We Are Hosting a Science Disrupt London Session – Disrupting the Conversation

Science Disrupt

Register Here

Science is going through a revolution. The world of tech, startups, makers, innovators and collaborators are beginning to be welcomed into the scientific ecosystem in a way never seen before. Science: Disrupt brings together the innovators, iconoclasts and entrepreneurs intent on creating change in science.

Tue 6 June 2017 18:30 – 21:00 BST

Join us at our London HQ for a panel of engaging speakers for Science Disrupt’s sixth London Session, where they will be tackling the communication of science. The conversation will focus on:

  • Reaching new audiences
  • Immersive new media
  • Effecting policy change
  • Lively Q&A panel!

Confirmed speakers include:

Max Sanderson

Max is a podcast producer and journalist, who specialises in science. Past work has featured on the National Geographic Channel, the Discovery Channel, BBC Radio 4, and The World Service. Max is currently the producer of Guardian’s ‘Science Weekly Podcast’.

Kelly Oakes

Kelly has been the Science Editor for Buzzfeed UK since 2013, and has built the science offering in the UK from scratch. Prior to BuzzFeed, Kelly ran the Scientific American blog ‘Basic Space’, worked at BBC Future and the Institute of Physics.

Cathy White

Cathy is Founder and Director of CEW Communications, specialising in European Startup communications. She was previously Head of Communications for Tech City UK, and Communications and Marketing Manager for Seedcamp, the first round fund that invests in pre-seed and seed stage tech startups. Cathy also runs GeekGirlMeetup UK and hosts their podcast GeekGirl Meets.

There will also be an introduction from our very own Steve Scott, Director of Portfolio Development where you can find out more about our Catalyst Grant, an award given to early stage scientific software startups.

Join the conversation using #SDTalk

Register here

The post We Are Hosting a Science Disrupt London Session – Disrupting the Conversation appeared first on Digital Science.

Webinar on Altmetrics for Publishers: The Basics


Join Altmetric for an introductory webinar covering the basics of altmetrics and the tools and data that Altmetric offer. Find out how publishers can use Altmetric data to help shape strategy and meet objectives like the following:

  • Track and report on the engagement surrounding their content
  • Provide real-time feedback to authors and editors
  • Identify sales opportunities
  • Measure the success of marketing and PR efforts
  • Benchmark against competitors
  • Inform the scope and development of existing and new publications

Attendees will leave the webinar with:

  • A clear understanding of what altmetrics are and what tools and data are available
  • Examples of how the data can be used in practice
  • Guidance on the technological requirements to gather altmetrics for your publications
  • Advice on getting started

Book your place today!

For an overview of Altmetric, watch Altmetric’s Ben Mcleish give a presentation about Altmetric and its data.


The post Webinar on Altmetrics for Publishers: The Basics appeared first on Digital Science.

How Time Out has grown e-commerce revenue by 45 percent in a year

Time Out has dabbled in affiliate relations with booking engines for years, but in 2016 it launched more events and rolled out a custom e-commerce platform. The result: Last year, Time Out’s e-commerce revenue reached £4.7 million ($6.1 million), an increase of 45 percent year over year. This came from 300,000 transactions, a year-over-year increase of 21 percent. Time Out Group, which includes the digital business and Time Out Markets, pulled in annual revenues of £37.1 million ($47.9 million).

“E-commerce is a small but growing revenue stream, but you can scale it globally,” said Christine Petersen, Time Out Digital’s CEO. “As a 50-year-old business, we are already global, but we are working to stitch the pieces together.”

Time Out runs e-commerce in London, Paris, New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, but the group has a presence in 108 cities. Traditionally, Time Out’s e-commerce model has paired restaurant and event reviews written by its journalists with feeds from companies like OpenTable and Encore Tickets, so people can easily carry out a purchase, with Time Out taking a cut.

For instance, Time Out was the first to announce the transfer of actor Andrew Scott’s “Hamlet” to the West End. It was the show’s first vendor and had tickets exclusively for 24 hours. The show was one of its best performers in ticket sales, according to the company, although it was unable to provide specific figures.

