large quantities of data.  How much FTE, processing power, and storage would we need if we scaled to handling more libraries? Part of this requirements gathering exercise would involve identifying additional contributing libraries, and the size of their data.

4.       Experiment with different UI designs and algorithm thresholds to support different use cases. For example, undergraduate users vs ‘advanced’ researcher users might benefit from the thresholds being set differently; in addition, there are users who want to see items held elsewhere and how to get them vs those who don’t. Some libraries will be keen to manage user expectations if they are ‘finding’ stock that’s not held at the home institution.

5.       Establish more recipes to simplify data extraction from the more common LMS’s beyond Talis (Horizon, ExLibris Voyager, and Innovative).

6.       Investigate how local activity data can help collections managers identify collection strengths and recognise items that should be retained because of association with valued collections. We thought about this as a form of “stock management by association.”  Librarians might treat some long-tail items (e.g. items with limited borrowing) with caution if they were aware of links/associations to other collections (although there is also the caveat that this wouldn’t be possible with local activity data reports in isolation)

 7.       More ambitiously, investigate how nationally aggregated activity data could support activities such as stock weeding by revealing collection strengths or gaps and allowing librarians to cross check against other collections nationally. This could also inform the number of copies a library should buy, and which books from reading lists are required in multiple copies.

8.       Learning and teaching support. Explore the relationship between recommended lists and reading lists, and how it can be used as a tool to support academic teaching staff.

9.       Communicate the benefits to decision-makers.  If work were to continue along these lines, then a recommendation that has come out strongly from our collaborators is the need to accompany any development activity with a targeted communications plan, which continually articulates the benefits of utilising activity data to support search to decision-makers within libraries. While within our community a significant amount of momentum is building in this area, our meetings with librarians indicates that the ‘why should I care?’ and more to the point ‘why should I make this a priority?’ questions are not adequately answered. In a nutshell, ‘leveraging activity data’ can easily fall down or off the priority lists of most library managers.  It would be particularly useful to tie these benefits to the strategic aims and objectives of University libraries as a means to get such work embedded in annual operational planning.

What can other institutions do to benefit from our work?

  1. For those using the Talis LMS (and with a few years of data stored), institutions can extract data, and create their own API to pull in as a recommender function using these recipes.
  2. Institutions can benefit from the work we did with users to understand their perceptions of the function, and can be assured that students (undergraduates and postgraduates) can see the immediate benefit (as long as we get rid of some of the odd stuff by setting the threshold higher)
  3. Use the findings of this project to support a business case for this work to their colleagues

How can they go about this?

  1. Assess the quality and quantity of the data stored in your LMS to determine if there’s potential there. For this project (and for the simple recommender based on ‘people who borrowed) you only need data that ties unique individuals to borrowed items (see more from Andy Land on the data extraction process and how anonymisation is handled here: http://salt11.wordpress.com/recipe-data-extraction-from-talis/).
  1. To understand how the recommender algorithm works, see this post Dave Pattern wrote for us: http://www.daveyp.com/blog/archives/1453
  1. To follow our steps in terms of data format, loading, processing, and setting up an API see Dave Chaplin’s explanation: http://salt11.wordpress.com/technical-processes/
  1. To conduct user-testing and focus groups to assess the recommender, feel free to draw from our SALT Postgraduate User Discussion Guide and SALT user response sheet.

Our most significant lessons:

  1. A lower threshold may throw up ‘long tail’ items, but they are likely to not be deemed relevant or useful by users (although they might be seen as ‘interesting’ and something they might look into further). Set a threshold of ten or so, as the University of Hudderfield has, and the quality of recommendations is relatively sound.
  2. Concerns over anonymisation and data privacy are not remotely shared by the users we spoke to.  While we might question this response as potentially naive, this does indicate that users trust libraries to handle their data in a way that protects them and also benefits them.
  3. You don’t necessarily need a significant backlog of data to make this work locally. Yes, we had ten years worth from JRUL, which turned out to be a vast amount of data to crunch.  But interestingly in our testing phases when we worked with only 5 weeks of data, the recommendations were remarkably good.  Of course, whether this is true elsewhere, depends on the nature and size of the institution. But it’s certainly worth investigating.
  4. If the API is to work on the shared service level, then we need more (but potentially not many more) representative libraries to aggregate data from in order to ensure that recommendations aren’t skewed to represent one institution’s holdings, course listings or niche research interests, and can support different use cases (i.e. learning and teaching).

