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Researchers, Discovery and the Internet: What Next?


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A web2.0 issues and implications overview I put together for the Research Information Network as part of their workshop on researchers and discovery services.

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Researchers, Discovery and the Internet: What Next?

  1. 1. Researchers, Discovery and the Internet: What Next? David Smith, Business Innovations Manager [email_address]
  2. 2. Quotes from the study <ul><li>Lack of formal training not seen as a problem </li></ul><ul><li>Researchers making heavy use of search engines </li></ul><ul><li>Recall prefered over precision </li></ul><ul><li>Means and ends not clearly delineated </li></ul><ul><li>Information overload ‘not a problem’ </li></ul><ul><li>Observation – the Google effect is pretty much universal across all ages now </li></ul>
  3. 3. Structure <ul><li>The Obligatory About Slide </li></ul><ul><li>Where Have We Come From? A Bit of Perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Say Hello to the Digital Native </li></ul><ul><li>The Wisdom of the Crowds </li></ul><ul><li>The Database of Intentions </li></ul><ul><li>A Glimpse of The Future </li></ul>
  4. 4. This is what we do… <ul><li>CABI improves people's lives worldwide by providing information and applying scientific expertise to solve problems in agriculture and the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>We publish books, databases and scientific research </li></ul><ul><li>We research agricultural and environmental issues </li></ul><ul><li>We are experts in the communication of science </li></ul><ul><li>Our mission and direction is influenced by our member countries </li></ul>
  5. 5. Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it. <ul><li>Ferris Bueller </li></ul><ul><li>From: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off - Paramount Pictures </li></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Earthrise - Apollo 8 </li></ul><ul><li>Taken by: Frank Borman, Jim Lovell and William Anders </li></ul><ul><li>December 1968 </li></ul><ul><li>“ The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth.&quot; Jim Lovell </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  7. 7. Bleeding Edge 1996: Netscape 3.01
  8. 8. Say hello to the Digital Native <ul><li>The 1 st year undergraduates of 2011 are 13 years old. </li></ul><ul><li>They </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Have never known an Internet without Google </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think that “search” is just something you do </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>‘ Multitask’ or engage in distributed partial attention activity </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>(Yes, it seems they can watch TV, surf the internet, listen to music and </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>txt their mates all at the same time.) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t wait </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have integrated the Internet completely into their lives </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. More on the Digital Native… <ul><li>Guy Kawasaki (VC person and Forbes Columnist) interviews some US digital natives… </li></ul><ul><li> (very neat technology by the way) </li></ul><ul><li>“ These are the future, my friends. They're here and living among us. They're not very interested in us, and I'm not sure I blame them. The best we can hope for is that one day they may keep us as pets” </li></ul><ul><li>John Naughton at the Society of Editors Annual Conference, Glasgow, 6 November 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>,,1945553,00.html#article_continue </li></ul><ul><li>“ The user is not broken” </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  10. 10. The Wisdom of The Crowds <ul><li>Or… </li></ul><ul><li>The Tyranny of the Mob? </li></ul><ul><li>What’s with all this collective intelligence web 2.0 stuff anyway? </li></ul>
  11. 13. Is Harriet Klausner real? <ul><li>She has her own website: http:// / </li></ul><ul><li>She has a RealName™ - an Amazon ‘Badge’ that indicates that Amazon has validated the identity of the person (via credit card) </li></ul><ul><li>The Wall Street Journal wrote about her </li></ul><ul><li>But if she writes a review for every book she reads (2 per day in her own words) then it’s taken her over 17 years to compile the 12,000 reviews on Amazon. </li></ul><ul><li>Amazon was founded in 1995… </li></ul><ul><li>Every book she reviews seems to get 4 or 5 stars (out of five) </li></ul><ul><li>And in one six day period – I counted over 89 book reviews from her </li></ul>
  12. 14. In which Digg gets gamed
  13. 15. And so to Wikipedia… great technology – shame about the content (& the evangelism) <ul><li>“ Is any single entry guaranteed to be right? No. Collectively, it’s the best single place to start an investigation or a search for knowledge. I think it’s the best [encyclopaedia] in the world.” </li></ul><ul><li>Chris Anderson – Author of “The Long Tail” </li></ul><ul><li>Interviewed at (Weighing the merits of the new webocracy Oct 15 th 2006) </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>A response to the Nature article “ Internet encyclopaedias go head to head,” Nature, December 15, 2005: 900-01 </li></ul>
  14. 16. Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow <ul><li>Eric S Raymond </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  15. 18. Mavens Connectors and Salesmen (What about the rest?)
  16. 19. The database of Intentions is… <ul><li>The aggregate results of every search ever entered, every result list ever tendered, and every path taken as a result. It lives in many places, but three or four places in particular hold a massive amount of this data (ie MSN, Google, and Yahoo). This information represents, in aggregate form, a place holder for the intentions of humankind - a massive database of desires, needs, wants, and likes that can be discovered, supoenaed, archived, tracked, and exploited to all sorts of ends. Such a beast has never before existed in the history of culture, but is almost guaranteed to grow exponentially from this day forward. This artifact can tell us extraordinary things about who we are and what we want as a culture. And it has the potential to be abused in equally extraordinary fashion. </li></ul><ul><li>John Battelle – Author of The Search </li></ul>
  17. 20. Run to the Hills – The Googlebot Will Destroy us All!
  18. 21. Mesur: MEtrics from Scholarly Usage of Resources <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  19. 22. peerspective: integrating social networks and web search <ul><li> </li></ul><ul><li>Peerspective – your Browse habits are indexed and collected with your colleagues browse habits and then when you search, Peerspective presents the two sets of results side-by-side. Social Networking + Search = user participatory Database of Intentions </li></ul>
  20. 23. Say hello to Watson – A glimpse of the future?
  21. 24. In the Information Economy everything is plentiful - except attention <ul><li>&quot;In a few years you may be able to carry the Library of Congress around in your hip pocket. So? You're never gonna read the Library of Congress. You'll die long before you access one tenth of one percent of it. What's important --- increasingly important --- is the process by which you figure out what to look at. This is the beginning of the real and true economics of information. Not who owns the books, who prints the books, who has the holdings. The crux here is access, not holdings. And not even access itself, but the signposts that tell you what to access --- what to pay attention to. In the Information Economy everything is plentiful --- except attention.&quot; Bruce Sterling </li></ul>
  22. 25. “ The future is here, it’s just unevenly distributed” <ul><li>William Gibson </li></ul>
  23. 26. Thank you <ul><li>And have yourselves a </li></ul><ul><li>Very Merry Christmas! </li></ul>