Beyond this, a key contributor to the growth in e-commerce revenue has been building out Time Out Live events. In 2016, Time Out arranged and sold tickets in London and in cities across the U.S. for 250 Live events (up from the 180 in 2015), which over 80,000 people attended. In the U.K., silent discos at unusual buildings, like The Shard or the Natural History Museum, always sell out. “It’s about offering quirky, insightful viewpoints of that city,” said Petersen.

Time Out is one of a number of publishers that are developing some form of e-commerce strategy that plays to their strengths. For instance, Dennis, publisher of auto magazines like Auto Express and Land Rover Monthly, is selling cars online. BuzzFeed, after acquiring Product Labs, has expanded its product line to ship scented candles and cosmetics, taking inspiration from Facebook comments. Time Out’s reputation as a city guide puts it in a good position to convert readers into buyers.

In June, Time Out began trading publicly, raising £84 million ($108 million) to grow the business. Part of this was invested into improving its custom e-commerce platform, which was built by events company YPlan, acquired by Time Out in October 2016. This allows readers to carry out transactions on Time Out’s pages, rather than linking through to outside sites. The company is just beginning to use this data to understand the behavior of what makes people carry out a purchase, Petersen said.

Time Out has a team within Time Out Digital that works on e-commerce, but the company was unable to share the head count for competitive reasons.

Increasingly, matching up content with e-commerce links is becoming more automated. Time Out’s custom Match Maker tool matches Time Out content with feeds from a dozen or so e-commerce partners, whether that’s shows, restaurants, attractions or hotels. “We’re always looking for a way for the consumer to transact,” said Petersen.

For the last year, it’s pushed further into hotel bookings using list-type articles like “The best hotels in NYC” and “The 100 best hotels in London,” which has meant that the company is getting higher value per transaction.

“We’ll never get rid of the independence of the editorial team,” said Petersen, “but I want them to lend their creative flare to a headline or email copy. We have that tension internally — that’s fine; I actually want that.”

Broadly speaking, the Time Out audience is broken into three groups: a third from the local city, a third from the greater metropolitan area and a third from completely outside the metropolitan area.

“These people are logical candidates for a hotel,” said Petersen. “From quantitative analysis, we have found that 95 percent of our audience does something as a result of connecting with our brand, (whether that is online or in print); that’s a phenomenal upside for commerce.”

Image courtesy of Justinc, via the Creative Commons Act.

The post How Time Out has grown e-commerce revenue by 45 percent in a year appeared first on Digiday.

How Social Should Social Collaborative Networks Be?

Nicko Goncharoff

Nicko Goncharoff to Join NFAIS Half-Day Virtual Workshop

With technological advancements and the advent of Social Collaborative Networks (SCNs), sharing work between researchers is becoming easier. Researchers are now building profiles to communicate and exchange scholarly content across a broad range of platforms. Social networks are helping research continue to break down global borders in their respective communities.  NFAIS is hosting a half-day virtual workshop that will examine the trends, the market, and the stakeholders most impacted.

Digital Science Chief Business Development Officer Nicko Goncharoff will discuss publisher efforts, challenges and opportunities around article sharing in an upcoming NFAIS Workshop, “How Social Should Social Collaborative Networks (SCNs) Be?” Nicko will talk about the work of the STM Reference Group on Scholarly Collaborative Networks, which produced the first set of community guidelines on scholarly article sharing, incorporating feedback from institutions, researchers and other stakeholders. He will also review article sharing initiatives by publishers and technology companies and make a case for why all publishers should be considering a sharing strategy.

Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017

Time: 9:00 am – 1:00 pm (EDT)

Location: Virtual Half-Day Workshop

The post How Social Should Social Collaborative Networks Be? appeared first on Digital Science.

Digital Science Webinar: Science in the Cloud

Join Amazon Web Services, Digital Science and Figshare for our next thought leadership webinar ‘Science in the Cloud’, on May 25th at 4pm BST / 11am ET.

You’ll hear about the trends in cloud-based computing and the importance of failure in innovation and how this can lead to great science. Discussions will also look at the benefits of investing in cloud-based applications and infrastructure.


