Continuing with the series of posts highlighting sessions in the Program at the upcoming ScienceOnline09, here are some sessions that deal with collaboration and networking between scientists and between their data.
Despite identification of the ~25,000 genes which comprise the "parts list" of the human genome, researchers continue to largely study previously-studied genes, leaving half of the genes in the human genome virtually unannotated. Moreover, there is growing recognition that under-resourced curators at official annotation centers will be overwhelmed with the pace of scientific discovery. This session will explore the application of community intelligence principles ("crowdsourcing") to the goal of genome-wide gene annotation. As a starting point for the discussion, we will overview several recent efforts in this area, including the Gene Wiki, WikiProteins, WikiPathways, and WikiGenes. We will also overview BioGPS, an extensible and customizable gene portal that allows the entire scientific community to collaboratively build a gene annotation portal. Issues to be discussed include data reliability, credit and incentives, and community-building.
Connections, connections, connections (as Miss Frizzle would say). What is new and what else needs to be done to make data "talk" to each other? What will it all mean?
Some scientists are now putting their entire, detailed lab notebooks online and updating them in real time. How is this done? Why is this done? What are the pros and cons? Is this something you should consider doing?
For a good current discussion see the Wikipedia entry of Open Notebook Science.
It seems that everyone is developing 'facebooks' for scientists these days. But they are not catching on. Why? What will make one of them a success one day?