Lessons learned from the user evaluation perspective (or can we define the ‘long tail’?)

The key lesson we’ve learned during this project is that the assumptions behind the hypothesis of this project need to be reconsidered, as in this context the ‘long tail’ is complex and difficult to measure. Firstly how do we evaluate what is ‘long tail’ from a user perspective? We may draw a line in the sand in terms of number of times an item has been borrowed, but this doesn’t necessarily translate into individual or community contexts. Most of this project was taken up with processing the data and creating the API and UI; if we’d had a bit more time we could have spent more resource dealing with these questions as they arose during testing.

The focus groups highlight how diverse and unique each researcher and what they are researching is. We chose humanities  postgrads, PhD’s and masters level, but in this group alone we have a huge range of topic areas, from the incredibly niche to the rather more popular. Therefore we had some respondents who found the niche searches fruitful and others who found nothing, because their research area is so niche, hardly any material they don’t already know about doesn’t exist. In addition, when long tail is revealed, some researchers find it outdated or irrelevant. This is why it isn’t borrowed that often. So is there any merit in bringing it to the attention of the research community?

Further more in-depth testing in this area needs to be done in order to find answers to some of these problems.  The testing for this project asked the respondents to rate their searches and pick out some of the more interesting texts. But we need to sit with fewer researchers and broaden the discussions. What is relevant? How do you guage it as relevant? Some of the respondents said the books were not relevant but more said they would borrow them, so where does this discrepancy come from? Perhaps ‘relevant’ is not the correct term, can the long tail of discovery produce new perspectives, interesting associations perhaps previously not thought of? Only one-to-one in-depth testing can give the right data which will then indicate which level the threshold should be set.

After all is there any point in having a recommender which only gives you recommendations you expect or know about already? However, some participants wanted this from a recommender or expected it and were disappointed when they got results they could not predict. I know if I search for a CD on Amazon that I’m familiar with I sometimes get recommendations I know about or already own. So the recommender means different things to different people. There is a group that are satisfied they know all the recommended texts and can sleep soundly knowing they have completely saturated their research topic and there is a group that need new material.

The long tail hypothesis is a difficult one to prove in a short term project of 6 months. As its name suggests the long tail needs to be explored over a long time. Monitoring borrowing patterns in the library, click through and feedback from the user community and librarians will help to refine the recommender tool for ultimate effectiveness.

A sampling of SALT. How the recommender is working and initial feedback from postgrads

We’re gearing up to meet with some of our collaborators tomorrow from the M25 consortium and Cambridge University Library; they’re helping us explore whether the model we’re developing for SALT (i.e. a centralised aggregation service & a shared API) is something we should pursue further). In preparation for that I am working furiously to gather all the learning that has happened (and is happening) so far.   As I write, Lisa and Janine are running user testing and focus groups with postgraduate humanities student from the University of Manchester using the live prototype we have up from Copac.  We’ve asked this group to run their own searches and assess the results.  Below you can see a sampling of what they’ve been looking for, and what recommendations they’re getting.

The overall reaction is very positive, although in general people find the recommendations further down the rankings to be more relevant. Up top, some of the recommendations are at times off-base.  My own favourite book to search, Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, is no exception — some apparently random items at the top of the list when you look at that one. (I do wonder if this represents a particular reading list for a theatre studies course at JRUL, and this is why it’s happening. Worth exploring).  Overall, though, we think this is because we’ve set the threshold (only 3 borrowers in common) deliberately low to test out our long tail hypothesis (Dave Pattern kindly explains here how the algorithm works). What we’re also hearing is that students are finding items they’ve not discovered before now which they deem relevant and likely to borrow.  A few have commented that the recommendations get them thinking a bit more laterally — that the concepts they are exploring are picked up in different disciplinary contexts.  I find this part particularly interesting when considering in light of the search and research behaviour of humanities researchers.  A fuller report on the user testing will be published shortly.

