Academic Career Visualizer manual

MANUAL TO THE

ACADEMIC CAREER VISUALIZER

version 0.1 Beta

Author: Frank V. van der Most

Manual date: 29 May 2014

INTRODUCTION TO THE MAIN FUNCTIONS

In this chapter, you find the main instructions about working with the Academic Career Visualizer. Further down, you will find information about how to install the solution, minimum software requirements, how to upgrade to a newer version, how to make and revert to backups, what to do in case the solution gets damaged, how to use the help system, and where to go for instructions and support.

What it does

This database allows you to create visualizations of academic careers, similar to the one depicted at the top of this page. The white blocks show the career development, the red line shows the number of publications.

How it works

To create the career diagrams, you perform two basic steps, first you import the data into a pre-processing table. After that the data needs to be processed into a different data structure which allows generation of the diagrams.

1. Import your data from an external file

You import your data in a screen similar to this one. It has the buttons for the two basic steps at the bottom and shows the data columns that you can import. If you are not already in the screen click on the ‘Go to Import screen’ at the top of the screen that you are seeing.

Click on the button ‘Import data from external file’. A window will pop open that allows you to select the file with your data. The data can be imported from FileMaker Pro files, Excel files, dBase files, tab-separated text files, comma-separated text files and Merge files.

The structure of the data in your file has to be as shown by the column headers in the import screen, although the column headings in your file do not have to have the same names. Every row in the import file describes either a publication or a job. Although it has many columns, at present, only the following columns/fields matter for the visualization:

  • individual_s_name

    This field, in the right-most column, identifies the person to whom the job or publication belongs. It allows you to import data for multiple persons in one go. If the person already has a record in the Data screen (because of an earlier import or because you manually added it) then the import row will be added to that person.

  • Primary_code

    This field determines whether the row describes a job or a publication. It should have the value job or publication respectively.

  • start_date_year, end_date_year, start_date_month, end_date_month

    These fields describe the period when the publication was published or the job was done.
    The year should be a four-digit number, the month should be written in English text and could be limited to the first three letters. For example december or Dec.
    The period description in months will be interpreted as ‘outer limits’. For example, December 1998 to March 2001 will be interpreted as from 1 December 1998 to 31 March 2001.
    For publications only the year fields matter and the beginning and end year should be the same, otherwise the publication will not appear in the graph.

  • other fields

    The other fields are not being used at present, but may be used for future extensions.

After importing your data, you can check the result in the Import screen. If all went well you can continue to the next step of processing the imported data. If you find mistakes, you can either edit them in the Import screen, or you can change your file and re-import the data. In that case you first need to delete the imported data in the Import screen.

2. Process the imported data

After the data has been imported from your file into the Import screen, it needs to be processed in order to produce the visualization. For this you click on the button ‘Process imported data’ in the Import screen. Depending on the size of your data, it may take seconds, minutes or longer. If all went well, the Academic Career Visualizer will present all the persons occurring in the individual_s_name column, starting with the first. You can browse from one to the next with the record-navigation controls at the top of the window.

The visualized career graph

Besides the processed data, the screen also shows the visualization of the careers. If you have a display wider than approximately 1250 pixels and higher than 800, then you may be able to increase the window, which will also increase the size of the graphic.

You can export the showing graph by clicking the ‘Export graph’ button at the bottom of the Data screen. The file will be exported to your desktop with the ‘Name / title’ field as file name and the extension ‘.svg’. Any existing files with the same name will be replaced without warning. The graph will be exported as a Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG) file, which you can open with the major internet browsers or special SVG viewers. Notice that these graphics are indeed scalable, which means that you can increase their size in the browser to see details better. This can be handy in case of highly detailed visualizations.

If you hold down the alt key (or alt/option key on Mac) while clicking the ‘Export graph’ button, the Academic Career Visualizer will export the graphs of all record in the currently found set

FileMaker Pro

You can also do searches if you are or make yourself familiar with FileMaker Pro. The on-line manual of FileMaker Pro can be found here. By my design, not all features in the manual are available in this database, but those for searching data are. In the present version, you can not edit the data in the Data screen.

