Physics Today: Online tool breaks down physicists’ research interests. “Terms like cosmologist, string theorist, or particle physicist rarely capture the true scope of a scientist’s work. A new website aims to provide a more complete picture. Launched in July, Scimeter allows researchers to create word clouds based on the topics of their arXiv papers, search for scientists with similar interests, and find experts whose work best matches given keywords.”
Inverse: Why Museums Need to Digitize Fossils to Understand Past Mysteries . “For paleontologists, biologists, and anthropologists, museums are like the historians’ archives. And like most archives — think of those housed in the Vatican or in the Library of Congress — each museum typically holds many unique specimens, the only data we have on the species they represent.”
Science Business: EU and national funders launch plan for free and immediate open access to journals. “The European Commission and a group of national research funders have laid out a controversial and perhaps precedent-setting plan to make thousands of research papers free to read on the day of publication, in a move that could force a major change in the business model of science publishers.”
The New Yorker: How to Conduct an Open-Source Investigation, According to the Founder of Bellingcat. “On a recent afternoon in central London, twelve people sat in a hotel conference room trying to figure out the exact latitude and longitude at which the actress Sharon Stone once posed for a photo in front of the Taj Mahal. Among them were two reporters, a human-rights lawyer, and researchers and analysts in the fields of international conflict, forensic science, online extremism, and computer security. They had each paid around twenty-four hundred dollars to join a five-day workshop led by Eliot Higgins, the founder of the open-source investigation Web site Bellingcat. Higgins had chosen this Sharon Stone photo because the photographer was standing on a raised terrace, which makes the angles confusing, and used a lens that makes Stone appear closer to the Taj than she actually was. The participants, working on laptops, compared the trees and paths visible in the photo to their correlates on Google Earth.”
The Scholarly Kitchen: Mapping Open Science Tools. “Using a generic view of the scientific workflow, I evaluated all open end-user tools or programs — as well as open information standards or other services — that facilitate the delivery of scientific knowledge. This meant looking at largely web-based applications, with or without download requirements. I took up a broad definition of “tools” to encompass both discipline-agnostic services as well as those that were discipline-specific, especially those with a focus on hard-science fields (see more in the Footnote below). I kept educational or advocacy initiatives as well as generic tools aside for purposes of this project, to enable a targeted focus on digital product development opportunities for science-driven software and services.”
LITA Blog: Finding Open Access Articles – Tools & Tips. “Open access can come in a rainbow of colors – gold, green, platinum – and determining what this means can often be confusing. The good news is that generally, this means there are open copies of articles available – whether they are a pre-print or an author’s accepted manuscript. You just need to know how to dig these copies up.”
The Atlantic: Online Bettors Can Sniff Out Weak Psychology Studies. “Consider the new results from the Social Sciences Replication Project, in which 24 researchers attempted to replicate social-science studies published between 2010 and 2015 in Nature and Science—the world’s top two scientific journals. The replicators ran much bigger versions of the original studies, recruiting around five times as many volunteers as before. They did all their work in the open, and ran their plans past the teams behind the original experiments. And ultimately, they could only reproduce the results of 13 out of 21 studies—62 percent. As it turned out, that finding was entirely predictable.” What a fascinating story.