Tag Archives: science

Improved collaboration is needed among…

subject librarians.  This opinion piece just came out in Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship. It was in the Viewpoints section.

Needed: Improved Collaboration Among Subject Librarians” by Claire A. Clemens and Valerie K. Tucci.

From the Introduction of the article:

Let’s work together! The library literature abounds with articles on embedded academic librarians – librarians who have strong working relations with faculty. What is often not addressed, however, is the need for partnering between subject librarians. The typical academic library appears to have subject librarians entrenched in information silos with invisible boundaries that other subject librarians dare not cross. The image of librarianship as a “siloed” profession seems particularly acute at academic institutions which have transitioned recently from normal schools producing K-12 educators to liberal arts colleges emphasizing the sciences and engineering. A residual opinion often exists at these institutions, namely that the two goals — to develop future scientists and mathematicians and to produce future science and mathematics teachers — are in conflict. This viewpoint article addresses this problem and is a call for more collaboration among subject librarians with a goal of an enhanced level of service to students and faculty and the overarching mission of the institution.

New JASIS&T article on citation flows

Citation flows in the zones of influence of scientific collaborations (Subscription required to view the full text.)

Abstract — Domestic citation to papers from the same country and the greater citation impact of documents involving international collaboration are two phenomena that have been extensively studied and contrasted. Here, however, we show that it is not so much a national bias, but that papers have a greater impact on their immediate environments, an impact that is diluted as that environment grows. For this reason, the greatest biases are observed in countries with a limited production. Papers that involve international collaboration have a greater impact in general, on the one hand, because they have multiple “immediate environments,” and on the other because of their greater quality or prestige. In short, one can say that science knows no frontiers. Certainly there is a greater impact on the authors’ immediate environment, but this does not necessarily have to coincide with their national environments, which fade in importance as the collaborative environment expands.

Call for for papers & panel sessions, 24th Polar Libraries Colloquy

The 24th Polar Libraries Colloquy (PLC24) will be held June 11-14 in Boulder, Colorado.

PLC24 welcomes all topics that apply to polar libraries or information.  For instance:
* How has your institution/collection/staff/mission/audience evolved?
* Preservation of the cultural heritage – collection management of photographs, films and oral recordings
* Has your research focus changed?
* Outreach of libraries and archives – use of new technologies for teaching and public interactions
* New ways of bringing your collections to the masses
* New ways of bringing the masses to your collections
* Adapting the library to 21st century needs
* Data and metadata curation
* Collaborations and exchanges
Or suggest your own topic for a session!

New journal–The Journal of eScience Librarianship

I found out about this new journal today, The Journal of eScience Librarianship (JESLIB). The publication “is an open access, peer-reviewed journal that advances the theory and practice of librarianship with a special focus on services related to data-driven research in the physical, biological, and medical sciences.

They have two articles on collaboration in the first issue.

Collaboration tools of mathematicians

Kristine Fowler from the U. of Minnesota wrote “Mathematicians’ Views on Current Publishing Issues: A Survey of Researchers” for the journal, Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship.  Within the article, she noted:

Research Collaboration Tools and Methods

E-mail and face-to-face meetings are by far the most popular communication mechanisms for research collaborations, used usually/always by 89% and 68% of respondents, respectively. Use of telephone/Internet phone is the most variable, with roughly a third using it usually/always and a third using it rarely/never. None of the other collaboration methods given, ranging from posted letters to wikis, are frequently used by more than a few; in fact, 68-77% use them rarely or never.

Forbes Magazine weighs in on the book, Reinventing Discovery

Alex Knapp wrote a recent article, “Internet Collaboration Will Lead to More Innovation.”  He starts off the article discussing Michael Nielson’s new book Reinventing Discovery, which is about “the use of online tools to transform the way science is done.” In the article, he noted:

One of the things that’s fascinating to me about the ability of the internet with respect to science is just this – more conversations, quicker feedback. I think that a perfect case in point is the OPERA group’s announcement that they’d measured neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. Their preliminary findings led to a slew of criticisms, commentary, and discussions of the implications the truth of the findings would have for physics. That in turn is leading the OPERA group to conduct a new, more refined experiment.

And this all happened in the space of a month!

Reinventing Discovery is a great book.  I highly recommend it.

World scientific collaboration

Ali Gazni, Cassidy R. Sugimoto, and Fereshteh Didegah wrote “Mapping world scientific collaboration: Authors, institutions, and countries” for JASIS&T. (Subscription required to download the full text.)

Abstract – International collaboration is being heralded as the hallmark of contemporary scientific production. Yet little quantitative evidence has portrayed the landscape and trends of such collaboration. To this end, 14,000,000 documents indexed in Thomson Reuters’s Web of Science (WoS) were studied to provide a state-of-the-art description of scientific collaborations across the world. The results indicate that the number of authors in the largest research teams have not significantly grown during the past decade; however, the number of smaller research teams has seen significant increases in growth. In terms of composition, the largest teams have become more diverse than the latter teams and tend more toward interinstitutional and international collaboration. Investigating the size of teams showed large variation between fields. Mapping scientific cooperation at the country level reveals that Western countries situated at the core of the map are extensively cooperating with each other. High-impact institutions are significantly more collaborative than others. This work should inform policy makers, administrators, and those interested in the progression of scientific collaboration.

Two articles in the new JASIS&T

Here are two of the new articles in the most recent issue of JASIS&T. (Subscription required to read.)

When transparency and collaboration collide: The USA Open Data program” by Alon Peled

President Obama’s inaugural flagship Open Data program emphasizes the values of transparency, participation, and collaboration in governmental work. The Open Data performance data analysis, published here for the first time, proposes that most federal agencies have adopted a passive–aggressive attitude toward this program by appearing to cooperate with the program while in fact effectively ignoring it. The analysis further suggests that a tiny group of agencies are the only “real players” in the Data.gov web arena. This research highlights the contradiction between Open Data’s transparency goal (“All data must be freed”) and federal agencies’ goal of collaborating with each other through data trade. The research also suggests that agencies comprehended that Open Data is likely to exacerbate three critical, back-office data-integration problems: inclusion, confusion, and diffusion. The article concludes with a proposal to develop an alternative Federal Information Marketplace (FIM) to incentivize agencies to improve data sharing.

The relationship between acquaintanceship and coauthorship in scientific collaboration networks” by Alberto Pepe

This article examines the relationship between acquaintanceship and coauthorship patterns in a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional, geographically distributed research center. Two social networks are constructed and compared: a network of coauthorship, representing how researchers write articles with one another, and a network of acquaintanceship, representing how those researchers know each other on a personal level, based on their responses to an online survey. Statistical analyses of the topology and community structure of these networks point to the importance of small-scale, local, personal networks predicated upon acquaintanceship for accomplishing collaborative work in scientific communities.

An algorithm to map scholarly research needed collaboration

This article appeared in a recent Chronicle of Higher Education.  “Citation by Citation, New Maps Chart Hot Research and Scholarship’s Hidden Terrain” By Jennifer Howard (Subscription may be required.)

A passion for information theory and network analysis, in their own fields and beyond, brought the two biologists together with Mr. Rosvall, who is an assistant professor of physics at Umeå University, in Sweden. It’s a collaborative effort. According to Mr. West, Mr. Rosvall and Mr. Bergstrom did much of the theoretical work that produced the mapping equation, the mathematical approach that underlies much of the team’s current research. That work led to the development of InfoMap, an algorithm based on the map equation, that the team uses to build visualizations and maps of science.