Illuminating Dark Knowledge



How innovation in search engines needs renewing with
open working and open indexes

Image: LA at Night, Wikimedia, https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/75/LA_at_night.jpg 

Without being able to build on top of existing — search tools and indexes — innovation in search engines is being held back and letting down researchers and the public. The Open Access and Open Science movement that have worked hard to make free hundreds of thousands of publications, but at the last mile search engines are failing to effectively deliver on discovery. Public knowledge is hidden in plain sight — a phenomenon called “Dark Knowledge”. This article is a call for open infrastructural ‘ways of working’ to be adopted as ‘the new normal’ to turn this situation around in software and interface development for scholarly search.

Read More

An Interview with de-RSE: Supporting Researchers Using Software

Image: de-RSE https://www.de-rse.org/de/index.html

de-RSE – Research Science Engineers: A New Association in Germany

An interview by GenR with members of the newly forming German association of Research Software Engineers – de-RSE. The association is being formally constituted in late November 2018 (next week 26th Nov., Berlin) and will provide a new support network for the wider software community. Highlights being a summer 2019 conference in Potsdam, and a fellowship programme. The interview is the first in a series of article in GenR’s theme ‘Socializing Infrastructures‘ and we take the opportunity to ask de-RSE for their comments on Open Science infrastructures and ‘software as infrastructure’.

Read More

Research or Perish! The Decentralized Web and Open Research. A Report from the FORCE11 2018 Montreal Conference

Image: FORCE11 2018 Montreal Conference, group photo

I attended the FORCE11 annual conference—an event with a very broad coverage of scholarly communications—with a mission in mind. This mission was to see what decentralized web (DWeb) research projects had matured to a level to be reusable in the working context of a scholars. Most DWeb systems and services are in an alpha phase, so in early R&D state where things are still experimental and not meant for large scale professional use. When a systems is in an alpha phase the objective is to carry out R&D to be able to test a set of assumptions and so improve a system to be able for it to move onto become a beta system, and then a full release. My very real concern is that almost all DWeb systems being proposed don’t know enough about how scholars and academia works, and instead use very thin models of scholarly workflows, that in turn means the chances of adoption, moving through the development phases, or solving the big problems in science communications are greatly reduced.

Read More

What Can Open Science Learn and Use From DECODE’s Blockchain Urbanism Research and Tech Stack?

DECODE – DEcentralized Citizen Owned Data Ecosystem

In the context of contemporary urban development the growth of Smart Cities through—IoT, the sharing-economy such as AirBnB, digital services and platform from the private sector like Uber, or from municipal provision as in metro transport—there is a need for personal data privacy and for a level playing field in ‘aggregated data’ access for service providers and researchers. The EU Horizon 2020 funded DECODE research project has been developing just such a technical infrastructure to ensure smart and safe cities. With the motivation of the research being for real world implementation by all types of service providers using Privacy by Design principles. The question for Open Science and scholarly communications is, how can these principles and technologies be transferred from urbanism to academia.

Read More

An Interview with Sarven Capadisli, Dokieli-Developer, on Autonomous Linked Research

Image: By Malvika Sharan @MalvikaSharan Twitter https://twitter.com/MalvikaSharan/status/1043084660522270722 

A rare breed of open Web researcher, testing assumptions about publishing and academic freedom by creating the demonstrative software ‘dokieli‘. A browser based, decentralized publishing software, designed on the principles of—empowerment, individual autonomy, decentralized and interoperable applications, universal access, and a social Web. And why the experiment “This ‘Paper’ is a Demo“, borne from a healthy dose of stubbornness, came about. The current line of thinking at a high-level is captured as part of the ‘Linked Research‘ initiative.

Read More