Further development

If you like this demo and are interested in its further development, or if you have suggestions for improvements, then please contact me. You can find my contact details via www.frankvandermost.nl/academic_career_visualizer/feedback

Looking forward to ‘hearing’ from you

Frank


MINIMUM HARDWARE AND SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS

The Academic Career Visualizer is available as a FileMaker Pro solution for Windows and Mac OS computers with the right FileMaker Pro version. For Mac OS the Academic Career Visualizer is also available as a stand-alone application for which you do not have to have FileMaker Pro installed. The Academic Career Visualizer can be run on Windows computers and Mac OS computers with the following specifications. Newer or better operating systems or hardware may work as well but this is not tested and is also not supported:

Windows

Operating system: Windows 8.1, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 7 SP1 Ultimate, Professional, Home Premium.
Minimum CPU requirements: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Athlon 64 or newer.
Minimum RAM requirement: 1 GB.
Recommended RAM requirement: 2 GB.
Free disk-space:130 MB + space for data.
Recommended display size : 1280 x 800 pixels or more.

For Windows computers the Academic Career Visualizer is provided only as a FileMaker Pro 13 solution, which means that you need to acquire and install FileMaker Pro 13. See www.filemaker.com. Please notice that the Academic Career Visualizer solution does not run on version 12 or older of FileMaker Pro. It will also not run on versions other than the basic FileMaker Pro 13 for computers. I.e. it will not run on FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced, nor on FileMaker Server 13, nor on FileMaker Go.

Mac OS

Operating system: OS X Mavericks v 10.9, OS X Mountain Lion v 10.8, OS X Lion v 10.7.
Minimum CPU requirement: 64-bit Intel-based Mac.
Minimum RAM requirement: 2 GB.
Recommended RAM requirement: 4 GB.
Free disk-space:130 MB + space for data.
Recommended display size : 1280 x 800 pixels or more.

For Mac OS computers the Academic Career Visualizer is provided as a FileMaker Pro 13 solution and as a stand-alone application. The functionality of the two versions is the same, but acquiring FileMaker Pro 13 allows you to build your own database solution in addition to running the Academic Career Visualizer.
If you want to use FileMaker Pro, you need to acquire and install FileMaker Pro 13. See www.filemaker.com. Please notice that the Academic Career Visualizer solution does not run on version 12 or older of FileMaker Pro. It will also not run on versions other than the basic FileMaker Pro 13 for computers. I.e. it will not run on FileMaker Pro 13 Advanced, nor on FileMaker Server 13, nor on FileMaker Go.

INSTALLING AND OPENING THE ACADEMIC CAREER VISUALIZER

Stand-alone on Mac OS

To install the stand-alone version:

  1. Download and unzip the correct .zip file from the download page at: www.frankvandermost.nl/academic_career_visualizer/download
  2. Move the resulting folder (named ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’) to your Applications folder or other location where you want to install it. You may need administrator access to your Mac.

Please notice: since the data in the database will end up in the ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’ folder, everybody who has access to the main Applications folder (for example when it has multiple user accounts), will have access to the data. To prevent that, you can install the stand-alone version in the Applications folder that sits in your Home folder. Then, only those with access to your account have access to the data.

To open the stand-alone version:

  1. Open the folder ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’ in the Application folder (or other location where you installed it) and open the program ‘ACV 0.1 Beta.app’ inside it.

Please note: do not rename or move any of the files inside the folder ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’.

FileMaker Pro 13 solution on Windows and Mac OS

To run the Academic Career Visualizer solution on FileMaker Pro 13:

  1. Download and unzip the correct .zip file from the download page at: www.frankvandermost.nl/academic_career_visualizer/download
  2. Move the resulting folder (named ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’) to your Documents folder or other location where you want to use it.
  3. If you have not yet done it, then install the right FileMaker Pro 13 version (see above) following the instructions available at www.filemaker.com. You may need administrator access to your computer.

