May 29 Research Effort

Start 10:00 pm.

Concatenate some previous notes.

Reply received earlier in the day regarding appropriateness of UT CICS DataONE Sharepoint site for storing draft documents produced by UT.

Relevant note from Dr. Davis regarding Sharepoint:

Sharepoint is exactly the right place for this.  It’s the place for all the DataONE work at UT including things that are publicly available, but especially for non-final non-public products.  Plone is password protected, so not really public, but anything on it is available to anyone in DataONE, so Sharepoint is a great place for in progress items.

Do not currently have permissions to add a folder, but Dr. Davis is looking in to that and has added a “Network Analysis” site for work on the DataONE network visualization materials that Chad and I have been working on.

Essentially I need to find some of the various documents floating around in my e-mail, inventory them, and upload them to the new “Network Analysis” site.

I find e-mail attachments loathesome as people seem to rarely label the file something that makes sense, and then the e-mail sometimes is not named appropriately.

A lot of the problems with collaboration seem to come from E-mail, in my opinion.  Every e-mail seems to create three new versions – the version on your hard drive, the version on your e-mail server, and the version on your collaborators hard drive.

I am optimistic that “Microsoft Document Connection” app on my Mac would be able to interface with Sharepoint site.

So for the next two hours I think I will dig through my e-mail and try and reference the appropriate messages and documents that I need to archive.  I could print off the relevant e-mails as PDFs and save those as well, since they essentially constitute metadata.  A problem comes in that there will often be personal information interspersed, simple conversation that makes us human and not robots.  As a student, my e-mails have some degree of protection from public inspection, but the idea of science is everything should be open. From the “Climategate” leaked e-mails, we can see that some private and personal conversation does take place.  This is another reason why sharing documents via Sharepoint or other document management system is probably a good thing – especially if the metadata is kept with the document.  Then, e-mails can brim with personal conversation ( how are you, heard you had a cold, finals are rough, hope you’re doing well) that is not relevant to the document, but the document still has all the necessary metadata safely associated with it on a document management system. I’m looking forward to seeing how this works with Sharepoint.  I previously used for document management and thought it was pretty nice for collaborating.

Relevant e-mails:

Essentially any e-mail from

Chad Mitchell.  Chad is working on a network analysis with me.  There may be a video in the recent Usability and Assessment / Sociocultural Working Group joint meeting (Spring 2013, Knoxville, TN) from a presentation by Amber Budden or Suzie Allard.
There is a network analysis for Conflict of Interest and also for DataONE users of the Plone site. In the network graph, nodes are unique users and ties are the various e-mail list servs that someone may have signed up for.
We started working on that back in November 2012, I think, so the chain of e-mails should start there.  Will confirm.
Execute search:
234 results in entire mailbox.
Some pertain to non-DataONE activities; e.g., IMLS / SciData London Experience.
Strategy: refine parameters or go through individual e-mails.
Went with individual e-mail searching (risky as it can be distracting, many interesting conversations not pertinent to DataONE)
First e-mail is from November 1, 2012:
DataONE Social Network
Printed and saved this e-mail to my personal 500 GB External HDD.
DataONE social network.pdf
/Volumes/Tanner’s Disk/DataONE/Network Analysis
Honestly “Network Analysis” isn’t the greatest name as URLs for these directories end up with %20 for the space, but as I did not create the folder on Sharepint, I don’t have much of a choice and I want my folder to match the Sharepoint site in case I can drag and drop the whole folder using the Microsoft Document Connection app.
Set safari internet browser system preferences to download directly to the appropriate directory so there should be a minimal of “losing things” in transferring from e-mail to external hard drive.
Participant list available on (1 attachment)
I might go through and open all of these as pop-outs, although I regret that may crash my browser.
Process is everything.
I could also move them to an e-mail folder called “Network Analysis.” That would be smarter, in case my computer does crash then I can just re-open.  Getting the messages to pop out is very frustrating.  Normally I just double click them. I should reference the help.
That’s really terrible, every time I move a document, it returns the view to the very top item in the inbox. Not helpful.
Perhaps I can drag and drop to avoid (No.)
Change color, filter by color, then drag and drop?
Select: Green color.
This works.
So, I will label all e-mails pertaining to network analysis Green then move them en masse to the appropriate folder.
35 / 234 e-mails pertain to the network analysis project.  They were dragged and dropped to the network analysis folder.
Next step will be to systematically download contents to external hard disk.  Unsure how to do that.  Also, is it possible to e-mail directly to sharepoint? Will investigate.
That would save time but would not fix the problem of “ambiguous titles.” E.g., an e-mail entitled “update” is not very useful, so it should probably be re-named.
I am not sure that these e-mails should be saved on Sharepoint anyway, as all pertinent information about process should be reflected in the research notebook (this blog).
However as this online research notebook was started in May 2013 and research effort on Network analysis began in November, there is some “retrospective” information here.
In the past, when I set up a new blog to contain old information, I actually added a timestamp for earlier publishing.  (e.g., where I volunteer, Blog was begun summer 2011 but posts date to 2008 or 2009). However. That is not a lab notebook. I might ask Dr. Allard about this since she teaches a course in Science Communication, she may have some insights.
If the purpose is to be useful to me, then yes it might make sense to retroactively post  information here.  However if the purpose is to provide a clear and transparent record of research effort, doing so may muddy the waters. I have stated the goal is to be useful to me, but being useful to others is also useful to me. For example I can say, “check out the posts from November 2012 through January 2013” for formative thinking on Network Analysis.
I think I might post them with older dates with a notation at the beginning about the fact that the notebook was started in May 2013, but for organization purposes the notes were dated to earlier dates.
End time: 12:13 am.
Total: 2 h, 13 m.





About Tanner Jessel

I am a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE and pursuing a Masters in Information Sciences with an Interdisciplinary Graduate Minor in Computational Science. I assist scholarly research efforts supporting the Sociocultural, Usability and Assessment, and Member Nodes working groups within DataONE. I am based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *