Luxafor, status & productivity tool

Imagine this. You are sitting in the office, trying to concentrate. Slowly you are getting in the flow and you are confident that you’ll finish your work on time today but then… co-worker walks in your room asking “Can I borrow your phone charger?”. “Of course” you reply, handling over the charger to your colleague.
Sounds familiar, right? But as a result of this interruption you lose your focus and it takes you another 25 minutes to get in the flow again.

This is a very common problem at co-working environments and there are always people and companies who are trying to find a good solution for it. One of these companies is called Luxafor. They designed a small LED light (also called Luxafor) that you can easily attach to your device and show your status to others.

This is how the Luxafor led light works: the user connects the Luxafor to his computer via usb or bluetooth. Once connected, the light show to all team members approaching your workplace your availability. When you are available, Luxafor shines green and when your are busy it shines red. For more detailed information watch the video below.

According to the company, this very simple visual tool could save you a lot of precious time just by keeping you focused on your important tasks.Luxafor

Luxafor will be available in 3 different models : Mini, Flag and Bluetooth,
if the project succeed to get the required fundings in Kickstarter.

Source: The VergeKickstarter.

Content break-down and its impact

A month ago I came across an article that looked at content in a completely different way. Dominik Grau, the Chief Innovation Officer of Ebner Group, writes about the transformation of his company from a 200 old year “print-centric publisher into a content and services company with a large e-commerce engine as one of the bases of the future monetization”. [1] Dominik Grau draws a clear cut: “Ebner Group is not making magazines but content”. He says “we care deeply about excellent content. Formats and channels come second”. ​ He enumerates the channels: the paper, the website, the video’s, the books.

Well, nothing new for us here. What intrigued me was his “dissection” theory of the content in “Minimal Information Units” or MIUs and their allocation per article part (title, introduction, paragraph, photo, video, interview, infographic and list of facts) [2]. To each of these parts he gives a weight in MIU and distributes them on different delivery channels (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, etc.) for maximum impact. He sees the traffic of content to the user as a matrix and every touchpoint in the matrix counts to the total impact for an article.
He goes further than that and calculates the impact of an event if set up for exposure on the right channels: it is what he calls “an event package”.

With no further consideration, this model provides us, the library, with a simple mechanism to help researchers – both content producers and followers – maximise the impact of their work, be it a scientific article or not.

[1] Exclusive insights into the transformation of 200-year old Ebner Media Group, LinkedIn – Pulse, published 12 December 2016, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/exclusive-insights-transformation-200-year-old-ebner-media-grau
[2] How to maximise the impact of your content, FIPP, published on 13 December, 2016, http://www.fipp.com/news/features/how-to-maximise-the-impact-of-your-content

Piracy in science

So… do I dare google for Sci-Hub, to see for myself what it is all about? I know it is a site that illegally offers more than 60 million scientific papers, grabbed from behind the publisher’s paywalls and libraries’ authentication screens and offered to be downloaded for free. I also know that its founder Alexandra Elbakyan has been featured on Nature.com as one of 10 people that mattered in 2016 [1]. If everyone’s using it or is at least checking it out, shouldn’t I be allowed a little peak?

Sci-Hub.org started in 2011 when Elbakyan decided to help others with her skills to circumvent legal access when she could not get or afford to pay for the articles she needed for her own research project. In 2015 she got sued by Elsevier which led to her losing the Sci-Hub.org domain [2]. However, Elbakyan would not give up, motivated by weekly thank-you notes, some with financial support [1] and supportive tweets [3], she moves to other domains when necessary.

An online survey by Science Magazine last May, showed that only 12% of the more than 10,000 respondents thought it is wrong to download pirated papers and 59% of the respondents admitted to having done so a few times (33%) or even daily / weekly (26%) [4].  And it’s not just people who don’t have access. Even scholars who’s institutional or academic libraries pay heavy license fees to offer the content through their websites or Discovery systems, still seem to prefer the easy, hassle-free Sci-Hub, or simply want to support the pressure piracy sites put on publishers to move towards open-access business models.

I dare. The user interface is in Russian, but it’s so easy to use there is no need to translate. I copy-paste a DOI from an article (2016) related to a project I am working on and in less than a second, there it is. One click, no messy splash page. Just the content. OK, I get the appeal. The only English button asks me to donate with Bitcoin.