Thought leaders speaking:

Brendan Bouffler (“boof”) – Global Manager, Amazon Web Services Research Cloud Program

Based in London, Brendan Bouffler has 25 years of experience in the global tech industry creating very large systems in high-performance environments. He has been responsible for designing and building hundreds of HPC systems for commercial enterprises as well as research and defense sectors all around the world and has quite a number of his efforts listed in the top500, including some that have placed in the top 5.

Brendan previously led the HPC Organization in Asia for a hardware maker but joined Amazon in 2014 to accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the scientific community globally, and is the author of the Research’s Handbook – the missing manual for research in AWS. He holds a degree in Physics and an interest in testing several of its laws as they apply to bicycles. This has frequently resulted in hospitalization.

Dan Valen – Product Manager, Figshare

dan vDan is an expert in everything STM publishing and brings a wealth of experience to Figshare. Dan’s love of technology, innovation and fixing the broken meant a career in science was his destiny.


Steve Scott – Director of Portfolio Development, Digital Science

Steve Scott As a member of the founding management team of Digital Science, Steve has been involved in the majority of Digital Science’s portfolio investments, taking founders through product and business model validation to launch and growth.

An entrepreneur himself, Steve has founded, or been involved in setting up, three of his own companies. He also oversees the Catalyst Grant award, a twice-yearly award of up to £25k ($30k USD) to early stage ideas.

Host: Laura Wheeler – Head of Digital Communications, Digital Science

Laura is in charge of growing the presence of Digital Science and is always busy helping to build online communities. Having studied Biochemistry Laura left the lab life for science communication roles at the BBC and at Nature Publishing Group.


The post Digital Science Webinar: Science in the Cloud appeared first on Digital Science.

Just the Start of the Conversation: Digital Science Publisher Day

Digital Science held its annual Publisher Day event in Washington DC in late April. The purpose of Publisher Day is to invite our customers to come and speak about how one or more of the Digital Science portfolio companies has helped them as a publisher, usually through a case study or project summary. We also heard from the teams at ReadCube, figshare, Overleaf, ÜberResearch, Altmetric, and the Digital Science Consultancy. Each of these were able to present their strategy, roadmap, and new capabilities.

One of the goals of Publisher Day is to foster the involvement of early career employees in publishing. Digital Science extended special invitations to a number of these folks who may not normally get to attend industry events and contribute to the greater research publishing community. These attendees also were able to have their own session at the end of the day where they had a chance to offer thoughts on what they had learned, and what they had been able to add to the shared knowledge during the day.

A prominent highlight came from the portion of the agenda that focused on ÜberResearch’s Dimensions platform. Dimensions is, at its core, a database of research grant information. It is a comprehensive dataset of more than 3 million awarded grants representing in excess of $1.1 trillion of research funding. More than that, the data is optimized and enhanced so that it can be used in many functions for a publisher. From highlighting trends that help inform editorial and acquisition strategy to showing sales teams which areas target institutions are investing in, the Dimensions platform provides unique insight through actionable data across all facets of publishing.

The Dimensions case study at Publisher Day showed how a need could be addressed by this data, and deployed in a way that was specifically meaningful to a publisher, in this case IOS Press. IOS Press has integrated Dimensions data into their websites as a Funding Analyzer tool for a number of journals, including the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, Bladder Cancer, and the Journal of Parkinson’s Disease.

These Funding Analyzers are available so that members of the research community can access the data and visualization tool for that specific category of research, helping them gather insights and inform their understanding of the funding landscape in those disciplines.

The feedback from IOS Press, clearly articulated as part of this case study presentation, was that the deployment of the Funding Analyzer has been instrumental in adding tangible value to the organization’s web initiatives and driving traffic.

In addition to the Funding Analyzers, IOS Press journals have received highly-favorable feedback from their readership for various bibliometric analyses conducted by Aaron Sorensen of the Digital Science consulting group including Alzheimer’s Disease Research: Scientific Productivity and Impact of the Top 100 Investigators in the Field, The top 100 cited cholesterol papers, and Top Altmetric Scores in the Parkinson’s Disease Literature.

