Hackday 2014-06-19 in Edinburgh – a radically new approach to Scholarly Communication in the Digital Enlightenment

Summary: Help us change the way we communicate Science and the Humanities in the Digital Enlightenment. Free [1] EVERYONE can help.Edinburgh is the capital of the Scottish Enlightenment where free thinkers changed the way we think about and run the world. Next week (June 19th) we’ll be running a hackday to change the way that we communicate Science and the  Humanities.

For 400 years we have relied on the “printed journal” and “articles” (e.g. “PDFs”) and now we’re doing something completely different. Authors should be able to do what *they* want and readers should be able to read in the way *they* want. And readers aren’t just lecturers, they are 4-year olds, patients and machines. 4-year olds LOVE DINOSAURS.

We’ve built most of the basics. We are going to:

  • SCRAPE material from PLOS (and other Open) articles. And some of these are FUN! They’re about DINOSAURS!!
  • EXTRACT the information. Which papers talk about DINOSAURS? Do they have pictures?
  • REPUBLISH as a book. Make your OWN E-BOOK with Pictures of DINOSAURS with their FULL LATIN NAMES!!

[I’m serious about the 4-year olds. I have two high quality data points where 4-year olds LOVE Binomial names. This hackday is NOT designed for kids… but future ones maybe]

For the Techies:

  • Ross Mounce has zillions of Open DOIs about dinosaurs (i.e. a list of papers).
  • Richard Smith-Unna has built the world’s latest and greatest scraper (quickscrape) for journal articles. Anyone who can edit a file can learn to use it in 5 minutes
  • Peter Murray-Rust and friends have written AMI which can extract many types of information from articles. The simplest method is regexes, but we can do phylogenetic trees from diagrams, chemistry and much else. All in a giant Java Jar. This can filter out either the articles you want or just the bits you want!
  • Peter Sefton has built scholarly authoring systems that academics actually want to use!! We’ll probably use eBook technology which can reassemble the bits that AMI has found and you want to read. All the adverts are gone! We can make ebooks for a given subject, or today’s publications, or methods for cloning mosquitoes or all the graphs about climate change…
In hackdays YOU decide what you want to do, find friends and explore. You might create something wonderful or you might just have fun.
YES! Edinburgh has DINSOSAUR skeletons.
Mark writes:
“Room 1.15, Informatics Forum, University of Edinburgh, George Square, Edinburgh”
This room has tables and seats for 12 people comfortably, and another 8 folding seats for people to dot around – I was not sure how big we were aiming, but the Forum also has a fair bit of open space if we need to de-camp some people. There is a computer and a projector too, and a whiteboard.
I should keep track of how many people plan to attend, to make sure we have space. So, could we add the following to the summary:
“If you would like to join us, please email mark@cottagelabs.com to confirm attendance”
[we think Cameron said food provided by PLoS! – we’re checking ]
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5 Responses to Hackday 2014-06-19 in Edinburgh – a radically new approach to Scholarly Communication in the Digital Enlightenment

  1. With over 1,100 palaeontology articles at PLOS ONE there’s lots to choose from!
    Would be good at this point to remind everyone that pterosaurs are NOT dinosaurs (a frequently encountered mistake).

  2. Pingback: A few tips on how to spend the summer | Open Science

  3. Pingback: Hackday 2014-06-19 in Edinburgh – a radically new approach to Scholarly Communication in the Digital Enlightenment – ContentMine

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