FeedForward: A Personal Information Application

I just submitted a paper that summarises the findings of the FeedForward project; it covers a lot of aspects of the project such as the design, the underlying approach to workflow, and the issues we had in implementation and also with interoperability. Worth a read if you’re interested in developing similar applications, or are thinking about the future of the information environment and the sort of standards we can use for scholarly communications.

Its CC-BY licensed so feel free to take sections and reuse them.

While this paper marks sort-of-the-end of the formal project, much more is happening in the world of FeedForward…

Feedforward at IMS

Yesterday I was at the IMS summit in Birmingham, and we had a 15 minute slot to show off how SWORD works using FeedForward and Intralibrary. I’m glad to report it all went very smoothly. I demoed creating a new conduit using the SWORD wizard, and then dragging over a context with some posts in it, entering a comment and tags, and then off it went. Sarah Currier of Intrallect then showed how the posts had been published in Intralibrary as an IMS Content Package.

The nice thing about this demo is that concepts like “SWORD” and “IMS Content Packaging” are completely invisible to the user.

(Image by Mudeth, CC-BY)

Publishers create bad RSS feeds for journals

Well, that’s my experience anyway. So far out of the three publishers I tried:

InderScience was readable after creating my own PRISM module for the Rome parser to be able to get at some of the information. However this does mean I can now create complete referencing for these items for export into things like EndNote.

ScienceDirect was correct in its syntax but only included the names of the paper authors in the <description> rather than as <author>, so making it impossible to recreate any sort of citation.

The final one, IEEE Explore, did have author information, but used lots of invalid tags. Didn’t they even try to use feedvalidator.org? Look at the results!

Not impressive, is it? I guess this is the sort of nonsense Santy and co are having to cope with over at TicTocs. (API please?)



I was going to title this post with some sort of pithy remark like “live by the SWORD”, “Fallen on my own SWORD” etc., but thankfully resisted the urge.

I’ve got SWORD protocol basically worked out; this was planned for M2 next April, but as there was a JISC programme meeting I worked on it early. As it was a family-wide cold/’flu/lirgy meant I couldnt go anyway. Oh well.

Still, FeedForward does now have some basic SWORD functionality, and can deposit a context (user collection) into an academic repository such as IntraLibrary (Learning objects) or ePrints (papers). This does require a bit of faffing about figuring how to render the context in some meaningful way; for IntraLibrary I just build an IMS Content Package using the Context’s contents. But what would I do, realistically, with what is basically a list of references and notes for deposit in ePrints? A skeletal paper outline?

No FF blog post is allowed without a least one image, so here it is: