Research Remix

January 8, 2019

Still time to submit to OR2019; I’ll be keynoting!

Filed under: conferences, Uncategorized — Tags: — Heather Piwowar @ 6:44 am

There is still time submit talk proposal for Open Repositories 2019, till January 16th.   It’s going to be in Hamburg Germany this year, and there are fellowships available for those with financial need.

And I’ll be keynoting!  :)  Super looking forward to it…. repositories are at the center of so many exciting changes right now.

Anyway, details below.  I hope you can make it, it would be great to meet you and/or see you again!

Open Repositories



July 12, 2010

Recap of iEvoBio BoF on open science, data sharing & reuse, credit.

Filed under: conferences — Tags: , , , , — Heather Piwowar @ 10:52 am

The organizers of the recent iEvoBio meeting have asked for a summary of the Birds-of-a-Feather session.  I didn’t take notes, but here is a start:

About 10 people participated in the BoF that merged the three sign-up topics “open notebook science”, “data sharing and reuse”, and “data citations and a culture of credit.”

We had an energetic and wide-ranging discussion that included participation from people with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and opinions.  A few of the topics included:

  • the variants of open notebook science and how they are supported (or undersupported, in some cases) by Open Wet Ware
  • the need to publish minimal data slices to prevent scooping, particularly for some datatypes, and how it can lead to misinterpretation of the data by others
  • whether data-producing authors should be contacted as collaborators for reuse
  • the fact that credit is essential, yet so is remembering that our jobs are fundamentally to contribute to scientific progress
  • support for dynamic CV that included up-to-date reuse metrics for articles, data, and nontraditional outputs.

If you were there, do you have things to add?  Respond in the comments or on twitter with #ievobioBof .

I learned a lot from the perspectives of others in the discussion:  looking forward to more conversations at future meetings.

July 5, 2010

Kudos for childcare at Evolution 2010

Filed under: conferences, work life balance — Heather Piwowar @ 9:20 am

I would like to publicly thank the organizers, funders (Elsevier New Scholars Program grant) and caregivers (at A+ Childcare To You) who provided childcare at the recent Evolution 2010 meeting in Portland.

I have attended many conferences and this was the first that offered childcare.  The fees were reasonable. The caregivers were flexible and responsible and friendly and creative and fun. The childcare rooms were conveniently located, well equipped, and available 10 hours per day.  My four year old was in heaven… this allowed me to get the most out of a long meeting (especially with the subsequent iEvoBio day).

There are many ways to promote good science: childcare should not be underestimated.

Thank you.

Evolution 2010 and iEvoBio recap

Filed under: conferences, openscience, Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — Heather Piwowar @ 9:19 am

As my first exposure to the field of evolution, attending Evolution 2010 and iEvoBio was drinking from a firehose. That said, it was a productive and enjoyable dousing. Highlights:

Slides from presentations that highlighted open science, data sharing and archiving, and reward structures:

  • Mike Whitlock: Data Archiving in Evolution info session, discussed motivation and details on the joint data archiving policy that will require data archiving across six journals starting next year (policy, slides)
  • Carl Boettiger: My experiment with open science: Why the benefits of sharing go beyond source code, a dynamic practical case study of how and why to do open science (slides)
  • Todd Vision: The Dryad Digital Repository: Published evolutionary data as part of the greater data ecosystem, motivation and overview for the new data repository for post-publication datasets in evolution and ecology (abstract and demo)
  • Rob Guralnick: Biodiversity Discovery and Documentation in the Information and Attention Age, keynote talk highlighting, in part, the value in sharing pre-publication data and the need to change our reward structures to value that contribution (slides)
  • Anne Thessen: New Biology: The Data Conservancy and Data Driven Discovery, an overview of the ambitious data conservancy project(website)
  • Jonathan Eisen: Phylogenomics of microbes: the dark matter of biology, keynote with some plugs for PLoS and project openness (slides)
  • Rutger Vos: TreeBASE2: Rise of the Machines, background on new machine-friendly interfaces to TreeBASE (slides) and demo

A few other presentations related to how we develop or communicate science:

  • Rod Page: Phyloinformatics in the age of Wikipedia, a talk on the value of realizing how people find science (slides)
  • Vincent Smith: Top-down and bottom-up informatics: who has the high ground?, powerful case studies of successful and unsuccessful projects (abstract)
  • Cynthia Parr: Community content building for evolutionary biology: Lessons learned from LepTree and Encyclopedia of Life, case studies on the relative strengths of different design approaches (abstract)
  • N. Dean Pentcheff: Copyrights and digitizing the systematic literature: the horror… the horror…, about why it is important and completely legal to assemble an open digital archive of phylogeny papers under fair use

We also had a very interesting iEvoBio Birds-of-a-Feather session on open science, data sharing and reuse, and data citations. There were about 10 of us in a wide-ranging and interesting discussion with diverse perspectives.

