Monthly Archives: January 2011

A proposito dei Graphical Abstract

Un graphical abstract tratto dalla rivista online Cell

Graphical Abstract (abstract grafici?) sono una sintesi espressa in forma visiva del contenuto di un articolo scientifico.

Non li ho mai incontrati in articoli scientifici nell’ambito delle scienze umane. Ho scoperto la loro importanza in ambiti come la biologia e la chimica grazie a Giorgio Napolitani, un ricercatore in immunologia dell’Università di Oxford, con cui parlavo del rapporto tra grafica e comunicazione scientifica.

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Southern Sudan Independence Referendum Position on a Newspaper Website

The image below is a screen shot of taken on January 13th, 2011 at 10:05 am.
The yellow line indicates the position of the news about Southern Sudan Independence Referendum.

I will take the same screen shot in the next 6 days at the same hour to show the trend and at the end I will post the result.

Leonardo Romei

Alternatives to the arrow and alternative functions of the arrow

Some time ago Giovanni Lussu pointed out an article to me: “pages 47-66 [ Typographica 12], entitled Emphatic fist, informative arrow, with a short text by Edward Wright commenting some pictures by Herbert Spencer of fists (…) and arrows (…).
The article ends this way: “The sign on the highways is really not an arrow at all; it is a diagram which can change direction and be read from a distance at windscreen level. We can call them arrows because ‘arrow’ now means a certain kind of sign”.

1. There are several pointer of sense AND direction (such as fists or aztec footprints (meaning also “movement” or showing a sequence) or even medieval phylakterion);
2. and arrow is used not only to point a “sense” but also to show a sort of hierarchy in the synsemic text (for exemple, on one side of the arrow there is the main text on the other the “explanation”, or the “note”) or simply to “point out” something in the text.

Acupuncture chart from the Ming Dynasty. The "pointer" is used to create a hierarchy between the main text and the explanations.

Luciano Perondi

Arrow in a synsemic perspective (1)

Letter by Galileo to Leonardo Donato, 1609

Some very short notes about the history of the arrow as a graphic sign (there are four previous posts on this topic in italian: 1, 2, 3, 4).
The discussion started from the article “Mapping symbols to response modalities: Interference effects on Stroop-like tasks”(pdf) presenting a Stroop-like experiment on the interference between a word and an “arrow”.
In a few words, from the abstract: “The subjects were required to respond to one stimulus — an arrow (e.g., →) or a word (e.g., left) — and ignore the other”.

The most important result of the experiment, in brief, is that when the subjects have to act (pressing a key), arrow is stronger than letters, while when the subject have to vocalize the arrow is weaker than letters.

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