THE BRITISH LIBRARY

Digital scholarship blog

3 posts from August 2017

25 August 2017

Announcing the new British Library Research Data Strategy

With the support of a Research Data Strategy since 2010, the Library has been active in services for research data for a number of years. This work has included European-funded projects such as ODE, ODIN and THOR; Providing the DataCite UK service and involvement in other activities such as data discovery and unlocking thesis data.

Since 2010 a lot has changed. Due to activities like DataCite or the FAIR Data Principles, data are now considered a first class research output. This has led to more researchers and organisations sharing their data and getting credit for it. As data become more widely available and better integrated into research workflows, services around data are key to the way the British Library needs to support research and business. This is already recognised in Living Knowledge, with data a priority to achieving the Library’s Research Purpose. With this changing landscape, we have re-evaluated our research data strategy in order to move forward with new services for research data.

British Library Research Data Strategy Outline Cover

Click the image to download the summary of the British Library Research Data Strategy 2017 (PDF, 13.4MB)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

In the new Research Data Strategy, some things remain the same. We take a very broad definition of ‘research data’, based on the Open Data Concordat. We still exclude day-to-day management and administrative data. But some activities that the Library had previously excluded will now be considered as we move forward.

Our vision for the British Library is that research data are as integrated into our collections, research and services as text is today. The British Library's users will be able to consume research data online through tools that enable it to be analysed, visualised and understood by non-specialists. Research data will be integrated into our collections and shared storage hubs and we will deliver data from trusted external hosts. All will be easy to discover and linked to related research outputs, be they text, data or multimedia.

The new Research Data Strategy outlines the areas in which the Library's strengths could be applied to develop appropriate data activities and services to support this vision as well as the Living Knowledge ambition to be the most open, creative and innovative institution of its kind by the time of our 50th anniversary in 2023.

The strategy is structured around 4 central themes for the activities we will be taking forward. These themes and rough outlines of their content are given below.

Data Management

This element of the data strategy sets out the creation of a data management plan and process, enabling the British Library to meet its obligations under funding council data management planning requirements.

Data Creation

The British Library will create datasets derived from its collections, and support others as they create their own datasets derived from Library collections. The role of datasets in the development of the Library’s collections will also be considered.

Data Archiving and Preservation

Datasets collected and created by the Library will be archived and preserved in line with its other collections. This will also open up the possibility for the development of providing archiving services to third parties and sharing its lessons learned in dataset preservation.

Data Access, Discovery and Reuse

The Library will ensure appropriate discovery, access and reuse of the datasets it holds, as well as those available from third parties. This will require new models of access to data onsite and online. Access to secure data for BL researchers will also be investigated.

You can download a summary of the British Library’s new Research Data Strategy here: British Library Research Data Strategy Outline

11 August 2017

Last Chance to Book for Game Library Camp Tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon is Game Library Camp here at the British Library. So if you are in or near London, and are interested in libraries and games (all types of games, including board games, table top roleplaying, live action roleplaying (though please don't bring any foam replica weapons!), videogames, interactive fiction etc.), then please book a free place from https://gamelibcamp.eventbrite.co.uk.

The event is happening on Saturday 12 August, 12:30 to 16:30, at the Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Rd, London, NW1 2DB. For info on how to get here, go to https://www.bl.uk/aboutus/quickinfo/loc/stp. Please note lunch is not provided, but there are cafés on site, or bring your own snacks. We'll be using #GameLibCamp17 to discuss the event on Twitter etc.

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-08-11/c9eac854-6ad0-4e23-ab9f-f766f43cf7d1.png

At a library camp the participants lead the agenda – in fact, there isn’t an agenda until attendees pitch (bad tent pun, groan!) and decide what they’d like to talk about at the start of the event.  The only requirement for a session is that it fits within the theme. If you already have an idea for a talk, discussion, game or activity; you can propose your suggestion beforehand on this page http://gamesandglams.blogspot.co.uk/p/game-library-camp-sessions.html. We'll have the use of a number of rooms at the British Library's Knowledge Centre, so will be able to run a few sessions in parallel during the event. Also, please do bring games along if you want to run a game! - this is totally encouraged.

Programme:

  • Registration from 12 noon
  • Introduction and session pitches 12:30pm
  • 1st session 1pm - 1:40pm
  • 2nd session 1:45pm - 2:25pm
  • 3rd session 2:30pm - 3:10pm
  • 4th session 3:15pm - 3:55pm
  • Closing session 4pm
  • Finish by 4:30pm
  • Post-event social meetup at The Somers Town Coffee House

In the words of experienced Library Campers Sue Lawson and Richard Veevers who run the http://www.librarycamp.co.uk website: "there's no cost, there are no keynotes and library camp is open to anyone: public/private/whatever sector and you don't have to work in a library".

