#btpdf2 #scholrev: Planning the scholarly revolution

At Beyond the PDF2 www.force11.org/beyondthepdf2 a number of us felt that we needed a radical approach to scholarship and its communication. This wasn’t planned, but 25 of us met at lunch and decide we wanted to DO something different. There are very few ground rules but the basics include:

  • It must be Open (source, data, content, processes, mentality)
  • It must be universal and inclusive
  • It must address problems of the human race
  • It must be part of modern culture and practice
  • It must be protected from going down the stale processes of the last umpteen years

And more – this post must be short

So we grabbed our lunch and moved the chairs and tried to get everyone a chance to contribute but also with the real promise of getting something done by the end of 40 minutes. So far we have:

  • A hashtag “#scholrev” (this seems to be fairly free) under which we can group.
  • About 6 concrete realisable subprojects. Ranges from an collection of Open metadata (2 variants) to platforms, to textbooks.
  • A commons.
  • A communications platform, offered by @onelaboratory.com. Thanks. But you must remain open.
  • A list of initial members.
  • Ideas for how to spend 1K from #btpdf
  • Plans to meet AND HACK at #eswc European Semantic Web Conference at Montpelier this summer.
  • Invite people that we know would be interested.

I know how hard it is to keep this excitement going. But it’s critically important. So at the very least I am going to blog under this hashtag.

The challenge is to build something as world-changing as Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap. It can be done. And it involves everyone.

0 thoughts on “#btpdf2 #scholrev: Planning the scholarly revolution

  1. Andrew Varnell

    I mentioned this on twitter, any interest on creating a webpage that would act as a project hub, community hub, and virtual meeting place for la revolutíon? Would have no problem fronting the bill for domain reg/hosting and would be made exclusively with OA/OS materials

  2. openscience

    This comment has been cowritten from an IRC chat in the wake of #scholrev. We are part of the collective who tweet @openscience and admin web infrastructure for OSF and related groups, such as OKFN and PLOS, but neither we nor these suggestions represent anyone officially.

    We would like to see #scholrev start by using Commons In A Box @CBOX — @kfitz had discussed CBOX at #btpdf2 — with which we also have experience. We have contributed to BuddyPress and WordPress for science since 2008 and for example, Mark’s Science 3.0, from which grew @figshare, used a precursor of CBOX https://plus.google.com/117417705451874519785/posts/EyxbLSe8uhD Together, we have built a few dozen networks like these, extending them with federation, integrating science relevant bits such as Zotero for reference management, and such.

    PMR would be familiar with the OKFN network, a WordPress implementation with 95 sites, including e.g. that for Panton Principles. A couple of us are admins there. From a quick look, it is probably not CBOX compatible in terms of some of the live sites, while it could be eventually. Federating with the network is doable but probably on the scale of “in 2013.” Otherwise, we should suggest starting #scholrev within OKFN’s network; federating with OKFN in the longer term is regardless a generally desirable technical and organizational goal.

    For @openscience the organization, we run a couple federations, comprised of similar networks — one for student scientists and the other for everyone else (per privacy, safety, school policies, etc.). For example, see http://futurescienceleaders.org/ which is federated with networks including http://studentbioexpo.org/ and http://u20science.org/ Not entirely different to the purpose of OKFN’s open science training in early career or for grad students, except for an even younger set who are also mentored, in those examples.

    Our role is sometimes design, development, tech support; in all cases we are hosting and maintaining the stack below WordPress and its scripts, and most often we are also maintaining at the WP level. In the examples listed so far, our work and the hosting are volunteered and donated. Unless Sloan or some other angel wants to swoop in, or an existing org had room to foot the hosting bill, we would assume our services and work for #scholrev to also be pro bono and donated. We are not averse to being compensated individually but are not for profit in our work.

    Federation in these cases means shared web services, codebase, and also shared users and authentication. It can mean more integration, at the option of participating blogs, sites, networks, or the fact of federation can be invisible. About our code: it is in the WordPress or otherwise appropriate repositories, but making federation work is rather involved and onerous to document properly. A better, still longer term goal both for us and CBOX itself is fully decentralized, distributed social networking and publishing, such that we could easily federate with implementations like OKFN’s and without wizardry by the network admin. Federation should eventually be managed through the CBOX code and with a UI. We have also contributed to attempts such as Social River to do this including but not requiring WordPress; those are longer roads. We can at least do something open and federated for #scholrev now, if not yet decentralized.