Screenshot 2017-01-25 10.54.15

One more example of how scientific readers are taking control is #ICanHazPDF a popular hashtag on Twitter. When you want an article you can’t access, you tweet the DOI or URL with this hashtag and wait for one of your followers to mail it to you. Then you are supposed to delete the tweet… [5]. This practise is not always piracy, as the article you get might be a preprint or the author’s version, legitimately published in green OA in an institutional repository. Or you might get it directly from the author, a common practise that is allowed by most publishers, see for example Elsevier’s Sharing Policy [6]

Open Access as a default, we are working hard to get there. Libraries will try to maintain a relevant collection for its patrons, but cannot afford to provide access to all scientific content that is wanted or needed. In the meantime: be open, publish open access yourself and if you cannot access what you need: try document delivery / Inter Library Loan. We do not promote piracy, but we need to be aware of what is happening globally and how that is affecting the scientific community. We’ll keep you informed.

[1] – http://www.nature.com/news/nature-s-10-1.21157accessed 20-1-2017
[2] – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sci-Hub – accessed 20-1-2017
[3] – http://www.nature.com/news/paper-piracy-sparks-online-debate-1.19841– accessed 20-1-2017
[4] – http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/05/survey-most-give-thumbs-pirated-papers – accessed 20-1-2017
[5] – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ICanHazPDF – accessed 25-1-2017
[6] – https://www.elsevier.com/about/company-information/policies/sharingaccessed 25-1-2017

 

Open Access articles rush: oaDOI and Google Scholar

Finding open access article versions of the ones behind the paywall seems pretty easy with Google Scholar. Yet, with a new identifier, the oaDOI (https://oadoi.org), Impact Story promises going beyond Google Scholar for articles with a DOI.

oaDOI.orgShort history: last summer Impact Story, one of the main players in altmetrics, challenged everyone to make a profile on their website and check out their “openness” by introducing a new OA badge.
In their effort to complete the profiles with open access output, Impact Story made a workaround Google Scholar in order to find any free full-text for a paper with a DOI. They search in specific sources like DOAJ, DataCite, CrossRef’s database and the BASE OA Search Engine and institutional  repositories, plus in their own list of DOI indexes and even in the articles page itself for a link to a free version [1].
In practice, after testing the oaDOI with multiple articles from behind the paywall, I found out it comes down to luck to find  an open access version which Google Scholar does not find.

We don’t know how long it will take Google Scholar to take over, but the great news about the oaDOI is that, unlike Google, it’s open: it has a versioned open API to build upon it.

oadoi widget Wayne State University Library
By now, Zotero is searching by oaDOI, Max Plank Digital Library is experimenting with its SFX lookup service for DOI using an oaDOI and Wayne State University Library has introduced a widget to search oaDOI [2].

Try it yourself at oadoi.org.


See also http://impactstory.org/u/someones_orcid and see the number of OA publications that someone has, with a percentage of “openness” added to his Impact Story profile.

References:

[1] Introducing oaDOI: resolve a DOI straight to OAhttp://blog.impactstory.org/introducting-oadoi/, accessed on 31st October 2016
[2] oaDOI APIhttps://oadoi.org/api, accessed on 31st October 2016

Tools, tools en social media voor academia

Picture of different tools

image: Todd Quackenbush via Unsplash

Dat er voor wetenschappers veel handige tools en communities beschikbaar zijn, wisten we al uit het onderzoek van UKB collega’s Bianca Kramer en Jeroen Bosman. Zij hielden een wereldwijde enquete die uiteindelijk door meer dan 20,000 mensen werd ingevuld. De resultaten publiceerden ze in eerste instantie als 101 innovations in scholarly communication, maar later werd de 101 weggelaten (in Amerika staat 101 ook voor een introductie cursus, bv Math 101). Er werden door de respondenten wel meer dan 400 tools genoemd. De dataset is beschikbaar via Zenodo en is al zeer de moeite waard om er in Excel met te “spelen”: welke tekstverwerkers zijn het populairst onder al publicerende Engineering & Technology PhD candidates? Filter, filter, count: Word, LaTeX, Google Docs en dan een “Long Tail” met onder andere Authorea, Overleaf, Scrivener en Libre- of OpenOffice, maar ook veel waar ik nog nooit van had gehoord. Welke reference management tool wordt het meest gebruikt in Nederland, ongeacht discipline?
EndNote [1]. Enzovoort, enzovoort. Interessant om te weten, en zeker goed om een keer wat dieper in te duiken.

Kramer en Bosman gaan met de resultaten op zoek naar research workflows en willen ook de link gaan leggen met open science workflows. Zij richten zich specifiek op de volgende activiteiten in de research cycle: Discovery, Analysis, Writing, Publishing, Outreach en Assessment.

