Electronic communication and knowledge systems

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Using the internet for communicating research information. …

Using the internet for communicating research information.
Author: Jarmo Saarikko
Date: 11-Nov-2000
Event: From Research to Application - the second Nordic Forum, 11-12.5.2000, Espoo, Finland

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  • 1. From Research to Application - the second Nordic Forum, 11-12.5.2000, Espoo, Finland Electronic communication and knowledge systems Jarmo Saarikko Skogsforskningsinstitutet, Unionsgatan 40A, FIN-00170 HELSINGFORS,Finland [email_address]
  • 2. World Wide web
      • WWWW has affected the ways we work
      • Information access and exchange
      • From the global level to the local
      • The full impact on the way we work and on society is still unknown
  • 3. Advantages
      • Permanence of 24-hours per day
      • Immediacy of information discovery
      • Content diversity
      • Accessibility from almost anywhere
      • De-centralised approaches allowing content owners to maintain full rights
      • Value for money with low-cost solutions
  • 4. General search engines
      • No more able to cover the whole net
      • The next generation of search tools will contain more specialised and targeted services,
      • More and more services will be provided to registered clients
      • User interfaces can be modified according to personal requirements
  • 5. Competition for users
      • one user usually cannot effectively use but a few different services
      • most services on the internet have been free, their funding is often based on advertising
      • Research information in forestry is often non-competetive
      • However, if the target audience is the general public the information producer enters the same competitive field as described above
  • 6. New kinds of services
      • Simple provision of announcements and communications is not enough
      • Net users demand ways to give feed-back, chat-rooms, customisation
  • 7. How does anyone know you are there?
      • All traditional means of marketing have to be used
      • This is very costly
      • Something has to be new or updated all the time otherwise the users do not come back
      • How to know that something new is available?
    • A community of registered users makes this goal easier to accomplish.
  • 8. One-way communication: Web-pages
    • PRO
    • Clean type-setting
    • Easy to produce and publish
    • Size is not a limitation
    • CON
    • Difficult to announce new pages - links on homepage or on a 'what's new list'
    • Long delay until new pages are found by search engines
    • Web-pages need to have a user-friendly design
  • 9. One-way: e-mail
    • PRO
    • Rather easy to install
    • Use mailing list software
      • Automatic subscription
      • Listserv, Majordomo etc.
    • Distribution to dedicated subscribers
    • Cheaper than traditional means - larger distribution possible
    • CON
    • List has to be moderated
    • Simple text-only
    • Yet another format to be distributed
    • Images cannot be used
    • (html email is still unwanted)
  • 10. Interactive communication: mailing lists
    • PRO
    • Interactivity
    • Clients may discuss with each other
    • May lead to a community
    • Questions and answers are mutually beneficial
    • Discussons can be viewed on a web-site
    • Distirbution is global
    • CON
    • List may be dominated by a few active talkers
    • Negative feedback cannot be blocked
      • unless the list is moderated
    • List should be moderated
      • more work
    • Attachments may spread viruses (esp. Microsoft)
  • 11. Interactive: Newsgroups
    • PRO
    • New messages appear automatically to readers
    • Many groups are archived on the web
      • http://www.deja.com/
    • CON
    • Requires a news-server
    • Private newsgroups are more difficult to propagate
    • Public groups are often spam-prone
    • Group should be moderated
    • Messages disappear rather quickly
  • 12. Interactive: Hypernews
    • PRO
    • Use with a web-browser
    • Allows anonymous use
    • No email necessary
    • Sometimes e-mail notification
    • Usually no moderation
    • Hierarchical groups
    • http://www.hypernews.org/
    • CON
    • Following discussions means constant checking at the web-service
    • Message deletion difficult?
  • 13. Interactive: IRC
    • PRO
    • Global
    • Widely known
    • Easy to use
    • Instant
    • Private channels
    • Good for private long distance discussions
    • Many servers
