Monday, 30 April 2012

New ebooks

The following ebooks have recently been purchased:

Mind mapping for dummies / by Florian Rustler

Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project / edited by Beatrice Hanssen

The American West : competing visions / Karen R. Jones and John Wills

Lacan reframed : a guide for the arts student / Steven Z. Levine

Death in twentieth-century American texts and performances : corpses, ghosts, and the reanimated dead / edited by Lisa K. Perdigao and Mark Pizzato

The Informed Researcher - booklet

Vitae have previously published a number of natty little booklets for researchers, with titles such as 'The balanced researcher'; 'The creative researcher'; 'The engaging researcher' and 'The leading researcher'.  Now, at last, we have 'The informed researcher.'  What, as they say themselves, is  research about if not "finding, absorbing, creating and disseminating information?"

This, along with an Information literacy lens has been developed in collaboration with the Research Information Network (RIN) and the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL).

Further reading

Researcher Development Framework [from Vitae]

Friday, 27 April 2012

Infosmart - Information Skills for Creatives

Award-Winning InfosmART Portfolio Released by Glasgow School of Art Library

Glasgow, April 2012

The Glasgow School of Art Library’s award-winning InfosmART portfolio is now freely available to the UK’s art and design communities, following Innovation and Development funding from the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC)
InfosmART is the Glasgow School of Art Library’s portfolio of online interactive modules in information and research skills, specifically designed for creative practitioners. It has been produced for the learning, teaching and research communities in art, design and architecture, and helps artists and designers to develop and improve their research capabilities and information handling, at either undergraduate, postgraduate or research levels. It does this through an easy-to-follow 5-step programme: Define, Find, Evaluate, Cite and Use.
In 2010, InfosmART was recognised at the Times Higher Education Leadership and Management Awards, where its development team was named Outstanding Library Team of the Year. In 2011, its lead developer was named Information Literacy Practitioner of the Year for his work on the resource.
InfosmART was developed in-house by the Library of Glasgow School of Art, which is internationally recognised as one of Europe's foremost higher education institutions for creative education and research in fine art, design and architecture. It is one of only three Small Specialist Institutions within Scotland, with undergraduate, taught postgraduate, and research programmes delivered across architecture, fine art, design, and digital design. The Library forms part of Learning Resources, which also includes e-learning, archives, and collections.
InfosmART has now been released for free non-commercial use and adaptation under Creative Commons licensing at

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

New ebooks - video and image processing

Two new ebooks on the 'SciVerse' platform:

How video works

Essential guide to image processing

Two new textbooks for film

1. Etherington-Wright, C. & Doughty, R. (2011).  Understanding film theory.  Palgrave.  Further details

This is a very accessible introduction to topics in film theory.  There are fifteen chapters covering the following: 
Structuralism and Post-structuralism
Queer Theory
Audience Research and Reception
Race and Ethnicity
Postcolonial and Transnational Cinemas

This book is located at 791.4301 where you will find other books on film theory.  I have also ordered a copy for the Key Text collection.

2. Nelmes, J. (2011).  Introduction to Film Studies, 5th ed.  Routledge.

This is the fifth edition of Nelmes' popular textbook - now available for the first time as an ebook.  Contents:


1. The Industrial contexts of film production, Searle Kochberg 2. Film and Technology, Bill Whittington


3. Getting to the Bigger Picture, Patrick Phillips 4. Film Form and Narrative, Susan Spiedel 5. Spectator, Audience and Response, Patrick Phillips 6. Approaches to Cinematic Authorship, Paul Watson 7. Stardom and Hollywood Cinema, Paul Watson


8. Genre theory and Hollywood Cinema, Paul Watson 9. The Documentary Form, Paul Ward 10. The Language of Animation, Paul Wells 


11. Gender and Film, Jill Nelmes 12. Lesbian and Gay Cinema, Chris Jones 13. Spectacle, Stereotypes and Films of the African Diaspora, Terri Francis


14. British Cinema, Lawrence Napper 15. Indian Cinema, Lalitha Gopalan 16. Latin American Cinema, Linda Craig 17. The Soviet Montage Cinema of the 1920’s, Mark Joyce

Friday, 20 April 2012

BFI National Library drop charges

From 1st April 2012, the British Film Institute National Library will be free to access.  This is a very welcome development, opening up the library for more users.  It always seemed to be odd, that the library wasn't a benefit of membership of the BFI - now its available to everyone.

The library will be moving shortly to purpose built premisis at BFI Southbank - with completion of this part of the project due in June.  They will also be making greater use of their off-site storage facility at Berkhampstead.  More details about the developments can be found here.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Mike Leigh at Regent Street Cinema

My favourite director, Mike Leigh, will be appearing at the Regent Street Cinema next Wednesday at an event organised by Time Out and the London Film Society.  Unfortunatetly, I won't be able to make it!  He will be appearing alongside 'Another Year' star, Lesley Manville, and together they will be talking about screen acting.  Further details here.

For further information about the cinema, which is at our headquarters in Regent Street, take a look at the following websites:  Regent Street Cinema; The Birthplace of Cinema.

Friday, 13 April 2012

The significant savages

The Signicant Savages by Grégoire Pujade-Lauraine

From the publisher: In this age in which what we call ‘social networking’ has probably become the main vehicle for photography, the Significant Savages presents a foray into the way the ‘profile image’ is used to sum up one’s personality, particularIly when it avoids showing one’s face or body. The book exploits an arbitrary selection of Facebook profile images in which alternative artefacts are represented instead of the person: seascapes, forests; dogs and horses and cats; cars, bikes or fancy boats; cities, socks and shells, galaxies. More.

In stock now!

Photobook award 2012

The annual Photobook festival, taking place in Paris this year, is coming up shortly.  They have recently let us know who has nominated which book for commendation on the Photobook award website.  There are no winners, and nominations are typically diverse - with only four titles (as far as I can see) getting more than one nomination.

Nico Krebs & Taiyo Onorato's As long as it photographs / It must be a camera has tickled three people's fancies; and Valerio Spada's Gomorrah Girl gets two nominations, as does Watabe Yukichi's A Criminal Investigation and Peng Yanghun and Chen Jiaojiao's Pass it On.

I'm glad to see a few titles that we have in stock are on the list: Magnum's gigantic Contact sheets, Julian Baron's Censura (currently in cataloguing) and a book by Daniel Blaufuks - Terezin.

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Why do Wikipedia entries always appear at the top of Google results?

I had thought that Google ranks results according to the number and significance of links to a particular page, as well as calculating the number of references to your search terms in that page.

So, why when you compare the number of incoming links to the top two results for the search term  'Research' does the top entry (a Wikipedia entry) have 110 million incoming links, compared to the second entry with 947 million?

It could be that the links to the Wikipedia entry are from sites that themselves have lots of links, but I doubt it.  I think, more likely, that links to the Wikipedia domain are also included within the rank, so that individual Wikipedia pages are boosted because of the popularity of the site as a whole.  This means that any entry on Wikipedia is likely to have a high ranking.

Here are some reasons to avoid using Wikipedia.

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Tweet your way to academic success

The LSE's Impact of Social Sciences Project aims to look at the ways that the impact of research in the social sciences is achieved and at effective ways that it can be measured.  For academics in any discipline wishing to increase the impact of their research, it is well worth looking at.  The guide on using Twitter to increase your visibility is embedded below.

Follow me on twitter at: @photolbrrn

Third Text - new issue

The new issue of Third Text is now available online from the link below.  The journal is a highly regarded academic publication, which focuses on art practices including art, photography and film.  It looks specifically at work that may be, "marginalised through racial, gender, religious and cultural differences".  For more about the journal read the aims and scope.

 Third Text - Volume 26, Issue 2

Third Text is indexed in the following databases: ARTbibliographies Modern; British Humanities Index; Thomson Reuters’ Arts & Humanities Citation Index.

Google Scholar - citation data

You have probably already noticed that records in Google Scholar include links to articles etc that cite the work referred to.  Click on the 'Cited by...' link and you get a list of works which cite it.

You may have also noticed that the works with the highest number of citations are generally higher in the results list than those with fewer citations.  The reason that this is not always the case is that Google puts a higher weight on citations which have themselves a high number of citations.  This is the same way as Google works, where referring URLs are used rather than references.

Although launched on April 1st, the Google Scholar Metrics for Publications is (I think) a legitimate service from Google.  It takes the citation data already available and uses it to rank publications, in a similar sort of way as that available with the well-established Journal Citation Reports (JCR) or the alternative SCOPUS.

However, whereas JCR only looks at the most highly-ranked journals, the advantage with Google Scholar is that a much wider range of journals are included.  You can have a look at an example for 'cinema OR film.'  One major problem, though, is that you can only group journals by words appearing in their title - thus missing out Screen and Cineaste from the example given (a list with them included is available here).  This makes the service interesting, but in need of development.

In a similar vein, Google's previously announced 'my citations' service allows you to create a profile and track works on Google Scholar that cite works that you have authored.  You can then make this profile public if you wish (see Albert Einstein's profile for example), or keep it to yourself.  It is very easy to set up: go to 'my citations,' type in your name, affiliation, email address and areas of interest and then varify the list of publications listed.  It really is very easy and is recommended for academics who wish to promote their work (which is anyone who has published I guess).

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Magazines and journals for photography - new subscriptions

It is really great to be able to announce that the library has recently taken out two new subscriptions in support of photography - foam and Photography and Culture.

The fantastic foam magazine is now available in the library in print.  It was an obvious choice, since I have had students approaching me in the library to ask whether we could get it, and it was well-supported by academic staff.  I am overjoyed to be able to add this to our magazine collection.

Photography & Culture is available online.  It was also a clear favourite with academic staff, and as one of the few peer-reviewed academic journals that focus specifically on photography, I think it is essential for our collection.  Like other similar publications such as History of Photography and Photographies each issue contains several academic research papers, supplemented by reviews of recent books and exhibitions.