This specific library camp is intended as a warm up to International Games Week in the autumn and to inspire librarians and library staff from all sectors to host their own game events. We also totally welcome colleagues from, and people who visit, other cultural heritage organisations, museums, archives etc. who participate in games projects and events, both game making and game playing.  

Furthermore, if you are interested, but you can't attend tomorrow, I recommend joining the online discussion group Games & GLAMS set up by British Library collaborator, Sarah Cole, that focuses on game related activities in the Galleries, Libraries, Archives and Museums sector. It's open to anyone with an interest in games in any of these areas. There is also an associated Games & GLAMS Twitter account: @Games_GLAMS.

This post is by Digital Curator Stella Wisdom, on twitter as @miss_wisdom. Stella is co-organising Game Library Camp with Darren Edwards of Bournemouth Libraries and the lead on International Games Week in the UK, and Gary Green from Surrey Libraries.

04 August 2017

BL Labs Awards (2017): enter before midnight Wednesday 11th October!

Posted by Mahendra Mahey, Manager of of British Library Labs.

The BL Labs Awards formally recognises outstanding and innovative work that has been created using the British Library’s digital collections and data.

The closing date for entering the BL Labs Awards (2017) is midnight BST on Wednesday 11th October. So please submit your entry and/or help us spread the word to all interested and relevant parties over the next few months or so. This will ensure we have another year of fantastic digital-based projects highlighted by the Awards!

This year, the BL Labs Awards is commending work in four key areas:

  • Research - A project or activity which shows the development of new knowledge, research methods, or tools.
  • Commercial - An activity that delivers or develops commercial value in the context of new products, tools, or services that build on, incorporate, or enhance the Library's digital content.
  • Artistic - An artistic or creative endeavour which inspires, stimulates, amazes and provokes.
  • Teaching / Learning - Quality learning experiences created for learners of any age and ability that use the Library's digital content.

After the submission deadline of midnight BST on Wednesday 11th October for entering the BL Labs Awards has past, the entries will be shortlisted. Selected shortlisted entrants will be notified via email by midnight BST on Friday 20th October 2017. 

A prize of £500 will be awarded to the winner and Â£100 to the runner up of each Awards category at the BL Labs Symposium on 30th October 2017 at the British Library, St Pancras, London.

The talent of the BL Labs Awards winners and runners ups of 2016 and 2015 has led to the production a remarkable and varied collection of innovative projects. In 2016, the Awards commended work in four main categories – Research, Creative/Artistic and Entrepreneurship:

  • Research category Award (2016) winner: 'Scissors and Paste', by M. H. Beals. Scissors and Paste utilises the 1800-1900 digitised British Library Newspapers, collection to explore the possibilities of mining large-scale newspaper databases for reprinted and repurposed news content.
  • Artistic Award (2016) winner: 'Hey There, Young Sailor', written and directed by Ling Low with visual art by Lyn Ong. Hey There, Young Sailor combines live action with animation, hand-drawn artwork and found archive images to tell a love story set at sea. The video draws on late 19th century and early 20th century images from the British Library's Flickr collection for its collages and tableaux and was commissioned by Malaysian indie folk band The Impatient Sisters and independently produced by a Malaysian and Indonesian team.
BL Labs Award Winners 2016
Image: 'Scissors and Paste', by M. H. Beals (Top-left)
'Curating Digital Collections to Go Mobile', by Mitchell Davis; (Top-right)
 'Hey There, Young Sailor',
written and directed by Ling Low with visual art by Lyn Ong; (Bottom-left)
'Library Carpentry', founded by James Baker and involving the international Library Carpentry team;
(Bottom-right) 
  • Commercial Award (2016) winner: 'Curating Digital Collections to Go Mobile', by Mitchell Davis. BiblioBoard, is an award-winning e-Content delivery platform, and online curatorial and multimedia publishing tools to support it to make it simple for subject area experts to create visually stunning multi-media exhibits for the web and mobile devices without any technical expertise, the example used a collection of digitised 19th Century books.
  • Teaching and Learning (2016) winner: 'Library Carpentry', founded by James Baker and involving the international Library Carpentry team. Library Carpentry is software skills training aimed at the needs and requirements of library professionals taking the form of a series of modules that are available online for self-directed study or for adaption and reuse by library professionals in face-to-face workshops using British Library data / collections. Library Carpentry is in the commons and for the commons: it is not tied to any institution or person. For more information, see http://librarycarpentry.github.io/.
  • Jury’s Special Mention Award (2016): 'Top Geo-referencer -Maurice Nicholson' . Maurice leads the effort to Georeference over 50,000 maps that were identified through Flickr Commons, read more about his work here.

For any further information about BL Labs or our Awards, please contact us at labs@bl.uk.