Wednesday, August 19, 2015

RADAR Frequently Asked Questions

This is just a quick update to let you know that we have added some FAQs to the Library Website in relation to RADAR that can be found HERE.

The FAQs are also located in RADAR. And can be found in the Help and Contact Information tab HERE.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

We've Reached a Milestone, 50,000 Downloads from RADAR!!!

We wish to inform you that we have reached and now gone past our 50,000th download in RADAR. This is a great achievement for GSA and continues to show the interest people have in the research being undertaken at GSA.

We want to congratulate Helen McCormack, as it was her output titled:

'Dr Hunter's Shield: Miscellaneous Curiosities and Antiquarian Debates', in William Hunter's World: The Art and Science of Eighteenth-Century Collecting, Ashgate 2013

That was the 50,000th downloaded output/item. The output can be found HERE

We spoke with Helen and asked her to provide us with some further details surrounding the research that she had done and her views on being the researcher with the 50,00th downloaded output. Detailed below is what Helen said...

My essay, ‘Dr Hunter’s Shield, “Miscellaneous curiosities” and antiquarian debates’, has recently been distinguished as the 50,000th thousand download from GSA’s RADAR repository. As with the ‘like’ feature on Facebook, I’m uncertain as to whether or not this provides any clue as to the essay’s popularity or otherwise! Such a statistic is, however, testimony to the qualities of RADAR as a resource for the dissemination of GSA’s richly diverse and scholarly research culture. Discovering that the essay had been identified as the 50,000th download was particularly timely as it has now been published by Ashgate in their series, Histories of Material Culture and Collecting, 1700-1950, William Hunter’s World: The Art and Science of Eighteenth-Century Collecting, (2015) edited by E. Geoffrey Hancock, Nick Pearce and Mungo Campbell. I was invited to write the essay by Professor Martin Kemp as an appendix to his research on the origins of a ‘parade shield’ which exits in the Hunterian Museum, University of Glasgow. While Professor Kemp sought to emphasise Dr Hunter’s shield as a Renaissance object, one that has potential associations with Milan during the lifetime of Leonardo da Vinci, my own original research highlighted the types of antiquarian debates that preoccupied William Hunter and his contemporaries during the eighteenth century, at a particular moment when disciplines such as archaeology, ethnography, geography and geology, were only just emerging. Indeed, Hunter was an early member of the Society of Antiquaries in London (1768) and the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland (1781). The debates surrounding Hunter’s shield concerned its authenticity as an ‘ancient’ object, a shield that perhaps belonged to the Roman period, and in my essay I suggest that William Hunter, as someone highly knowledgeable in the work of Greek and Roman material culture, correctly identified the shield as belonging to the Renaissance period and not earlier. The shield is a beautiful object, one of many ‘miscellaneous curiosities’ in the Hunterian’s expansive collections which will be made even more accessible to researchers once installed in a new permanent, purpose-designed Collections Study Centre at Kelvin Hall, beginning in 2016. The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery collections continue to inspire students from Glasgow School of Art and the foregrounding of Material Culture as a methodology of intellectual inquiry at GSA, evidenced, for example, by the forthcoming Material Culture in Action Conference, 7th-8th September 2015, will bring these great collections into further contact with GSA staff and students through established scholarly and practice-based research. So, I hope that my own book, William Hunter and his Eighteenth-Century Cultural Worlds: the Anatomist and the Fine Arts, (Ashgate, forthcoming) might help in forging these stronger connections, demonstrating the breadth of William Hunter’s interests, formed in the dynamically ‘curious’ Enlightenment culture of the eighteenth century and still provoking and stimulating intellectual discourse today. 

We wish to congratulate Helen again and thank her for her time in commenting on the output further. We look forward to reaching 100,000 downloads!! Watch this space...

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Library Computer Centre closure week beginning 20th July

Essential works to upgrade the network in the library will be carried out next week.  We hope to keep disruption to a minimum and the ground floor and level 1 of the library will remain open throughout.  There will however be disruption to computer access on level 2 with no access to computer facilities in the Computer Centre on Tuesday 21st and Wednesday 22nd July.  Telephone lines and network connections for Learning Resources staff with offices on level 2 will also be unavailable for periods during this work, so normal routes of communication may be disrupted.  Normal service will resume at 9am on Thursday morning. 