It will be interesting to see if some of the lower ranked recommendations might still be considered ‘long tail’ (and we need to consider how we’re defining ‘long tail’ in this context, of course).  This will be an interesting topic for discussion for tomorrow, and we’d definitely welcome the views of any readers on this score (as well as the question of relevancy).

Another interesting note: I ran a search for items in the University of Huddersfield OPAC to compare the recommendations. Interestingly, none of the items (admittedly miniscule sample here!) are in the Huddersfield OPAC.  Obviously we’re dealing with two very different libraries and use cases here, but it drives home to me how differentiated the benefits will be at the local level, and raises questions over the utility of sharing activity data for use at the local level.  That said, I think what we have with the JRUL data (10 years worth) is something that could likely be of real value to a lot of libraries.  How much of a ‘critical mass’ do we need for this to be critical? Do libraries need to have a similar core user base and mission to JRUL to derive benefit from this set, I wonder?

Anyway, enough musing. Here are the recommendations. (btw: For now the below links go to the Copac protoytpe, but this is only going to be public for a while –we’re planning to launch formally in the autumn, but we’ve got work to do yet!)

Translation and censorship patterns of communication and interference

Published: Dublin ; Portland, OR : Four Courts Press, c2009.

Physical description: 256 p. ; 24 cm.

ISBN

Notes:

Papers from a conference on translation and censorship held in Trinity College Dublin in October 2005.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 221-236) and index.

Contents:

Introduction — Part 1, Theory : Censorship and self-censorship in translation : ethics and ideology, resistance and collusion / Maria Tymoczko — Censorship as a collaborative project : a systematic approach / Piotr Kuhiwczak — Translators, the tacit censors / Elisabeth Gibbels — Part 2, Classical and renaissance : Censoring these ‘racy morsels of the vernacular’ : loss and gain in the translation of Apuleius and Catullus / Carol O’Sullivan — The Petrarch they tried to ban / Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin & Deirdre Serjeantson — Part 3, Censoring regimes : Translating under pressure : censorship of foreign literature in Italy between the wars / Jane Dunnett — Pasternak’s Hamlet : translation, censorship and indirect communication / Aoife Gallagher — Censorship in Francoist Spain and the importation of translations from South America : the case of Lawrence Durrell’s Justine / Cristina Gómez Castro — Part 4, Sensitivities : The case of Don Quixote : one hundred years of Portuguese translations / Filipe Alves Machado — Translation as hagiographical weapon : the French perception of Katherine Mansfield / Gerri Kimber — More than a childhood revisited? : ideological dimensions in the American and British translations of Astrid Lindgren’s Madicken / Angelika Nikolowski-Bogomoloff — … comme des nègres : : whitewashed in translation / Cormac Ó Cuilleanáin — ‘Razom nas begato, nas ne podolati’ : remixes of the orange revolution anthem / Sarah Smyth.

Subject:

Other names

Ní Chuilleanáin, Eiléan, 1942-
Ó Cuilleanáin, Cormac.
Parris, David L.

SALT Recommendations

Sturge, Kate. – “The alien within” : translation into German during the Nazi Regime; Kate St 2004
Constructing a sociology of translation / edited by Michaela Wolf, Alexandra 2007
Audiovisual translation : language transfer on screen / edited by Jorge Diáz 2009
Torresi, Ira. – Translating promotional and advertising texts / Ira Torresi 2010
Brodzki, Bella. – Can these bones live? : translation, survival, and cultural memory / Bella B 2007
The didactics of audiovisual translation / edited by Jorge Diáz Cintas 2008
Claims, changes and challenges in translation studies : selected contributio 2004
Translation in undergraduate degree programmes / edited by Kirsten Malmkjær 2004
Modes of censorship and translation : national contexts and diverse media / 2007
Pym, Anthony, 1956-. – Epistemological problems in translation and its teaching : a seminar for thi 1993
Rimbaud’s rainbow : literary translation in higher education / edited by Pet 1998
Zatlin, Phyllis, 1938-. – Theatrical translation and film adaptation : a practitioner’s view / Phyllis 2005
Moving target : theatre translation and cultural relocation / edited by Caro 2000
{no authors}. – Translation perspectives 1995
The translation of children’s literature : a reader / edited by Gillian Lath 2006
Sociocultural aspects of translating and interpreting / edited by Anthony Py 2006
Kiraly, Donald C., 1953-. – Pathways to translation : pedagogy and process / Donald C. Kiraly 1995
CTIS occasional papers 2002
Kiraly, Donald C., 1953-. – A social constructivist approach to translator education : empowerment from 2000
A companion to translation studies / edited by Piotr Kuhiwczak and Karin Lit 2007
Tymoczko, Maria. – Enlarging translation, empowering translators / Maria Tymoczko 2007
Children’s literature in translation : challenges and strategies / edited by 2006
 Translating poetry : the double labyrinth / edited by Daniel Weissbort 1989
Venuti, Lawrence, 1953-. – The translator’s invisibility : a history of translation / Lawrence Venuti. – 2nd ed. 2008
Nation, language, and the ethics of translation / edited by Sandra Bermann a 2005
Bourdieu and the sociology of translation and Interpreting : special Issue / 2005
Bowker, Lynne. – Computer-aided translation technology : a practical introduction / Lynne Bow 2002
Critical readings in translation studies / edited by Mona Baker 2010
Translating others / edited by Theo Hermans 2006
Diáz-Cintas, Jorge. – Audiovisual translation : subtitling / Jorge Diáz Cintas & Aline Remael 2007
Luyken, Georg-Michael. – Overcoming language barriers in television : dubbing and subtitling for the 1991
{no authors}. – The Manipulation of literature : studies in literary translation / edited by 1985
Kelly, Dorothy. – A handbook for translator trainers : a guide to reflective practice / Doroth 2005
Wagner, Emma. – Translating for the European Union institutions / Emma Wagner, Svend Bech, J 2002
Boase-Beier, Jean. – Stylistic approaches to translation / Jean Boase-Beier 2006
Niranjana, Tejaswini, 1958-. – Siting translation : history, post-structuralism, and the colonial context / 1992
{no authors}. – Translation research and interpreting research : traditions, gaps and synerg 2004
{no authors}. – Translation and cultural change : studies in history, norms and image-projec 2005
{no authors}. – Translation, power, subversion / edited by Román Álvarez and M. Carmen-Áfric 1996
{no authors}. – Translators through history / edited and directed by Jean Delisle, Judith Wo 1995

Investment, profit, and tenancy the jurists and the Roman agrarian economy

Author: by Kehoe, Dennis P..

Published: Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c1997.

Physical description: xiv, 269 p. ; 24 cm.

ISBN: 0472108026

Notes: Spine title: Investment, profit, and tenancy.
Includes index.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 241-260) and index.

Summary:

“In Investment, Profit, and Tenancy: The Jurists and the Roman Agrarian Economy Dennis P. Kehoe defines the economic mentality of upper-class Romans by analyzing the assumptions that Roman jurists in the Digest of Justinian made about investment and profit in agriculture as they addressed legal issues involving private property. In particular the author analyzes the duties of guardians in managing the property of their wards and the bequeathing of agricultural property. He bases his analysis on Roman legal sources, which offer a comprehensive picture of the economic interests of upper-class Romans. Farm tenancy was crucial to these interests and Kehoe carefully examines how Roman landowners contended with the legal, social, and economic institutions surrounding farm tenancy as they pursued security from their agricultural investments.” “Investment, Profit, and Tenancy will be of interest to students of Roman history, particularly the legal, social, and economic history of the Roman empire.”–BOOK JACKET.

