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Scalar Webinars: Announcing Our Spring Schedule

The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture will offer another series of free online webinars this spring.

All webinars will feature our new interface, Scalar 2. Our “Introduction to Scalar” webinars will cover basic features of the platform: a review of existing Scalar books and a hands-on introduction to paths, tags, annotations and importing media. Our “Intermediate Scalar” webinars will delve into more advanced topics including the effective use of visualizations, annotating with media and a primer on customizing appearances in Scalar.

Our spring schedule will include four dates:

Introduction to Scalar: February 18, 10am-12pm (PST)
Intermediate Scalar: March 10, 10am-12pm (PST)
Introduction to Scalar: March 31, 4pm-6pm (PST)
Intermediate Scalar: April 21, 4pm-6pm (PST)

Hurry, spaces are limited!

Register here.

Annotating All Knowledge

Screenshot from’ intro video featuring Vannevar Bush’s Memex, or memory index.

The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture is proud to announce our latest venture with Last fall we integrated the plugin as a fully supported annotation sidebar within the Scalar reader interface. This sidebar acts as a review layer atop each page in a Scalar book, allowing authors, readers and editors to comment on and participate in threaded conversations regarding granular textual elements on those pages (see here). In July of this year we were awarded funding from the NEH to develop copyediting and peer-review functionality within Scalar, by in part, leveraging these very features of the plugin (see here).

Today announced a coalition of over 40 scholarly publishers, platforms, and technology partners that share the goal of building an open conversation layer over all knowledge. The Alliance, and with it Scalar, will be an integral part of that coalition.

The members of this coalition represent some of the world’s largest and most important scholarly publishers and knowledge platforms — essential services such as JSTOR, PLOS, HathiTrust, arXiv, HighWire Press and Wiley. Together we realize that a robust and interoperable conversation layer can transform scholarship, enabling personal note taking, peer review, copy editing, post publication discussion, journal clubs, classroom uses, automated classification, deep linking, and much more. We understand that this layer must evolve as an open, interoperable, and shared capability aligned with the motivations and interests of scholars and researchers.

We’re excited to be a part of this effort! For more details on the coalition and a full list of its members, see here.

ANVC Archives + Libraries Workshop

Sherri Berger from the California Digital Library discusses outcomes from her breakout session.

The Alliance recognizes that seizing the opportunities of multimedia scholarship will require deep collaboration between all the stakeholders in scholarly communication and that this includes none more than archives, libraries, and museums. To this end, the Alliance recently gathered together representatives from key cultural heritage institutions for a one-day workshop to address issues at the intersection of digital curation, preservation and access, on the one hand, and multimedia research, scholarship, and publishing, on the other.

Representatives from the Getty, Library of Congress, LACMA, the California Digital Library, the Peabody Collection, the WGBH Foundation, the Media Ecology Project, the Texas Archive of the Moving Image, and the University of Southern California Libraries together with members of the Alliance discussed a range of topics. Some of the core challenges articulated again and again by participants included connecting users to content, linking materials and metadata across institutions, digitizatizing massive collections with limited resources, and getting risk-aversive institutions to support access to copyrighted materials under fair use. Still, there was plenty to be excited about! Participants also shared potential opportunities along each of these lines, for example, current efforts in linked bibliographic data and networked models for aggregating content across institutions, both regionally and nationally.

We’ll keep everyone posted as concrete activities and collaborations from the workshop start to form.

Thanks for all who attended!

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The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture

The Alliance for Networking Visual Culture was created with the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.