We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Monday 20th July
Public holiday, library closed all day
Tuesday 21st July
Upgrade to networking infrastructure, no computer access on level 2, services will continue on ground floor with minimal disruption.
Wednesday 22nd July
Thursday 23rd July
Normal service will resume

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

RADAR Upgrade

This months blog post is a short one to let users of RADAR, both internal and external to The Glasgow School of Art know that the repository has undergone an upgrade. EPrints Services, the platform that RADAR is coded in performed the upgrade for us. The upgrade has helped to enhance administrative functions and improved some aspects of the look and feel of the repository, but nothing major as to cause concern for researchers!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Summer Vacation Opening Hours

The Library and Computer Centre will be on vacation opening hours from Friday the 12th of June (we will not be open on Saturdays or Sundays). 

The Library and Computer will be open Monday to Friday from 9am until 5pm.

Normal term time hours will resume at the beginning of the new academic year in September.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Tell us what you think of the Library, Archives and Collections by taking the Learning Resources Survey which is now open. We will be glad of the feedback, you will be helping to build a better service for all, and you will also be in with a chance to win £75. The winner gets the choice of Artstore vouchers or book vouchers .

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Use of Twitter to Promote Research Outputs and RADAR

We asked Prof. Johnny Rodger to give us an insight into the reasons why he likes to use Twitter to help promote the research outputs that he uploads into RADAR. We see the use of Twitter and other social media avenues as new and important ways for researchers to be able to disseminate their research.

Here's what Johnny has to say:

The Scottish moral philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre spoke in a lecture in Dublin in 2009 about the writing of scholarly articles in refereed journals as a regular and recognised method of disseminating one's ideas and research, and of building an academic career. (the lecture can be seen on youtube) He also drew attention to a study which showed that the average readership for a scholarly journal article is fewer than two. -And one of these average readers, MacIntyre quipped, is usually the writer's mother...

Scholarly journals, that is to say, not only compound the problems of the ivory tower, but with their exclusive and elitist protocols, and their super-refined specialisms, they have driven a hermetic agenda that seems to disregard, or even frown upon, any generalist breadth of appeal. Keeping it in the close family might not be high in the conscious intentions of the contributor to the 'Hermeneutic Review of Relational Aesthetics' –though that could perhaps be the subject of another paper published there featuring a Lacanian Oedipal analysis –titled something like ‘Academics who see their Mother in the Mirror Stage’. But while the approval of a referees' panel is gratifying and useful for research exercise purposes, the researcher’s dilemma of finding a route to a broader readership without watering down the strength of the work is an everpresent.

In the eighteenth century David Hume considered that the writing of an essay could solve such a dilemma, as for him the essay writer performed the role of an ‘ambassador from the dominions of learning to those of conversation’. The problem nowadays of course, is where would one publish such a piece of academic diplomacy?  –The gulf between the journalistic mainstream press and the specialist academic publications has grown wider, and there seems to be no medium for debate which sits between their respective positions. The blogosphere, is of course, an easily accessible and multidisciplinary - not to say anarchic – forum, but again there, the pressure in the competitive online atmosphere to entertain, or to make the quick and easy point can all too easily override the comprehensive statement of a thesis, or rehearsal of an argument.

That is why I’d recommend the use of Twitter as method to disseminate full and unabridged versions of research work. It may seem paradoxical that having already dismissed blogging and the mainstream press for not giving enough physical or intellectual space, I recommend the social medium which can transmit only a minimal size of message -140 characters! But it is precisely its brevity which paradoxically makes Twitter suitable as the bearer of such a complex and uncompromised message as a full scholarly piece of work to a broad audience. This is so because of the indexical quality of its use. The typical – and for me, most successful and interesting short tweet will contain reference to a much more vast hinterland of information via the citing of a url which links to an academic essay. The url will be an internet address that is obtained by uploading the academic essay to a research repository -the publically accessible digital archive of a University staff’s published work. (At Glasgow School of Art that research repository is RADAR)

The twitter message itself will give a short introduction to, or description of what is to be found at that cited url address. A successful tweet can then be shared amongst thousands of users (and tens of thousands if it is in turn retweeted by those users) in seconds. Clearly all the people who view the tweet will not click on and go immediately to the cited url and read the article. Most of those who are interested will favourite or otherwise mark the article, and if it is an engaging academic article of interest to them then they will come back to read it in their own quiet time. Even if only a small percentage of tweeters actually read the article , it still has a relatively broad dissemination, and often dialogue will begin with other tweeters and then spread to email and personal contacts, such that a significant social engagement is made by the work in question. Thus the real efficacy of twitter as a mode of building readership and ‘impact’ lies in its indexical versatility: a lot of potential readers can be pointed in one direction in a very quick and simple manner –but don’t tell your mother, for as all good scholars should know, it’s rude to point.

Thankyou Johnny for a great comment on the use of Twitter. If you want to see more of Johnny's work and research, please view his outputs in RADAR here