This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Contact to report an issue.

The first official day of ScienceOnline2010 began with early morning registration and breakfast, where I had my first encounter with doughnut muffins. Who knew such treats existed?! For those who are curious, it was shaped like a muffin, with dense cake-like dough, entirely covered in sugar. Not a bad start to my day!

To give a bit of context, ScienceOnline2010 is a small conference, with 267 attendees (thanks Bora for attendee #s correction!). All events are held at Sigma Xi in RTP, so even though you certainly don’t interact with everyone, you generally see them, and I bumped into fellow ZSR attendee Sarah Jeong several times. This was my third year at the conference, and it was exciting to reconnect with folks I met in previous years. I was also pleased to see that there were more librarians in attendance – and presenting – this year!

There were three sessions before lunch (provided by Saladelia and delicious as always!), and three in the afternoon; links to the wiki page for each session plus highlights from my notes are below. If you have questions about anything, ask!

From Blog to Book: Using Blogs and Social Networks to Develop Your Professional WritingTom Levenson, Brian Switek and Rebecca Skloot

  • use your blog as as writing lab to develop your voice and your audience, as well as a promotional platform
  • reach out to other blogs with audiences who otherwise wouldn’t hear of your book early
  • getting book deals often relies on happenstance of who you know, who you meet; online presence increases chances
  • finding YOUR voice is more important than your subject matter in some respects
  • who do you read? if you aspire to follow one of their paths, read from professional stance to analyze what they do
  • Q: can you make any money? A: welcome to our hobby!

Science in the CloudJohn Hogenesch

  • more data from more sources requires more collaboration, as well as massive and ever-growing computational resources
  • academe typically responds by buying storage and clusters, which works great…for a while; too dependent upon unstable variables: IT staff “demigods”, facilities, depreciation, usage (can’t see into future)
  • cloud computing offers three principle services
    • software as a service (SAAS)
    • infrastructure as a service (IAAS)
    • platform as a service (PAAS)
  • familiar SAAS use case: email
    • evolved from server-side (Pine) to client (Eudora) to cloud (Gmail)
  • SAAS collaboration examples include Basecamp, Google Groups, Google Wave, wikis, Google Docs
  • IAAS use case: RNA sequencing
    • problems include sheer magnitude of data; scope of problem only getting bigger
    • BLAT on Amazon Web service one solution
  • PAAS use case: publishing in the cloud
  • Q: is cloud computing opening research to others who don’t have access? A: yes because in-house data clusters are not easily distributed or shared
  • some concern that funders are less willing to award grants that ask for money for cloud computing costs, even though those costs may be lower than implementing a local data solution, as there are privacy concerns as well as differences in capital costs vs. design costs

Legal Aspects of Publishing, Sharing and Blogging ScienceVictoria Stodden

  • copyright is a strong barrier to scientists’ ideal sharing context
  • Q: are blog comments under the copyright of the commenter or blog author? A: the commenter holds copyright, which makes moderation/removal of inappropriate comments by blog author potential copyright violation, unless there is a clear statement/disclaimer exerting non-exclusive license to do so
  • in the UK, blog comment moderation opens the author to libel responsibilities
  • if you don’t want copyright protection, you must actively dis-avail through licenses, such as those available through Creative Commons (CC)
  • CC licenses do not clarify/define “noncommercial”
  • patents are also a barrier to sharing, as you cannot publish about potentially patentable work until patent is secured or you risk not getting the patent
  • Stodden is advocating the use of attribution-only licenses for all elements of scientific work, including code and data, so it can be reused at will
  • stewardship of raw data, both archiving and sharing, already huge issues and it will only get worse

Scientists! What Can Your Librarian Do For You?Stephanie Willen Brown and Dorothea Salo

  • researchers spend too much time poking around in different places (i.e., PubMed, Google, Google Scholar) trying to access full text
  • direct quote from researcher in room: “if I cannot get it fast and free, I won’t read it” – authors need to think about this as they write
  • rather than ask how to get scientists to library, librarians need to turn the question around and ask how to get into scientists’ environment
  • researcher in the room made suggestions for librarians to offer publishing support that includes:
    • data on number of colleagues at institutional also publishing in x-journal
    • citation style knowledge/assistance
    • submission requirement knowledge/assistance
  • scientists’ ideas about librarians calcified either as walking wallets for journals or bun-toting shushers; instead we need to be known as information policy on legs
  • conversations with colleagues are important for bridging gaps between librarians and scientists
  • if you are concerned about data management, talk to your librarian NOW
  • if your institution won’t accept non-peer reviewed literature in the institutional repository (IR), or if it doesn’t have an IR, talk to your librarian NOW
  • institutional nature of IRs forced on us a bit by publishers who require posting to institutional servers
  • IR point of failure on both ends – librarian and researcher – is ingest; we have a long way to go to improve

Open Access Publishing and Freeing the Scientific Literature (or Why Freedom is about more than just not paying for things)Jonathan Eisen

  • one impediment to openness is institutions’ desire to recover money from research investment
  • fair use is size dependent when thinking of open educational resources (e.g., courses on iTunes U)
  • institutional archives/IRs serve many purposes beyond journal articles, so they need multiple outlets
  • how we pay for access in movement to openness will not always be equitable

Online Reference ManagersJohn Dupuis and Christina Pikas moderating, with Kevin Emamy, Jason Hoyt, Trevor Owens and Michael Habib (Scopus)

(NOTE: I attended this session to learn about other free programs besides Zotero, so my notes below are just highlights of each. Q&A with the panel didn’t provide any enlightenment beyond that which Giz brought to our Zotero class last week.)

  • CiteULike (sponsored by Springer)
    • tracks social bookmarking of research papers
    • can copy papers from others’ libraries
  • Mendeley
    • similar to – surveys what you download and makes suggestions
    • pulls metadata to aggregate readership statistics
  • Zotero
    • can mine your own research history
    • drag and drop references into text fields and citation is auto-generated
  • 2collab (Elsevier)
    • not currently open to users due to spam
    • hoped it would be discovery tool closely related to Scopus and ScienceDirest
    • author IDs (from databases) populate author profiles on 2collab