Skip to content

Category: PhD

Glossary and Citation in dynamic view in an integrated way

Glossary and Citation in dynamic view in an integrated way

Let user define a glossary entry in Author. A simple dialog where the user can define terms in relation to older terms. These terms are stored in Author (not the document) and are continuously synched with a WordPress version.


Hegland, 2019.

Choosing one fo the radio buttons on top changes some of the fields, while leaving the section to specify relationships:

  • Document changes the dialog into the same fields as we have in the cmd-t citation dialog
  • Concept is as shown
  • Person asks for identifiers such as ORCID, a US ID for academics and adds fields like birth date, affiliation, published documents and nationality, all of which are optional
  • Company adds fields for company specific information including stock market listing, if any, location etc.
  • Place allows the user to specify location using several different means, including address, GPS and Maps etc.

Dynamic View

In the dynamic view, the user may click on a term which is a glossary item and any connected terms will show as small boxes, which the user can drag anywhere (Chris Gutteridge Weblaux style)…

Double-Click for more View

…or the user can double click to see all occurs of that text, as usual, but with the definitions on top:

Leave a Comment

Combining Citations & Glossaries

The question I am working on in this post is how the Visible-Meta PDF model can support a student going through citation review and a teacher in quickly establishing if the citation space interrogation was done to a sufficient depth and that conceptual understanding of the knowledge space and the the actors in that space had been developed.

This post is a bit of a personal ramble, until the conclusion at the end

The goal is not simply to build views but to put them where they are most natural and appropriate for the student and teacher, hence the graph below showing Outline and so on.

The documents would be exported with understandable/parseable/semantic citations, headings, body text and descriptions of the views.

Transition to Glossaries Containing Citations

A headache has been the issue of how to deal with the knowledge objects in the system: the documents, their authors and institutions/places and the concepts they contain. I have kept citations separate from glossaries wherein citations contained only the documents and the glossaries all the rest. While modelling the workflow, as shown in the Dynamic Map of this document for example, it is becoming clear that citations are only a type of glossary entry. This became clear when I wondered how to connect documents as citation items and their authors as glossary terms.

This is a snapshot of the dynamic view where glossary terms and citations are still separate. Note also the comments about potential views for a teacher reviewing a document and a student reading a document, with different perspectives for the different use cases.

Transition View. Hegland, 2019.

Storing Glossary Terms

The merging of citations and glossary terms changes the dynamic of how the glossary terms should be stored and interacted with. Previously they were completely out of the document on a WordPress server while the citations where in the document.

The solution now seems to be to store all glossary terms in a Liquid | Author database for export on publishing in the document under the Visual-Meta system and synchronisation with WordPress for integration into blogs.

Citations can enter the system in the following ways:

  • Through being copied from a V-M document
  • Through a V-M document being dragged into the Dynamic View
  • Through being created in the cmd-t dialog
  • Through being attached to an image

Creation of Glossary Terms

Glossary Terms are created through the (current Liquid | Flow, soon the dialog will be in Author) Glossary creation dialog.

I propose a unified dialog box with tabs on the top, very much in the design of our current Export Dialog, where the tabs are;

Cited Document

If the user enters some information the other tabs are greyed out. The idea is to let the user ‘feel’ that these are all in the same kind of category of special information, even though they are different.


The fundamental notion which drives this perspective is that hypertext it very much about connections but we must not forget the elements which connect, which is what the notion of these personally described and explicitly linked entities I call Glossary Terms are.

Leave a Comment

How Visible-Meta Relates To My PhD

My background is that of a visual artist, having carried a camera bag on my shoulder since I was about 15 when I would buy and roll my own film. I got a degree at the Chelsea School of Art and studied Advertising at Syracuse University. It’s safe to say that my perspective leans heavily towards the visual. However, in my investigation to make the citation process more visual I came up against real limitations:

Augmenting Literature Reviews

My PhD concerns augmenting a student’s ability to do a literature review and to demonstrate to a supervisor that it was done to a satisfactory degree, which was expected to be a primarily visual exercise.

There were several limitations found in the course of experimenting and reading about different ways to visualise citations and these have shifted the focus from a visual interaction to improving the infrastructure in order to allow for better citation handling interactions followed by a new citation visualisation made possible by dealing with the infrastructure limitations:


Infrastructure Limitations

Having looked at and worked with citations it has become clear that citation visualisations can only work when the citation information is known to the user and downloadable documents are woefully inadequate at telling the system how they are connected to the wider world. Therefore citation analysis tends to be for specifically artificial subsets of the available citable documents.

My aim is that the Visible-Meta approach will alleviate this.


Interaction Limitations

As a consequence of the infrastructure limitations, the act of adding a citation to a document is cumbersome unless one uses a third party management system which exists in a silo. Checking citations is also cumbersome, with very little use of hypertextual surfacing techniques for links, previews and so on.

I therefore feel that working on a way to easily remove the infrastructure limitation in a way which is reasonable to expect to have implemented because of the clear end user (student, teacher, publisher and author) benefits, is where I should be putting my effort. This will also allow me to work on visualisations which are directly relevant to the user and not separate boxed presentations.


Visualisation Limitations

Furthermore there are inherent issues with citation space visualisations, as citation spaces do not map onto real-world attributes other than time and, geographic space though the latter is only of specialist interest. Discussions of visualisation techniques using graphical bubbles and lines show how these can remain abstract and not directly useful:


Graphed Overview

Below is an overview built in the Dynamic View in Liquid | Author while working on the nature of a manuscript (as defined as the document an author is working on) and the published Document and asking how the Visual-Meta approach can improve in the process.

Questions being addressed for the Visual-Meta. In order to support the citation process:

  • What should be encoded from manuscript into published document.
  • How can the encoding serve a student and teacher.
  • How should the information from a published document transfer into a future manuscript through citations and other meta-information
  • How should annotations be handled in this document environment

And then how can this support citation interaction and analysis in a Dynamic View


Core Visualisation Insight

Chosen citations are very different from citations ‘in the wild’. By this I mean that the attributes and meta-information of a document does not change when an author decides to possibly cite it but it becomes different to the author; Instead of a small point in a large ‘cloud’ of data it becomes a curated nugget of information.

As such, the large scale citation views discussed above, under Visualisation Limitations, become very different from the views of a users citations where they have already been chosen. There are less of the chosen citations and they have more meaning and they are all better understood by the author. They now also have become sources for the justification of assertions and origins of terms used and as such can benefit from being presented alongside concepts or key terms.

This is why I am working on how to add citations to the Dynamic View, where the immediate issue is one of clutter and mapping out exactly what should be shown.


1 Comment