Andy Miah, hoofd wetenschapscommunicatie en future media van University of Salford, geeft een iets andere doorsnede van veel gebruikte tools die zeker ook interessant is. Hij maakte een alfabetische lijst van social media for academia. Social media is ruim geinterpreteerd: de lijst bevat ook handige hulpjes als Bit.ly en Doodle. Eigenlijk van alles wat het dagelijkse werk van een wetenschapper gemakkelijker maakt. Wat ik leuk vind aan deze lijst is dat Andy deze tools ook echt allemaal zelf heeft uitgeprobeerd. Achter sommige tools staat een link EXAMPLE naar zijn persoonlijke pagina of zijn account in de genoemde tool.

Loop er eens door heen en check hoeveel je er van naam kent, zelf weleens gebruikt (hebt) en ontdek nieuwe “gems”. Na de Z (voor Zotero) komt een lijst met gesneuvelde tools: oude bekenden? Zelf ken ik 59 van de 125 genoemde tools – net iets minder dan de helft – en gebruik ik er 52.

[1] Bosman, J., & Kramer, B. (2016). Innovations in scholarly communication – data of the global 2015-2016 survey [Data set]. Zenodo. http://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.49583

Augmented reality in education has become more a trend thanks to Pokémon Go

Augmented reality is not a new technique; it has been used in Google Glass and Microsoft Holograms many years ago. But unfortunately Google Glass was no success, maybe because there were no gamification elements included. Augmented reality has many possibilities and can be used in education in different ways such as in flight academy, industrial design, medical training or architecture. It is very useful for studies like industrial design and other studies where students have to make a model. Students or companies can make a prototype and test it for some aspect of design (IKEA Augmented Reality).


IKEA Augmented Reality

There is also an application for pilots, learning to fly with augmented flying helicopter in difficult situations [1]. Augmented Reality can help pilots to get more information, especially in a situation such as during bad weather.


Glasses Help Helicopter Pilots See Through Smoke and Fog

Augmented reality is widely used in medical education on different levels, for example learning new skills to students and nurses with new training products but also monitoring difficult surgery on distance [2]. The difference between virtual and augmented reality is that in the first one the patient is virtual in contrast to the augmented reality where the patient and his/her problems are real. Because of augmented reality students can start practicing earlier with real patients in a monitored setting instead of longer practicing in simulated situations with virtual reality.


Augmented Reality Helps Guide Neurosurgeons

Thanks to Pokémon Go augmented reality is now big success as a gaming business model. Pokémon Go is a very popular game on the mobile phone, as one of the most downloaded games (more than 100 million) in more than 27 countries [3]. In contrast to other games, Pokémon Go forces you to walk around, go out of your house and your comfort zone. You have to be physically and mentally active; find and catch virtual Pokémons in the real-world, going to Pokémon-stop places for more information and catch items, finding strategies to make stronger Pokémons and reach higher levels. A negative aspect of this game is the security for the players and possible inconvenience for non-players. This is caused for example by the Pokémon players going out at night and/or going to dangerous places to find Pokémon. Success of Pokémon goes so far that this year, Pokemon Go is part of a degree course in the university of Idaho (US) and Salford (UK) [4] [5].

Like every other game, after a while Pokémon Go will not be a hype anymore. But what will remain, is our knowledge and experience of platforms like Pokémon Go, which will be the mainstream in augmented reality. They are very interesting to use for different causes. As an example, in architecture education this platform can be used by teachers to load some educational material and create some exercises. Students can follow the descriptions to find a place and take a picture using the coordinates of the place. This kind of technology probably would be used more and more for education in the future. More importantly, augmented reality is going to reach a next level in our life. As Meron Gribetz pointed in his TED Talks, “Augmented reality uses all data that we make everyday and builds an extra layer on top of our real-world”.


TED Talk Meron Gribetz

Source:
[1]VR and IT’S impact on training
[2]New system brings augmented reality to the operating theater
[3]Pokemon go heres how you can defeat any gym battle

[4]Now university offers degree Pokemon Lecturer

[5]Pokemon Course in Idaho

A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher

How would you design a research library to respond to the preferences and needs of today’s researchers?” were the librarians of Cornell University asking, in their quest to envision the future Research Library.

To answer to this question, the librarians had to hear from researchers themselves. They realised they had to accept the evidence and understand what research means for a researcher. Finding the researchers’ work patterns and their main struggles could be the key to finding what kind of responsibilities could the future research library assume in order to serve its purpose.