Subject

SALT Recommendations

Pliny, the Elder. – Natural history 1950
Neeve, P. W. de. – Colonus : private farm-tenancy in Roman Italy during the Republic and the ea 1984
{no authors}. – The Cambridge economic history of the Greco-Roman world / edited by Walter S 2007
MacDonald, George, 1862-1940. – The Roman wall in Scotland / by Sir George Macdonald. – 2d. ed., rev., enl., and in great part rewritten 1934
Andreau, Jean. – Banking and business in the Roman world / Jean Andreau / translated by Janet 1999
{no authors}. – A companion to the Roman army / edited by Paul Erdkamp 2007
Garnsey, Peter. – Cities, peasants and food in classical antiquity : essays in social and econ 1998
Paoli, Ugo Enrico, 1884-1963. – Rome : its people, life and customs / translated from the Italian by R. D. M 1990
{no authors}. – Money, labour and land in ancient Greece : approaches to the economies of an 2002
Millett, Paul. – Lending and borrowing in ancient Athens / Paul Millett 1991
{no authors}. – Women in Greece and Rome 1977
Duncan-Jones, Richard. – The economy of the Roman Empire : quantitative studies 1974
Duncan-Jones, Richard. – The economy of the Roman Empire : quantitative studies. – 2nd ed 1982
Birley, Eric. – Roman Britain and the Roman Army : collected papers 1976
Greene, Kevin. – The archaeology of the Roman economy 1986
Plutarch. – Greek lives : a selection of nine Greek lives / Plutarch / translated by Rob 1998
Birley, Eric. – Roman Britain and the Roman army : collected papers 1953
Stambaugh, John E. – The ancient Roman city 1988
{no authors}. – Slavery and other forms of unfree labour / edited by Léonie J. Archer 1988
Camp, John McK. – The archaeology of Athens / John M. Camp 2001
Duncan-Jones, Richard. – Structure and scale in the Roman economy / Richard Duncan-Jones 1990
Holder, P. A.. – The Roman army in Britain 1982
Lintott, Andrew, 1936-. – Violence in republican Rome 1968
{no authors}. – Athenian democracy / edited by P. J. Rhodes 2004
Cohen, Edward E.. – The Athenian nation / Edward E. Cohen 2000
MacMullen, Ramsay, 1928-. – Roman government’s response to crisis, AD 235-337 1976
{no authors}. – The ancient economy / edited by Walter Scheidel and Sitta von Reden 2002
Garnsey, Peter. – Famine and food supply in the Graeco-Roman world : responses to risk and cri 1988
Mouritsen, Henrik. – Plebs and politics in the late Roman Republic 2001
Jones, A. H. M. (Arnold Hugh Martin), 1904-1970. – The Roman economy : studies in ancient economic and administrative history / 1974
Millar, Fergus. – The Roman Near East, 31 B.C.-A.D. 337 1993
{no authors}. – Law and social status in classical Athens / edited by Virginia Hunter and Jo 2000
Lysias. – Lysias / translated by S.C. Todd 2000
Andrewes, Antony. – The Greek tyrants 1956
Manville, Philip Brook. – The origins of citizenship in ancient Athens; Philip Brook Manville 1990
Cornell, Tim. – The beginnings of Rome : Italy and Rome from the Bronze Age to the Punic War 1995
Todd, S. C., Stephen Charles, 1958-. – The shape of Athenian law / S. C. Todd 1993
{no authors}. – The Cambridge ancient history, 1970-2005
Cartledge, Paul. – The Greeks : a portrait of self and others / Paul Cartledge 1993
Finley, M. I., Moses I., 1912-1986. – The ancient economy. – 2nd ed 1985

Luxury and pleasure in eighteenth-century Britain

Author: by Berg, Maxine, 1950-.

Published: Oxford : Oxford University Press, 2005.

Physical description: xvii, 373 p. : ill., maps ; 25 cm.

ISBN:

Notes:

Title from e-book title screen (viewed June 17, 2008).
Includes bibliographical references (p. 332-356) and index.
Also available online.
Electronic reproduction. UK : MyiLibrary, 2008 Available via World Wide Web. Access may be limited to MIL affiliated libraries.
Dates of available copies: 2005, 2007.

