As I catch up after ScienceOnline2010, I wanted to share a few things that I learned there.
- People love what we’re doing with this project. The response I received was nearly uniformly positive, and a number of people provided leads for future funding possibilities.
- We’re not the only folks doing open notebook science. But, it’s still a pretty small niche in the broader profession. Will it become the dominant model? Or just a toy for a few crazy individuals? Only time will tell.
- Our project is unusual among many citizen science projects in the depth to which participants are encouraged to contribute beyond data collection. We don’t want just data monkeys – we want folks who think about the process, contribute ideas, and (hopefully) help us craft the best research paper possible. Of course, we don’t think any less of you if you just want to submit data – but don’t feel limited to data entry alone if you desire more participation!
- Our project is also unusual among citizen science projects in the stated publication goals. There seems to be a sense out there (I don’t know how accurate it truly is) that many of these sorts of efforts end in a nice pile of data, but no real published results. That’s all the more incentive to bring our paper through to its logical conclusion!
I have no word yet on the YouTube video of my presentation. Did anyone catch it live?
The ODP Around the Blogosphere
We’ve got a few new links to mention. These include:
- Desafiando a Nomenklatura Científica has a short blog post on the project.
- Sarah Dowdey, writing for Discovery News, discusses the ODP as egalitarian science. The Guild of Scientific Troubadours reblogged that story.
- Andria Krewson, on the PBS blog MediaShift, gives us a brief shout-out.
- Jeremy Yoder, writing at Denim and Tweed, talks about his impressions of the ODP from his attendance at ScienceOnline2010.
- Jean-Claude Bradley, writing at Useful Chemistry, has some nice things to say about the ODP presentation at ScienceOnline2010.
If you know of any others, please feel free to post the link in the comments section.
My presentation on the ODP came and went, and seemed to be very well received. I’ve had a fantastic time talking with other folks leading and participating in citizen science efforts, and there is plenty to follow up on. Look for more news in the days to come.
And, once I get info on where the YouTube video is posted, I’ll add a link here.
Thank you to all of our participants – your efforts knocked their socks off!
In just a few short hours, I’ll be leaving for ScienceOnline2010. Rather fitting for the topic, this is an “unconference” – meaning everyone (not just physical attendees) is welcome to participate through chats, Twitter, streamed conference sessions, blogs, etc. I’m really excited for my talk (the “demo” session that I’m in is the closest thing to formal presentations that the meeting has – most of the rest of the sessions are less structured), as well as for the chance to network and hang out with so many people who share a common interest in science communication. A number of other “citizen science” people will be there, so one goal is to compare notes on all of our respective projects.
This afternoon I ran through the presentation with ODP co-leader Matt Wedel, who also happens to live just down the street from me (Mike Taylor, of course, couldn’t make it from England just for a half hour practice and critique session). Thanks to Matt’s suggestions (and Mike’s emailed suggestions about some of the slides), the whole thing is much more polished now. I’ll be posting the slides here shortly after my session on Saturday.
Although the great majority of you won’t be there in person, there are ways to participate from home. I’m in Session E (full program here), from 2 – 3:05 pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday, January 16. This session will be livestreamed through The RTP Stream, and a chat function at that site will allow you to ask questions or add comments in realtime. For those of you who are active in SecondLife, the session will also be livestreamed onto the RTP Island. After the conclusion of the conference, most of the sessions will also be archived on the scienceinthetriangle YouTube channel – search for the hashtag #scio10. For more details on these and other ways to participate, check out Bora’s post here.
I’m hoping to get a post or two in during the conference, so stay tuned for more!
I spent much of today working on my presentation about the Open Dinosaur Project for ScienceOnline2010. The hope is to post the full thing in some form after the meeting; in the meantime, here’s a working outline for the talk:
- Brief introduction to the ODP and what I’ll be discussing
- Paleontology as a historically (and sometimes necessarily) secretive field, due to issues of fossil poaching, worries about calling “firsties” on an idea or discovery, stipulations from funding agencies, etc.
- The rise of open access literature (with its body of untapped data), as well as an interested and savvy community of non-professionals, makes now a great time to attempt something new
- The team of Farke, Taylor, and Wedel started the Open Dinosaur Project in order to set a precedent for open notebook science within paleo, involve all sorts of people in the science, do some great paleo research on ornithischians, and assemble a database for use by others
- Brief background on what an ornithischian is, and why we care about their limb bones
- Brief outline of how we got the word out about the project
- Brief introduction to you, the participants, and all of the work we’ve accomplished in a short time
- Potential problems in data mining the literature, and how we’ve worked around them
- An overview and demo of the data collection and verification process
- Next steps: analysis, paper writing, and publication
- What’s worked well, and what we hope to improve
- Conclusion and acknowledgments
Right now, we have about 33 slides and the whole thing takes about 13 or 14 minutes to run through. I’m hoping to smooth things out over the next few days, to bring it in around 12 minutes. The time slot is 15 minutes total, so ideally I want a 12 minute talk with 3 minutes for questions.
Bora asked if I’ll be bringing a dinosaur bone along with me. . .sadly, it probably won’t happen.
As mentioned awhile back, I will be presenting on the Open Dinosaur Project at ScienceOnline2010, an annual collection of science bloggers, researchers, and the like. The conference is small (~250 participants), and features sessions ranging from podcasts to online civility to citizen science. My presentation (more of a demo/presentation) is on Saturday during the 2 – 3:05 pm session (of course, I am only one of several presenters during that time). Apparently, this session will be streamed live, recorded and available on YouTube, and simulcast on Second Life (check out A Blog Around the Clock for more details – I’ll post further information here when we get closer to the conference).
Because this is an open project, I want to involve the project participants as much as possible. Here’s what you can do:
- Drop me an email or post a comment here describing your experience with the ODP. Some questions you could address include: 1) How did you find out about the ODP? 2) What has worked well for you as a participant? 3) What hasn’t worked as well for you? 4) Have you participated in other citizen science projects before? 5) Why did you decide to participate?
- Participate from SecondLife or via the chat room with the live video screen. Apparently there will be opportunities to ask questions via these venues, too.
I’ll hopefully have an early draft of the presentation available later this week! Stay tuned for details.
With the holidays, things have been a little quiet on the ODP front. But, work chugs on behind the scenes. We now have over 1,500 verified entries! There are 155 unverified entries in the queue – if anyone is bored, there’s still plenty to do. The target date to finish the data collection phase is still February 1, and some clades (ceratopsians and pachycephalosaurs) are nearly completely wrapped up. After February 1, things will get really exciting!