APE2008 – Heuer, CERN

APE (Academic Publishing in Europe)  was a stimulating meeting, but I wasn’t able to blog any of it as (a) there wasn’t any wireless and (b) there wasn’t any electricity (we were in the BerlinBrandenburg. Academy of Sciences, which made up for the lack by the architecture and the legacy of bullet holes in the masonry). So I took notes while the battery lasted, but they read rather staccato.
The first keynote was very exciting. Rolf-Dieter Heuer is the new Director General of CERN – where they start hunting the Higgs Boson any time now. CERN has decided to run its own publishing venture – SCOAP3– which I first heard of from Salvatore Mele – I’m hoping to visit him is CERN before they let the hadrons loose.
So my scattered notes…
SCOAP requires all COUNTRIES contribute (i.e. total commitment from the community and support for the poorer members)
closely knit community, 22, 000 ppl.
ca 10MEUR for HEP – much smaller than expts (500MEUR) so easy for CERN to manage (So organising a publishing project is small beer compared with lowering a 1200 tonne magnet down a shaft
22% use of Google by young people in physics as primary search engine
could we persuade people to spend 30 mins/week for tagging
what people want
full text
depth of content
build complete HEP paltform
integrate present repositories
one-stop shop
integrate content and thesis material [PMR – I agree this is very important]
text-and data-mining
relate documents containg similar information
new hybrid metrcs
deploy Web2.0
engage readers in subject tagging
review and comment
preserve and re-use reaserach data
includes programs to read and analyse
data simulations, programs behind epts
software problem
must have migration
must reuse terminated experiments
[PMR. Interesting that HEP is now keen to re-use data. We often heard that only physiscists would understand the data so why re-use it. But now we see things like the variation of the fundamental constants over time   – I *think* ths means that the measurement varies, not the actual constants]
same reesearchers
similar experiements
future experiements
theoretic who want to check
theorist who want to test futuire (e.g. weak force)
need to reanalyze data with time (JADE experiement, tapes saved weeks before destruction and had expert)
SERENDIPTOUS discovery showing that weak force grows less with shorter distance
Raw data 3200 TB
raw-> calibrated -> skimmed -> high-leve obj -> phsyics anal – > results
must store semantic knowledge
involve grey literature and oral tradition
MUST reuse data after experiment is stopped
re-suable by other micro doamins
alliance for permanent access
PMR: I have missed the first part because battery crashed. But the overall impression is that SCOAP3 will reach beyond physics just as arXiv does. It nmay rival Wellcome in its impact on Open Acces publishing. SCOAP3 has the critical mass of community, probably finance, and it certainly has the will to succeed. Successes tend to breed successes.
… more notes will come at random intervals …

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