April 23, 2013

#scholrev Hackathon: Jailbreaking the PDF!

Need your help! We are looking for motivated people who wants to participate in an hackathon the 27th of May.

It will take place at the European Semantic Web Conference Monday, May 27, 2013, Montpellier, France

The goal is to hack on PDFs and explore ways to access scholarly data in modern ways.. http://scholrev.org/hackathon

Attending Remotely: We will have a Google Hangout feed going. Stay tuned for the URL.

Need for a Scholarly Revolution? 
Join us building what is needed to change the way we create, disseminate, evaluate and exploit scholarly contents. 

Feel free to edit, share and to give your contribution here 

March 25, 2013

Let's give a structure to #scholrev

In the previous blogposts, I've done some considerations on "Beyond the PDF2" conference in Amsterdam last week. On the second day some of us took lunch together in a roundtable (using some chairs) discussing a radical approach to academia current issues.

Considerations after Beyond the PDF2 #btpdf2

Last week I've been in Amsterdam for one of the most amazing conference about academia praxis: Beyond the PDF2. I want to congratulate Paul Groth,  Maryanne Martone, and all the people at FORCE11 that made #btpdf2 possible. I believe that this is a great start to move a broader discussion addressing the major problems that we face in scholarly communication.
You can follow here some of the outcomes after this conference. People are getting involved in many projects to provide great solutions to the scholarly community.
I suggested to Maryanne to start a series of Google Hangout to discuss all this rainbow of topics. I would be pleased to join some of the conversations.
I will also contribute to FORCE11, by writing some blogposts on the issues that I mostly matter. I think that beyond the merely technical side, we need to discuss also on the theoretical side of what we're doing. 

March 22, 2013

A great role model for collaborative science: meet the OpenWorm

Sometimes even big project could start from a tweet.

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to meet the team of OpenWorm in two live meetings that the they held in the UK.

March 7, 2013

Beyond the Pdf 2 - a disruptive conference

My dream finally comes true. In a couple of weeks I will met some of the most interesting people and groups around the world that are concerned about current scientific praxis. The distance between users and publisher will be closer.

A few weeks ago, I went in London to visit some friends of mine. I also get the chance of meeting the group behind the OpenWorm project.
In the next post I will describe how this project is a great role model for collaborative science.
One of the coordinator of OpenWorm is +Stephen Larson. Like every time, I shamefully arrive unprepared on the track record of those in front of me. And if this is useful in spontaneity, I would not recommend it at all.  You don't want to look like an idiot. Knowing who you are talking to, can save you a lot of time and help you to get important opportunities.

During this meeting, we also talked about many other aspects in addition to the project itself.
It turns out that Stephen is interested for some time in the same topics to which a few years ago I became interested too.
I naively explained my ideas to him, and after several advice and encouragements in pursuing this path, Stephen invites me to an amazing conference: Beyond the Pdf 2  (I'll tell you right now: if you cannot take part to the conference you can attend on-line at http://lanyrd.com/2013/btpdf2/)

February 27, 2013

About connecting the dots

A couple of years ago, I read Kary Mullis’s autobiography "Dancing Naked in the Mind Field" , and it shaped my life in some aspects. Kary, with his eccentric mood, shows that as one of the major properties required by the new notion "disruptive innovation", intuitive minds are gradually becoming the leading power of intelligence revolution. People who manage to ace merely the exams are predictably swept out.

In my first year as an undergraduate student, I was surrounded by people with high scores and low skills. I'm not saying that I'm better, but I could tell you that my passion for science was and still is greater than theirs. Why?


February 18, 2013

Editorial Crisis: you won't read all this

In many field beyond Science we could see a huge editorial crisis. A comprehensive study by the University of Bristol and the journalism school of Cardiff University shows that Politics, Economy, Science, Environmental issues and Religion, are some of the topics that general audience have difficulties to understand.[1]

The research - by means of special algorithms - was made by examining two and a half million articles from nearly 500 different sources in the English language, and comparing them between the major U.S. newspapers (printed and online).

The results disassemble part of the myth of "quality journalism" that alone would be enough to survive in the newspapers in this time of transition. It's not surprising the confirmation of the more readability of online newspapers rather than the one of tabloid journals, at least it's worrying to discover that the hottest issues are even less comprehensible to the average reader.

January 28, 2013

Everyone is talking about this. What's your opinion?

Science is at a turning point. Decisions has been normally emerged from traditional scientific praxis and a general consent, without a real discussion on it. This worked so far, but nowadays we are facing huge paradigm shifts.

Scientific Blogs and social networking are well spread in the Internet community, and this fact is having a huge impact on the trends of scientific research.
Big Data, ITs and "omic-like" projects are some of the aspects that are speeding our world faster than a rocket. But someone argue that high-speed doesn't relate to good quality.  Whether you like it or not, the trend seems to be pretty clear and ineluctable.
Thus, there's a general need to discuss scientific praxis in order to adapt it to those challenges. The consequences could be good or bad: it merely depends on our choices.
So, if we deliver a Meta-Science, that is a platform where scientists all around the world could discuss and democratically decide what are the best policies that fit this daily tumultuous changes, there's a hope to don't get disappointed at the end of the day.

January 23, 2013

Memorial for Aaron Swartz in SF at Internet Archive Thurs 7pm

Dear Friends, Please join us as we gather to remember Aaron Swartz on the evening of Thursday, January 24th.
Reception at 7:00pm EST
Memorial at 8:00pm EST
at the Internet Archive
300 Funston Avenue
San Francisco 94118
Speakers will include Danny O’Brien, Lisa Rein, Peter Eckersly, Molly Shaffer Van Houweling, Cindy Cohn, Brewster Kahle, Tim O’Reilly, Elliot Peters, Alex Stamos, and Carl Malamud; there will be an opportunity for brief remembrances.
Please consider RSVPing so that we know how many people to expect. If you are unable to join us, you can watch a live stream of the event.
From Aaron’s friends at: Creative Commons, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Noisebridge, Internet Archive, Wikimedia Foundation, Stanford Center for Internet and Society, O’Reilly and Blurryedge.

January 18, 2013

On "Join Papester Collective 1.0: How to reply to #icanhazpdf in 3 seconds"

I'm totally supporting this potential system theorized some days ago by Micah Allen and his friend Hauke on Allen's Neuroconscience blog . They discuss a quick and reliable strategy to share papers behind a paywall.
The proposed system is really easy and accessible by everyone, since it uses particular twitter's #hashtags for query and response.
I strongly believe that what started after Aaron Swartz's dead with #pdftribute, and continued with #sharecredentials (unfortunately and strangely still not so shared on twitter), and now followed by #icanhazpdf / #papester  will quickly lead to a massive weaken of paywall systems. Therefore, this will push people to understand and to propose alternative ways that are more ethically correct and also apt to current science needs.