You’ve done research; you’ve collected and sifted through mounds of links, papers, articles, notes and raw data. Shouldn’t there be a way to manage all that material that’s as easy and intuitive as, say, iTunes or Zune – helping you manage and share your snippets and research the way you share and enjoy your music?
Last week I wrote about several powerful new tools for scientific research that take advantage of cloud computing and massive data processing. Let’s keep with the theme for one more neat app, aimed at scientists and researchers of all types.
That’s the goal of ScholarLynk, a ”collaborative content management and scholarly communication” prototype from Microsoft Research that is being unveiled this week at ECDL, the European Conference on Research and Advanced Technology for Digital Libraries, a leading scientific forum on digital libraries and associated technical, practical, and social issues.
(By the way, you can follow ECDL action this week on Twitter with the hashtag #ECLD2010. Lots of neat papers and demos.)
ScholarLynk has its technical roots in an MSR project that I wrote about back in 2008, “Research Desktop,” combining semantic analysis with Web 2.0-style user interfaces. It’s designed to enable the following key functions:
Create “Reading lists” as you research
- Heterogeneous, local and online resources (for example emails, scholarly papers, web pages, local files)
- Metadata, annotations and associations
- Manage and maintain your growing reading lists
- Communicate in your chosen community (or communities)
- Follow (akin to Twitter lists)
- Wall (akin to Facebook)
- Feedback and rate each others’ research
Appropriately, this social-software prototype itself is being built collaboratively with several researchers from MSR labs in Europe and researchers at the University of Athens (see some of their AI, CS, and scientific-computing research here) and CNR/Pisa, one of Italy’s premier National Research Council labs (here’s a link to the English-language page of the Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche). As the prototype’s description puts it:
The prototype implementation leverages the DRIVER Infrastructure for European Open Access publications that currently comprises 2,500,000 publication records from over 250 repositories world wide. With respect to ScholarLynk, the DRIVER infrastructure offers: (i) integrated data sources by providing search facilities over DRIVER bibliographic metadata and other services such as Google Scholar, CiteULike, Flickr, etc., and (ii) hosting of content and metadata from the users’ personal spaces and sharing of that data via authorized client applications.
In the specific European context, over the last year DRIVER has sparked the creation of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), with Microsoft Research as a sponsor. This degree of international collaboration, across collections, platforms and tools, is really how most great science is performed today – and that’s exciting. Official government research is no exception; even “classified” research is increasingly collaborative across public-sector/private-sector boundaries (i.e. use of contractors).
There’s a bit more information about ScholarLynk on the MSR project page here, and most importantly the prototype should be available for download in December – watch this space!
Filed under: Government, innovation, Microsoft, R&D, Society, Technology Tagged: | academe, academia, academic, ai, Athens, CiteULike, CNR, computer, computer science, cs, data, DRIVER, ECDL, ECDL2010, EU, Europe, Flickr, Google, Google Scholar, Government, Greece, ICT, IT, Italy, iTunes, Microsoft, Microsoft Research, MSR, open, open data, open software, Pisa, research, Research Desktop, ScholarLynk, science, scientific, scientific computing, scientists, social, social software, tech, tecnology, University of Athens, Zune