How Long Has This Been Going On?

Lots of reading this week including my favorite “Using photographs to show the effects of climate change on flowering times”1. The photographs in the study were taken from 1900 to 1921 and were used by the authors to show that flowers are blooming earlier in the year. For me it is another factor to consider in understanding impact; if we think of these photographs as open data then they were contributing to science 100 years after collection. What’s a useful timescale for measuring impact?

Other readings as well that give me a number of avenues to follow – there’s lots of references to the benefits of open data in the literature, and I’ll be seeing which of these we may be able to measure.

I also snuck off to a conference for a day – the Cultural Heritage Information Management Forum June 5, 2015 at Catholic University of America. There was an interesting poster looking at the impact of the Biodiversity Heritage Library collection through citation analysis. I liked the visualization of the subject areas covered, as a measure of the scope and scale of impact. Also there was a presentation by Fenella France from the Library of Congress on a project providing access to scientific data through cultural objects. Interesting to think of the new audiences for the data.

This week is altmetrics, and following up on some of the ideas from the readings.

  1. Primack, R., & Miller-Rushing, A. (2007). Using photographs to show the effects of climate change on flowering times. Arnoldia. Retrieved from

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