Science Online 2012: Library and librarian sessions

With the final countdown underway and the conference less than a week away, this post follows my post on library people in attendance at Science Online 2012 from a few weeks ago.

And I'd like to start off with another best-tweet-ever, this time Marieclaire Shanahan retweeting Colin Schutze:

+ they'll be fascinating! RT @_ColinS_: #Scio12 Newbie Tips: You will meet more librarians in one day than you thought existed in the world.

And that's long been one of my goals, to promote the integration of librarians into faculty and researcher conferences and social networks. And Science Online has always been a great example of how librarians and other library people could successfully integrate themselves into our patron community. My reflections on the success of last year's libraryish sessions lead me to propose some ideas for this year and ultimately to issue a kind of manifesto.

Related to that, I have an idle thought. Or question, rather.

Is there any other non-librarian conference out there with as much librarian presence and involvement as Science Online? I suspect it might be something in the Digital Humanities, but would love to hear about people's experiences.

Anyways, here's a list of all the librar* sessions at Science Online 2010:

Thursday, 4:00-5:00pm
D1S4c: Room 4. Undergraduate Education: Collaborating to Create the Next Generation of Open Scientists (discussion) - John Dupuis and Tanya Noel

Science faculty and librarians can collaborate on many aspects of undergraduate education - two ideas are the focus of this discussion. First: How can we best help undergrads understand and explore the scholarly information landscape? In addition to formal sources like journal articles, informal sources (e.g., blogs) are of increasing importance/relevance, which raises a question: How do we get students to think about what formal and informal really mean? How do we - faculty, librarians and others - work together to teach students to navigate the disciplinary landscape and become productive and critical consumers of - and contributors to - the disciplinary conversation? Second: How do we introduce students to the great big wide world of open science? How do the various players in higher education communicate to the next generation the incredible depth and complexity of what going on out there? How do we raise (inspire? support?) the next generation of Cameron Neylons, Steve Koches and Jean-Claude Bradleys (not to mention the next generation of Dorothea Salos and Christina Pikases)?

Friday, 10:45-11:45am
D2S2b: Room 3. Teaching Core Competencies in Science: Solving Algebraic and Word Problems (discussion) - Kiyomi Deards and Khadijah M. Britton

Math skills are necessary to the successful pursuit of science. Unfortunately, many students have not been given the tools to understand crucial core math concepts, or how they fit into the scientific process, by the time they enter a biology, physics, chemistry, or other science class. Co-moderated by a numeric dyslexic and a librarian, this session will be an adventure in communicating what we really mean by words like "logarithms," "meta-analysis," "distribution" or even "zero." We'll work through some word problems and analyze some graphs as a group, and try our hand at finding the shortest distance between a concept and a eureka. Bring your expertise, questions and creativity, and come out with new ways to communicate math simply, clearly and effectively.

Friday, 10:45-11:45am
D2S2d: Room 5. The Semantic Web (discussion) - Kristi Holmes and Antony Williams

Semantic Web-based projects are becoming increasingly more popular across a wide variety of disciplines. The session will provide a basic introduction to the topic and highlight different perspectives from people working in this space. We'll show *why* this technology is being used in so many areas - and demonstrate the benefits of linked data (especially in areas related to data reuse for visualizations, research discovery, and more). Open PHACTS, VIVO, and a number of the open government initiatives are good examples and there are many others. This session can serve as an introduction to the concept and highlight interesting and different ways that this technology is being used successfully.

Saturday, 9:30-10:30am
D3S1d: Room 5. Digital Preservation and Science Online (discussion) - Trevor Owens and Bonnie Swoger

Preserving Science Online? What should we be keeping for posterity? Science is now a largely digital affair. A lot of resources are being invested in ensuring that scientific datasets and digital incarnations of traditional scholarly journals will be around for the future. However, little effort has been spent on the preservation of new modes of science communication; like blogging and podcasting, or on things like citizen science projects. After a brief introduction to digital preservation, this session will serve to brainstorm and identify critical at-risk digital content and articulate why that content is important. Time permitting, we will kick around ideas for how we might go about putting partnerships together to collect and preserve this content. Come prepared to discuss what science is happening online that you think is important and why? How should we go about selecting what to preserve? Lastly, who should go about ensuring long term access to this content?

Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm
D3S3e: Room 6. Genomic Medicine: From Bench to Bedside (discussion) - Kristi Holmes and Sandra Porter

This session will serve as an introduction to the topic of personalized medicine from the perspective of major stakeholders including: scientists, physicians, patients and their advocates, community groups and media professionals. We'll begin with an introduction to the basic concepts and efforts in this area, followed by a discussion of information resources to serve stakeholder groups including relevant clinical, consumer health, and advocacy and policy resources. Various initiatives by government agencies, the commercial sector and academia will be discussed, including: Genetics Home Reference, 23andMe, PatientsLikeMe, and more

The Friday Blitz Talks & Demos also have some mini-sessions by library people or which are of interest from library perspective.

2:15-2:30pm - Writing for Robots: Getting your research noticed in the algorithmic era - William Gunn, Mendeley
With the volume of research output always rising, it's very hard to stay on top of what you need to read. Practically no one finds research articles anymore by going to the journal first and reading the table of contents. We all depend to some degree on algorithms to help us find what we should know. I'd like to talk a little about how some of the major algorithms work, how knowledge of the algorithms can make you a better writer, and how search and recommendation work together to bring you just the right paper at the right time. I'll present some specific examples of situations where these principles can be applied in three phases of research - starting a project, actively doing research, and writing up your results.

3:00-3:15pm - Research Discovery: Finding Networking Nirvana on the Semantic Web - Kristi Holmes
VIVO is an open source, open ontology research discovery platform for hosting information about scientists and their interests, activities, and accomplishments. The rich data in VIVO can be repurposed and shared to highlight expertise and facilitate discovery at many levels. Across implementations, VIVO provides a uniform semantic structure to enable a new class of tools which can use the rich data to advance science. There are currently over 50 VIVO implementations in the United States and over 20 international VIVO projects. This presentation will provide a brief description of VIVO and will demonstrate how diverse groups are not only using VIVO, but are also developing apps to consume the semantically-rich data for visualizations, enhanced multi-site search, discovery, and more. Learn more at

3:45-4:00pm - PaperCritic - Jason Priem (on behalf of Martin Bachwerk)
In a world where our lives are broadcast by Facebook and Twitter, our news consumption is dominated by blogs and our knowledge is defined by Wikipedia articles, science somehow remains 20 years behind in terms of communicating about its advances. PaperCritic aims to improve the situation by offering researchers a way of monitoring all types of feedback about their scientific work, as well as allowing everyone to easily review the work of others, in a fully open and transparent environment. The demo will give an overview of the site's main functions as well as discuss some plans for the future. Feel welcome to visit in the meantime to check it out for yourself.


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