Making Plans for Clipper

As we come to the end of the Clipper project we have been thinking about the future and the thorny question of sustainability. We have decide to continue our work and are forming a small limited company to act as legal and commercial ‘vehicle’ to carry the work forwards.

In the short term we are concentrating on getting the current round of development completed and the code out the door to the community. We will then seek to promote take up – via adopting and using the code or subscribing to a service we are planning to launch later this year. We have also identified some other funding opportunities to continue with this work and develop related products using the same technical infrastructure. More on this subject soon

Testing, Testing…September 2016

We are now in the middle of a round of testing (mostly human, but soon with machines like karma and jasmine). I will use this post as a testing record and add to it as we go along

Thumbnails: Had a few heart stopping moments at recent workshops when the thumbnails seemed to randomly not appear – eventually identified the cause: the active area to load thumbnails in the search results from YouTube does extend to the highlighted text in some browsers – but clicking on the image in the search results always seem to work. Took a long time to work this out but now should be a straightforward fix.

Dropbox paste a URL link does not work – but it did in the previous version

Interface tweaks required: text in clip list needs to be better arranged. Video panel needs to be smaller.

Tags: being updated

Copy URL Button: needs to work again

Notes field: Active cursor area needs to be more clearly identified to users

Site Access Issues from corporate networks: Need to implement SSL and test again in different locations

Attribution: Auto Attribution of source content (Text and URL of source – to appear at the bottom of the notes page)

Licence Picker: for User Generated Content

Transition Option: Between clips to improve user experience and possibly display IPR info

Audio Only  Content: When playing an audio clip display a ‘slide’ with an audio icon? In the player area

Other Integrations: Vimeo and Soundclous

File sharing services: Further testing

Mobile phone Interface: Needs improving

W3C: Provide WA group with examples for validation / review

Clipper Jisc RDN workshop, Cambridge 6th September 2016 – sparking ideas

I attended a very busy and interesting meeting of the Jisc RDN (Research Data Network) and gave a presentation about our work in the Clipper project. Much of the attendees were involved with the Jisc shared service pilots in this area. The event was held in the historic Corpus Christi college and the main plenaries were held in the Mcrum Lecture Theatre – up a side alley from the famous Eagle pub (where I had a very fine pint of Greene King IPA – after work). You never know what may turn up at these events and it pays to keep an open mind about possible connections, this was one of those days when sparks seemed to fly from different ideas.

showing the overall between web annotation and data citation
Schematic showing the overlaps between web annotation and data citation

The day began with a really interesting and though provoking keynote from Danny Kingsley – the Head of Scholarly Communications at Cambridge. During this she mentioned the challenges presented by time based data such as audio and video (Clipper I thought!). But Danny also mentioned the growing field of data citation and the challenges this presented. This created Spark No.1 – I though to myself – well Clipper is actually a form of data citation – specialising in time based data (citing parts of a web data resource via a URI and making some comments about it in context).

But the more I thought about this as I sat in the lecture theatre I started to scribble some notes. Clipper is also a web annotation tool that is using emerging W3C standards in this area so that standard provides a nice potential for a vehicle to create and transport data citations more generally. This then got me thinking about the work we have been doing with the Roslin Institute at Edinburgh University in the project (see the draft ‘Clipper Snapshot Case Studies‘ document) where we discussed linking Clipper annotations to the DataCite DOIs ‘minted’ by Roslin for their data that linked to the time based media files we were annotating. The DOIs provide the provenance of the data we are ‘clipping’ and annotating, it seemed to make a lot of sense then in the Clipper project and perhaps now in the wider field of general data citation. After all, the content of a W3C web annotation can carry any information we like so it should be able to accommodate all disciplines and emerging data citation formats?

I was musing about this at the lunch break when I briefly bumped into Neil Jefferies (Head of Innovation at the Bodleian Library Oxford) who I knew from the Jisc Data Spring Programme. I was explaining these ideas to him when he added the idea of using the ORCID standard into the  mix to identify researchers and link them to their data – so that was Spark No.2. It’s an attractive idea – use existing standards (DOI, ORCID) with the soon to be standard W3C Web Annotation data model as a means of creation and transport for data citation. One of the advantages of this is that the citations themselves would be easily shared on the web and so accessible by search engines and analytics services.

Perhaps at some point it would be useful to do some pilot work in this area…

Some images from the Cambridge event  are below and here is the slidshare version of our workshop

Addendum: Neil got back in touch and suggested I look at the subject of ‘nano pubs’ – at first , I have to confess I thought of micro breweries! But a search showed up this link

It seems to map nicely onto what we have been discussing…hopefully to be continued.

Images from the RDN event are below


Where the Clipper project workshop was held
Where the Clipper project workshop was held – the ‘new’ part of Corpus Christi College
The old part of the Corpus Christi College where the other workshops were held







The Corpus Christi Dining Hall at lunchtime.
The Corpus Christi Dining Hall at lunchtime.