Researcher 2.0: digital scholarship in science Eileen Scanlon
Some recent articles in the June 2008 issue of Journal of Science Communication ( http://jcom.sissa.it/archive/07/02 )
Delfanti (2008) outlines the influence of the collaborative web on open and closed science and a number of authors have provided interesting commentary on this.
e-Science - introduced in United Kingdom by John Taylor, then Director General of the Office of Science and Technology in the U.K in the following way: “ In the future, e-Science will refer to the large scale science that will increasingly be carried out through distributed global collaborations enabled by the Internet. Typically, a feature of such collaborative scientific enterprises is that they will require access to very large data collections, very large scale computing resources and high performance visualisation back to the individual user scientists .”
“ My prediction, probably false, but I'll go out on the limb here, is that a scientific paper of the future will be a work in progress — with different people with different skills and talents contributing to a body of work sequentially: one has the idea, another turns it into a hypothesis, another designs the experiments, another runs them, another analyzes the data, another visualizes them, another interprets them, another places several such pieces of work together into a historical and philosophical context and finishes writing the "paper".
‘’ The bits and pieces of it are independently searchable and citable and they are all interconnected by links until the final version is put all together in one place. After all, science as the work of a lonely genius is pretty much a myth — it has been, for the most part, a very collective endeavor. The readers of the paper then keep adding their commentary, links to subsequent "papers," blog posts, media articles, etc. The unity of the paper — a single date, journal, volume, issue, page —will be gone. All of science will become interdisciplinary and interconnected.”
“ Many national and international projects around the world are now carrying out research and innovation activities that transform the vision of e-science/ e-infrastructure and Grid computing into reality. The first waves of such initiatives came mainly from the natural sciences, where large volumes of data are involved in research and modern simulation approaches require huge amount of raw computing power. High energy physics, astronomy, meteorology, and computational biology are just a few areas where the new paradigm has been applied with considerable success. (….)
From one side the vision depicted in the definitions reported above is still to come at infrastructural level: technical problems limit the usability of the e-infrastructure presently in production: grid technology is still far to offer to a research group a “seamless integration” of its scientific applications and/or computational experiments. From my own experience as both end-user and grid developer the level of detail that needs to be controlled for the successful development and deployment of scientific applications on the grid remains too high.
On the other side it is also quite evident that many scientific communities simply do not know what to do with the amount of computational resources made available by grid. Better said: they are not able to identify or define computational challenges large enough to saturate what is now at their disposal. This is mainly due to their inability to change the way research can be done once large computational resources are made available. It seems that for instance the cooperative and interdisciplinary approach (that will require complex workflows of computational research) is not taken into account in many communities.”
The distinctive focus of interest in this proposal is in understanding the changes in the communication and publication practices of academic researchers in higher education due to the impact of the information age.