    • Internet Relay Chat
    • CON
    • Usually considered as a playground for school children
    • Documentation of discussions is problematic
    • Specific IRC software required
  • 14. Interactive: chat-rooms
    • PRO
    • Usually cgi-based or with java-applications
    • Interactive and instant
    • May be used for on-line Questions and Answers with a named specialist or on a TV-show
    • CON
    • People need rules for their behaviour in rooms
    • Large groups may be difficult for newcomers
    • Usually not linked to other chat services
    • Private groups not available
    • Funded by ads
    • May be addictive
  • 15. Chat with a specialist on yahoo
    • www.yahoo.com
    • 10.5.2000
  • 16. Electronic Communities
    • PRO
    • Often with a pack of free services
      • Web-based e-mail
      • Calendar
      • Chat-rooms
      • Document archives
    • Usually founded around a topic or for a customer group
    • e.g. www.animalscience.com
    • CON
    • Identity of participants not always known or certain
    • Large system to install
    • Longevity of free services is uncertain
  • 17. Examples of free communities
    • You may start your own groups in these. Some systems allow private groups which can be used by invitation only.
      • Yahoo http://www.yahoo.com/
      • E-groups http://www.egroups.org/
      • Intranets http://www.intranets.com/
  • 18. www.eGroups.com
    • Group
    • view by a
    • registered
    • users
  • 19. www.eGroups.com
    • Egroup view of a non-registerd user
  • 20.
    • Egroup view by a registered user
  • 21.  
  • 22.
    • Intranet view by a registered user at intranets.com
  • 23. Knowledge systems: standalone
      • Currently CD-ROMs
      • Usually a system includes full-text databases with some intelligence handling the requests or results
      • Hyperlinks, interactive images and maps
      • Concurrent search with various criteria
      • The results found may be combined or extracted to be used in reports and papers
      • e.g. CABI Forestry Compendium CD
          • http://tree.cabweb.org/efctext.htm
  • 24. CABI Forestry compendium
    • Source: http://tree.cabweb.org/comp_demo/page2.htm
  • 25. Knowledge systems: Networked
      • Portals
          • Forest Finland, Skogsverige, Skogen is Skolan
          • These are developing from link collections into knowledge systems and/or e-communities
      • Topical services
          • E.g. SIREX and Skogsskada services for forest pest diagnosis and handbook
          • Often registration is required
      • Extranets
          • Access to internal systems for registered clients or subscribers
      • Traditional: On-line databases, Library OPACs
  • 26. Knowledge discovery
      • TROPIS - The Tree Growth and Permanent Plot Information System by CIFOR
          • seeks to help forest scientists make better use of existing tree growth information by newsletters, searchable index and database - newsletter, link, people database, permanent study plots
      • GIAN - Gujarat Grassroots Innovations Augmentation Network
          • GIAN aims to establish linkages between grassroots innovators, entrepreneurs and investors to scale up - newsletter, discussion, research papers
      • UNDP Evaluation Knowledge System (EKSYST)
          • assists in generating, storing and sharing available information gained through evaluations of projects
  • 27. Links
    • PORTALS
    • Forest Finland
    • Skogssverige
    • Skogen I Skolan
    • DATABASES
    • Metinfo
    • Sirex
    • Skogsskada
    • TROPIS
    • UNDP EKSYST
    • INFORMATION DELIVERY
    • GIAN - innovation network
    • Biodiversity events
    • http://www.forest.fi/
    • http://www.skogssverige.se/
    • http://www.skogeniskolan.se/
    • http://www.metla.fi/metinfo/
    • http://www.metla.fi/sirex/
    • http://www-skogsskada.slu.se/
    • http://www.cgiar.org/cifor/research/tropis.html
    • http://www.ifad.org/ifadeval/public_html/eksyst/toc/index.html
    • http://csf.colorado.edu/sristi/gian.html
    • http://www.biodiv.org/conv/Bio-Calendar2000.html
  • 28. Problems for discussion
    • How to choose a proper tool for electronic communication?
        • One-way or interactive?
        • Announcing new research results or finding new research problems needing answers?
        • Target groups for tools?
        • Regular ‘traditional’ or irregular ‘new’ clients?
    • Knowledge system vs. Expert system
        • Is there a difference?
        • Database vs. a static system?
        • When a knowledge system should be developed?
          • Parameters and/or problems given by the client