Information, data and technology at ScienceOnline2012

ScienceOnline2012 is the conference that explores how the Web is changing the way science is communicated, taught and done.

While communicators, being quite communicative by nature, tend to communicate a lot about what they do at our meetings, do not forget the more quiet types, those who make new tools that make it easier for scientists to do their work – to gather and analyze data, network with each other, share data and information, and more. The pioneers of Open Source, Open Access and Open Data movements, the developers and promoters of new ways of doing science. This has been an important aspect of our conference from the very first one. And this year, there are more sessions, workshops and demos than ever – some really great stuff!

Interested in this? You still have a chance. There are 25 seats left, and those will be open for registration tonight at 6pm EST.

What Data/Info/Tech sessions do we offer this time? See:

Dealing with Data (discussion) – Antony Williams and Kaitlin Thaney

On the importance of data publication, data management, and discovery in the sciences – from the tools that serve as enablers (ChemSpider, FigShare) to the broader issues affecting how we approach data-driven science and sharing of information (access, ownership, social stigma). This session will build upon Open Data sessions of the past, and look at how we can make better use of information to not only surface new insights, but do better science, as well as reward contributions in a way that reflects the move to digital.

Cybersecurity: Defense Against the Dark Arts (discussion) – Liz Neeley

Think about everything you have online. Blog posts, emails, personal information – the record of years of your life. How safe is it? How do you know if you are doing enough? Worrying too much? From basic password management to dealing with personal threats, this session will tackle questions of security and safety online. Come share your strategies and war stories, trade information on emerging trends, and help us combat hacks and attacks on the ScienceOnline community.

Open Notebook Science (discussion) – Jean-Claude Bradley and Steve Koch

We will discuss the semantic representation of Open Lab Notebooks and automated discovery by social mapping of ONS content. An example of merging ONS datasets with “Dark Open Science Contributors” – companies and government agencies that will donate large amounts of data to the public domain – if they are asked – will be presented. (e.g.Alfa Aesar and EPA donate Open Melting Point data ). We will also discuss the variety of electronic platforms for ONS and how to apply them in undergraduate science lab courses.

Know Your Digital Rights! (discussion) – Dave Mosher and Arikia Millikan

When you click “publish,” what rights have you gained, forfeited or abused? As more bloggers fall under the umbrella of mainstream media organizations, and traditional journalists increasingly navigate uncertain digital waters, all shades of contributors should know their legal safe zones — and good netiquette. In this session, we’ll cover the legalities and formalities of photo use, re-blogging, aggregating, excerpting, contracts and more, including some rare but dreaded missteps that may end in a lawsuit. We’ll present case studies and advice from legal pros and writers who have been through the ringer so that #Scio12 attendees might understand their rights and navigate future endeavors with more ease, better pay and peace of mind.

Using altmetrics tools to track the online impact of your research (discussion) – Euan Adie and Martin Fenner

We will briefly introduce the field of altmetrics, present the outcomes of an analysis performed especially for Science Online and then demo tools including ScienceCard , , and Total Impact . We will finish with a discussion of how these metrics might be used as alternatives and supplements to citation-based approaches.

Scientists and Wikipedia (discussion)- Greta Munger and Dario Taraborelli

The APS Wikipedia Initiative (APSWI) wants to ensure that the psychological science presented in Wikipedia is accurate and up to date. Instead of writing a literature review, my students (undergraduates) in a 200-level lecture course paired up to improve Wikipedia articles on various topics in cognitive psychology. Discussion topics could include: creating and managing the assignment; pros and cons of Wikipedia editing compared to traditional college paper writing; the value of engaging undergraduates in public scholarship as a form of civic engagement.

The Semantic Web (discussion) – Kristi Holmes and Antony Williams

Semantic Web-based projects are becoming increasingly more popular across a wide variety of disciplines. The session will provide a basic introduction to the topic and highlight different perspectives from people working in this space. We’ll show *why* this technology is being used in so many areas – and demonstrate the benefits of linked data (especially in areas related to data reuse for visualizations, research discovery, and more). Open PHACTS, VIVOproject, and a number of the open government initiatives are good examples and there are many others. This session can serve as an introduction to the concept and highlight interesting and different ways that this technology is being used successfully.

The Attention Economy: The currencies for social media influence and exchange rates for attention (workshop) – Adrian J. Ebsary and Lou Woodley

In this session we’ll look at the various tools that claim to measure user influence on across social networks and discuss some of the issues and etiquette around how you can increase your influence. Using screenshot walkthroughs, we will describe briefly the currently available influence metrics and look to analyze the values and shortfalls of each one. Also, we’ll examine some recent studies that look at network growth on Twitter and aim to start a discussion on the etiquette aspects of social media influence. What role do reciprocity (e.g. #followback) and attentional rewards (e.g. listing, favouriting, public shout-outs such as awarding K+ or #ff) play in personal network development? Are there other “soft” ways to increase your influence?

Digital Preservation and Science Online (discussion) – Trevor Owens and Bonnie Swoger

Preserving Science Online? What should we be keeping for posterity? Science is now a largely digital affair. A lot of resources are being invested in ensuring that scientific datasets and digital incarnations of traditional scholarly journals will be around for the future. However, little effort has been spent on the preservation of new modes of science communication; like blogging and podcasting, or on things like citizen science projects. After a brief introduction to digital preservation, this session will serve to brainstorm and identify critical at-risk digital content and articulate why that content is important. Time permitting, we will kick around ideas for how we might go about putting partnerships together to collect and preserve this content. Come prepared to discuss what science is happening online that you think is important and why? How should we go about selecting what to preserve? Lastly, who should go about ensuring long term access to this content?