At the end of the day, Digital Science customers across the portfolio gathered to learn, provide feedback, and join together in helping research publishing grow and innovate together. We closed the session with a cocktail reception and all of the presentations from the day were just the start of the conversation between Digital Science and the publishing community.


The post Just the Start of the Conversation: Digital Science Publisher Day appeared first on Digital Science.

Digital Science and The New Scientometrics

It’s amazing what you can do with data these days. A couple of weeks ago, Digital Science held its third annual US Publisher day. This year, one of the themes that emerged was data, scientometrics and how we, as both an industry and as Digital Science, can use it to support publishers in strategic decision making.

The traditional data type for understanding the research landscape are citations and bibliometrics. While in recent years, we’ve all come to view impact as being much broader than citations, it’s only very recently that other types of data and analyses have been used for strategic planning and business intelligence.

That is what the Digital Science Consultancy team does. We apply new types of data and new analysis techniques to support funders, institutions, and publishers to make better decisions faster. During my talk at the Publisher Day, I broke down three aspects of how we go about doing that.

1) First, you need data

We have some pretty unique datasets at Digital Science. Most people are familiar with altmetrics and our portfolio company Altmetric.com. It was Altmetric that really helped define the discipline. We also have Uber Research, which created the only database of awarded research funding: Dimensions. Then there’s GRID, our open dataset of institutional identities.

Not only do we have data, but often our customers have data. For publishers, the most obvious source is in the form of authors, affiliations, citations, subscription information and the most underutilized data that publishers have; the full text of the articles that they publish.

2) Data is only useful if you have the right tools

Once you have data, you need the right tools to interpret it. In March 2017, Digital Science released a Digital Research Report in which we used the affiliation data from PLOS One articles dating between 2006 and 2016. Affiliation data is traditionally a challenge to work with. It’s usually a free-text field in journal submission forms, which results in a non-uniform hotchpotch of variant spellings and word orders. Sometimes, they’re in more than one language.

The GRID suite of tools contains a matcher that allows us to discover and deduplicate author affiliations with a high level of accuracy. Once we know which GRID records are the right ones, we than have a plethora of other information available including ISNI record numbers, Crossref, relationships between parent-child institutions and importantly, geolocation data.

In the report, we analyzed the global network of research collaborations, how collaboration is used strategically, and how it’s changing over time. The report is well worth a read if your business involves helping researchers communicate, just click on the image below to access it.

A graph of global research collaboration, colour coded by country. For the full digital research report, click on the image.

Text mining, natural language processing and topic modelling have come into their own in recent years. The field has moved so fast that many people, even in the information space, aren’t aware of just how powerful things have gotten.

As part of a long-standing relationship, Digital Science helped the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE)  analyze the results of the last Research Excellence Framework (REF). As a part of the REF, Universities are asked to submit a series of impact case studies that detail how the Institution’s activities impact society in ways other than bibliometric citations.

Those written accounts are read and scored by one of four panels (physical sciences, life sciences, social sciences, and arts and humanities). From a publisher perspective, this type of content is similar to a full text archive; it’s mostly words rather than numbers and is written for humans to read, rather than computers.

We used natural language processing to assess the similarity between case studies. Each one was plotted on a graph, colour coded by the panel that assessed it. The distance between the dots is inversely dependant on the similarities between the studies.

Despite the fact that we did not tell the computer anything about the structure of research in the UK, spontaneous clusters emerged from the dataset, enabling us to identify areas of excellence in UK research. The reuslts were pretty remarkable, as you can see below.

A cluster analysis based on similarities between impact case studies submitted for the REF. The four panels are color coded. Red for physical sciences, green for life sciences, blue for social sciences and yellow for arts and humanities.

If we zoom in on a particular cluster (the nicely multi-coloured one on the bottom left edge (detail shown below), we see that the cluster contains an interdisciplinary group of research on environmental management of waterways.

Zooming in on one particularly multidisciplinary cluster shows that it’s about environmental management of waterways.

You can play with the interactive visualization yourself, here.

The applications of these techniques for publishers are exciting. From discovery of emergent fields, to consolidation of existing titles and everything in between. As I said during the publisher day,

Imagine what we could do together by combining your data with ours and applying our techniques.

