Making data count

Open Data Metrics: Lighting the fire Produced with California Digital Library, October 28 - November 1, 2019

We were thrilled to hear that the book resulting from a Book Sprint we produced last November, Open Data Metrics, already had 2,242 views and 1,182 downloads in January! Daniela Lowenberg from the University of California, said:

It’s certainly made the rounds on Twitter and it seems like it was a great use of our time.

We travelled once more to California, a place so familiar to our team of facilitators, to Book Sprint with California Digital Library. The five participants of the Book Sprint had already worked with each other before and organised a comfortable setting for the 5 days of intense work. Those were likely important factors that helped the group to overcome a big challenge: starting the Book Sprint with no electricity due to California’s wildfires!


photo credit: Faith Bosworth

With no electricity, no work on the computer could be done on the entire first day, when the participants usually would start writing the first chapter of the book. Our facilitator onsite, Faith, took the opportunity to work on the book structure and organise the top headings. This book outline was followed during the week, which really helped to develop the central argument. We’ve come to find that with academic authors it pays off to spend more time on the structure in the beginning, whereas with other groups the structure might become clearer during the writing process.

Fortunately the power was back on day 2 and the participants could dive deep in the writing process in our co-authoring platform, Editoria.

At the end of day 4, the group went through an exercise of refocusing the content: They discussed, what are the three main messages that the book needs to convey? Each participant wrote down three central messages and they clustered these messages into three clusters. No surprise they were quite similar, displaying the confluence of ideas and aspirations of the authors for their book. For each of the three clusters they distilled one message. A smaller group then used those three messages to go through all chapters again and sharpen the content accordingly.


photo credit: Faith Bosworth

photo credit: Faith Bosworth









In Book Sprints, we practice being resilient and resourceful, the same goes for the authors that sprint with us. The flow of our method and the results never seize to surprise us, no matter the obstacles! The authors of Open Data Metrics and our Book Sprints team onsite and remote were happy with the experience and the final outcome.

See more photos of the process here.

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