On March 8-9th of this year, the Colloquium on Rethinking the Future of Scientific Communication was convened by Nader Rifai of Harvard Medical School and Stanford’s own Michael Keller and John Sack. There was an impressive roster including but not limited to: Anurag Acharaya, a distinguished engineer at Google Scholar; Catherine Mitchell, Director of Publishing for California Digital Library; Rick Luce, Vice Provost & Director of Libraries at Emory University along with several equally accomplished participants.
These industry leaders were brought together to identify innovative ways to harness the information technology explosion that allows researchers new ways to access the scholarly communication pipeline. New access options on the pipeline include everything from blogs to online datasets and ranges from manuscript submission to post-publication revisions. The participants highlighted ways to create continuity across the pipeline and providing better filtering for material. Discussion topics allowed them to emphasize the urgency need to keep pace with the revolutionary transformation of search and discovery by the popular press. Topics included:
➢ Filtering: coping with information overload
➢ Social bots (AI)
➢ Shared data and circles of trust between labs
➢ Linked data in support of research and scholarly communication
➢ Discovery of and contextualization of data
➢ Citizen science: calls for local and global thinking
➢ Annotation: linking comments back to content and context
Mike Keller addressed two topics in his opening remarks. He discussed web-based annotations specifically. Generally speaking these are annotations of individual lines or sentences of digital objects by scholars. Mr. Keller shared that Stanford University Libraries along with scholars from other universities are engaged in web-based annotations relating to digital avatars of medieval manuscripts.
Secondly, Mr. Keller discussed linked data, which involves transcoding from metadata or preparing RDF triples and URIs. This process enables navigation among countless information objects. If these are then transmitted to the global cloud and reconciled the process will lead to the establishment of new relationships as well as the reconciliation of ambiguities. For more information on this progressive colloquium, click here .