Contents

Part 1: Luxury, Quality, and Delight — 1. The Delights of Luxury — 2. Goods from the East — 3. Invention, Imitation, and Design — Part 2: How it was Made — 4. Glass and Chinaware: The Grammar of the Polite Table — 5. Metal Things: Useful Devices and Agreeable Trinkets — Part 3: A Nation of Shoppers — 6. The Middling Classes: Acquisitiveness and Self-Respect — 7. ‘Shopping is a Place to Go': Fashion, Shopping, and Advertising — 8. Mercantile Theatres: British Commodities and American Consumers.

Summary

Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain explores the invention, making, and buying of new, semi-luxury, and fashionable consumer goods during the eighteenth century. It follows these goods, from china tea ware to all sorts of metal ornaments such as candlesticks, cutlery, buckles, and buttons, as they were made and shopped for, then displayed in the private domestic settings of Britain’s urban middling classes. It tells the stories and analyses the developments that led from a global trade in Eastern luxuries beginning in the sixteenth century to the new global trade in British-made consumer goods by the end of the eighteenth century. These new products, regarded as luxuries by the rapidly growing urban and middling-class people of the eighteenth century, played an important part in helping to proclaim personal identities,and guide social interaction. Customers enjoyed shopping for them; they took pleasure in their beauty, ingenuity or convenience. All manner of new products appeared in shop windows; sophisticated mixed-media advertising seduced customers and created new wants.This unparalleled ‘product revolution’ provoked philosophers and pundits to proclaim a ‘new luxury’, one that reached out to the middling and trading classes, unlike the elite and corrupt luxury of old. Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain is cultural history at its best, built on a fresh empirical base drawn directly from customs accounts, advertising material, company papers, and contemporary correspondence. Maxine Berg traces how this new consumer society of the eighteenth century and the products first traded, then invented to satisfy it, stimulated industrialization itself. Global markets for the consumer goods of private and domestic life inspired the industrial revolution and British products ‘won the world’.

Review

…deserves to be the final word on the luxury debate in Britian Martyn Powell, Annual Bulletin of Historical Literature Luxury and Pleasure is an interesting, accessible and well-illustrated synthesis of new research and recent writing, and helpfully concludes by pointing to further areas of research Hannah Smith, History Journal Readers will find this book valuable Joyce Burnette, English Historical Review

Subject

SALT Recommendations

Crowley, John E.. – The invention of comfort : sensibilities & design in early modern Britain & 2000
Estabrook, Carl B.. – Urbane and rustic England : cultural ties and social spheres in the province 1998
Wahrman, Dror. – The making of the modern self : identity and culture in eighteenth-century E 2004
{no authors}. – The Cambridge history of science 2003
New Perspectives in the History of Geology (Conference : 1977 : New Hall, Cambri. – Images of the Earth : essays in the history of the environmental sciences / 1979
Jordanova, L. J.. – Nature displayed : gender, science and medicine 1760-1820 / essays by Ludmil 1999
Barker, Hannah. – The business of women : female enterprise and urban development in Northern 2006
Barker-Benfield, G. J.. – The culture of sensibility : sex and society in eighteenth-century Britain 1992
Zheng, Yangwen. – The social life of opium in China / Yangwen Zheng 2005
Vickery, Amanda. – The gentleman’s daughter : women’s lives in Georgian England / Amanda Vicker 1998
McPhee, Peter, 1948-. – The French Revolution, 1789-1799 2002
{no authors}. – The Social life of things : commodities in cultural perspective / edited by 1986

Title: The nature of human values

Author: by Rokeach, Milton..

Published: New York : Free Press ; London : Collier-Macmillan, 1973.

Physical description: x,438p. ; 24cm.

ISBN: 0029267501

Notes:

Includes index and bibliography: p. 341-354.
Bibl.: p.341-354. – Index.

