20080422 Long tail science

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The long tail of peer production of scientific knowledge - the gist and some entailment.

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  • Established research practices and institutions are challenged by peer production of knowledge from independent individuals and diverse groups. Disciplines are fragmented and specialized, but many of today’s problems and solutions cross these boundaries.
  • If everyone is participating in research and knowledge production, should we be worried? There’s an opportunity and a need to build information systems that support diverse participation in open research communities and in traditional exclusive communities.
  • Negotiating two-way access to scientific data isn’t easy. But, uncorrected data are problems, and can be dangerous. Maintaining quality while supporting changes isn’t easy either. But, the errors in GenBank need to be dealt with.
  • If the established institutions and practices can’t monitor their own work, maybe more eyes will be better. (This is an open source style approach.)
  • Long tail of production: Rule 1: open participation doesn’t mean no boundaries. It does mean be as inclusive as is practicable. Rule 2: Green Open Access to research literature is an obvious approach. Institutional repositories represent current practice. Texas Digital Library could be a model. Rule 3: Make everything findable Use current standard OAI-like protocols. What improvements in metadata and markup are required here?
  • The three most important properties of data are quality, quality, and quality. Quality starts with data generation from observation, experimentation, or computation. Data (raw and cooked) that is well described can be used and re-used by the originators and others. Long-lived data needs careful maintenance: need to document provenance of updates, corrections, descriptions, etc.
  • Henrietta Swan Leavitt. Amateur astronomer; discovered period-luminosity relationship of variable stars; which led to the ability to determine distances of stars. Michael Faraday. ___________ Predates the establishment of disciplines and professionalization. Liimited mostly to those with resources.
  • Most of these projects maintain the privileged status of the disciplines.
  • Global problems wont’ be solved by the few; we need participation from many.
  • Long tail science can help bring more people into research and using it to make policy – if and only if disciplines will open the doors.
  • Can information schools lead the discovery and development of practicable long tail science systems? What do we need to do?
  • 20080422 Long tail science

    1. 1. The long tail and peer production of scientific research. Or, here comes everybody and there goes the neighborhood. School of Information, University of Texas at Austin 22 April 2008 William L. Anderson, Praxis101 Except where otherwise marked.
    2. 2. Jeffrey Heer: Friendster network, Feb 2004: http://www.cs.berkeley.edu/~jheer/socialnet/ The Internet is an interactive and social web; everyone can share and publish. Should I worry?
    3. 3. New communities of research and scholarship include everyone. Yes doctor, I am worried.
    4. 4. Elizabeth Pennisi, News of the Week Science 21 March 2008: Vol. 319. no. 5870, pp. 1598 - 1599 DOI: 10.1126/science.319.5870.1598 © 2008 American Association for the Advancement of Science. All Rights Reserved. “ Excuse me, you want to do what to my data?”
    5. 5. Recent computer analysis of biomedical literature shows ~1.25% of papers are duplicates. http://discovery.swmed.edu/dejavu/
    6. 6. “ Edinburgh. We have a problem.” http://freefoto.com
    7. 7. Open science is an extension of three new Internet effects and perspectives.
    8. 8. The Long Tail y = 1 x
    9. 9. The Long Tail is not only about selling; it’s also about producing. <ul><li>Long tail of selling* </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 1: Make everything available. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 2: Cut the price in half. Now lower it. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 3: Help me find it. </li></ul><ul><li>* Chris Anderson, Wired Magazine 2004 </li></ul><ul><li>Long tail of production </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 1: Let everyone participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 2: Lower the cost of publication and distribution. </li></ul><ul><li>Rule 3: Make everything findable. </li></ul>
    10. 10. Web 2.0 is more than outbound services; it’s also about coordinating collaborative creation and production.
    11. 11. “ Citizen science” sounds good, but open research with everybody is one scary thought. SXSW 2002-03-09 &quot;Photo courtesy PDPhoto.org&quot;
    12. 12. The three stages of expertise … http://blog.gardeviance.org/2008/04/three-stages-of-expertise.html
    13. 13. Citizen science? It’s not really new. Henrietta Swan Leavitt. 1868 - 1921 Michael Faraday. 1791 - 1857
    14. 15. Civil engineering for everyone. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRRDzFROMx0
    15. 16. This method can move 1 ton 300 ft. in 1 hr. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lRRDzFROMx0
    16. 17. One person’s classification system.
    17. 18. But when you look at the whole cloud …
    18. 19. Participation can have many faces.
    19. 20. Long tail science means leaving the door open. Making this work requires user-centered informatics improvements in all disciplines.
    20. 21. Open doors need gatekeepers. Discuss. http://libweb.uoregon.edu/admnpers/dataservices.html
    21. 22. Thank you. [email_address] Twitter: @band

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