New (re-)search paradigms through a Social Portal for Open Access Repositories: the VOA3R project

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A 5x5 pecha-kucha presentation of the VOA3R project.

The VOA3R project aims at reusing existing and mature metadata and semantics technology to deploy an advanced community-focused integrated platform, connecting a federation of Open Access repositories. The platform will facilitate explicit models of the scholarly methods and procedures. The service will enable researchers to formulate their information needs in terms of elements of the scientific methods established in their field.

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  • Hi, my name is Anastasios Koutoumanos, or just Tasos for short! What I wanna talk about is the exciting work our team is involved in, related to the design and implementation of a social portal for researchers, academics, practitioners and learners. Indeed, we have been working on a community-oriented platform that will foster existing and novel paradigms of search and research, interconnecting existing scientific Open Access repositories.
  • So, before I carry on with this kucha-pecha, let me first introduce myself and my team. Again, my short name is Tasos, the long version is there for you to see. I hold a Ph.D. in Information Technology from the National Technical University of Athens. My Ph.D. research has focused on the use of ICT for learning and teaching. I have been involved in Learning Technology standardisation, mainly as a member of paid experts team at CEN and participated in a handful of European and national projects. I mostly think myself as an all-range Software Engineer: an efficient programmer, an analyst, a requirements engineer, a software project manager. I live in Athens (actually very close to here). I like listening to music, "Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers" has been my favorite band for some time ... a, quite, long time ago.
  • Back in 1971, a UNESCO's World Scientific Information Programme report provided a description of the world science information system. The conclusion was reached that the establishment of such a system is not only necessary, but also feasible. Moreover, the UNISIST "model of information dissemination was proposed", describing a social system of communication, which consists of 3 types of actors, being knowledge producers, intermediaries and end-users. The social system also contains institutions such as research institutes, publishers and libraries. The actors and institutions perform information services such as writing, publishing, storing and retrieving documents and information. Indeed this report is still relevant today and, certainly, since 1971 a lot of progress has been carried along. Off course, the main development towards such the Scientific information system described, is the World Wide Web itself.
  • However, great challenges still exist. Science is probably the fastest growing enterprise in our society. Since the 17th Century, every doubling of the population has seen a tripling in the number of scientists. In fact Derek de Solla Price, also back in the 70's suggested an "exponential growth of science". He actually stated that "Science increases exponentially at a compound interest of about 7 per cent per annum, thus doubling in size every 10-15 years, growing by a factor of ten at least every half-century, and by something like a factor of a million in the 300 years which separates us from the seventeenth century invention of the scientific paper when the process began". This means that, over the last 300 years, Western societies have invested a major part of their resources into the production, revision and verification of knowledge. The more resources go into science, the more scientists are educated, the more results they produce and the more questions arise.
  • Derek's theory still proves itself, in the sense that the predicted growth of science is still evident. This has put tremendous challenges in the scientific world, having to deal with an information overload.
  • So, what has our team been doing about that? It is exactly those challenges that we have been trying to tackle. In fact, we participate in the VOA3R project and the development of the VOA3R platform. The VOA3R project aims at reusing existing and mature metadata and semantics technology to deploy an advanced community-focused integrated platform, connecting a federation of Open Access repositories. The platform will facilitate explicit models of the scholarly methods and procedures. The service will enable researchers to formulate their information needs in terms of elements of the scientific methods established in their field. The project is targeted to the domain of Agriculture & Aquaculture, as it re-uses previous domain models of these domains, but the technology and models integrated are to a large extent transferable to other academic disciplines.
  • What makes our approach even more interesting is that we try to allow collaboration among peers in those tasks: users can rate resources, provide additional data and references, in effect forming a network of practitioners working around shared resources. Thus, VOA3R is provides social networking services, such as microblogging and social bookmarking. Moreover, within the project we try to identify and model current research methods and practices, both traditional and novel ones.
  • VOA3R will offer innovative and semantic interfaces and services that enable researchers to: formulate their information needs in terms of elements of the scientific methods established in their field (variables, techniques, assessment methods, topics of interest, etc.) combined with topical descriptions as expressed in metadata; browse concepts and topics using graphical representations experiment with an alternative publishing process use social functions/criteria like ratings, public reviews, social tagging Moreover, VOA3R will support personalisation, as a key approach to overcome the plethora of information. In that sense it will provide "Recommender" services to support people in finding the most suitable information and peers.
  • New (re-)search paradigms through a Social Portal for Open Access Repositories: the VOA3R project

    1. 1. New (re-)search paradigms through a Social Portal for Open Access Repositories: the VOA3Rproject by Anastasios Koutoumanos (aka Tasos)AK | 21 Mar 11 1
    2. 2. Anastasios Koutoumanos, PhDAK | 21 Mar 11 2
    3. 3. An old story... “Study report on the feasibility of a world science information system” (UNISIST, Paris, 1971, 161 p. - Synopses)AK | 21 Mar 11 3
    4. 4. Derek de Solla Price1922-1983 T∫−∞ f (t )d t = a⋅1/λ ⋅exp(λ Τ )AK | 21 Mar 11 4
    5. 5. AK | 21 Mar 11 5
    6. 6. VOA3RVirtual Open Access Agriculture & Aquaculture Repository:sharing scientific and scholarly research relatedto agriculture, food, and environmentAK | 21 Mar 11 6
    7. 7. Access, publish, organise, socialise!AK | 21 Mar 11 7
    8. 8. AK | 21 Mar 11 8
    9. 9. AK | 21 Mar 11 9
    10. 10. Thank you! http://voa3r.eu anastasios.koutoumanos@gmail.comAK | 21 Mar 11 10

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