Last updated on April 5, 2019
The murder wall.
We have seen it in myriads of movies and it always impresses:
There is something magical about being able to visualise a problem on a wall and to be able to put up relevant information, order and reorder it and connect it with lines of string and annotate and comment and do what you want as you build up the shape of the problem.
Apart from using projectors, digital ‘walls’ do not have the space but they do have interaction and linking capabilities which have so far not yet been unleashed.
KJ-Ho ( a part aside )
KJ-Ho is a method invented by the Japanese ethnologist, Jiro Kawakita, developed as a result of having difficulties in interpreting ethnographic data in Nepal and should be possible to do in a Dynamic View, giving us one clear starting scenario. His method puts unstructured information on a subject matter of interest into order through alternating divergent and convergent thinking steps. Jiro explained the process in his paper (Kawakita, 1991), where I have inserted basic arrows to indicate possible use in the Dynamic View:
• Label Making is the process of writing down everything relevant on index cards.
• Label Grouping is the process of grouping the cards according to relevancy.
• Group Naming to name the groups of cards.
• Spatial Arrangement to arrange the Groups into useful arrangements.
• Relationship Settings to use links to indicate the relationships between the objects/nodes, where the shapes of the links convey the nature of the relationship:
– Cause and effect: One is a predecessor or a cause of another ––>
– Interdependence: Objects are dependent on each other <––>
– Correlation: Both objects relate to one another in some way ––
– Contradiction: Objects are conflicting to each other >––<
• Verbal or written explanation. The last step is to explain the chart clearly which other visual thinking systems neglect
But back to the main issue. My PhD problem to help solve is postgraduate students doing their literature review. What are the main impediments? I am planning a focus group to find out more details but a few points have already appeared:
Deciding what to read.
Deciding what citations to follow when reading.
Organising useful documents and their notes and annotations while removing useless ones.
Organising the useful citations into a structure which shapes an argument.
When reading a document and it seems useful, it becomes useful to be able to quickly tag it or annotate it and to use the annotation to find it and use it later. For example, when I read Big Text Visual Analytics in Sensemaking (Bradel, Wycoff, House, North, 2015) there was a screenshot of a 3D literature review space which reminded me of how messy these visualisations can become and I’d like to make that point in my LR so I’d like to be able to type that into that document’s notes and to organise my notes in a freeform space later and to then cite it.
Liquid | View application (for the Dynamic View)
An ideal way of doing this would be to download the PDF with all its own citation information attached (title, authors, publisher, abstract etc.) and drag that onto a Dynamic View where I have all the citation information (and a link to my local copy) and the notes I wrote so that I can use the KJ-Ho method or similar to organise my documents and when it comes to writing and editing I can drag this citation from my Dynamic View (application or screen in Author) onto text in Author and it assigns that text with that citation, including my notes, and the entry in the Dynamic View gets tagged as ‘used’ in this document.
Not THAT would be useful. THAT would be an academic murder wall worth ‘killing’ for :-)
To break it down, it would require a way to download a PDF with all the citation information (Liquid Browser plugin could likely do that, at least from ACM), build an app and a space for the visualisation and integrate it with Author. Yes, this makes sense… Now I’ll just have to have a little chat with Jacob….