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Broadband speed checks for internet connections

By Research Cooperative, 2022-10-11

Various terms refer to similar things: broadband speed, internet speed, internet connection speed, and so on.

How to check your internet speed (article):

Ookla Speed Test (International) for download speed, upload speed, jitter, and ping response time:

Posted in: IT toolkit | 0 comments

Mailing lists for academic purposes

By Research Cooperative, 2022-09-02

Recently, a small academic society I belong to lost the person who had been looking after member contact details. There was backup copy of the full member list but we now have to rebuild the mailing list based on this. We did not use a properly managed mailing list system: Here I will report systems that other academic groups use:

This might be one of the best open source and free systems:

"GNU Mailman -- the world's most popular mailing-list manager -- has been in constant revision for two decades and supports more than 20 languages.

MailmanLists hosts group mailing-lists -- using GNU Mailman -- on servers around the world, and provides customer support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week." (Mailman website, 2nd Sept. 2022)

The University College London (UCL) uses Mailman and gives advice on how set up a list and manage it:

Posted in: Academic | 0 comments

Chemistry and Physiology Toolkit

By Research Cooperative, 2022-06-06

Physiology calculators at Physiology Web include many lab-friendly tools.

For example, the Percent (%) Solutions Calculator includes not just a calculator that covers different measurement scales,it also has a nice text explaining the three different ways of calculating percentages for solutes in solutions (w/v, w/w, and v/v).

Archives toolkit

By Research Cooperative, 2022-04-10

For background, see:

1. Michael Eisenstein (2022) "In pursuit of data immortality" -

Summary Quote: "Data sharing can save important scientific work from extinction, but only if researchers take care to ensure that resources are easy to find and reuse". 

2. Bryn Nelson (2009) "Data sharing: Empty Archives" -

For educational resources, and more, see:

GO FAIR International Support and Coordination Office (GFISCO) .

"In 2016, the ‘ FAIR Guiding Principles for scientific data management and stewardship’ were published in the journal Scientific Data with the aim of improving the Findability , Accessibility , Interoperability , and Reuse of digital assets.

Society of American Archivists ( ) - "North America's oldest and largest national professional association dedicated to the needs and interests of archives and archivists." Has a useful dictionary of terms often used in relation to archives and their contents.

Papagao by Naver

By Research Cooperative, 2022-03-23

Naver Corporation, a Korean company, describes its online translation service as follows:

"Papago is an automated interpretation application that is useful for traveling overseas and communicating in foreign languages. It was developed with NAVER's own technology, which integrates speech recognition, speech synthesis, machine translation, and character recognition.

The underlying core NMT (Neural Machine Translation) technology has been uniquely applied to translate sentences as a whole instead of splitting into phrases in order to provide more accurate and contextualized translation services."

My Japanese wife prefers this machine-translation service for Japanese/Korean, and the tool offers a wider range of Asian languages than similar tools provided by European companies:

Chinese (simplified and traditional), Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese

(alongside English and a few European languages)

The online service can translate text snippets or website pages (scroll down to enter the URL). There is also an app that can be downloaded onto a computer or phone, for most common systems.


The service has a nice parrot image as logo.


Internet (23rd March 2022):


By Research Cooperative, 2022-02-27

There are many writing style guides guides published by universities, academic journals, governments, publishers and others.

1Password is an internet service that has a useful guide for website developers. This may help the Research Cooperative (for example) to communicate more clearly with site users in its technical documentation, and in automatically generated messages. See:

Posted in: Writing | 0 comments

The Universal Internet and text to speech services

By Research Cooperative, 2022-02-05

Recently the museum where I work recently held an exhibition called "UNIVERSAL MUSEUM" (National Museum of Ethnology, Japan). Th exhibition emphasized the role of touch as a sense that can be used and enjoyed by all people, not just people with sight disabilities.

The Internet, like most museums, depends mainly on visual representation. Nevertheless, IT designers have developed many ways to make the internet more accessible for all people - working towards a universal internet that of course will never be completely universal (just as I wish for a rewilding of the world, with the " Half-Earth Project " for example, I would like at least half of my life to be Internet-free!).

For example there are now many ways to convert text to speech. Here are three examples.

DeepL - a high-quality online translation tool, for many language pairs, that can read aloud both the source text and the translation.

ReadAloud - a text to speech (TTS) service that supports 40+ languages, and multiple kinds of voice.  It works on many kinds of website and document, including university course materials. For example, it can read PDFs, Google Docs, and various online book formats.

TTS Reader - This supports plain text, pdf & epub (ebooks) files, and auto saves between sessions, so we can stop and continue any time. It claims to use natural-sounding voices, which is nice.

Personally, I am most interested in using TTS to read back my own written drafts when I am writing papers. Having an always-available reader and speaker to help with writing, revision and proofreading will be useful.

Posted in: IT toolkit | 0 comments

I have been using Photographers Direct for my own research on the distribution of a certain plant that is sometimes visible in photographs taken in scenic wet locations (especially waterfalls). For me, it is worthwhile to pay the photographer concerned for use rights, because there is little chance I will reach the location myself.

The company running this service has a good system for photographers based in less wealthy regions of the world.

In its own words, the company has "pioneered the concept of Fair Trade Stock Photography" This makes the range of photography more interesting than at many commercially-orientated sites. The company currently has 2,302,523stockimages in its search engine.

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