OER17 Presentations

On 5-6 May I attended the annual Open Educational Resources (OER) conference in the UK OER17 in London. It was a great chance to catch up with that part of the vibrant open education community. It was also a good chance to walk around the Bloomsbury area of London where I used to work a few years ago on open education projects with the UAL. On the first day I presented on the general applications of web annotation technology to support open education – which are considerable in my opinion, ending the presentation with a description of how Clipper could support open education. The talk was entitled ‘You Me Them and Everybody’ a famous line from a 1960’s song that featured in the The Blues Brothers Film. There seemed to be a lot of interest – which was very encouraging.


You Me Them Everybody PowerPoint

You Me Them Everybody PDF


Clipper Workshop: College Development Network – Scotland 10th March 2017

Presenting a session today on Clipper to an audience of FE learn techs and lecturers. Here are some some links.



PowerPoint Slides

Hands On: Source MP3 / MP4 URLs

BBC Radio 4 – Audio

In Our Time Philosophy – Daoism – audio


Welcome Trust Library – Video

Anti-Smoking Video


Animation – video

Big Buck Bunny -video


The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – Audio

Yorkshire Accent


Guardian Video:

Donald Trump Election Report


BBC Radio 4 Brexit: A Guide for the Perplexed
Donald Trump and Brexit

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Clipper at OER17: You, Me, Them, Everybody

We are giving a presentation at the OER17  open education conference which is running on the 5&6 April this year. The presentation is about web annotation in general, using Clipper as an example. We shall be examining the potential of web annotation technology to support open education activities and some of the implications of this technology for ‘traditional’ notions of education and academic authorship. The conference theme is ‘Politics’ in relation to open education, so its timely in this supposedly ‘post truth’ age that we shall be covering the potential for using these tools for fact checking. You can see the abstract below for more information about our presentation – it draws on our own experiences at the I-Annotate conference last year where we encountered investigative journalists using these tools:

OER17 Web Site

OER17 Clipper Presentation Abstract

You, Me, Them, Everybody: OERs and the politics of web annotation

An update from the Clipper web annotation project that has been producing a toolkit for research data management of time-based media. This session describes the rapidly developing field of web annotation tools and standards, which is moving rapidly moving beyond the current feature set of social media. What is developing are more powerful ways of interacting with web content and other web users. These tools bring some great opportunities for open education and research. In education the use case is especially compelling: students have been writing in their books since the book was invented; and as books and other texts studied in schools and college migrate online, these marginal notes can become media-rich and shared with others. In face-to-face, online, and blended classrooms, collaborative annotation combines traditional literacy with more emergent understandings of the types of skills students need to develop to be successful in learning and life*.

But this also raise some questions about how these tools will affect individuals and institutions. This session will discuss the potential impact on our existing practice with OERs, as well as some of the wider socio-economic implications for the traditional role of the academic author, copyright, reputation and ownership. Web annotation (by design) can circumvent decisions that content owners have made about whether they want commenting in the first place. Given that web annotation has the potential to reach a large portion of the content on the web and its users, it’s important to consider these things now. Important in this context, is to consider how to prevent such tools being misused and how to design tools, systems and policies that can encourage openness and transparency and help reduce misuse.

The presentation will offer an overview of how web annotation tools are already being used in research, education, investigative journalism and the social web. We will illustrate this with use cases from our own project experience of working with researchers and their data in bio science at the University of Edinburgh. We compare this to our encounter with investigative journalists at the I Annotate 16 conference in Berlin in May 2016. Both groups have surprisingly similar requirements, operate in highly competitive environments and can see similar opportunities and risks that are nicely summarised in this summary:


“This is where annotations can become the message stream environment around source documents and data. There are other tech challenges such as data security during the research process and after publication, especially when involving larger groups of users with different tech capabilities. Both source documents and annotations need a secure infrastructure, given the sensitive aspect of the investigative process (sources and story need to be protected).“

Annotating Investigative Journalism – I Annotate 2016* http://bit.ly/2fwewfX

* I Annotate 2016

The title of this presentation is taken from the film ‘The Blues Brothers’ in the introduction to the song ‘Everybody Needs Somebody to Love’ (Burke, Berns & Wrexler).




Adding new online collections to Clipper: Vimeo & SoundCloud in progress

We have been really fortunate to have gained a new team member. David Roldan Alvarez from University of Rey Juan Carlos (Madrid) is working on the Clipper code and project for 3 months as a Phd. research student visiting The Open University.

David has picked up the code and ideas really quickly and is working on adding new services to Clipper such as Vimeo and SoundCloud. This is really important for us and future developments. At the moment Clipper works well with YouTube and any online MP4 / MP3 file that a user can find the URL of (so this includes Podbean and  many BBC audio services with a ‘download‘ option that links to an mp3 file. This is already a big step but having several other online services available makes Clipper look less like a ‘one trick pony’ and more like a general purpose web based audio-visual annotation tool.

