Is this the killer application for researchers?

Colwiz stands for ‘collective wisdom’ (terrible name!). It advertises itself as ‘research management, collaboration and productivity in one place for free’ and has just been launched by a group of scientists at Oxford University. They say it will help you to “manage the entire research lifecycle from an initial idea, through a complex collaboration, to publication of the results”.

The idea of Virtual Research Environments (VREs) has been around for a few years but they have remained niche tools. JISC has funded some projects in its VRE programme mainly carrying out particular tasks or targeted at a specific research area. myGrid is perhaps the most versatile tool to have come out of the programme, and has spawned a number of other tools. I saw a demo once of the British Library’s RIC (Research Information Centre), developed in partnership with Microsoft. It looked very interesting as an idea, and potentially powerful, but I haven’t heard much about it recently. I see that their website says a beta release is due in March 2011.

It is of course very easy to make a large number of claims for a new software tool, much harder to deliver. It’s too early to judge Colwiz yet but its ambition is commendable.

About Frank Norman

I am a librarian in a biomedical research institute. I've been around a few years, long enough to know that exciting new things fall into the same familiar patterns. I'm interested in navigating a path for libraries as we move further from print to electronic resources to open research, and become more embedded in research workflows.
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3 Responses to Is this the killer application for researchers?

  1. Hmm, it definitely looks promising – but there doesn’t seem to be a way to really explore it without signing up for an invitation. I’d like to see a video or other demonstration of the system in action.

  2. Frank says:

    Cath – they do have some videos. See their Youtube channel.

  3. It’s free … so I’m definitely going to sign up.