“Non-expert readers are thus typically unable to understand scientific articles, unless they are curated and made more accessible by third parties who understand the concepts and ideas contained within them. With this in mind, a team of researchers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center in the University of Texas at Austin (TACC), Oregon State University (OSU) and the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) have set out to develop a tool that can automatically extract important phrases and terminology from research papers in order to provide useful definitions and enhance their readability….”
Abstract: In this article I call for more recognition of and scholarly engagement with public, volunteer digital humanities projects, using the example of LibriVox.org to consider what public, sustainable, digital humanities work can look like beyond the contexts of institutional sponsorship. Thousands of volunteers are using LibriVox to collaboratively produce free audiobook versions of texts in the US public domain. The work of finding, selecting, and preparing texts to be digitized and published in audio form is complex and slow, and not all of this labor is ultimately visible, valued, or rewarded. Drawing on an ethnographic study of 12 years of archived discourse and documentation, I interrogate digital traces of the processes by which several LibriVox versions of Anne of Green Gables have come into being, watching for ways in which policies and infrastructure have been influenced by variously visible and invisible forms of work. Making visible the intricate, unique, archived experiences of the crowdsourcing community of LibriVox volunteers and their tools adds to still-emerging discussions about how to value extra-institutional, public, distributed digital humanities work.
As access to open data is increasing, researchers gain the opportunity to build integrated datasets and to conduct more powerful statistical analyses. However, using open access data presents challenges for researchers in understanding the data. Visuals allow researchers to address these challenges by facilitating a greater understanding of the information available.
This paper illustrates how visuals can address the challenges that researchers face when using open access data, such as: (1) becoming familiar with the data, (2) identifying patterns and trends within the data, and (3) determining how to integrate data from multiple studies.
This paper uses data from an integrative data analysis study that combined data from prospective studies of children’s responses to four natural disasters: Hurricane Andrew, Hurricane Charley, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Ike. The integrated dataset assessed hurricane exposure, posttraumatic stress symptoms, anxiety, social support, and life events among 1707 participants (53.61% female). The children’s ages ranged from 7 to 16 years (M?=?9.61, SD?=?1.60).
Visuals serve as an effective method for understanding new and unfamiliar datasets.
In response to the growth of open access data, researchers must develop the skills necessary to create informative visuals. Most research-based graduate programs do not require programming-based courses for graduation. More opportunities for training in programming languages need to be offered so that future researchers are better prepared to understand new data. This paper discusses implications of current graduate course requirements and standard journal practices on how researchers visualize data.
Abstract: AccessLabs are workshops with two simultaneous motivations, achieved through direct citizen-scientist pairings: (1) to decentralise research skills so that a broader range of people are able to access/use scientific research, and (2) to expose science researchers to the difficulties of using their research as an outsider, creating new open access advocates. Five trial AccessLabs have taken place for policy makers, media/journalists, marine sector participants, community groups, and artists. The act of pairing science academics with local community members helps build understanding and trust between groups at a time when this relationship appears to be under increasing threat from different political and economic currents in society. Here, we outline the workshop motivations, format, and evaluation, with the aim that others can build on the methods developed.
“Established in 2006, Twitter is currently one of the most powerful social networking platforms for scientists across the world. In a 2014 survey by Nature, about 13% of scientists reported that they regularly use Twitter mainly to follow discussion on research-related issues . I recently asked my Twitter followers to tell me the things they enjoy about ‘Science Twitter’ and/or the scientists they followed. After over a hundred responses primarily from scientists, the top two responses (> 35%) related to how scientists showcase their human side – their passion and struggles – and the sense of community established as a result. A recent study found that most followers of scientists on Twitter are scientists themselves , which is reflected in the responses I obtained. While this is great for certain aspects of science communication, it limits the power of outreaching to a wider community. However, the same study showed that the types of followers became more diverse as the number of followers increased beyond a certain threshold. While not every scientist has the interest or resources to achieve thousands of followers, there are certain ways in which scientists can improve their presence and experience in social media. Here are my top five tips on how to do this: …”
“Just as patients’ access to journals is important,1 so is the access of doctors in developing countries. Here, institutional access to scientific literature is rare, unlike in most Western countries. Subscribing to four or five ‘‘must have’’ journals, even when subsidised, costs two or three months of salary. Though subscription rates are understandable, they should not stop someone gaining desired knowledge. The excitement when a new study is published on a topic of interest soon vanishes when you know you can’t afford it….