Subject

SALT Recommendations

Scheibe, Karl E.. – Beliefs and values 1970
Rokeach, Milton, 1918-. – Beliefs, attitudes and values : a theory of organization and change 1970
Field, Andy. – Discovering statistics using SPSS for Windows : advanced techniques for the 2000

Textile production at 16-22 Coppergate

Author: by Walton Rogers, Penelope..

Series

The Archaeology of York ; vol.17 : The small finds, fasc.11
The Archaeology of York. 17, The small finds ; fasc.11
Archaeology of York. fasc.11.

Published: York : Published for the York Archaeological Trust by Council for British Archaeology, 1997.

Physical description: viii, p. 1687-1867 : ill., (some col), maps ; 25 cm.

ISBN

Notes:

Published in association with the York Archaeological Trust.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 1863-1867) and index.
Published in association with the York Archaeological Trust.
In English.

Summary

A great deal of material was recovered from Coppergate during archaeological excavations. Of 1147 artefa cts found there, 1006 are from the 9th to 13th centuries and nearly 700 are from the Anglo-Scandinavian period. Many rel ate to the textile industry ‘

Subject

Other names

York Archaeological Trust.
Council for British Archaeology.

SALT Recommendations

{no authors}. – The Archaeology of York / (general editor, P.V. Addyman) 1989
J›rgensen, Lise Bender. – North European textiles until AD 1000 1992
Hald, Margrethe, b. 1897. – Ancient Danish textiles from bogs and burials : a comparative study of costu 1980
Barber, E. J. W., 1940-. – Prehistoric textiles : the development of cloth in the Neolithic and Bronze 1991
Wild, John Peter. – Textiles in archaeology 1988
{no authors}. – The archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England : basic readings / edited by Catherin 1999
Fletcher, Mike, 1943-. – Digging numbers : elementary statistics for archaeologists / Mike Fletcher a 1991
{no authors}. – The Age of Sutton Hoo : the seventh century in north-western Europe / edited 1992
{no authors}. – The archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England / edited by David M. Wilson 1976
{no authors}. – Historical archaeology : back from the edge / edited by Pedro Paulo A. Funar 1999
Hodder, Ian. – Reading the past : current approaches to interpretation in archaeology. – 2nd ed 1991
{no authors}. – Engendering archaeology : women and prehistory / edited by Joan M. Gero and 1991
Dickinson, O. T. P. K., Oliver Thomas Pilkington Kirwan. – The Aegean Bronze Age 1994
Thomas, David Hurst. – Archaeology. – 3rd ed. 1998
{no authors}. – The Function of the Minoan palaces : proceedings of the fourth International 1987
Parker Pearson, Michael, 1957-. – The archaeology of death and burial / Mike Parker Pearson 1999
{no authors}. – Interpretative archaeology / edited by Christopher Tilley 1993
{no authors}. – Architecture and order : approaches to social space / Michael Parker Pearson 1994
Johnson, Matthew. – Archaeological theory : an introduction / Matthew Johnson 1999
{no authors}. – Interpretive archaeology : a reader / edited by Julian Thomas 2000

The benefits of reusing activity data

.

Recommender function in Copac -- prototype

A working prototype based on just 5 weeks of data from John Rylands UL

July is proving to be a fast and furious month in terms of presenting on SALT, crunching the remainder of the gargantuan amount of data we’re receiving from our partners at JRUL, finessing the API, implementing the developments in the Copac prototype (and showing it off to people at the CILIP Umbrella conference), and running various workshops and user testing sessions to test our hypothesis (as much as we can in this time frame) and see whether the ‘shared service’ side of all this might actually scale.

We’re working intensely, but reflecting too.  The workshop hosted by the RISE project earlier this month was an excellent opportunity to step back and see the bigger picture, and reflect on the benefits we’re aiming to realise for libraries and their users.  A reminder of what we’re attempting to find out:

Hypothesis…

Library circulation activity data can be used to support humanities research by surfacing underused ‘long tail’ library materials through search

Also… how sustainable would an API-based national shared service be?

And can such a service support users and also library workflows such as collections management?

What we already know
We know that arts and humanities students and academics borrow books.

