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Open Science

Lightbeam for Firefox: find out who’s tracking you online

29 Oct, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

As the internet continues to evolve, issues surrounding privacy remain a common cause for concern. There is growing anxiety among internet users of how their online activities are tracked for commercial purposes. The business model behind this is generally to aggregate a large number of users in order to sell that audience’s aggregate attention, usually in the form of advertising.  After all, “If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.”

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eLife Lens: new article layout making the most of the Web

16 Aug, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

There is general consensus in the publishing community that online documents have too long been like yesterday’s paper—flat, lifeless, inactive. For many years, we have been trying to move away from ‘paper under glass’ and reconceptualise scholarly output using the technologies available now.

Elsevier have invested significant time in their Article of the Future project, many have experimented with semantic publishing, and services such as Utopia Docs have attempted to breathe new life into PDFs. Now the innovative open access journal, eLife, has released a new tool in the hope of making articles easier to read online for researchers, authors and editors alike: eLife Lens.

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Mozilla Science Lab: “use the open web to shape science’s future”

21 Jun, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

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The launch of Mozilla’s Science Lab last week is a departure from the kind of projects that the ‘open source‘ advocating organisation usually involves itself with. The initiative is designed to bridge the gap between the open web community and scientific researchers, so that they can share ideas, tools and best practices on how the web should be used to solve problems and improve research techniques.

Mozilla’s mission statement for the Science Lab puts forth the goal of increasing the adoption of the internet and related technologies within different branches of science.

Even though the web was invented by scientists, we still have not yet seen it change scientific practice to nearly the same extent as we’ve seen in other areas like media, education and business. For all of the incredible discoveries of the last century, science is still largely rooted in the ‘analog’ age. Credit systems in science are still largely based around “papers,” for example, and as a result researchers are often discouraged from sharing, learning, reusing, and adopting the type of open and collaborative learning that the web makes possible.

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Hack the BMJ on 6th & 7th July

31 May, 13 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

Since 1840, BMJ has been a trusted voice in the development of improved healthcare. We are proud of our heritage but also believe in looking forward. Our objective remains to support medical professionals and organisations in continuously improving the delivery of quality healthcare. By sharing our information, analytical tools and technology during an upcoming hack day (6-7 July), BMJ seeks to help healthcare professionals and organisations improve the care they provide.

A crowd of people ready to start Hack the Government 2013 with Rewired State

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A new species of lab website?

5 Jul, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

In response to static, neglected lab websites that have become the norm, a Princeton scientist (Ethan O. Perlstein) has personally invested in the design of a site that will inspire fellow academics to openly share their research. In addition, with his academic appointment coming to an end, http://perlsteinlab.com/ is a great way to establish a personal brand.

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Total-Impact: tool for researchers combines traditional and alternative metrics

24 Feb, 12 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

“As the volume of academic literature explodes, scholars rely on filters to select the most relevant and significant sources from the rest,” the altmetrics manifesto argues. “Unfortunately, scholarship’s three main filters for importance are failing.” Peer review “has served scholarship well” but has become slow and unwieldy and rewards conventional thinking. Citation-counting measures such as the h-index take too long to accumulate. And the impact factor of journals gets misapplied as a way to assess an individual researcher’s performance, which it wasn’t designed to do.

There are various tools that provide an easy interface for finding out readership metrics for a researcher. Until recently, none of these allowed users to choose what is included or enabled non-traditional artefacts to be combined with traditional ones. This is where Total-Impact, a new offering from the altmetric community, comes in. more…

Future knowledge containers and death of the Semantic Web? Innovative talk at STM seminar

9 Dec, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

At last week’s STM Innovations Seminar, thought leaders from a range of disciplines converged to discuss the latest developments in publishing.

The opening keynote speaker was Richard Padley, MD of Semantico, who announced to a surprised audience that the Semantic Web was in fact dead. Next up was Herbert Van de Sompel, who unveiled his work on recreating the web-based scholarly record as it was at a certain point in time; a plug-in called Memento. This allows the user to see resources as they existed in the past (including citations that point to archived copies of papers, if available). Anita de Waard, Disruptive Technologies Director for Elsevier, shared a number of recent projects that aim to accelerate the revolution in executable research. Of particular interest was the Claim-Evidence Network in Medicine, which will aggregate data to automatically update clinical decision support systems (CDS) using linked data. more…

Share your genotype: openSNP wins Mendeley/PLoS API Binary Battle

2 Dec, 11 | by Claire Bower, Digital Comms Manager, @clairebower

The winner of the Mendeley/PLoS API Binary Battle has been announced, after two months of shortlisting, public voting and expert panel deliberation (by the likes of Werner Vogels, Juan Enriquez, Tim O’Reilly, James Powell, and John Wilbanks).

The overall grand prize of the 2011 Mendeley-PLoS Binary Battle, receiving $10,001 and $1,000 of Amazon Web Service credits, went to openSNP.

openSNP allows customers of direct-to-customer genetic tests to publish their test results, find others with similar genetic variations, learn more about their results, find the latest primary literature on their variations and help scientists to find new associations.

openSNP is a community-driven platform for publicly sharing genetic information, designed to enable crowdsourcing of associations between genetic traits and the physical manifestation of those traits, such as eye colour or propensity for some diseases. With openSNP, you can share your personal genome from 23andMe (personal genomics and biotechnology company helping customers understand their own genetic information) or deCODEme (biopharmaceutical company) to find the latest relevant research and let scientists discover new genetic associations. more…

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