Monday, 16 October 2017

There's a wrapper in my pocket

Picture by Michael Coghlan:

There's a wrapper in my pocket.
It's from a chocolate bar
I got a long, long time ago,
From a local Spar.

I ate it in a country park,
Sitting by a tree,
Soaking in the morning Sun:
The sounds of birds and bees.

It's Winter now. I'm back at work.
And many months have gone
Since that blissful country park,
And that warm Summer Sun.

I really should throw away
This wrapper in my pocket.
Although it brings fond memories,
My pocket's gone all mockett.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

'It's owned by Elsevier': Why this is relevant when choosing referencing software

Satire on corporate monopolies in 19th-century America, targeting a railway owner who once famously said "I can hire one half of the working class to kill the other half."

At my University we are currently discussing how to provide support for software that can help students and staff manage their references and sources.  There are of course many different options available on the market - some free, and some not.  During discussions I have made no secret of my preference for Zotero - which I believe offers the most intuitive and comprehensive functionality.  To this end, I have done some showcases of Zotero for various academics - which appear to illicit one of three responses from them:

  1. Oh, brave new world that has such software in it!  I had no idea - and I want it now!
  2. We already use it.  Have been for years.  So why are you telling us about it now?
  3. But don't we already have Mendeley in our official software catalogue?

I fully expected the first response - but was surprised at the number of people who came back with the second and third.  It is really rather nice to be able to tell academics who fight tirelessly each year to teach academic referencing, that there is a piece of software that can do it all for them.  More difficult were the responses about Mendeley.

I’ll tell you why you should vote for me

I’m a better person than you. Harsh, I know, but true. Just look at my suit, my cufflinks, hair, my Bertie Wooster aristocratic air, m...