Paradoxically it also helps us argue to persuade people to adopt Clipper as an add on for an existing service such as a digital archive or online museum or library collection. From previous workshops we know that there was a great interest in adding in Vimeo (e.g. The North West Film Archive and the National Library of Scotland and of the possibility of ‘in-house’ adoption of the code. Having a spread of online services like this helps to persuade people that Clipper can be adopted in a wide range of ways and contexts.

Our recent workshop at the OU - David right get introduced to Clipper humour!
Our recent workshop at the OU – David right get introduced to Clipper humour!

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.

Clipper DRHA Workshop

On Monday the 5th September at the Brighton DRHA conference we are going to be presenting a workshop and forum about our new working prototype of the Clipper toolkit. Technical information about participating in the workshop appears below. This our first outing of the new system, which has been completely reworked from the ground up in Angular2, MongoDB (using JSON LD), using a NodeJS server. This has been a big undertaking for us, but is now beginning to bring big benefits and opportunities.

Here is the slideshare version

DRHA Workshop Tech Info:

Launch Clipper (NB use Chrome or Firefox for this test version)

To launch the toolkit click on this link – –  into your web browser address bar and hit return to load the site.

We have created a series of test accounts that you can use with user names ranging from clipper1@clippertube to clipper30@clippertube each with a password of the same name – e.g. clipper1@clippertube has the password of clipper1.You can also register to create an account of your own. Please note that as this is a test system any data you create will not persist in the long term. In the final production version of the system your data will persist and you will be able to download a copy to keep (in different formats).

Clipper Workshop: Bring Your Own URLs

URL – Page (MP4 / MP3) – Online Test Resources – with their URls

  • This page contains some online audio and video resources for you to use to as source URLs to create clips in Clipper
  • This demonstrates the Clipper editor working directly with online audio and video files
  • Copy a URL of your choice (just clicking on it will open it in your browser player if you want to preview it)
  • Return to the clipper editor and paste the copied URL into the field at the top of the editor window.
  • You can now play the resource and create and save clips using your chosen resource
  • If you have the URL for your own resources, you can try using them with the same method (MP4 / MP3 only)

BBC Video

Finding news masterclass video


Interviewing masterclass video


Scriptwriting masterclass video


BBC Radio 4 – Audio

In Our Time Philosophy – Daoism – audio


A history of the world in a thousand objects – audio


Welcome Trust Library – Video

Anti-Smoking Video


Roslin Institute – Scientific Microscope Videos

Clip 1 – video


Clip 2 – video


Animation – video

Big Buck Bunny -video


The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland – Audio

Yorkshire Accent


Update: we had some very positive feedback and the interesting suggestion of working on a rich media portfolio system – which we are following up.

MECCSA Practice Based Research Symposium, Edinburgh Napier University

On Monday the 13th of June we present a short introduction to the Clipper project at the MECCSA Practice Based Research Symposium, Edinburgh Napier University. This academic grouping is one of the core areas that Clipper is aimed at in terms of research data management. So it will be interesting and useful to get reactions and feedback.

Slides are here as PDF

Slides are here on Slideshare

Demo handout instructions are here to download as a PDF


Clipper @ IIIF Audio/Video Workshop

IIIF AV Workshop attendees photograph
IIIF AV Workshop attendees

Last week the Clipper team participated in an invited workshop at the British Library, organised by the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) consortium. The purpose of the workshop was to collate use cases and start outlining a development road map for extending the IIIF to include support for Audio/Video annotation. This was a great opportunity to find out more about the IIIF and the collaborative design process that has produced it.

Continue reading

Clipper Goes to Town – part 2

The second stage of the Clipper project has now been completed we think we have done a pretty good job and exceeded our original phase 2 pitch proposals. Just before Christmas we made our pitch to complete our work on Clipper by rolling it out as a pilot service in several institutions. You can see our phase 3 pitch proposals at this link – its an ambitious and exciting set of proposals with some really great organisations- heres hoping!


Open University Workshop Videos

On Friday the 27th November we held a Clipper project meeting at the OU and then followed it with 2 workshops that were also videoed and webcast live over the internet by the OU. It was a long day but very productive. The workshops were held at the Knowledge Media Institute, Open University, Milton Keynes.

IIIF Workshop

The first workshop was delivered by Tom Crane of Digerati, with whom we have been discussing what  technical standards to include in the Clipper project. The subject of the workshop was the International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF), we have been discussing how this might be extended to cover annotating audio and video resources. You can find the webcast at this link http://stadium.open.ac.uk/2620

Clipper Workshop

The second workshop was a short overview of the Clipper project, based on our previous community engagement workshops, followed by a question and answer session. You can find the webcast at this link http://stadium.open.ac.uk/2624