Friday, November 15, 2019

Trismegistos News: Mailing list and TM Varia

Mailing list and TM Varia
Dear list members,

This email contains news on:
1. the subscription process and the future of Trismegistos
2. the new mailing list of Trismegistos (and us bothering you less on the PAPY-list)
3. new features: a) visualising geographic distribution; b) highlighting info; c) TM Pantheon
4. Citing TM

1. Subscription process and future
Taking into account the Christmas break, there is now just about a month left for institutions to subscribe for 2020 with the extra month thrown in for free. While we have had some response (thank you!), this is as yet insufficient to guarantee the continued existence of Trismegistos (more info). Of course we will give matters more time, but it would be good if we had a better view on where matters stand, so any information on that (‘we’ve asked our library’, ‘it is under review by the committee’, ‘no, we’re not interested’) is most welcome (off list, of course, preferably to This is also important for us to determine how much functionality will remain for non-subscribers from 1 January 2020 onwards.
As to the single user subscriptions which allow personalisation (see below), these will become available later in November. Please note that these come at 199 EUR if your institution does not subscribe, and 49 EUR if it does. These prices are for direct payment through a credit card, and are inclusive VAT. You will receive a dated and signed receipt, confirming payment, through email. If your institution insists on an invoice and a price without VAT, we have special single-user subscriptions for this, but these come at 299 EUR excl. VAT, as this involves significantly more administration and time.

2. Mailing list
Well, this is awkward, as Wikipedia would put it … We feel that the PAPY list is really not the place for advertisements such as this, and this will be the last time we mention money here. In future, information about the subscription will be passed on through a mailing list to which you can subscribe, and which will bring you this and other TM news about functionality, new additions, etc., presumably about once a month, but certainly never more than once a week. Please register here. This is also where you will be informed (soon) about our exciting ‘Adopt a record’ program :-)!
We will still send emails to the PAPY list to inform you about new features, but not as frequently.

3. New features
a. Ever wanted to visualise the geographic distribution of a specific set of texts over the Egyptian nomes? Perhaps in percentages of the total dataset for Egypt? Then we have good news for you. If you use the central search from the homepage, it is now possible to visualise the results on a map of Egypt, either in absolute figures or in percentages, compared to whatever subset you want. This map for example shows the percentage of Greek in codices from the Byzantine period in the LDAB and this one the percentage of Greek in ostraca from the Ptolemaic period. We will post a video showing how it works soon. These visualisations will be preserved for subscribers after 31 December 2019, as will be a similar map for the entire ancient world, which is in preparation.
b. Some users may already have noticed that it is now possible to highlight specific types of information in the text from shown on our text detail pages (e.g. places, people, gods and related (see below), text irregularities, and dates. It was already possible to choose for a regularised text without diacritics, to omit line breaks, and to get rid of the hyperlinks to TM Words et al. For all of these features there is a default setting (without highlights), but for those with a personal subscription it will be possible to set their preference automatically in any way they like (e.g. highlight only the places in a semi-regularised text). This comes in addition to setting your default preference to tables rather than charts and other features which will follow.
c. I already wrote it, but it never hurts to repeat: since we had the information, we have decided to highlight also the gods and related objects of religious worship in our TM Pantheon. This work (on the basis of an internship of Marije Derksen in 2017-18) is not fully ready yet, so for the time being it is only referred to in the context mentioned above. The same holds true for TM Formulae, which for the time being only highlights the epistolary formulae as collected by Delphine Nachtergaele (formerly UGent, work done in 2012-15; publication PhD forthcoming in the TOP Special Series). More about this soon, through our mailing list.

4. We have seen TM pop up in several presentations at recent conferences: it is nice to see how the scholarly community is benefitting from our work! This visibility is also vital for our survival: the more people mention us, the more universities and other funding bodies realize that we are an essential tool that is widely used. Nevertheless, we also notice that several presentations show information from TM (e.g. maps or graphs) without citing us as a source. Yet a website is no different from a book, whether printed or digital, in this respect. We would therefore kindly like to urge you to cite us when using the TM platform. 

That’s it, for now!

For Trismegistos,

Mark Depauw
Herbert Verreth
Yanne Broux
Willy Clarysse
and our CLARIAH collaborators Tom Gheldof and Frederic Pietowski

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