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Paul R. Pival
Calgary, AB
Recent Activity
One of my hats these days has me supporting students and faculty in the use of NVivo, a piece of software used for qualitative data analysis. Often people are wanting to analyze the text of recorded interviews, and of course... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Somehow I wasn't subscribed to the Google Scholar blog already, and missed last week's announcement that they'd made some tweaks to the interface of Google Scholar. Today though I was presented with a big link under the search box to... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Lifehacker has a post describing how to Map Anything From the Chrome Address Bar. Sounds great, except I recently switched back to Firefox after many years away, so found that there are a pair of extensions for FF that allow... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Until the end of 2017, de Gruyter is offering free access to its Rights, Action, and Social Responsibility ebook Collection for "all students and faculty". You do have to register, and it appears that when I did so, I did... Continue reading
Posted Apr 10, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Thanks to a tip from my colleague Dani I learned that Factiva has recently added a filter for fake news. Like many things with Factiva (IMHO), it's not terribly intuitive to find, so here are the steps. You can either... Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
I spent a couple hours today helping a student look for a shape file of the First People's Language Map of B. C. (or anything even close to it). No luck, but feel free to chime in if you know... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Some time ago I learned about from a post on ResearchBuzz. Since then, it's grown a bit, and I've been receiving useful weekly updates to a few hashtags I like to follow on the Twitter. In a nutshell, rather... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
For the past couple of weeks I've been helping a student gather a collection of historical tweets, based on specific hashtags. You may be aware that Twitter's search API limits searches to only the past week or so, which sucks... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Last month I railed on the new Wayback Machine plugin for Chrome. Well they've been busy, and the current version solves many of my nitpicks on the initial version. has a post detailing 6 ways you can save pages... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Over the weekend Ed Summers released a tool called diffengine that monitors an RSS feed and then posts captures of any changed text to Twitter. It's meant for monitoring news sites, but could be used for anything that has an... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Feb 2, 2017 update: improvements have been made! The other day I saw a headline about a new extension for the Chrome browser from the Internet Archive, Wayback Machine. I had initially ignored this, assuming it was the same thing... Continue reading
Posted Jan 16, 2017 at The Distant Librarian
Having had this tab opened for what seems like forever, I finally got around to running some tests of autoEdit 2, an open-source automatic transcription tool (automatically creates a text file from a given audio or video file). This tool... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
As I did last year, I have captured all the tweets from this year's Semantic Web in Libraries conference using the TAGS tool for Google Sheets. As of this posting there are 630 tweets with the hashtag #SWIB, 573 of... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
Over at the Apples with Many Seeds blog, which is attached to our Education Library, Tammy and Paula are putting together a great book list for this holiday season. Want to impress the young folk in your life with an... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
The other day Google Earth released updated historical imagery, so I thought it'd be neat to take a peek at two spots I know have grown a lot since 1985, the date of the earliest imagery. I also wanted a... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
Yesterday was a pretty good day for Open Data in Alberta. First, the City of Calgary went live with a Socrata version of their Open Data portal. Previously they had been running on some sort of Microsoft SharePoint (my guess)... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
Mita Williams has an excellent blog post titled Why Libraries Should Maintain the Open Data of Their Communities. It's a long (for a blog post), but important read, and includes an excellent history of how Canadian government data has evolved,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
Surely someone smarter than me can think of something interesting to do with the following? National Research Council peer reviewed publications, 2015 National Research Council peer reviewed publications, 2014 National Research Council peer reviewed publications, 2013 National Research Council peer... Continue reading
Posted Nov 10, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
A few weeks ago two new data sets appeared on the Open Data Canada website, WD - Grants and Contributions over $25,000 and Project Geo-Information, which "provides geographical information on projects issued by or on behalf of Western Economic Diversification... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
A new data set was recently released by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Land Use for 2010. As I was poking at it I saw that this data set in turn leads to an interactive map in which one can explore... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
GISLounge has a great post called How To Make a Map From Open Data Using a Spreadsheet, which is actually using Google Sheets specifically. Earlier today I also tripped across a post highlighting an excellent visualization of how to choose... Continue reading
Posted Oct 6, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
I received an email from JP letting me know that a link on an old post of mine, The definitive guide to iOS screencasting, was no longer good. He knew that 'cause he'd just finished writing a much more comprehensive... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
Two seemingly-contradictory open data stories crossed my path today. First, The Scholarly Kitchen notes that Scientific Reports On Track To Become Largest Journal In The World, and one of the reasons may be that the PLOS ONE, the current Largest... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
Disclaimer: I haven't actually tried either of these, but have heard the results of the first one, and the second one is such a good review it must be worth a look, right? :-) First up, a web-based podcast-recording studio... Continue reading
Posted Aug 19, 2016 at The Distant Librarian
Tara Calishain at ResearchBuzz has posted part 2 of her 3 part series on creating and working with information traps, Setting up and sharing Google alerts. In this post I learned how to automatically create and populate columns in a... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2016 at The Distant Librarian