Transforming Scholarly Communication: A webinar (September 18, 2009)

Development Policy16 Sep 2009Janelle Ward

For those interested in learning more about eResearch and curious to hear details on some successful eResearch projects, a noteworthy webcast on this topic will take place soon. On Friday September 18 at 1:15pm ET, The Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University will host a talk by Lee Dirks, the Director of Education and Scholarly Communication (Microsoft External Research). It is possible to join the webcast by following this link. A bit more about the topic, from the website:

In the future, frontier research in many fields will increasingly require the collaboration of globally distributed groups of researchers needing access to distributed computing, data resources and support for remote access to expensive, multi-national specialized facilities such as telescopes and accelerators or specialist data archives. There is also a general belief that an important road to innovation will be provided by multi-disciplinary and collaborative research – from bio-informatics and earth systems science to social science and archeology. There will also be an explosion in the amount of research data collected in the next decade – petabytes will be common in many fields. These future research requirements constitute the ‘eResearch’ agenda. Powerful software services will be widely deployed on top of the academic research networks to form the necessary ‘Cyberinfrastructure’ to provide a collaborative research environment for the global academic community.

The difficulties in combining data and information from distributed sources, the multi-disciplinary nature of research and collaboration, and the need to move to present researchers with tooling that enable them to express what they want to do rather than how to do it highlight the need for an ecosystem of Semantic Computing technologies. Such technologies will further facilitate information sharing and discovery, will enable reasoning over information, and will allow us to start thinking about knowledge and how it can be handled by computers.

This talk will review the elements of this vision and explain the need for semantic-oriented computing by exploring eResearch projects that have successfully applied relevant technologies—and anticipated impact on scholarly communication as we know it today. It will also suggest that a software + service model with scientific services delivered from the cloud will become an increasingly accepted model for research.