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Thing 5: Data sharing

20 September 2016


Thing 4: Data discovery

20 September 2016

12e4c3c911bef07ecd1ae20132db4da4_13I completed the activities in this Thing, but did not find any video data suitable for my practice needs in either of the repositories I explored.

Thing 3 Data in the research lifecycle

20 September 2016

7cedfeebb7ac45776669f2bb10c2e587_13The SAGE publication on this is in Macquarie library:

Corti, L. (2014). Managing and sharing research data : a guide to good practice / Louise Corti, Veerle Van den Eynden, Libby Bishop & Matthew Woollard. (V. van den Eynden, L. Bishop, & M. Woollard, Eds.). BOOK, Los Angeles Sage.

The 23Things materials have an excellent summary of the research lifecyle: from “having a brilliant idea” to “making ground breaking discoveries” to “telling the world about it”

Thing 1: Getting started with research data

13 March 2016

23rdthing 01In Week 1 of 23 research data things, we

  1. Read an Introduction to Research Data from Boston University.

Where I am, on the threshold of entering my next project of study, I was impressed by the need to record, somehow, the everyday items that constitute the practicalities of the project: how data are “necessary to evaluate research results, and to reconstruct the events and processes leading to them”.

There is an overlap here with what I think I’d like to study in the project, which is simply “Where do ideas come from?” It’d be nice to be able to look back over the developing project, and track the origins of the ideas which are finally part of the story.

A quick look at the CSIRO data access just made me feel sad about government cuts. The Hungry Microbiome is a good example of understandable metadata around a video, especially with transcript.

Macquarie links

Tracking your research

Data management plan – Create a data plan


Reconnecting paths

14 July 2015

Reconnecting Paths: Relational Network Theory and Systemic Functional Theory as Complementary Perspectives on Language

Presenter: Professor MAK Halliday

Presented at Connecting Paths: Halliday, Hasan and Lamb, conference, City University Hong Kong / Sun-Yat Sen University, November 2010

Despite the title of this session, this turned out to be not a discussion of where the linguistics (that is, plural, two ‘registers’ of functional linguistics) of Halliday and of Lamb intersected: Professor Halliday is confident that the two theories are complementary essentially because they agree on  what language is, what a theory is, that a theory must be based in data, and that a description in linguistics must be relational.

Rather, the recorded seminar presents Professor Halliday’s commentary on the conference papers presented to that point in the program. (The actual paper which was scheduled to have been presented is available in Halliday in the 21st century, vol. 11 of the Collected Works of MAK Halliday, ed. J. J. Webster, Bloomsbury, but it is not in Macq or ACU libraries, so I haven’t sighted a copy yet.)

In his lengthy prolegomenon (perhaps 45 minutes of his session), drawing on prompts and summaries from the other speakers (Hasan, Butt and Martin are mentioned), Professor Halliday re-defined important concepts in his view of language (language as a semiogenic system which is also a biological and physical system; trinocularity of SFL; particles, fields, waves and strings analogy; the grid of theory as a product of the purpose of the theory) and, following on from that last point, what he believed linguistics was: “a way of thinking about things, and intervening in them”.

Along the way there was I felt an unconsciously humorous twist to his argument on how linguistics should be taught to students. To quote him: linguistics is not the study of different linguistic theories: you shouldn’t be taken through the different schools of thought just to discredit them — “That’s a favourite trick of the Chomskyans”, he says (haha).

Another point where he differentiated his approach from others was one that he himself raised at this year’s symposium: that his general theory of language was designed to explore, not the usual questions of linguists, but those of all the other fields “where language is the essential source of energy”. At the 2015 symposium, he characterised these people as anyone interested in meaning. In this presentation, he again gives priority to meaning as one of the two realms of human experience (as he states in a 2005 paper:

There are two phenomenal realms that we as human beings inhabit: a world of matter, and a world of meaning. Both matter and meaning are involved in all the regions of our experience. Meaning relies on matter to make it accessible to a receiver; and matter relies on meaning to organize it.

[Halliday, M. (2007). On matter and meaning: the two realms of human experience. Linguistics And The Human Sciences, 1(1).]

This is what he means by an appliable linguistics.

Additional reading

Where does Bernstein discuss “how the inner world reveals itself” (see Hasan’s paper at this conference)

Continuing discourse on language, vols 1 & 2, eds C. Matthiessen, R. Hasan & J. J. Webster, Continuum (2005/2007)

Relevance to the study

Another joke was of practical help to my thinking, or at least to my anxiety:

Student (they’re always coming up and asking this): Is this feature semantic or lexico-grammatical?
Professor: Yes.

The issue of blurred boundaries, which was also dealt with from several aspects in this talk, is revisited in the ‘critical review’ page in this log.

DH2015 – Digital humanities

4 July 2015

Conference: DH2015 Global digital humanities: the annual conference of the alliance of digital humanities organizations

Held at the University of Western Sydney – South Parramatta, 29 June to 3 July 2015

This was the first time this international conference had been held in Australia, and I attended as someone nearly completely new to the area of digital humanities.

The conference was an excellent introduction to digital humanities. I had expected to see new things in corpus linguistics, but I did not: instead, however, I was able to experience striking presentations derived from many different data sources. In conversation with well-established digital humanities researchers, it was suggested that you couldn’t be doing digital humanities if you weren’t doing something ‘cool’ — which surely raises the bar high for new entrants and reduces the chance of methodological maturity?

Two themes came into accidental prominence during the conference:

  1. Indigenous digital humanities — designed as a feature in the program, the impact of Australian Indigenous culture was particularly strong on the international and particularly the North American attendees. An immersive 3D recreation of Indigenous life on the banks of the Parramatta River pre-European contact was presented by UWS researchers within the exhibition area, literally embodying the ‘utopian core’ at the heart of the digital humanities project, according to Jensen (2014).
  2. The inclusion or exclusion of women and speakers of languages other than English from the conference program and organisation. This started as a tweet (on why the keynotes and panels had been all male) and turned into a whole stream of conversation within the conference.

Relevance to the study

(I will describe the Pelagios workshop in a separate post. )

The third keynote, The Robot Apocalypse, was highly relevant to the study: presented by Genevieve Bell, of Intel, it looked at events in the history of machines and their depicted relationships with humanity.

Tools which may be of use in the study include Heurist.

An interesting corpus of French text messages could also be a good data source: it is unannotated.


Jensen, K. E. (2014). Linguistics and the digital humanities: (computational) corpus linguistics. MedieKultur, 57, 115–134.

Linking humanities data geospatially with Pelagios and Recogito

30 June 2015

I undertook a pre-conference workshop with Leif Isaksen and Mia Ridge in using the linked open data site Pelagios and annotating it with Recogito.

We learned how geospatial data can be developed from humanities sources, such as from old maps or from text in open source literature. The result is a ‘bottomless’ maps, always open for additional annotations, revisions and extensions.

An example of a research question thrown up by the use of this data might be – “Why are Rome, Athens and Constantinople always mentioned in texts together?”

Additional reading

Space and time, Leif Isaksen:

Relevance to the study

The key insight from Isaksen is in the treatment of ‘place’: place is not necessarily a location, or a name.

The thickest data is in the ancient world: but I thought it might be possible to search the site for mentions and locations of robots in ancient Greece.