Cilip What Future For Digital Information 17 Nov 09


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  • This an elaboration of the AHRC’s definition of the research process, based around the defining of research questions, the specification of a research context (why are these qns important and how do they relate to what we already know or understand), the specifying of research methods, and the generation of research outputs So access to and dissemination of information are the lifeblood of the research process; and fundamental to the reasons why research is funded as a public good. And researchers are both producers and users of information; but they are on the whole little interested in exploiting IP in their own work; and worried about the consequences of others (from outside the research community) seeking to exploit their IP Aside 1 : there are tensions in public policy between the support of research as a public good, and many of the measures used by Govt of the success of the UK research base, which tend to focus on things such as patenting, licensing, spin-out companies etc. But some signs of increasing interest in knowledge transfer as distinct from exploitation Aside 2: there are issues about the definition (lack of) of research in copyright law, and the distinction in particular between commercial and non-commercial research. Not wholly in agreement with BA report here, since it seems to me that there is no real distinction in the doing of the research itself; rather, it is how the results of the research are exploited once the research has been done (focus on the post-hoc activity rather than the intention of the researcher in starting off the research)
  • Cilip What Future For Digital Information 17 Nov 09

    1. 1. The Researchers’ View: Disciplinary Differences and Changing Expectations Michael Jubb Research Information Network What Future for Digital Information 17 November 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. Researchers as consumers: what do they want to find and use?
    11. 11. E-journals are used <ul><ul><li>98% of titles used in 1o institutions over 4 month period </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>over HE sector as a whole, annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.7% </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Researchers in different disciplines behave differently
    13. 13. But per capita usage varies
    14. 14. Profile of journals varies too
    15. 15. Researchers in different disciplines behave differently
    16. 16. Information-seeking: 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>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>
    17. 17. Collecting and 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>
    18. 18. 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 exchange and sharing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>personal relationships and trust </li></ul>
    19. 19. Where, when and how to publish? <ul><li>key motivations in making choices </li></ul><ul><ul><li>register claim </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>maximise dissemination </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>peer recognition (and the rewards that flow from that) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>some tensions between effective dissemination and prestige </li></ul></ul><ul><li>publications as measures of performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>growing dominance of journal articles </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>but mixed messages from funders and institutions </li></ul></ul><ul><li>disciplinary differences </li></ul><ul><ul><li>monographs in the humanities </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>conference proceedings in engineering and computer science </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Disciplinary differences
    21. 21. Importance of monographs
    22. 22. Importance of book chapters
    23. 23. Importance of conference presentations
    24. 24. What’s published and what’s submitted to the RAE
    25. 25. Interim findings?
    26. 26. Web 2.0?
    27. 27. Futures?
    28. 28. Some tentative conclusions <ul><li>researchers vary </li></ul><ul><ul><li>by discipline, sub-discipline, subject area </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by role </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>by institution </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>
    29. 29. <ul><li>Questions? </li></ul><ul><li>Thanks </li></ul><ul><li>Michael Jubb </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>