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Posts Tagged ‘ResearchGate

Values of Social Network for Scientists (by Comprendia)

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“Here at Comprendia, we’ve never advocated that Facebook should be recreated for scientists, as there are 700,000+ life science graduates in the US already using the application,* and they are likely already connected there to lab mates and colleagues. Rather, we should broaden our idea of the ‘social network’ to include any online community of scientists, not just those which are similar to Facebook. The value of social networks for scientists lies in faster access to information relevant to their research and the communities that are made more available by new tools. Here are 6 successful examples which can be used to understand scientific social communities. (…)

  1. Facebook Pages & LinkedIn Groups. Scientists have used mailing lists and forums for years. Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups are a ’2.0′ version of them with the benefits of centralization and easier access to participants. Life science companies, most notably Life Technologies, have fostered social networks in the form of Facebook pages centered on a topic.
  2. Twitter Hashtags. Scientists use Twitter to share scientific blog posts and news, to find friends and colleagues around a topic or event, and sometimes to vent about their situation. Hashtags, which are text identifiers for status updates on a topic, allow a Twitter social network to form around it…
  3. ScienceOnline
  4. True Social Networks. (…) ResearchGate’s has 1.4 million users, as we know that scientists don’t have time for frivolous endeavors, especially when they’re under the watchful eye of their Principal Investigator. As we noted in our post a year ago, there has to be a value for them to participate, and the successful ones center around research publications. BiomedExpertsCiteULikeResearchBlogging, andResearchGate had the highest traffic in our quick study, and they all rely heavily on publications. I like to say that PubMed was the first social network for scientists.
  5. Publication Sharing/Open Access. Related to the last point is a subject that requires its own mention as it transverses from proper social networks to desktop applications, Twitter, and even a movement to make research publications more accessible.Mendeley is the rock star of the publication sharing/open access genre, boasting 1.77 million users who are sharing 169 million publications. When we speak with life scientists at conferences or client visits, we often hear about the application even from those who are not strong believers in social media. Additionally, these applications have whetted scientists’ appetites for more open access to publications
  6. Blogs.  “blogs were one of the first forms of social media for scientists.”  Blog aggregators such as ResearchBlogging orScienceSeeker feature hundreds of blogs and likely a comparable number of communities focused around individual research topics.
(…)
At conferences and networking events today, we are seeing a transition, albeit slowly, to a new breed of scientists who understand the importance of scientific networks. We need to adjust our definition of scientific social networks to understand the next steps towards helping scientists use them to thrive.
What Is A Scientific Social Network? 6 Thriving and Inspiring Examples
Comprendia, March 12th, 2012
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Written by hbasset

March 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Science Social Not-working

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By Mark Drapeau, in the Huffington Post, about Research Gate, and the social networks for Scientists in general.

A “Facebook for Scientists”? It may sound silly, or redundant, but it’s becoming more of a reality. Maybe. (…)

ResearchGate has already convinced roughly 1.4 million researchers to become members and begin sharing. On it, you can search your email accounts to find people you know, read PDF documents of research papers, and chat with others about why a particular lab technique isn’t working for you. Reportedly, the service is appealing to young researchers in their 20’s.

None of this is particularly original. There have long been scientists on Facebook and LinkedIn and connecting via other websites like Scienceblogs. There have long been stores of PDF documents online, and searchable databases of them (particularly if you work at a university). There have long been job boards where you might find your next gig. And there have long been discussion boards or similar places where you could ask questions about lab techniques or which conference to attend this year. (…)

But the ecosystem seems even worse, because many others have tried and failed, or tried and not necessarily caught on, or tried and are much more like “science publication management software” than a social network where people openly share. They have names like Academia.edu, Laboratree, Mendeley, myExperiment, and Epernicus. (…)

The scientific community fundamentally operates under the notion that a peer-reviewed research paper published in a traditional research journal is the discrete end-product of a series of experiments aimed at testing one or more hypotheses. Anyone who has actually been a laboratory scientist knows that this is a complete farse; I need not even elaborate on why. Nevertheless, publishing such papers is the primary yardstick by which you are judged as a grad student, postdoctoral fellow, and professor, even at the more senior levels. On top of that, the same exact research published in a “good” journal vs. an “okay” journal is somehow emotionally different to the reader. The only reason why is perceived prestige of some publications vs. others regardless of actual long-term value of the research. (…)