With no precedent for such an approach, the librarians had considered the following:

The evidence: it was obvious that today’s researchers work differently than twenty years ago (for example) because of the “unpredictable change in the way information is created, stored, transmitted and used”. They had to look at their new practices, places & spaces, resources and tools, wires and equipments.
What research requires: the research library is expected to respond to the needs and pressures of three “stakeholdes”: the common good (the research partners and the society) – knowledge flow, the institution – role in the campus and budget distribution and the individual researcher – faculty members, graduate students and undergraduate students.
Towards the model of the Future Research Library: there are clear core practices that have to stay, like access to information – organised and findable and new services, like an increasing role in publishing or new specialties, like designing and developing new information technologies, all emerging for the library of the future.

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 10.36.35The librarians interviewed 21 researchers and used a mapping and logging method for their study “A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher”. They focused in the interviews on different aspects of a researcher’s professional life:

– academic activities
– seeking information
– library resources
– self management
– space
– circum-academic activities
– obstacles
– brainwork
– technology

The findings of their study and their insights bring us to one conclusion: there are so many ways the researchers do research that there is no way the library could serve all their individual needs. Instead, the analysis of all the work patterns resulted into three main spheres of practice:

  • the process of research
  • academic networking
  • managing self

The way Cornell University Library imagined they could approach the researchers needs in these spheres of practice and empower the researchers to achieve their academic research goals lead to a model of the future Research Library as an academic hub and an app store.

You can read all about it in A Day in the Life of a (Serious) Researcher – Envisioning the Future of the Research Library.

 

LEGO® in Libraries

Playing with LEGO is fun and a great way to reduce stress, but… there’s more! Buidling with the blocks and mini figures can boost creativity, build up problem solving skills and help explain ideas and concepts to others. LEGO has developed special “Serious Play” buidling kits and even a certification programme for facilitators. Less seriously, you can mix and match your own LEGO kits and just experiment and that is just what we are going to do at TU Delft Library (coming soon!).

We are not the first academic library to <3 LEGO. A few weeks ago, I met Christian Lauersen from the Royal Library / Copenhagen University Library in Denmark who did a  great stop motion Lego movie as a library introduction for new students. The movie is made with so much fun and love, that it shows and students really connect to that and to the library.

LEGO workshop at Next LibraryLast year at Next Library, I did a LEGO workshop session “Everything is awesome” which made me realise how easy and powerful it is to imagine while building and then share your thoughts with a group.

Then there is Megan Lotts, who introduced LEGO to the Art Library at Rutgers University (New Jersey, USA) and talks about her experiences and lessons learned and some other examples in a nice interview in Library Journal. She is all about connecting with students and LEGO helps her do that:

This is what libraries really want. We want to engage. For me the LEGO [bricks] have been brilliant because they’re the same skills that we use when we research—[they’re] creative thinking skills, problem solving skills. And I find that now my students are honing these with the LEGO [bricks] they’re more prepared to search for library resources.” [quote from the interview]. That says it all, don’t you think?

UXLib II conferentie; een kleine impressie

Screen Shot 2016-06-26 at 21.53.07

Eind juni heb ik de UXlibs (User eXperience in libraries) conferentie bezocht. Deze 2de editie van UXLib vond plaats in thestudio , een multi-purpose gebouw met prachtig ontworpen conferentieruimtes in het hartje Manchester (UK).

thestudio, manchester

Er waren ongeveer 150 collega’s uit verschillende landen aanwezig. De oprichter van deze conferentie is Andy Priestner. Hij werkt momenteel als manager van het Cambridge Library Futurelib innovatieprogramma en is ook trainer en consultant in het hoger onderwijs.

Het programma bestond uit keynotes van Donna Lanclos (Atkins library, UNC Charlotte) en Lawrie Philpps (JISC), praktische workshops, een Team Challenge, maar de belangrijkste focus lag op de sessies genaamd “Nailed, Failed, Derailed”, waar bibliotheek collega’s resultaten van hun UX onderzoek van afgelopen jaar met elkaar deelden.

cultural probe UXLibs
Cultural probe onderzoeksproject voor studenten

Het gebruik van UX (user experience) onderzoek in de bibliotheken is van groot belang. UX onderzoek kan ons helpen om veel problemen op te lossen en veel beter begrip van onze gebruikers te krijgen. De gebruiker wil niet leren hoe de bibliotheek werkt, hij wil de bibliotheek gebruiken. Het gebruik van UX methoden (oa etnografie, design thinking, human-centered design) stelt ons in staat om de kloof tussen de bibliotheek (en de diensten die wij aanbieden), en de gebruikers te dichten. UX betreft niet alleen survey of het aanbieden van goede klantenservice: alleen weten van onze gebruikers ze nodig hebben en willen is niet genoeg. Door observatie van hun gedrag krijgen we pas een volledig beeld. We moeten de resultaten van ons UX onderzoek gebruiken om nieuwe producten en diensten te creëren en niet alleen om rapporten te schrijven. Bibliotheken moeten deze resultaten delen met elkaar en blijven experimenteren. Ze moeten bestaan in een netwerk en niet losstaand van elkaar.

