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Re: Olivia Judson

Some scientists could be called content.  The question is how 
many, and for how long.  If Judson's article is in any way 
representative, I would hazard that the answer is, most and for 
quite some time.  Your project may be a harbinger, but harbingers 
by definition are outside the mainstream.

But as to your specific questions, I had in mind the very things 
that you are working on.  The population at large--the Internet 
population, at any rate--is at home with social networks, 
certification systems, and the like. The form they take is hardly 
suitable for serious research, but the raw elements are there. 
MySpace is much more sophisticated than DSpace, FaceBook more 
complex than ScienceDirect.  The future of peer review is augured 
in the recommendation systems of Digg, Slashdot, and even 

People who disparage the consumer Internet usually point to the 
quality of the content, which ranges from the stupid to the 
simple-minded.  But that is not really the point:  what will come 
to matter are the forms that encapsulate and disseminate content, 
and this is where the research community has a distance to 
travel.  But I was hanging my thought on Judson's single article, 
which may not be fair.  I will admit that every time I see a PDF 
I reach for my revolver.

Joe Esposito

----- Original Message -----
From: "Jim Law" <jamesblaw@gmail.com>
To: <liblicense-l@lists.yale.edu>
Sent: Monday, December 22, 2008 9:41 AM
Subject: Re: Olivia Judson

> Judson's article is a good intro to some of the problems of 
> personal information management. It doesn't even touch on some 
> of larger scientific information problems such as 
> collaboration, peer-review, dissemination, attribution, and 
> evaluation. I work on an EU-funded research project that is 
> trying to address a number of these issues, so I hardly think 
> scientists could be called content. So, I'm curious about your 
> perspective here. Could you expand on what it is that students 
> take for granted, but scientists lack?
> Jim Law
> Liquid Publications Project <http://project.liquidpub.org/>
> On Sun, Dec 21, 2008 at 5:31 AM, Joseph J. Esposito
> <espositoj@gmail.com>wrote:
>> Olivia Judson has an interesting New York Times blog post,
>> which can be found here:
>> http://judson.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/defeating-bedlam/?ref=opinion
>> The topic is software tools to help scientists fight through 
>> the "bedlam" of information.  She reviews two products: Zotero 
>> and Papers.  People familiar with Judson's work will find here 
>> her admirably clear writing and talent for instruction.
>> Still and all I could not help but wonder how it is that the 
>> scientific community could be content to work with software 
>> that is at least a half step, maybe a full step or more, 
>> behind what students take for granted. Desktop applications? 
>> PDFs? No, I don't think so.  Compare this piece to Dana 
>> Goodyear's infinitely more sophisticated article in the Dec. 
>> 22 issue of "The New Yorker" on so-called cell phone novels.
>> Joe Esposito