To open the FileMaker Pro 13 solution:

  1. Open FileMaker Pro 13
  2. A dialog screen may open up to create a new file or open an existing. Otherwise select File > Open…
  3. Point the file browser to the file ‘ACV 0.1 Beta.fmp12’ inside the folder ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’ file and click ‘Open’.

UPGRADING TO A NEWER VERSION AND MIGRATING YOUR DATA

If a new version of the Academic Career Visualizer will be delivered, this is how you migrate to the newer version. The basic steps are A) exporting your data from the current version, B) installing the new version and importing your data, C) deleting the current version:

A) Exporting your data from the current version

  1. If you have edited any of your data in the Import screen, then you first need to export your data using the button at the bottom of the Import screen.
  2. It may be that the new version does not create exactly the same images as the current one. If you still want to change to the new version you may then want to export all the graphs. You go to the Data screen and click on the ‘Export graph’ button while holding the alt-key (or alt/option-key on Mac OS).

B) Installing the new version and importing your data

  1. Install the new version of the Academic Career Visualizer without overwriting the current one. After all, if anything goes wrong with the upgrade and migration you should be able to revert to the current one.
  2. Import the data you exported from the current version into the new version.

C) Deleting the current version

  1. After exporting the graphs and the data in the Import screen, you are advised to delete all data in both the Import screen and the Data screen.
  2. Delete the current version. If you use the stand-alone version drag the entire ‘Academic Career Visualizer’ folder to the trash and empty the trash. If you use FileMaker Pro to run the Academic Career Visualizer solution, then drag the file ‘ACV 0.1 Beta.fmp12’ to the trash and empty the trash.

HOW TO MAKE AND HOW TO REVERT TO BACKUPS

It is good practice to make backups of your data. They come in handy for example when the database or its data get corrupted beyond repair. (Elsewhere in this manual you can read how to recover damaged files) There are at least two ways to make a backup. One is to use the operating system of your computer to make a copy of the database, the other is to use the built-in facility to make a backup. In the following sections only the second option is explained in detail.

Making a backup with the operating system works along analogue lines. The main differences are that you then need to rename files yourself and instead of compacted copies, you will make normal copies. To revert to backup made with the operating system, you can follow the corresponding section below.

Please notice: like the original database, the backup copy contains personal data. Make sure to treat the backups with the same care and confidentiality as the original database.

Making a backup with the built-in facility

  1. If the Academic Career Visualizer is open, then close it
  2. In the screen that you are, click on the ‘More’ button and then on ‘Make a backup copy’.

If you use the stand-alone version of the Academic Career Visualizer, then this will create a copy of the file ‘ACV1.fmpur’. In the file name of the copy, it will add a time stamp before the original name and ‘ – compacted copy’ after. For example like this ‘20140520 1810 ACV1 – compacted copy.fmpur’. The backup will be saved on the desktop.

If you run the Academic Career Visualizer as a solution on FileMaker Pro 13, then the Academic Career Visualizer will make a copy of the file ‘ACV 0.1 Beta.fmp12’ in a similar way. The backup file will for example be ‘20140520 1810 ACV 0.1 Beta.fmp12 – compacted copy’. The backup will be saved in the folder where the original is located.

Please notice: the time stamp is accurate to the minute, which means that if you make two backups within the same minute, the Academic Career Visualizer will overwrite the first with the second without notification.

The backup is a so-called ‘compacted copy’ which means that the file size of the backup may be smaller than the original.

It is good practice to keep backups on a separate disk or storage medium to minimize data loss because of disk failure.

Making a backup with the operating system of your computer

If you use the stand alone version of the Academic Career Visualizer, then do the following:

  1. If the Academic Career Visualizer is open, then close it
  2. Make a copy of the file ‘ACV1.fmpur’ in the folder named ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’ in the Applications folder (or elsewhere if you installed the Academic Career Visualizer in a different location).