Overall the iEvoBio meeting was fun and useful: a very successful first year kickoff bringing together people with similar interests. Thanks to Hilmar Lapp and the other organizers for all of their work. Can’t wait to go next year and contribute to the theme of research openness.

Of course the meetings were also a very useful intro to the field of evolution itself. Sean Carron’s Gould prize lecture told the historical story of evolutionary theory: entertaining and informative, it was a fantastic start.  I also enjoyed the two award research lectures (though I wish they hadn’t overlapped with 5pm info sessions on Data Archiving and NESCent). The presentations and posters gave me a good high-level overview of what questions people are looking at, what kinds of data are produced and reused, what tools are developed, and what kinds of creativity and hard work required in designing effective experiments.

Finally, I made a number of contacts and spent some time with my NESCent and Dryad community, my local UBC community, and others interested in open data and open science within this domain… crucial given the remote nature of my postdoc.

Left now with oodles of disjoint notes, ideas, and enthusiasm for my next steps. Here we go!

ETA:  Want more info on iEvoBio?  Summary of online artifacts.

June 27, 2010

Open science and data sharing at Evolution 2010 and iEvoBio

Filed under: conferences, Open Notebook Science, openscience — Heather Piwowar @ 11:21 am

I’m at the Evolution 2010 conference and will be attending the iEvoBio meeting (inspired by a similarly scoped conference for the domain of genome informatics, the Bioinformatics Open Source Conference, BOSC).

Here’s a quick list of upcoming open science and data sharing discussions that I’m aware of:

  • data archiving meeting today, Sunday June 27th, 5-6pm in room A106 (PDF listing)
  • Dryad table and team in the NESCent booth
  • Dryad talk at iEvoBio
  • iEvoBio meeting with a commitment to open source code
  • one or more lightning talks at iEvoBio will include open notebook science
  • birds-of-a-feature on open notebook science at iEvoBio
  • several of the journal editorial board meetings are discussing data sharing policies

If you are at Evolution and interested in a variant of open science, drop me a line and we can get in touch!  hpiwowar nescent org

February 24, 2010

Thanks, Science Commons Symposium

Filed under: conferences, Open Notebook Science, openscience — Tags: — Heather Piwowar @ 11:10 am

Thank you, Lisa Green and Hope Leman.  Thank you, all the speakers and participants who travelled from far and wide to Seattle.  The recent Science Commons Symposium, Pacific Northwest, was fantastic.

I met, in person, many people I’d only corresponded with on the intertubes, and met many others I’m looking forward to corresponding with in the future.  I was inspired, informed, reinspired.

I’m still head-down in my thesis and so won’t give a rundown of the presentations or discussions.  For those of you who missed it, there are several great summaries out there.  Hashtag #spspn on twitter and FriendFeed.


Also of note #1:  The Amtrak trip between Vancouver,Canada and Seattle is beautiful!  Definitely recommended.

Also of note #2:  Oh I wish cell phone plans cared less about borders.  I need to figure out a better solution for international meeting tweeting.

September 11, 2008

PSB Open Science workshop talk abstract

Filed under: conferences, MyResearch, opendata, openscience, sharingdata — Tags: , , — Heather Piwowar @ 10:39 am

The program for the Open Science workshop at PSB 2009 has been posted.  Great diversity of topics… I’m really looking forward to it.

My talk abstract is below… comments and suggestions are welcome!

Measuring the adoption of Open Science

Why measure the adoption of Open Science?

As we seek to embrace and encourage participation in open science, understanding patterns of adoption will allow us to make informed decisions about tools, policies, and best practices. Measuring adoption over time will allow us to note progress and identify opportunities to learn and improve. It is also just plain interesting to see where we are, where we aren’t, and where we might go!

What can we measure?

Many attributes of open science can be studied, including open access publications, open source code, open protocols, open proposals, open peer-review, open notebook science, open preprints, open licenses, open data, and the publishing of negative results. This presentation will focus on measuring the prevalence with which investigators share their research datasets.

What measurements have been done? How? What have we learned?

Various methods have been used to assess adoption of open science: reviews of policies and mandates, case studies of experiences, surveys of investigators, and analyses of demonstrated data sharing behavior. We’ll briefly summarize key results.

Future research?

The presentation will conclude by highlighting future research areas for enhancing and applying our understanding of open data adoption.

August 15, 2008

Participation statement for SIG USE 2008

Filed under: conferences — Tags: , — Heather Piwowar @ 10:52 am

The theme of SIG USE 8th Annual Research Symposium at ASIST 2008 is “Future Directions: Information Behavior in design & the making of relevant research.”

It will be held Saturday, October 25, 2008, from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the Hyatt Regency, Columbus, OH

The organizers of the symposium are asking (details) for a Participation Statement in advance… a one-pager that addresses the topic of “communicating the significance of information behavior research to designers of products, systems and services” through four provided questions. The statement is due today. I just finished my draft. I welcome comments on these thoughts, either before or after I submit it this afternoon :)

How does our research address the transformative relationship between people and information?