These are two-fold. One, a culture of secrecy whereby the more “secret” information (vs. community / shared information) is perceived as more valuable. Two, a culture of discrete publications (vs. living knowledge and data sets) whereby people are primarily judged by traditional processes dating back, in the case of science, a couple hundred years. And while there are some well-intentioned, smart people discussing Science 2.0 and what it would take for that to happen, it is in my opinion extremely unlikely that the entire system of how academic science operates in the U.S. will change within the venture capital-backed funding cycle of one of the science social networking companies like ResearchGate. (…)

Drapeau, Mark. Social Networks for Scientists Won’t Work. The Huffington Post, 17th of February 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mark-drapeau/social-networks-for-scientists_b_1282692.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by hbasset

February 20, 2012 at 6:10 pm

Posted in Science 2.0

Tagged with ,

Open science: change is coming…

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In a very optimistic article, the New York Times reports some great milestones. Initiatives to make the scientific and medical research process more collaborative are gaining traction, as advocates of “open science” are launching open-access publications and social networking websites for researchers.

Some extracts:

advocates for “open science” say science can accomplish much more, much faster, in an environment of friction-free collaboration over the Internet. And despite a host of obstacles, including the skepticism of many established scientists, their ideas are gaining traction”

Some good stories are:

  • Public Library of Science (PLoS)
  •  ResearchGate — where scientists can answer one another’s questions, share papers and find collaborators — is rapidly gaining popularity. Its membership has mushroomed to more than 1.3 million. The Web site is a sort of mash-up of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, with profile pages, comments, groups, job listings, and “like” and “follow” buttons. Only scientists are invited to pose and answer questions.Scientists populate their ResearchGate profiles with their real names, professional details and publications — data that the site uses to suggest connections with other members. Users can create public or private discussion groups, and share papers and lecture materials. ResearchGate is also developing a “reputation score” to reward members for online contributions. ResearchGate offers a simple yet effective end run around restrictive journal access with its “self-archiving repository.” Since most journals allow scientists to link to their submitted papers on their own Web sites, Dr. Madisch encourages his users to do so on their ResearchGate profiles. In addition to housing 350,000 papers (and counting), the platform provides a way to search 40 million abstracts and papers from other science databases. In 2011, ResearchGate reports, 1,620,849 connections were made, 12,342 questions answered and 842,179 publications shared
  •  ScienceOnline conference will have its sixth edition this year
Anyway, these advocates agreed that scientists have been “very inhibited and slow to adopt a lot of online tools.”
Hanging the status quo — opening data, papers, research ideas and partial solutions to anyone and everyone — is still far more idea than reality. Especially because Publishers have to defend their traditionnal business model: “They have shareholders, (…)They have to move the ship slowly.”
“Will the model of science magazines be the same 10 years from now? I highly doubt it,  I believe in evolution“, a publisher says.
Dr. Madisch, of ResearchGate, acknowledged that he might never reach many of the established scientists for whom social networking can seem like a foreign language or a waste of time. But wait, he said, until younger scientists weaned on social media and open-source collaboration start running their own labs.
We’re just at the beginning. The change is coming.”
Lin, Thomas. Cracking Open the Scientific Process. The New York Times, Posted on 17th of January 2012.

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/17/science/open-science-challenges-journal-tradition-with-web-collaboration.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Written by hbasset

January 17, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Science: social networks are overvalued

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Arroyo, S.S.
Networks for information exchange among scientists and scholars in the context of Web 2.0 [Redes de intercambio de información científica y académica entre los profesionales en el contexto de la web 2.0]
(2010) ACIMED, 21 (3), article in Spanish. 
Abstract
Social networks for information exchange among scientists and scholars, designed to deepen their ties in the context of Web 2.0 is the issue addressed in this article. Some of the major sites designed especially for science and technology, such as Nature Network, CT Sci NeT, Biomed Expert and Research GATE are featured.
The article also shows important aspects to be considered during the process of communicating scientific results. It describes the relationship between information organizations, in all its forms, and networks of social exchange, in an attempt to be closer and more present where actual and potential users are.
 
It warns about organizations that may overvalue the benefits of many so-called latest technologies and their inclusion in other types of networks whose effectiveness remains to be demonstrated.
 
 

Written by hbasset

May 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm

Research Gate: the last one?

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With some important milestones (700,000 members, mainly in the U.S. and a new design), will ResearchGate be the last Science Social Network to survive?

http://news.researchgate.net/

Written by hbasset

February 21, 2011 at 8:09 pm