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Category: Interactive Text Space Diagram

Persistent Conceptual Objects Across Multiple Systems & Views. An RFC

RFC for a system which support object persistence across a workflow of multiple views. A central idea is that while having different views of your information, this is particularly the case if the information is actually the same and only the views change: A term is always the same ‘object’, whether in a glossary, a Liquid Space view or in a word processing document, and can be interacted with as thus.

The central connector of the system is graph view called Liquid Space:

User create and save nodes as ordinary WordPress posts, allowing for openness and interoperability. This is referred to as the hyperGlossary method:

Users can create a node/element manually in WordPress or by using Liquid | Flow (or any other software) to create a structured node with indications of type and type of connections:

Accessing The Liquid Space View

Word Processor

From Liquid | Author (or any other software which supports this), a user can click on a term and choose ‘View in Liquid Space’ and the software will send a URL to the user’s web browser specifying the term as a node to be shown centrally and (optionally, which type of view to show if not the default, how many connections deep to show the connections and so on).

Web Browser

User can select a term and a blue dot will appear. An option will be to ‘Show in Liquid Space’ and it will show the Liquid Space in the same way as if launched from the word processor. This is with the same interaction as we have on at the moment.

User can additionally click to download a PDF from a repository and the plugin will take whatever meta-information for citations (linked Bibtex etc.) and append it to the PDF on download so that in the future when the user copies from the PDF they will copy as citation automatically (with supported PDF reader) and the Liquid Space will be able to open the document for the user since it ‘knows’ the local location of the document.

The plugin will also support augmented copying to allow for quick citation-paste.

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Literature Review

For the University of Southampton, the official advice offered by the library is to refer to “Doing a Systematic Review” as listed on the website:

1 Planning your review
2 Performing scoping searches, identifying review question and writing  protocol
3 Literature Searching
4 Screening titles and abstracts
5 Obtaining papers
6 Selecting full text articles
7 Data extraction
8 Quality assessment
9 Analysis and synthesis
10 Writing up, editing and disseminating

This project focuses on 9; analysis and synthesis, while providing an output useable by 10, with particular integration with Liquid | Author.

The work-process of 1-9 will be integrated to help the user search (3) from with the View when desired and read the articles (6) with full meta-information attached.

Twofold Aim

The SAGE Study Skill’s “The Literature Review” makes clear there are two separate aims of a LR: The production of a LR document– the ‘Product’–and the ‘Process’ of enriching the student’s understanding of the knowledge space in question.

The Process : The Mental Aim

The mental aim of a literature review is for the student to demonstrate that they are aware of, and can interpret what is already known and where gaps and contradictions in the knowledge (Jesson, Matheson, Lacey, 2011). The process is defined by Fink as a systematic, explicit, and reproducible method for identifying, evaluating and synthesizing the existing body of completed and recorded work by researchers, scholars and practitioners (2013). It is important because a high quality research synthesis can give us the most trustworthy answers to specific review questions, and it can identify gaps in our knowledge that require further research (Booth, Sutton, Papaioannou, 2016).

Intellectual Archeology

The process of doing a literature review is analogous to unearthing artifacts, some of which have a more obvious use a connection to the rest and others less so. In physical archeology, building a picture of the finds involves not only excavating the artifacts themselves but also recording and analysing their features and contexts. The extraction of information takes place both through manual operations and remote sensing. These ways of looking at the process can inform the student’s literature review process by inspiring how the student can add their academic document artifacts to an increasing diagram which they can interact with to develop deeper insights. This notion of actively gathering is reflected in the hypertext literature by Jim Rosenberg in The Structure of Hypertext Activity (1996).

Specific Questions & Speak Points to Support

While doing a LR the student will ask general questions about the field and specific questions based on documents, authors or concept discovered, based on general thoughts and something which sparks their curiosity. These are the interactions the View system will primarily need to support, not just general layouts of nodes. Initial questions can include the following:

Author Centric

Who cited this document?
What else did this author write?
Who did this author collaborate with?

Document Centric

What document cited this document?
What does this document cite?

Concept Centric

Where does a specific concept appear in this document?
Where does a specific concept appear in these documents?

Once questions like these can be quickly and easily posed by the user, the focus will be on how the views can then be modified to answer further questions.

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Liquid Browser Plugin

I think the data for the Liquid Space should be stored on WordPress.

I can currently add to WordPress using Liquid Flow’s hyperGlossary’ command. This includes adding connections to previous entries and I can manually create more links later, to fit connections to new entries. This is useful for wikipedia entries and entries for people:

What I need is a way to quickly add academic documents as glossary terms as well. Therefore, being able to go to a download site and both download a PDF with correct meta-automatically attached, such as name, authors, date and so forth and at the same time also have this added to the glossary as a blog entry could be very useful. The two should be linked: The downloaded Rich PDF and the blog post glossary so that when viewed as nodes in the liquid view they can be clicked on to open the Rich PDF.

The issue can be seen here: At the bottom I have a link to the thesis document Ivan Sutherland wrote for this project but it should of course be a link to another blog post glossary elements where all the parts of the documents are surfaced, such as author, title and so on, so that the Liquid View can import it and show it, all the while retaining a link to the actual document on the users computer.

Perhaps a single plugin can do both? This would provide fodder for any visualisation application and make the local documents quick to cite from.


Safari, Chrome and/or Firefox, starting with whichever is easier to build in.


It should look exactly the same as the add to glossary window in Flow (as shown above).

User invokes it through keyboard shortcut or by selecting text and mouse over the Liquid icon: 

If the plugin finds bibliographic material on the page and a PDF download option, a button appears at the top of this dialog:

The Ideal interaction is that one command should both populate this glossary entry and download the PDF with the author, title etc. attached, if this is possible.

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