I study the sharing and reuse of scientific datasets. When scientists make their collected data openly available (often at personal cost in time and opportunity), they increase the information resources of the scientific community. Other scientists may then choose to examine, critique, aggregate, refine, and repurpose these datasets to achieve efficient scientific progress.

Understanding the behaviours of people and information in this complex system is crucial if we wish to develop and refine policies, tools, and practices for effective research.

What fundamental questions should we be looking at in our research?
  • What motivates scientific researchers to share data?
  • Are current incentives for voluntary data-sharing effective? How can they be improved?
  • Are current data-sharing mandates effective? How can they be improved?
  • Does the quality of shared data suffer when the act of sharing is mandated?
  • Sharing information transforms Research – does sharing information transform Researchers?
  • What motivates researchers to reuse scientific datasets? What obstacles do they encounter?
  • Does reusing data in fact lead to more efficient, focused research progress? With what caveats?
  • Are the costs of sharing data worth the benefits?
How are we to move towards making a greater impact on organizations and designers?

Three ingredients allow research to make a difference in the real world: we need to make our research relevant, actionable, and accessible.

Relevant: Choose research settings that are as concrete and realistic as possible. Don’t just survey: measure demonstrated behaviour. Don’t just mock-up: observe the users with their native applications. Don’t just invent clean tasks: study users doing the work they really do.

Actionable: Study issues where results can be directly translated into change. For example, focus on how funder and journal policies impact data sharing behaviour, rather than the correlation between data sharing behaviour and the number-of-paper-authors.

Accessible: Publish open access (OA journals, or self-archive on the web). Publish in the journals and conferences of the intended audience. Write without jargon. Organize tutorials, workshops, and bird-of-a-feather sessions at audience conferences. Send letters to journal editors. Volunteer for policy committees and design teams. Blog. Film a video. Share your data. Encourage others to do the same.

How can or should information behavior research be presented to translate effectively into the language of other information research communities?

As a new member of the information research community, I look forward to learning from the conversation!

Does sharing information transform Researchers?

Filed under: conferences — Tags: , , , , , — Heather Piwowar @ 10:35 am

As you can imagine, a few months and an untold number of conferences makes for a lot of blogging fodder. The posts requiring new thought will have to wait, since I’m in the middle of a pilot-project crunch. But to get the ball rolling….

The ASIS&T conference looks very relevant to my research interests of data sharing and reuse. The special interest group SIG USE focuses on Information Needs Seeking and Use… definitely something I should check out. Consequently, I decided to apply for their PhD Student Conference Travel Award. The application required a statement that addresses “an issue relating to the current year’s conference theme in relation to information behavior research (how people need, seek, manage, give, and use information in different contexts).” This year’s ASIS&T conference theme is People Transforming Information – Information Transforming People. My entry statement is below, in case it is of interest.

People Transforming Information – Information Transforming People

Sharing information transforms Research –
Does sharing information transform Researchers?

Research advances when investigators build upon the results of others. This is possible whenever research results are shared at a sufficient level of detail to allow others to understand, replicate, critique, and expand on analyses; leverage is greatest when raw research data can be explored. Unfortunately, although shared raw research data has many benefits for the general research community, as yet there are few demonstrated benefits for the original investigators who bear the costs of making their datasets available.

I wish to evaluate the transformative effect on researchers when they share their data. Do they, as one might guess, receive more citations because their published results have an expanded usefulness? Do they become more aware of other available datasets, and thus more likely to reuse shared data in the future? Do they become more likely to embrace other mechanisms, such as publishing through open access models, for making their research results widely available?

I am engaged in a long-term effort to identify instances of research data sharing and reuse. I plan to address the above questions, and others, by looking at publication patterns, covariates, and data-sharing behavior of various research communities. Through this work, I hope to quantify incentives for researchers to share their data, identify synergies between open access and open data, and highlight the need to evaluate policies and behaviors to realize the full potential of our research activities.

Travel award winners to be announced at the SIG USE symposium in October.

July 18, 2007

Thanks to the NSF for travel grant

Filed under: conferences, ISMB — Heather Piwowar @ 11:03 am

Public thank you to the NSF for my travel-fellowship to Vienna. I didn’t receive one in the first-round, but was on the waiting list and supposedly a number of the first-choice applicants weren’t able to attend, so I got to move up in the queue. $1100 to put towards the trip, thanks to the US National Science Foundation. Fantastic. Thank you.

It certainly helps, especially since I’m not ready to be away from my 15-month old kiddokiddo-15months

for a week just yet, so we are on a whole-family outing during a time of peak airplane-ticket prices.

Hopefully this will encourage others to think big about conference attendance and travel-grants. They are out there, it doesn’t hurt to apply, you never know!

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