Robin Camille Davis

Writing

I write about libraries, technology, and the internet. I link to almost everything I publish here.

See also: blog

Questions about any of this? Email or @ me.


Thesis

Input and output screens Nondescript: A Web Tool to Aid Subversion of Authorship Attribution. Abstract: A person’s writing style is uniquely quantifiable and can serve reliably as a biometric. A writer who wishes to remain anonymous can use a number of privacy technologies but can still be identified simply by the words they choose to use — how frequently they use common words like “of,” for instance. Nondescript is a web tool designed first to identify the user’s writing style in terms of word frequency from a given writing sample and document, then to suggest how the author can change their document to lessen its probability of being attributed to them. While Nondescript does not guarantee anonymity, the web tool provides a user with an iterative interface to revise their writing and see results of a simulated authorship attribution scenario. Nondescript also provides a synonym-replacement feature, which significantly lowers the probability that a document will be attributed to the original author. Code repository on GitHub.

This thesis was submitted in May 2016 in fulfillment of a MA in Linguistics, with a focus on computational linguistics.

In 2017–18, I was awarded a small grant from the PSC-CUNY Research Award Program to continue working on this project, including a user study. Results are forthcoming.


If on a winter’s night a library cardholder

Open bookNovember is NaNoGenMo (National Novel Generation Month), in which participants computationally generate a 50k+-word novel. My 2016 project, If on a winter’s night a library cardholder, is inspired by If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino. In it, you, the protagonist, half-remember a book you read long ago and want to read again — but you can’t remember the title. You visit each of the 216 library branches in New York City looking for it. At each library, you find a book that looks familiar and you read a page… Is this the book you’ve been trying to find? My Python script generates a new novel each time. I had my favorite iteration printed and bound.


Scholarly articles

Davis, R. “Escape the Library! Introducing First-Year and Transfer Students to a College Library With a Mystery From Our Special Collections” (2018). (Manuscript submitted for publication.)


Internet Connection column

Journal cover

Davis, R. “Digital Privacy Resources for You, Your Library, and Your Library’s Patrons (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian. Forthcoming.

Davis, R. “The LMS and the Library (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 36.1 (2018). Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2017.1387740

Davis, R. “APIs and Libraries (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 35.4 (2017): 192–195. Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2017.1283185

Davis, R. “The Future of Web Citation Practices (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 35.3 (2016): 128-134. Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works (free) • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2016.1241122

Davis, R. “Hackathons for Libraries and Librarians (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 35.2 (2016): 87–91. Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works (free) • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2016.1208561

Davis, R. “Annotate the Web: Four Ways to Mark Up Web Content (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 35.1 (2016): 46–49. Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works (free) • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2016.1134233

Davis, R. “Synchronizing Oral History Text and Speech: A Tools Overview (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 34.4 (2015): 234-238. Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works (free). • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2015.1098790

Davis, R. “Git and GitHub for Librarians (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 34.3 (2015): 151–164. Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works (free). • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2015.1062586

Davis, R. “Teaching the Network: a Brief Demonstration of the Internet’s Structure for Information Literacy Instruction (Internet Connection column).” Behavioral & Social Sciences Librarian 34.2 (2015): 88-94. Web. • Access: T&F (subscription required) or CUNY Academic Works (free). • DOI:10.1080/01639269.2015.1042820


Other selected publications

Davis, Robin, and Mark Eaton. “Make a Twitter Bot in Python: Iterative Code Examples.” Journal of Interactive Technology and Pedagogy (Blueprints section). 12 Apr 2016. (Also available on CUNY Academic Works.)

Magnussen, Lauren and Robin Davis. “Analyzing EZProxy Logs.” ACRL Tech Connect. Association of College & Research Libraries. 29 Oct. 2014.

Davis, Robin. “MLA 2014: A Quick Reflection.” dh+lib. Association of College & Research Libraries, Digital Humanities Interest Group. 5 Feb. 2014.

Davis, Robin. “Teaching & understanding digital literacy.” The Desk Set. 12 Sept. 2013.

Davis, Robin. “Saving the Smithsonian’s Web.” The Bigger Picture. Smithsonian Institution Archives. 25 Aug. 2011.

Davis, Robin. “Five Tips for Designing Preservable Websites.” The Bigger Picture. Smithsonian Institution Archives. 2 Aug. 2011.

Blog posts at Emerging Tech in Libraries, my CUNY Commons blog. 61 posts as of July 2016. (Now incorporated into my blog archive.)


Library newsletter articles

Newsletter cover Every semester, the Lloyd Sealy Library at John Jay College of Criminal Justice publishes a 20-page newsletter, Classified Information. It’s distributed in print to every faculty member and by email to every CUNY librarian. I edit and design the newsletter as well as contributing content. Articles I’ve penned include:


Other kinds of writing