3) The secret sauce: domain expertise

Accurate interpretation requires an understanding of the conditions that generated the data. This is an area where both Digital Science and our Consultancy come into their own.

Inside the Digital Science Consultancy, our expanding team contains amongst others, a professor of bibliometrics, a world leading data scientist, an institutional research management and libraries expert, a health care and bibliometrics analyst, a very well known bibliometrics leader and a former academic research scientist.

Digital Science more broadly has invested in companies, sold to customers, driven progress through outreach and research reports, and even found many of its employees and entrepreneurs at each stage in the scholarly supply chain. This experience and depth of knowledge give us a truly unique perspective across the entire landscape.

Digital Science has products, services, and expertise along the entire scholarly supply chain.

Supporting academic publishers

The purpose of the publisher day was partly to inform our customers of the developments that we’ve been working on at Digital Science, but it was also to learn from publishers about how we can help them.

We heard from publishers who want to know what topics are emerging in their fields based on funding data. Others wanted to look across the landscape with cluster analyses and either find new emergent fields, or opportunities to consolidate titles. There was also interest in identifying emergent geographies and patterns of collaboration, as well as a desire to find authors for special issues or reviews, editors, or just leaders and rising stars in a field.

With data and metadata analysis finally coming into its own to inform strategic decision making in publishing, these are exciting times. I’m personally looking forward to seeing not only how our capabilities at Digital Science continue to grow but also how others in the industry make use of data as business intelligence.

The post Digital Science and The New Scientometrics appeared first on Digital Science.

Join Us for the 2017 European Wolfram Technology Conference, 19–20 June

European Wolfram Technology Conference

This year, we’re bringing the European Wolfram Technology Conference to Amsterdam! Join us June 19–20 for two days of expert talks showcasing the latest releases in Wolfram technologies, in-depth explorations of key features and practical use cases for integrating Wolfram technologies in your ecosystem.

Catering to both new and existing users, the conference provides an overview of the entire Wolfram technology stack while also exploring some of our new products and features, including Wolfram|One, the Wolfram Data Repository and the latest capabilities released in Mathematica 11.1!

With a conference dinner rounding out the first day, this is a great opportunity for attendees not only to meet those who develop Wolfram technologies but also to connect with our thriving community of like-minded users.

Session highlights will include keynotes from Conrad Wolfram, Jon McLoone, and a range of Wolfram experts and users from around the world, giving you the inside track on the future direction of computational technology.

Key topics will include:

  • Machine learning and neural networks
  • Enterprise computation strategies
  • Deployment in the Wolfram Cloud
  • Signal and image processing

To join us in Amsterdam, register now!

Webinar: Gender bias in academic publishing

Join Publishing Campus for this highly anticipated webinar in which three industry experts explore the issue of unconscious bias and its role in academic publishing.

About the webinar

Unconscious gender bias in academia can have a real impact on women’s careers. Whether it’s obtaining a job or publishing a paper, quick judgments made subconsciously by reviewers can have very tangible consequences. In this webinar, you’ll learn the ins and outs of identifying and avoiding the pitfalls of gender bias. You’ll come away with clear evidence of the influence of unconscious bias in peer review, and hear about some of the recent efforts by publishers to reduce it, making the publishing process fairer and more equitable for all.

Attend this event – Thursday 11 May, 2017 – 2 pm BST / 3 pm CEST / 9 am EST

Ask the experts

Join the Gender Bias in Academic Publishing Mendeley group to field your questions to the experts and engage in deeper conversation with other attendees.

Presenter bios

Joanne Kamens is the Executive Director of Addgene, a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to helping scientists around the world share useful research reagents and data. She holds a PhD in Genetics from Harvard Medical School and founded the Boston chapter of the Association for Women in Science. In 2010, she received the “Catalyst Award from the Science Club for Girls” for her longstanding dedication to empowering women in the STEM fields.