If you run the Academic Career Visualizer as a solution on FileMaker Pro 13, then do the following:

  1. If the Academic Career Visualizer is open, then close it
  2. Make a copy of the file named ‘ACV 0.1 Beta.fmp12’.

Reverting to a backup

You may need to revert to a backup when the file is damaged beyond repair (see the chapter on recovering damaged files) or when you deleted data by accident.Depending on which version of the Academic Career Visualizer you use, reverting to a backup works slightly different. The main idea in all cases is that you replace the file containing the current database with the backup file.

If you use the stand alone version of the Academic Career Visualizer, then do the following. You may need to have administrator access to your computer for these steps:

  1. If the Academic Career Visualizer is open, then close it
  2. In the folder of the Academic Career Visualizer application, replace the file ‘ACV1.fmpur’ with a copy of the backup. Make sure to move the file ‘ACV1.fmpur’ to a location outside the application folder.
  3. Rename the backup file to ‘ACV1.fmpur’.
  4. Open the Academic Career Visualizer

If you run the Academic Career Visualizer as a FileMaker Pro 13 solution on a Windows or Mac OS computer. You may directly open the backup file by double-clicking it, or by selecting ‘Open…’ in the ‘File’ menu of FileMaker Pro. However, in that case you continue working with the backup, which means that you loose the backup. It would be better to make a copy of the backup and replace the damaged file with that copy.

HOW TO RECOVER DAMAGED FILES – introduction

Although the database file is very stable during normal use, they may get damaged due to for example power failures, disk failures or other causes. In such cases database may not open and/or you may get a message that instructs you to contact the developer or use the recover command. Please do not contact me, but follow the instructions below because I can not do anything else for you except advising you to follow these instructions. If the recovery fails, I can also not help you any further. This is another good reason to make regular back-ups of your data.

Please notice: it may be that not the file but the program got damaged. If you are not sure which of the two is damaged, then test it as follows. All steps are explained in detail elsewhere in this manual.

  1. Make a backup of the database. Do not use the built in facility, but use the operating system of your computer. After all, if something is damaged then the backup facility may not work properly anymore.
  2. Reinstall the Academic Career Visualizer or FileMaker Pro
  3. Revert to the backup
  4. Open the backup

If the problem that made you doubt about what was damaged, has disappeared, then it is likely that the software was damaged and there is little point to recover the database file. Otherwise it is likely that the database file was damaged.

The basic steps to recover damaged files are A) Make a back-up copy of the damaged file; B) Recover the damaged file; C) Open the recovered file and export all your data out of it; D) make a fresh installation of the Academic Career Visualizer; E) import your data into the fresh installation and thoroughly check how much was damaged.
The reason behind steps C to E is that even when the recovery seems to have been successful, the recovered file can not be trusted anymore.
Steps C to E are analogue to upgrading to a new version and migrating your data. This is outlined above and will not be repeated here. For recovery, instead of upgrading to a new version you will reinstall the current version of the Academic Career Visualizer. During recovery, make sure that you do not mix up the recovered version and the freshly installed version.

Depending on which version of the Academic Career Visualizer you use, step A and B work in different ways, as explained in the following sections.

HOW TO RECOVER DAMAGED FILES – Stand-alone on Mac OS

A) Make a back-up copy of the damaged solution

When the database files are damaged, you can not rely on the export and backup facilities built into the Academic Career Visualizer. It means that you need to make a backup with your computer’s operating system.

