Semi-live Blogging Scienceonline09: Day 1

The formal part of the meeting has begun. The wireless network here is dodgy, but we’re struggling through. I’ll update this post throughout the day.


First up was a session on open access – Bill Hooker advocating, without really getting to the issues (and his graphs were awful. Sorry!). the usual issues were tossed around.
I’m presently sat in a discussion about rhetoric in online science. One interesting point that was raised is that the role of an editor online isn’t well established: authorship is settled, but the filtering and improvement hasn’t been thought through.
Boa raised the idea that science online will be read by non-scientists – and asked whether this will change the rhetoric of papers so that they are more accessible. The chairman suggested that blogs are a different way of providing a more popular take of the literature.
We’re discussing science outreach: papers are unreadable for the public, but that’s the main currency of professional science. What do we do? What makes it worse is that there is little incentive for outreach.
Later: We’re now in the scientific editing session, with Henry and Peter from PLoS. We’ve just had the explanation of how journal prices are set – a major part is “follow Elsevier”….
Now Henry (Gee) has just started with a short snippet from The Charge of the NPG Brigade.
The first question: is the Nature office cold and smelly?
How to get a job as an editor: accept their invite to go to the bar (this from both Henry and Peter).
Even later: The blog carnivals session was good. It’s something I should be getting in to more (I’ve volunteered to host the Praxis carnival in March, though). Mike did a nice job of taking us through the whys and hows, and will put some posts and links up either on 10000 birds or the Nature Blog Network blog.
The final session was about social networking for scientists. Cameron and Dipak argued that most social networks for scientists aren’t working terribly well, and kicked around a bunch of thoughts without coming to any firm conclusions. Corrie was making a lot of notes. It looks like NN is the best network presently (yay us!), but it still needs to do a bit of work to become really useful for scientists. I guess these things will be discussed around here in the near future. I had a chat to Corrie over coffee, and There Are Plans. We might even get a better blogging platform this decade.
That’s it for today, other than eating and drinking. I won’t be live-blogging that, I’m afraid.

About rpg

Scientist, poet, gadfly
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4 Responses to Semi-live Blogging Scienceonline09: Day 1

  1. Björn Brembs says:

    Our session turned out quite a bit different from the way I expected it to develop and how I hope it would turn out. I’ll try to incorporate that lesson into the next session tomorrow.

  2. Bob O'Hara says:

    Tomorrow’s should be good – I just hope it gets beyond “impact actors are bad” very quickly! I don’t think it matters that it goes off in a different direction – it’ll be interesting whatever happens.

  3. Bill Hooker says:

    without really getting to the issues
    Yup, too much background, not enough discussion. Bora was happy enough to have an intro session; he makes the point that not everyone at the conference was familiar with OA. I think pretty soon we will be able to assume that most people are familiar with the basics, and go straight for the details. If I attend next year, I’m thinking of doing a session on “what’s wrong with OA” or similar… maybe have a co-chair from one of the Evil Publishing Empires.
    and his graphs were awful. Sorry!
    No need to apologize. In my defense, I stole most of ‘em. :-) I was hoping to re-work a couple of them (the arXiv/time-to-citation one and the GenBank one, in particular), but it will be a fair bit of work and I just never got to it. When I finally do, I’ll blog the upgrades — and ping you for comment if that’s OK?

  4. Bob O'Hara says:

    That’s fine, Bill. Graphics is something I have a bee in my bonnet about. My only excuse is that a lot of other statisticians do too.
    Your idea for next year sounds good – I’d be happy to contribute. I like the idea of OA but I sometimes see problems, so it would be good to thrash them out and see if they’re real, and if they are how they can be got around.