    If #scholrev is to grow from a commons: ScholarlyCommons.org, .com, and kin are available. If it is not too domain specific to science, ScienceCommons.org is unused — archived content, redirected URLs aside — as is @sciencecommons on Twitter since 2010. We believe this is the proper brand to represent the intent and to pin the online hub of #scholrev. Creative Commons have a new science advisory, which includes Peter. We are glad to see it! but short of Science Commons being resurrected as it was, let it spring again from the grassroots. Let’s renew ScienceCommons.org and @sciencecommons as a functioning commons for science.

  3. Jörg Prante

    Good things are ahead. There are so many initiatives out there I’d like to see joining together.
    I’d like to volunteer and add my best-effort support like development of bibliographic tools and search engine code based on #Elasticsearch . Let’s start something like an open science database and open source toolbox collections, available on everybody’s desktop. Any hints are much appreciated!

    1. pm286 Post author

      Great – thanks Joerg
      This sounds brilliant. I am acting as facilitator, not director. We want to see what ideas and tools emerge. This is a marketplace and we should encourage diversity but not exclude some apparent competition – often that spurs people to new ideas. More later

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  7. Eugenio Battaglia

    Hello guys! Just to recap what we’ve said at the lunch.

    As Kristina Kangas took e-mails from the participants at the lunch, I suggest to set up a temporary mailing list to discuss #scholrev

    Then, after a while – as Andrew Halff and Valentino Gantz proposed – we can move to their platform in order to get a place for this community (link@ the platform >> onelaboratory.com)

    On sunday, I will have an hangout with Lukasz Bolikowski on Google+ , to discuss a repository for Open Science tool – that could be hosted on Hallf and Gantz’s platform. This Hangout could be a great start to set up some coordination on the project. We could start from the keypoints expressed by Peter.
    If you want to join please, add me on G+ https://plus.google.com/106023093803571786089
    The hangout will be @9 PM C.E.T on Google Hangout – See you there!

    Eugenio Battaglia

    1. pm286 Post author

      Really pleased to see this sort of initiative. Suggest you are more precise than “this sunday” (it will be Monday in Australasia). 2013-03-24:21-00 CET = 2013-03-24:22-00 UTC (am I right?)

    1. pm286 Post author

      Thanks – I had been referencing #BTPDF2 pages. I will add a phrase “This springs from a lunchtime meeting at #btpdf2 run by http://force11.org“.

      There is no reason why people shouldn’t use FORCE11 lists and wikis. I feel it’s important that the community tries out ideas of what it wants to do. The organisation may be as little as a hashtag!

  8. Eugenio Battaglia


    Yes Maryann we will blog also there, I was just waiting the guys at FORCE11 to activate my account. FORCE11 is a great initiative and I’m totally to use and pledge it as a infrastructure for our projects.

    Great Peter! >> About the Google+ Hangout. This service is free; works better than Skype; it can host up to 10 people together and we can stream it on Youtube so more people can give live feedback. So join Google+ and add me to your circles so that the 24th of March, H 9.00p C.E.T (CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME) I will start a collective call with those who are interested.
    To know when is it in your country just convert this schedule time with a free converter online. Yes in Australia will be Monday at 7.00a

    Let me know!

    1. pm286 Post author

      I am keen that we proceed in a pluralistic decentralised manner (and I’ll blog this later today). At present the thing that unites us is a hashtag #scholrev (and that’s good). We certainly must continue to pay tribute to force11 as the birthplace of #scholrev. But we don’t necessarily have to have a central place to express our ideas and create software. I particularly wanted to avoid it being seen as PMR leading and using OKFN as the default. if other discussion places and resources have sprung up then that’s great. I will suggest we have *a* list on OKFN but it doesn’t have to be *the* list.

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  10. Eugenio Battaglia

    Agree! Let’s go “bazaar”.. but do not waste our energy. Coordination meant just to do not reinvent the wheel. I think twitter is a great aggregator for people and brief ideas, but it’s not useful for deeper discussions. A regular roundtable on g+hangout, plus a streaming on a youtube channel of these discussions, will help to focus on the variety of projects we want to pursue. Check my post for what I mean as Collaborative Science here http://bit.ly/13jElav

    So this hangout – as I meant – will be *a hangout (and not *the) for who wants to discuss something. For instance Lukasz Bolikowski, I and other people, will join this hangout to discuss a list of tools that Lukasz have already started. Anyone who’s interested could join us!

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