Research conducted in-house by Mimas, and also by others (for example Carole Palmer ) also highlights the differences in search methodologies between this demographic and their STEM counterparts.  In short, humanities researchers tend to search centrifugally, ‘berry picking’ from various trails. Mimas’ recent research with Mindset and Curtis and Cartwright indicates that newer postgraduates tend to work in quite an isolated way – asking few if any for advice on where to search (supervisors feature heavily in this regard, whereas subject librarians do not at all) and sticking with a few ‘known’ resources). While these users are typically suspicious of the idea that allowing other users to annotate, tag, or rate items would be of benefit to them, there is generally a positive response when asked about the usefulness of a recommender function; in fact Amazon is used significantly in this regard to help users find related materials that are not surfacing through a ‘traditional’ library search.

Library recommendation systems are already achieving benefits for undergraduates – University of Huddersfield being the obvious example. Indeed, Huddersfield’s system helps students move beyond the ‘nose’ to the long tail of library collections – and there is some evidence that new borrowing patterns are emerging, with students taking out books from outside what is assigned.  In humanities research especially, the long tail is obviously much more relevant.

The benefits
So what additional benefits might we realise through this work, especially if we move on t

o aggregating data from additional libraries?

  1. Key to our hypothesis is the belief that such systems can help surface and hopefully increase the usage of hidden collections. Obviously circulation data is only going to offer a partial solution to this problem of discoverability (i.e. many ‘hidden gems’ are of course non-circulating) but nonetheless, we believethat the long tail argument borne out by Chris Anderson can also hold true for libraries – that the collective ‘share’ or recommendation of items can turn the Pareto Principle on its head.  For libraries this means being able to demonstrate the value of the collections by pointing to increased usage. It  might also give libraries a better sense of what is of value to users, and what perhaps is not.
  2. For users, particularly those in the humanities, a recommender function can help providing new routes to discovery based on use and disciplinary contexts (not traditional classification).  In other words, what you areviewing through ‘recommenders’ are patterns of real usage, how other users with similar academic interests are aggregating texts. This is particularly useful for finding conceptually related groupings of texts that cut across differentdisciplines, and which will not ordinarily sit together in a standard results set.
  3. It also means we can support humanities users in their preferred mode of discovery, powering ‘centrifugal searching’ and discovery through serendipity. The downstream benefits of this concern the emergence of new, original research, new knowledge and ideas.

Last week we sat down with a group of collections managers from JRUL as well as Leeds University and talked with them about other possible benefits related to library workflows which we weren’t yet seeing.  Here are the potential benefits we came up with:

  • Aggregated activity data could support activities such as stock weeding by revealing collection strengths and allowing librarians to cross check against other collections.
  • By combining aggregated collection data and aggregated activity data, librarians will see a fuller picture.  This means they can identify collection strengths and recognise items that should be retained because of association with valued collections. We thought about this as a form of “stock management by association.”  Librarians might treat some long-tail items (e.g. items with limited borrowing) with caution if they were aware of links/associations to other collections (although there is also the caveat that this wouldn’t be possible with local activity data reports in isolation)
  • Aggregated activity data could have benefits for collection development.  Seeing the national picture might allow librarians to identify related items – “if your collection has this, it should also have…” 
  • This could also inform the number of copies a library should buy, and which books from reading lists are required in multiple copies.
  • Thinking more outside the box, we thought it might also inform digitization decision-making – i.e. if you digitized this, you might also consider digitizing…
  • Aggregated activity data could inform stock purchase – allow librarians to see what’s new, what’s being used elsewhere and therefore what’s worth buying. 
  • This could also have benefits when discussing reading lists and stock purchases with academic staff, and thus enhance academic engagement

Over the next couple of weeks we’ll have quite a bit more to report as we analyse sustainability issues with other libraries, and perhaps most importantly, put the recommender itself in front of postgraduate humanities researchers to see if our hypothesis is likely to be proven true — at least based on what they tell us (the true test will happen over the next year as we monitor impact via JRUL and Copac).