The biggest service journals could do for patients and medical society is to increase subsidies or make access completely free to facilitate research in the developing world. Perhaps in a few years’ time, when young doctors see a great publication their next thought will be, “This is great. I’m going to learn a lot from this paper” rather than “If I buy this, will I be able to pay the rent?” “
“In my discipline (e-health literacy), I often find myself debating whether abstracts being freely available to patients is of any real benefit. For researchers and clinicians, abstracts are a great timesaver—enabling a “flick-through” of the copious amounts of new articles for timely follow up. They may also be used by treating physicians and healthcare teams as a starting point for treatment planning and research. But abstracts are not designed to be an independent pathway to inform health decisions for patients lacking the appropriate professional expertise and health literacy skills….”
[Is this an argument against OA for abstracts, or for OA to full-text articles?]
Abstract: Advocates of the Open Access (OA) movement have been fighting for free and unfettered access to research output since the early 1990s. Open access is a crucial element of a fair, efficient scholarly communication system where all are able to find, interpret, and use the results of publicly-funded research. Universal open access is more possible now than ever before, thanks to networked technologies and the development of open scholarship policies. But what happens after access to research is provided? In this paper I argue that versioning scholarship across varying modes and formats would move scholarly communication from a straightforward open access system to a more engaging environment for multiple communities.
[From the body of the paper:] “Here is my suggestion for simultaneously upholding important traditions of humanistic scholarship (e.g. peer review, long-form writing), as well as taking advantage of digital technologies, while committing to open scholarship as a de facto public good and ethical imperative of higher education: versioning. Ideas gain depth and traction as they are brought to light, discussed, reviewed, and refuted. This process of refinement is how we develop convincing arguments. Instead of thinking of “lowbrow” or opular communication mechanisms as outside of the scholarly communication process, or else as a public record or starting point for an idea, what if we considered multiple versions of an argument as equally important and requiring of our sustained effort and attention? The germ of any research output is the main argument or theory—what if that germ was sprouted in various venues and forms? One could simultaneously or sequentially publish a long-form argument via open access academic journal article; work with a journalist or writer colleague to explore the same argument in a more public, online venue—revised as appropriate for such a modality; post a truncated version of the argument on a personal blog as an easy referent; and create short, pithy social media encapsulations of the argument as well. Each mode of engagement will engender different reactions and feedback, as different audiences will collaborate and create knowledge at each interaction point (Arbuckle & Stewart 2017)….”
” “For research to be really impactful, the public has to be involved. They need to understand the research and we need to help to connect the research to what people care about,” says Imran Khan, Head of Public Engagement at Wellcome Trust in the UK, one of the world’s largest research funders. But do the public wish to be involved in science? The German and Swedish Science Barometers, the EU-project ORION Open Science European public attitudes survey and the Wellcome Trust Global Monitor have all asked this question….
After the presentations, the participants discussed in smaller groups why and how the public should be involved in science. They then shared their thoughts both orally and by using an online tool. According to the workshop participants, the public should be involved in science because:
- Science will have an impact on their lives.
- We need the views of the public.
- Knowledge gives insights and increases trust. It’s a base for democracy.
- It can improve quality and broaden perspectives.
- They pay for it!
But how can we interest the public to get involved? Some suggestions from the participants in the workshop included:
- Must depart from their own interest and relevance.
- The wow effect – science is fun!
- Create arenas for connection between researchers and the public.
- Show how research affects society and how you can contribute.
- Make participating fun and giving….”
Abstract: In this paper we describe our current efforts towards building a framework that extends the functionality of an Open Access Repository by implementing processes to incorporate the ongoing trends in social media into the context of a digital collection. We refer to these processes collectively as the Social Media Engine. The purpose of our framework is twofold: first, we propose to challenge some of the preconceived notions of digital libraries by making repositories more dynamic; and second, by challenging this notion we want to promote public engagement and open scholarship. As a work in progress, we believe that a real challenge lies in investigating the implications that these two points introduce within the context of the humanities.