B) Recover the damaged file

  1. Hold down the Command and Alt keys while you double-click the ‘ACV 0.1 Beta.app’ file in the folder named ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’ in the Applications folder (or elsewhere if you installed the Academic Career Visualizer in a different location.)
  2. Next, the Academic Career Visualizer asks you to select the damaged file. You select the file ‘ACV1.fmpur’ in the folder named ‘Academic Career Visualizer 0.1 Beta’ in the Applications folder (or elsewhere if you installed the Academic Career Visualizer in a different location.). Academic Career Visualizer will proceed to attempt to recover the file and after finishing that, present you with a short report. Click ‘OK’
    If complete or partial recovery was possible, then Academic Career Visualizer will add ‘old’ to the file name of the damaged file, and give the recovered file the original filename.
  3. Open the Academic Career Visualizer. This may take longer than it did before the recovery.
  4. Check how well it functions. If it seems to function well, then proceed with the following steps. If it does not function well or if you run into problems while doing the following steps, you may not be able to extract your data from the recovered file. In those cases you should revert to an earlier back-up.
  5. Choose File > Save a Copy as
  6. In the dialog box, choose ‘Compacted copy (smaller)’ from the Type list. The dialog box suggests to add ‘Copy’ to the file name (‘ACV1 Copy.fmpur’) and to save it in the folder of the Academic Career Visualizer application. Follow that suggestion. You may need to have Administrator access.
  7. Close the Academic Career Visualizer
  8. Rename the file ‘ACV1.fmpur’ by adding ‘ Recovered’ to the base name (‘ACV1 Recovered.fmpur’)
  9. Rename the copy that you made to the original file name, i.e. to ‘ACV1.fmpur’.
  10. Open the Academic Career Visualizer. You can now proceed with steps C) to E) outlined above in the introduction section of ‘How to recover damaged files’.

HOW TO RECOVER DAMAGED FILES – FileMaker Pro 13 solution on Windows and Mac OS

A) Make a back-up copy of the damaged solution

When the database files are damaged, you can not rely on the export and backup facilities built into the Academic Career Visualizer. It means that you need to make a backup with your computer’s operating system. This is explained in a section in the chapter ‘How to make and revert to backups’.

B) Recover the damaged file

  1. Launch FileMaker Pro 13 but do not open the Academic Career Visualizer solution-file. Instead, select File > Recover …
  2. Next, select the damaged file and click ‘Select’.
  3. FileMaker Pro asks you to provide a name and a location for the recovered file. It suggests to add ‘Recovered’ to the filename (i.e. ‘ACV 0.1 Beta Recovered.fmp12’) and save it in the folder where the damaged file is. Do not check the box for ‘Use Advanced Options’. Click ‘Save’. FileMaker Pro will proceed to attempt to recover the file and after finishing that, present you with a short report. Click ‘OK’.
    If FileMaker Pro fully or partially succeeded in recovering some data, then continue with the following steps. If it failed completely, then you should revert to an earlier back-up.
  4. Open the recovered file. This may take longer than it did before the recovery.
  5. Check how well it functions. If it seems to function well, then proceed with the following steps. If it does not function well or if you run into problems while doing the following steps, you may not be able to extract your data from the recovered file. In those cases you should revert to an earlier back-up.
  6. Choose File > Save a Copy as
  7. In the dialog box, choose ‘Compacted copy (smaller)’ from the Type list. The dialog box suggests to add ‘Copy’ to the file name (‘ACV 0.1 Beta Recovered Copy.fmp12’) and to save it in the same folder as the recovered file. Follow that suggestion. You may need to have Administrator access.
  8. Close the Recovered file
  9. Open the compacted copy of the recovered file to proceed with steps C) to E) outlined above in the introduction section of ‘How to recover damaged files’.

HOW TO USE THE HELP SYSTEM AND HOW TO GET MORE SUPPORT

The help and support system consists of two elements.

1. The help text

The help text is this text. All screens have a ‘More’ button in the header-bar, through which the help text can be reached. It is also bundled as a .pdf in the installation .zip file, and available on-line at or via:
www.frankvandermost.nl/academic_career_visualizer/manual

2. Additional help

Additional support is available or can be requested via:
www.frankvandermost.nl/academic_career_visualizer/support

Please note that at some point in time, I may cease further development of the Academic Career Visualizer and/or stop giving support.

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