London Experience, Day 5: “Really Clever Stuff” in Science Publishing

Today the 19 Pratt and UTK students travelled to our base-of-operations instructional facility, the Weston Room at the Maughan Library.  This is an impressive gothic-styled building.  The room we were in dates to the 1600s and in a morbid sort of way, as a deconsecrated chapel, had remains of former “Masters of the Rollls” entombed in the same hall we took instruction in.  Memento mori, indeed.

The first speaker for our instruction was Dan Pollock, with experience in digital publishing at Nature.

I greatly enjoyed his talk, particularly his comments on “mining the world’s knowledge.”

Essentially, the “circa 2010” publishing model is “really inconvenient.” And what is that model?  Well, it’s a collection of articles, chapters, metadata links, and structured datasets.

The better model incorporates structured, interactive, and queryable figures and text. Incorporates semantic search.  Features linked data.

Already, semantic search is available from organizations like Google Scholar, PureDiscovery, SureChem, and WolframAlpha described as a “computational knowledge engine.” (side note: what’s up with combining names, is that a side effect of the no-blank-space URL or just something marketers love to do?)

This is what Pollock is talking about when he says “really clever stuff here” in the information life cycle – and ultimately in the research data life cycle.

This is the Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 technology – semantic Web, linked open data, analysis and visualization tools built in to the scholarly journal, which scholarly e-publishers must pursue to continue the revolution that the printing press started in 1450.

Publishers can start to make their data available via Application Programming Interfaces, and adopt other standards like HTML 5 to advance interoperability. has already done some of this with the linked data platform described at <>. It was great to a science publisher like Pollock speak – very engaged and enjoyable presentation and certainly appreciated the message about the role of information technology and information science in continuing the publishing revolution.








About Tanner Jessel

I am a recent M.S. in Information Science graduate from the University of Tennessee School of Information Science. I was formerly a graduate research assistant funded by DataONE (Data Observation Network for Earth). Prior, I worked for four years as a content lead and biodiversity scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey's Biodiversity Informatics Program. Building on my work experience in biodiversity and environmental informatics, my work with DataONE focused on exploring the nature of scientific collaborations necessary for scientific inquiry. I also conducted research concerning user experience and usability, and assisted in development of member nodes with an emphasis on spatial data and infrastructure. I assisted with research designed to understand sociocultural issues within collaborative research communities. Through August 1, 2014, I was based at the Center for Information and Communication Studies at the University of Tennessee School of Information Science in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Posted on June 28, 2013, in London Experience and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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