Nicole Neuman holds a PhD in biochemistry from Tufts University, which was followed by a post-doctoral fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, studying cell signaling. She joined Cell Press in 2012 as Editor of Trends in Biochemical Sciences. Nicole has enjoyed engaging Cell Press in community conversations around gender in the STEM fields, first by organizing a symposium around gender and science and now by co-leading the “The Female Scientist,” a column in the Cell Press blog Crosstalk.

Kate Hibbert holds a degree in Earth Sciences from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Isotope Geochemistry from the University of Bristol. She joined Elsevier in 2015 as a Publisher for its Geochemistry and Planetary Science Journals and has been a true champion for women in STEM.

Altmetric Will Host a Workshop for Biotech & Life Sciences

 Photo credit: walknboston, flickr


Pencil in your diaries as on Thursday 25th may Altmetric will be hosting a one day workshop in Boston focused on introducing life science organizations and the wider medical community to altmetrics and Altmetric. They’ll be exploring the opportunities these new metrics bring for further evaluating and reporting on the online activity surrounding published research.

Altmetric’s mission is to track and analyse the online activity around scholarly research outputs. Whether it’s maximising the visibility of publications, uncovering their impact on public policy, or tracking the activity surrounding ongoing clinical trials, altmetrics can provide valuable insights for publication teams, marketing and communications programmes, and competitive intelligence monitoring.

Full event timetable.


Microsoft New England Research and Development Center

1 Memorial Drive

Cambridge, MA 02142

United States


Thu, May 25, 2017

9:30 AM – 3:30 PM EDT


The post Altmetric Will Host a Workshop for Biotech & Life Sciences appeared first on Digital Science.

Join Us for the Computation Meets Data Science Conference in London, 11 May

Data Science Conference

With the world of data science developing at a rapid pace and companies increasingly aware of its importance, Wolfram is pleased to bring together a range of data science experts at the Computation Meets Data Science Conference on 11 May, in partnership with the Satellite Applications Catapult and Digital Catapult.

Over recent years, Wolfram has been a leading force in revolutionising the field of data science, whether through the development of advanced computation technologies or through the creation of bespoke customer solutions. Wolfram developers have a wealth of knowledge for building your data science strategy, implementing the appropriate infrastructure and transforming traditional methodologies with improved automated solutions. Drawing on this expertise, we have brought together a variety of data science and technology specialists to share their knowledge and experience with you, and to provide an opportunity to quiz the experts on your data science challenges.

We’ve organised a jam-packed schedule, starting with opening remarks from Conrad Wolfram, followed by guest talks, interactive sessions and networking breaks. The conference has a little bit of something for everyone, with panel sessions covering the creation of a data science infrastructure, using data science to promote cultural change, and practical use cases of how computation has changed different organisations’ outlook on data.

To give a flavour of some of the specialist sessions we have lined up, speakers will include:

  • Keith Harrison, Head of Knowledge Management at the Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult
  • Alison Lowndes, Artificial Intelligence Developer Relations at NVIDIA
  • Marco Thiel, Professor of Mathematics and Physics at the University of Aberdeen
  • Fredrik Döberl, Owner and Founder of Ablona AB

Please visit the conference website for more information or to register.

The Connected Culture of Collaboration Webinar Summary #DSwebinar


As part of a continuing series, on Thursday 6th April we broadcast a Digital Science thought leadership webinar discussing the key messages and results of Overleaf’s report on, ‘The Connected Culture of Collaboration‘. The report focuses on the varying aspects of collaboration: how collaboration is valued in science, the role of university libraries in research communication, and how the growth of open access facilitates collaboration. The aim of the webinar was to provide the very latest perspectives on the report from Overleaf and some of the contributors.

Our speakers included:

  • John Hammersley, CEO and co-founder of Overleaf
  • Liz Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives at F1000
  • Helen B. Josephine, Stanford University Libraries

Laura Wheeler (@laurawheelers), Head of Digital Communications & Community Engagement at Digital Science, started the webinar by giving a brief overview of the esteemed panel and their backgrounds before handing over to Mary Anne Baynes, CMO at Overleaf, who moderated and questioned the panel.

