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New ways to communicate in science: perspectives from biodiversity research Vince Smith Natural History Museum, London [em...
Talk outline <ul><li>Background: trends in scholarly communication </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges for biodiversity science <...
Trend 1: the death of paper <ul><li>90% of all scholarly journals are online  (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Subscriptions are i...
Trend 2: the death “the” paper <ul><li>The article was (is) the unit of scholarly comm.  (350yrs) </li></ul><ul><li>Resear...
Communicating biodiversity science An enormous goal… <ul><li>1.8 M described spp.  (10M names) </li></ul><ul><li>300M page...
ViBRANT: virtual biodiversity research 15 17 partners in 9 countries (universities, museums & SMEs) Building a natively di...
Main publishing components of ViBRANT <ul><li>Publishing services   </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost journal infrastructure  </l...
Low cost journal infrastructure <ul><li>Scratchpads used to publish PDF  (1,000’s) </li></ul><ul><li>Independent editorial...
Community self publishing, beyond the PDF <ul><li>Scratchpads support many data types </li></ul><ul><li>Community editing ...
Third party data publishing Specimen records on Scratchpads Automatically pushed to 3rd party specialist data publishers >...
Third party data publishing Specimen records on Scratchpads Pushed by author to 3rd party specialist data publishers >18K ...
Next generation article publishing Paper assembled from Scratchpad database XML submission, peer review & marked-up public...
Incentives and metrics What makes a “publication” <ul><li>Registration (establish precedence) </li></ul><ul><li>Certificat...
Future directions <ul><li>Expand the unit of publication beyond the article </li></ul><ul><li>Build in mechanisms of rewar...
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New ways to communicate in science: perspectives from biodiversity research

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A presentation given at the co-ordination workshop on Open Access to Scientific Information on Wednesday 4th May 2011 at the EU DG Information Society & Media, Avenue de Beaulieu 25, Brussels.

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New ways to communicate in science: perspectives from biodiversity research

