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Bloomsbury Conf No 3 Presentn 26 Jun 09

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Michael Jubb's Presenation to the 2009 Bloomsbury Conference

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Bloomsbury Conf No 3 Presentn 26 Jun 09

  1. 1. What are Researchers Doing? Michael Jubb Research Information Network 3 rd Bloomsbury E-Publishing Conference 26 June 2009
  2. 2. The Role of Information in Research: a crude model <ul><li>defining a set of research questions, issues or problems </li></ul><ul><li>identifying relevant existing knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>accessing, analysing, and evaluating existing knowledge and data </li></ul><ul><li>designing a methodology for generating new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>applying the methodology and discovering new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>combining old and new knowledge to answer research questions and to enhance understanding </li></ul><ul><li>disseminating the outcomes of research in a form that is both sustainable and retrievable </li></ul>
  3. 3. Information in the Research Process <ul><li>gather </li></ul><ul><li>evaluate </li></ul><ul><li>create </li></ul><ul><li>analyse </li></ul><ul><li>manage </li></ul><ul><li>transform </li></ul><ul><li>present and communicate </li></ul>
  4. 4. The Research Process: Animal Genetics
  5. 5. The Research Process: Transgenesis and Embryology
  6. 6. The Research Process: Epidemiology
  7. 7. The Research Process: Neuroscience
  8. 8. The Research Process <ul><li>differs even in apparently similar areas of work, and also between teams……… </li></ul>
  9. 9. Composition of Research Groups <ul><li>big science vs small science </li></ul><ul><ul><li>small teams typical in life sciences </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>amorphous and overlapping associations with other teams </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ primary research engagements tend to be local” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>divisions of expertise, labour and knowledge exchange </li></ul><ul><ul><li>PI/leader, senior researchers/lecturers, associates, computational specialists, postdocs, PhDs, technicians……… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>dangers of surveys that look at individual responses divorced from context </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Different roles and activities: who or where is your information coming from?
  11. 11. Information Access: some generalisations <ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><ul><li>lack of concern about limitations </li></ul></ul><ul><li>range of other sites and databases </li></ul><ul><ul><li>limited awareness of what is available </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>limited time and “learning costs” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>find a service you like, and stick with it </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>importance of (very) domain-specific and (highly) specialist services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ informal discussion” a key source of information and advice </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>relatively little use of blogs, wikis etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>some concerns about barriers to access to full text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>resistance to requirement to pay </li></ul></ul><ul><li>multiple platforms an inhibiter to take-up and use </li></ul><ul><ul><li>even Grid users want to work simply on the desktop </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Different roles and activities: types of information being created
  13. 13. Creating information: some points about data <ul><li>a language problem: what do we mean by data and information? </li></ul><ul><li>most researchers spend much of their time searching for, gathering, organising, and analysing data </li></ul><ul><li>but producing – and sharing - data is not the primary objective </li></ul><ul><ul><li>general assumption that data do not have intrinsic meaning until analysed, interpreted, described……. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>ownership and protection </li></ul><ul><ul><li>control over knowledge and information </li></ul></ul><ul><li>data curation/stewardship/management important to researchers only (at best) intermittently </li></ul><ul><li>belief that only researchers themselves can have the knowledge necessary to curate their data </li></ul><ul><ul><li>data management plans required by funders, but not much sign of adoption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>role of publishers? </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Different roles and activities: who or where will information be shared with and how?
  15. 15. Sharing and disseminating information <ul><li>local altruism and reciprocity </li></ul><ul><li>sharp distinctions between </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sharing internally and externally </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>formal and informal sharing/dissemination </li></ul></ul><ul><li>personal relationships and trust </li></ul>
  16. 16. Where, when and how to publish? <ul><li>key motivation is recognition by peers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>peer review critically important </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>recognition measured by citation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>career advancement </li></ul></ul><ul><li>secondary motivation is maximising dissemination </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tension between targeting best audience and highest quality journal </li></ul></ul><ul><li>increasing collaboration more co-authorship </li></ul><ul><ul><li>significant rise in proportion of multi-authored works between 2003 and 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>research assessment affects choices </li></ul><ul><li>signs of increase in productivity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>small rise in no. of articles per author 2003-2008 </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. Productivity?
  18. 18. Publications by type
  19. 19. Importance of types of output
  20. 20. Importance of professional journals
  21. 21. Importance of monographs
  22. 22. Importance of book chapters
  23. 23. Importance of conference presentations
  24. 24. Citation behaviours
  25. 25. Citation behaviours
  26. 26. Citation behaviours UK
  27. 27. Citation behaviours UK
  28. 28. Interim findings?
  29. 29. Interim findings?
  30. 30. Web 2.0?
  31. 31. Futures?
  32. 32. Some tentative conclusions <ul><li>researchers vary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by discipline </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by role </li></ul></ul><ul><li>discovery and access still present challenges </li></ul><ul><li>attitudes towards research data are not what funders, employers (and publishers?) think they should be </li></ul><ul><li>we need to know more about citation behaviour </li></ul><ul><li>researchers’ views of the importance of different types of output do not always correlate with what and how they publish </li></ul><ul><li>Web 2.0 and related developments are small scale as yet, but have the potential to take off </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Jubb </li></ul><ul><li>www.rin.ac.uk </li></ul>

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