Our first speaker was John Hammersley, CEO and co-founder of Overleaf. John kicked off by discussing the importance of collaboration throughout human history and how working together within social groups is a key attribute of our species success. Due to the interconnected nature of the present world, science and research have become more and more of a collaborative effort. Until recently, traditional measures of scientific endeavor have been author lists printed alongside published papers. New technologies like Overleaf are redefining this landscape – now scientists can work together in real-time. Overleaf’s report has painted a picture of real-time collaboration on an institutional level as well as an international level across multiple disciplines. This allows the identification of patterns in research which in turn could help funders assess new opportunities in the research space. John stated that we’re only just scratching the surface of what this type of real-time analysis can allow us to measure.

Image: PD-US

“Maps have always continued to evolve. At one point this [above image] was the the defacto standard for navigation and as sailors explored new territories, the maps got better and better. At the moment, with real-time collaboration graphs, we’re at this stage. We’re putting together a picture but there is a lot more to be done.”

Next, we had Liz Allen, Director of Strategic Initiatives at F1000. Liz began her presentation by noting that throughout her career, she has seen research and science continue to become more and more collaborative.

“Lots of the boundaries of collaboration are blurring and it is an interesting time to be thinking about collaboration and how it works.”

But, Liz stated that it is important to understand what works best when deciding whether scientists should or should not work together. Our intuitions tell us they should, but within certain disciplines, this may not always be the best solution. We should make a real effort to understand how all the pieces of the puzzles fit together – the Overleaf report is a good starting point.

Liz continued to stress the importance of incentivizing collaborative behavior. Within a large network of discovery, individual efforts can be lost. It is important to recognize them. Liz then introduced CRediT, a project she has been working on for the past few years that attempts to provide more than just an author list, which only gives a name and not the actual work that each researcher has carried out.

Image: Liz Allen’s Presentation

In the paper published above, 2,960 authors, 169 research institutions were involved! As you can imagine, it is a hugely difficult process to make sense of such an enormous collaboration. Liz recently wrote an in-depth blog post on her involvement with the report.

Helen B. Josephine, who recently retired Stanford University Libraries, was the last speaker to present in our webinar. The focus of her presentation was how university libraries are supporting collaboration and how they adopt new technologies and tools. Across the world, higher education is changing. Collaboration between institutions is becoming common place.

“Because of a lack of funding, schools need to work together. This factor encourages the need for collaboration.”

It’s not just patterns of collaboration that have changed. The tools and technologies have too.

Helen listed some of the tool traits that institutions may look to license.

  • Cloud-based, accessible anywhere.
  • Version control.
  • Protected/ private projects.
  • Integrate with other cloud-based storage and systems.

It is important to recognize that when a school like Stanford selects what tools they will adopt, they don’t select them with a top-down approach. They pick them on an individual basis or at a laboratory level basis. When they adopted Overleaf and Mendeley, it was after students had found and started using these tools on their own accord. Another organic method of tool discovery is through campus to campus migration. Students come to Stanford from all over the world and bring a plethora of new technologies and talents to the university.

When Stanford adopted Overleaf, Helen ran several different surveys at different times. From her October 2016 survey, 75% of Overleaf users used it for collaboration with the real-time collaborative feature ranking first in usage time. Helen closed her presentation by showing a selection of positive quotations from her survey [see slide extract below].

Image: Helen B. Josephine’s Presentation

The webinar ended with a lively Q&A debate spearheaded by Mary Anne Baynes; great questions invoked great responses! Using #DSwebinar, our audience was able to interact with our panel throwing their opinions into the mix. If you feel you still have something to say – we’re all ears! Tweet us @digitalsci using #DSwebinar.

The post The Connected Culture of Collaboration Webinar Summary #DSwebinar appeared first on Digital Science.

7 reasons why you should go to a Hackathon

I originally wrote this article for Hackerstolz on medium to promote their next Hackathon mobility{hacks}, as I’m one of their voluntary members.

A hackathon is any event of any duration where people come together to solve problems with digital means and present them to each other. That’s it, really simple. In most cases a hackathon is on two days and you get 24 hours time for the hacking. But why should you even bother to invest two of your precious days? Well, here are at least seven reasons!

