IS 553 Assignment 5 is a marketing plan for service offerings promoting the U.S. National Park Service’s Inventory and Monitoring Program. Includes three service offerings with marketing messages tailored for specific target audiences, promotional activities, and measures of performance.
My summer semester of 2013 includes a 3-credit hour course in Scholarly E-Publishing. This course provides exposure to an international electronic publishing industry, particularly focused on journal and book publishing, from a world center of electronic scholarly publishing: London, United Kingdom. It offers an intensive series of talks, site visits, and instruction designed to explore how e-publishing is changing both the way scholarly research is conducted and communicated. Information professionals from Oxford, Cambridge, the British Library, Elsevier, Wiley, Proquest and more share their unique perspective on scholarly publishing.
Because scientific effort must be clearly communicated and disseminated via scholarly publishing, the course content is of particular interest to the University of Tennessee “SciData” program and is highly relevant to my professional and scholarly goals. I am particularly interested in understanding how publishers intend to work with open access data repositories such as DataONE, Dryad, or spatial data repositories such as ShareGeo in the UK or EDAC in the U.S. I am interested in the concept of the data paper, and how a dataset and a data paper might be linked to a publication and shared across platforms with the scholarly community.
The course is a joint venture of University College London Department of Information Studies, the Pratt Institute School of Information and Library Studies in New York City, and the School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee.
Given my background in natural sciences (B.S., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) and entry into the UT School of Information Sciences 2013 cohort concurrently with the 8 SciData Scholars, I was allowed the opportunity to participate in the course.
Along with a blog of reflections on daily course material and the London experience, the course culminates in an individualized research paper. I intend to focus on the role of data and datasets in scholarly publishing. The role of datasets in scholarly publishing is most pertinent to my work with the DataONE project concerned with accessibility and preservation of environmental data.
I arrived in London on Monday to overcast skies and blustery temperatures – blustery at least for a Tennesseean, especially one who’d just spent 3 weeks in New Mexico’s high desert at the University of New Mexico Environmental Information Management Institute.
I’d been chasing the sunrise eastward since 10:25sunday morning, leaving the arid desert for a 2 hour hop to George Bush International Airport in humid Dallas, Texas, then taking a direct 9 hour International flight to Heathrow International in London.
The sun rose high over the northern latitudes above a sea of clouds – I pondered how generations of Europeans had made the reverse trip across the frigid North Atlantic towards a better life in the Americas – and how some never made it to that promised land. It is odd to be an American making the reverse journey, especially so non-chalantly as on a jet aircraft. Perhaps the former fleet of Air France supersonic jets gave an even more injurious insult to the hard-won sea voyages of early seafarers.
As the plane made a descent to London, I caught a few glimpses of the rocky coastline – which only a few weeks before I’d been discussing the fractal nature of the British coast. It was nice to see in person. Nearing London, I took interest in the orderly structure of the city’s layout, especially in comparison to U.S. cities like Atlanta and Charlotte I’ve flown into – metropolitan areas with much surrounding land where sprawl freely creeps. The countryside was lush and verdant. Rolling hills in the distance surprised me for their semblance to the rolling green hills outside Knoxville, Tennessee. The city grid seemed efficient and bustling – my eye focused on the steadily snaking rail lines and linear beads of mercury running along iron oxidized tracks, carrying morning commuters to their destinations.
In as much as communication and information is a transportation problem, essentially how to transfer information from one location to another, the idea of my transatlantic flight and these inner city commuters captured my imagination. As much as my flight makes earlier transatlantic flight seem hopelessly primitive, I wonder how many years will pass before out fossil-fuel based jet setting is also hopelessly primitive, perhaps as our atoms are bounced across continents, transmitted and re-assembled as a data stream a la Star Trek transporter fame.
As I embark to study scholarly e-publishing, the same question arises: what technology has yet to exist that will revolutionize publishing as much as the printing press did in 1450? Certainly the Internet has significantly enhanced publication and dissemination options, but it is still largely based on an electronic version of the print medium paradigm. Even with tablets, many newspapers simply offer a PDF version of their daily magazine – embracing the full potential of digital publishing may require not only technical expertise but also a strong imagination to envision and embrace the possibilities presented by fully digital scholarly content.
I’m looking forward to exploring this topic in the next two weeks.