  1. 1. New ways to communicate in science: perspectives from biodiversity research Vince Smith Natural History Museum, London [email_address] ViBRANT Virtual Biodiversity
  2. 2. Talk outline <ul><li>Background: trends in scholarly communication </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges for biodiversity science </li></ul><ul><li>ViBRANT: virtualising biodiversity research </li></ul><ul><li>Approaches in ViBRANT: one size does not fit all </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Low cost journal infrastructure </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Community web publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Observation data publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Next gen. publishing </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Incentives & metrics </li></ul><ul><li>Future directions </li></ul>15
  3. 3. Trend 1: the death of paper <ul><li>90% of all scholarly journals are online (2008) </li></ul><ul><li>Subscriptions are increasingly ‘e’ only (UK > 75%) </li></ul><ul><li>Compound growth in ‘e’ usage 21% (UK HE 2003/4-2006/7) </li></ul><ul><li>Transition driven by cost (implications for niche publishers) </li></ul><ul><li>Open Access is not (the biggest) issue driving ‘e’ only </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Issues of confidence, scholarly culture & cost (VAT) </li></ul></ul>Data from “ E-only scholarly journals: overcoming the barriers” . RIN Nov. 2010 http://bit.ly/5uOSML 15
  4. 4. Trend 2: the death “the” paper <ul><li>The article was (is) the unit of scholarly comm. (350yrs) </li></ul><ul><li>Research practices have moved on </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Highly collaborative, data intensive & networked </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Scholarly communication has not adapted (e.g. the PDF) </li></ul><ul><li>Published “knowledge” hides “dark data” </li></ul><ul><li>Need a natively digital scholarly communication system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Must support end-to-end the lifecycle of data, information & knowledge </li></ul></ul>“ the future scholarly communication system should closely resemble—and be intertwined with—the scholarly endeavor itself, rather than being its after-thought or annex” Van de Sompel et al 2004. http://bit.ly/a3o9UX 15
  5. 5. Communicating biodiversity science An enormous goal… <ul><li>1.8 M described spp. (10M names) </li></ul><ul><li>300M pages (over last 250 years) </li></ul><ul><li>1.5-3B specimens </li></ul>A vast complex data set… Distributed contributors… <ul><li>4-6,000 scientists </li></ul><ul><li>30-40,000 “pro-amateurs” </li></ul><ul><li>Many more citizen scientists? </li></ul><ul><li>Inventory the Earth’s species </li></ul><ul><li>Document their relationships </li></ul><ul><li>“ Publish” & apply these data </li></ul>15
  6. 6. ViBRANT: virtual biodiversity research 15 17 partners in 9 countries (universities, museums & SMEs) Building a natively digital scholarly communication system for European biodiversity research ( Interoperability, workflows, service sharing & information modeling)
  7. 7. Main publishing components of ViBRANT <ul><li>Publishing services </li></ul><ul><li>Low cost journal infrastructure </li></ul><ul><li>Community web publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Observation data publishing </li></ul><ul><li>Next gen. publishing </li></ul>15 <ul><li>User access point for ViBRANT services </li></ul><ul><li>Hosted websites for taxonomists </li></ul><ul><li>Ecosystem of communities (230+) </li></ul><ul><li>Research & publication platform </li></ul><ul><li>Modular (Drupal) & flexible </li></ul><ul><li>Supports the taxonomic workflow </li></ul><ul><li>3,000 users, 300k pages (unpaid, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Index of a database network for primary biodiversity data </li></ul><ul><li>Mainly museum specimens & field observations </li></ul><ul><li>>276M data records in 12k datasets by 336 publishers </li></ul>Specialist, low cost, innovative, openaccess biodiversity science publisher
  8. 8. Low cost journal infrastructure <ul><li>Scratchpads used to publish PDF (1,000’s) </li></ul><ul><li>Independent editorial control & peer review </li></ul><ul><li>Free to publish, open access, no page limits </li></ul><ul><li>ISBN’s, but no doi’s, PubMed or ISI impact </li></ul><ul><li>No online submission (e-mail), just a static PDFs </li></ul>15 http://scratchpads.eu
  9. 9. Community self publishing, beyond the PDF <ul><li>Scratchpads support many data types </li></ul><ul><li>Community editing & community peer review </li></ul><ul><li>Free, open access, Creative Commons, highly used </li></ul><ul><li>Author reputation governs quality </li></ul><ul><li>No wider publication (e.g. formal data repositories) </li></ul>Observations, specimens, maps, DNA sequences, phylogenetic trees, image galleries, identification keys, species descriptions, checklists, bibliographies, biographies… 15 http://scratchpads.eu
  10. 10. Third party data publishing Specimen records on Scratchpads Automatically pushed to 3rd party specialist data publishers >18K specimen records (local small scale coverage) >276M specimen records (worldwide coverage) 15 http://scratchpads.eu > http://gbif.org
  11. 11. Third party data publishing Specimen records on Scratchpads Pushed by author to 3rd party specialist data publishers >18K specimen records (local small scale coverage) >56k species assessed, 18k threatened (worldwide coverage) 15 http://scratchpads.eu > http://iucn.org
  12. 12. Next generation article publishing Paper assembled from Scratchpad database XML submission, peer review & marked-up publication by Pensoft 5-step workflow for selecting data, adding metadata & previewing Published in Zookeys & Phytokeys (worldwide coverage) 15 http://scratchpads.eu > http://pensoft.net doi:10.3897/zookeys.50.539 PDF HTML XML
  13. 13. Incentives and metrics What makes a “publication” <ul><li>Registration (establish precedence) </li></ul><ul><li>Certification (establish validity, e.g. peer review) </li></ul><ul><li>Awareness (findability & promotion) </li></ul><ul><li>Archiving (preservation) </li></ul><ul><li>Rewarding (credit, e.g impact metrics) </li></ul><ul><li>Traditional reward via article metrics (Jnl. Impt. factor, H-Index…) </li></ul><ul><li>Need to reward other units based on citation & reuse </li></ul><ul><li>Build in a “reward hub” with author-ID </li></ul><ul><li>Paves the way for social acceptance </li></ul>15 ViBRANT Virtual Biodiversity
  14. 14. Future directions <ul><li>Expand the unit of publication beyond the article </li></ul><ul><li>Build in mechanisms of reward </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build in metrics of citation & reuse via Author-ID </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Support for a wide range of synthetic datasets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxonomic checklists, identification keys, species threat assessments… </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Formally “publish” metadata descriptions of datasets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide a mechanism for citation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incentivize authors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>traditional metrics of tracking (DOI’s, ISI impact) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Special Pensoft journal for data publication in 2011 </li></ul><ul><li>One size does NOT fit all </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist needs essential for social acceptance </li></ul>15
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