#1 Learn more than in 6 month

At a Hackathon a wide variety of skills are required. You get constantly challenged in different ways. You will need great collaboration skills as you will work in a team and you will also need to present your work. You definitely learn new things about technology, as you will create something from scratch. It is learning-by-doing and you will hack a lot to get your ideas alive.

You also will have the chance to explore new and and bleeding edge technologies, as most teams use it. There are often experts in many fields from which you can learn a lot in a short period of time. Use your chance!

#2 Improve beyond your personal boundaries

Say goodbye to your comfort zone. The idea to work with unknown people in a team is frightening for many. For most people it will be a huge adventure to go to such an event and work under pressure to finish something.

And second the Hackathon itself will be asking you for all kinds of unexpected contributions that have nothing to do with “what you’re good at” or “what you’re supposed to do”. You may end up presenting before the whole crowd, even if you think you are a bad speaker.

#3 The feeling to create something in 24 hours

How often did you start a small project and never finished it? Or thought about something, but never tried it out?

Hackathons are like marathons, hence the name. Most will give you one day, some two days or more, to finish your project. But in the end this is really a short period of time and it will be intense. You will need to cut the scope, take some shortcuts. And you will still be amazed to see what you can finish in such a short period of time.

You work all night with little to no sleep. You gain a second wind during the final pitching and in the end of a Hackathon, when receiving your award, you feel exhausted, but truly satisfied. Like a true marathon winner.

#4 People

Just people. There are so many different people at Hackathons. How often do you get a chance to spend time working with a huge crowd of likeminded people on common projects for a whole day? People with all different kinds of backgrounds all work together to create something new and unique.

A Hackathon is the perfect place for both extroverts and introverts to foster relationships and grow your soft skills, while engaging in something they have a shared and genuine interest in. You will meet other people full of enthusiasm for what they do, who are really fun and smart, too.

Maybe you will even find your next co-founder or new colleagues.

#5 Interdisciplinary teams

There are different roles at most Hackathons, like designer, coder or something completly out of space. But you may end doing something different, as you have little time and the one thing that matters is finishing. So it’s about learning to be aware of how work is done in different areas and beeing prepared for our modern and fast pacing work environment.

You will also learn to value the skills of persons who are different than yourself. It is amazing how valuable it can be to have a business expert or a designer in your team. A Hackathon has made more than one person more humble, in different ways.

#6 The Thrill

If you did quite some intense things in your life, like jumping out of a plane, a Hackathon would still be something exciting for you. If you haven’t hacked a Hackathon you can’t know the feeling you have. The agitation before. Will you be able to finish something? And the excitement afterwards, when you are finished and you have created something. Don’t get me started on the time between. A Hackathon is a challenge that comes with a lot of work, but also a lot of fun and it can be a experience of a lifetime.

#7 Prizes and fame

Okay, this one is a little bit cheesy, but is true nevertheless. Not only will you have the chance to win some cool stuff, you will also most likely get a cool goodie bag and free stuff. And food and drinks will also be for free. Need a new shirt, stickers or a power bank ? Try a Hackathon.

And second you will have something to present. Everyone, look at this cool project, I created this! And if you win a prize you can brag about it wherever you like and mention it on you business profile. You can even write in on you job application, as it not only shows you skill, but your enthusiasm and motivation.

Bonus #8: It is so much fun. Believe me.

Open Cultural Data Symposium: 25th November 2016

This symposium presents an opportunity to reflect upon several decades of major digitisation initiatives within UK cultural institutions.

Motivated by the desire to improve public access and capitalise on the potential of new technologies, the mass digitisation of collections and archives in the UK has been one of the most significant contemporary changes to our cultural and heritage institutions. These projects have been enthusiastically funded by public organisations, such as the AHRC and the Heritage Lottery Fund, as well as private companies, charities and foundations, such as Google and the Wellcome Trust. Given the advances made in public access initiatives in recent years, this appears to be an ideal moment to look back at this developing history of cultural digitisation, reflect upon its underpinning rationales, and discuss the successes and challenges faced by those entrusted with carrying out these projects. Continue reading “Open Cultural Data Symposium: 25th November 2016”

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