Data Journalism: Talking the talk (hands-on workshop) – Ruth Spencer and Lena Groeger

We want this workshop to be first and foremost USEFUL to people, without requiring many in depth tutorials or technical explanations. One of the main hurdles on the adventure that is data journalism, is knowing just enough to be able to have a conversation with someone who can make your data dreams into data realities (read: programmers and developers). We’re less interested in perfecting your program skills and much more keen to get you familiar with the tools and processes you need to get your big project off the ground. We’ll explore how to get started and launch into a whirlwind tour through the (free!) resources for journalists looking to work with data. This will be less of a workshop and more of a crash course: What you need to know before you even know what you need to know (about data journalism).

Drowning in Information! How Can We Create Organization & Balance – Tools and strategies for managing information overload (science and otherwise) (discussion) – Walter Jessen and Simon Franz

We’re all suffering from the same condition: information overload and filter failure. Yet some people seem to manage the torrent of information more efficiently and effortlessly than others. What’s their secret? We’ll take a tour of some of the tools available to manage the mass of science-related content — from RSS to reference managers, and from collaboration docs to social aggregation. We’ll also reveal the daily reading habits of some of the best-known purveyors of science content, and come armed with your own tips for battling info overload too.

Using crowdfunding to fund your scientific research: lessons from the #SciFund Challenge (discussion) – Jai Ranganathan and Liz Neeley

Crowdfunding is a fundraising tool that has exploded in popularity recently, especially in the arts. Unfortunately, this revolution has left science mostly behind. The #SciFund Challenge is a campaign to encourage a large number of scientists to use crowdfunding to fund their scientific research. As part of the Challenge, participants will be running their own crowdfunding campaigns in November 2011. Due to the large number of independent campaigns that will be simultaneously running in November, there will be a huge opportunity for learning which techniques work (and don’t work) for crowdfunding for research dollars. This session will focus on lessons learned in the #SciFund Challenge for successful scientific fundraising through crowdfunding.

FigShare – ‘Get credit for all of your research’ (demo) – Mark Hahnel

FigShare is a open data data project that allows researchers to publish their data in a citable, searchable and sharable manner. The data can come in the form of individual figures, datasets or video files and users are encouraged to share their negative data and unpublished results too. All data is persistently stored online under the most liberal Creative Commons licence, waiving copyright where possible. This allows scientists to access and share the information from anywhere in the world with minimal friction. This demo will walk you through how to use the tool, and what’s planned for the future. Come see how FigShare has grown from a seed of an idea at #scio11 to a full fledged project supported by Digital Science. For more, visit

A new way to fundraise for science: the SciFund Challenge (demo) – Jai Ranganathan

Can scientists raise money for their research through crowdfunding? In November and December, 49 scientists took the leap in the SciFund
Challenge. Find out the lessons that were learned about how research can be funded in this new way.

Biomedical apps (demo) – Jennifer Williams

In this demo session I will explore apps from BioMed Central and other publishers that extend the information ecosystem. These apps will connect bioscience resources mentioned in journal articles to the actual databases and to training on their usage, and also help readers extract and extend their understanding more easily.

PaperCritic (demo) – Jason Priem (on behalf of Martin Bachwerk)

In a world where our lives are broadcast by Facebook and Twitter, our news consumption is dominated by blogs and our knowledge is defined by Wikipedia articles, science somehow remains 20 years behind in terms of communicating about its advances. PaperCritic aims to improve the situation by offering researchers a way of monitoring all types of feedback about their scientific work, as well as allowing everyone to easily review the work of others, in a fully open and transparent environment. The demo will give an overview of the site’s main functions as well as discuss some plans for the future. Feel welcome to visit in the meantime to check it out for yourself.

Measuring the Ocean Online (demo) – Rachel Weidinger

How does the ocean measure up in social media? For the first time, aggregate, issue-level benchmarking analysis will be available. A new team will present findings– including content analysis, keyword trends, and possibly sentiment and influencer analysis– from project underway to lay down a baseline on the state of ocean conservation conversations on the social web. The goal of the yet unnamed project is to help science-based ocean content providers reach wider audiences with greater impact. Though it’ll focus on ocean issues, the benchmarking pattern may be of use in related disciplines.

Article-Level Metrics (ALM) at PLoS (demo) – Jennifer Lin


Mapping, knowledge sharing, and citizen science on the web using CartoDB – Andrew Hill

CartoDB ( is an open source, geospatial database on the web that provides storage, simple APIs, and mapping. Using components of CartoDB, we have helped develop a variety of science tools on the web from citizen science projects like OldWeather ( and NEEMO (, to knowledge sharing projects like Protected Planet (, and science support tools like GeoCAT ( Now we would like to share some of CartoDB capabilities as well as discuss some of the lessons we have learned building science tools on the web.

Learn more:

What is: ScienceOnline2012 – and it’s coming soon!
Planning Wiki
Draft Program
See who’s registered so far
Facebook page
FriendFeed group
Tumblr coverage blog
Google Plus official page
Google Plus circle of participants
Twitter account
#scio12 hashtag
Twitter repository
Twitter list of participants


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