Als een rode draad tijdens de “Nailed, Failed, Derailed” sessies , de keynote’s en tijdens de hele conferentie in algemeen, werd gesproken over tegenvallers–mislukte projecten, mislukte onderzoeken. Het is niet erg als iets mislukt, leer van je fouten en probeer het vooral opnieuw.

Ik heb een aantal “Nailed, Failed, Derailed” sessies kunnen bezoeken:

  1. Paul-Jervis Heath (ModernHuman, Futurelib) – gaf een presentatie over hoe je UX succes kunt vergroten door op een veilige wijze je tegenvallers te omarmen tijdens het ontwerp proces.
  2. Eva-Christina Edinger (Universität Zürich) – gaf en presentatie over hoe bibliotheekruimtes soms op labryinths en gesloten gemeenschappen lijken;
    presentatie Eva UXLibs
    Links of rechts? Foto:Eva-Christina Edinger
  3. Josephine McRobbie & Andreas Orphanides (North Carolina State University) – hadden een gezamenlijke presentatie over hun uitdagingen om de communicatie kanalen (denk aan e-boards, mapen, borden) binnen hun gebouw te verbeteren.
  4. Phil Cheeseman & Karin Tusting (Lancaster University)– spraken over een innovatief project dat nog in ontwikkeling is. Ze wilden graag met behulp van beacons antwoord krijgen op de volgende vragen: hoe navigeren de studenten in de Library? Hoe maken de studenten gebruik van de studieruimtes? Het project mislukte bijna volgens Phil omdat het verwerken van de grote bulk data een uitdaging was, maar hij was ook optimistisch over het bereiken het uiteindelijke resultaat.

Opvallend tijdens de UXLib conferentie was dat er veel collega’s waren die geïnteresseerd waren in het gebruik van beacons in hun bibliotheken o.a. bovengenoemde Phil Cheesman , Paul-Jervies Heath. Toen ik hen vertelde dat wij vorige jaar onze beacon Library Tour hebben gelanceerd waren ze aangenaam verast en ze wilden graag kennis en informatie uitwisselen.

De Team Advocacy Challenge bestond uit 3 thema’s.

  • Marketing Upwards (promoten van de UX aan senior managers)
  • Collaboration (promoten van UX aan collega’s buiten je eigen team of bibliotheek)
  • Recruitment (rekruteren van gebruikers voor je UX research project)

Uit elk thema werd een winnende team gekozen. De uiteindelijke 3 winnende teams moesten hun pitch opnieuw presenteren voor de hele conferentie.

IMG_1913
De winnende recruitment team aan het werk

Ik was zelf ingedeeld in de Recruitment team en we hebben gewonnen. Wij hebben een leuke (intrinsiek) manier bedacht om studenten te betrekken bij het ontwikkelen van een nieuwe ruimte in de bibliotheek.

Hetgeen hier boven beschreven staat is maar een kleine impressie van de conferentie. Het is onmogelijk om alles in een verslag weer te geven. Zeer inspirerend en interactief, UXLibs is een conferentie die je vooral persoonlijk moet ervaren.

Mocht je meer willen weten over de conferentie (of wil je ook een foto impressie zien van gerenoveerde Central Library of Manchester ;-)), neem contact met mij op. Ik heb veel informatie verzameld en praat je graag bij.

 

 

Burgerwetenschap

Citizen science of crowdsourcing

Nadat de wetenschap institutionaliseerde in de 19e eeuw ontstond er een scheiding tussen ‘de wetenschapper’ en ‘de burger’. De twee leefden in zeer gescheiden werelden en hadden weinig met elkaar te maken. Oorspronkelijk werd wetenschap echter juist door burgers beoefend: hoe zit dat met die maan en die zon? Kom, laat ik eens wat op een kleitablet noteren. De laatste tijd is er een tendens gaande om burgers wederom te laten participeren. Met de ontwikkelingen op digitaal gebied wordt het steeds makkelijker om actief mensen te betrekken bij onderzoek.

Tijdens het KNAW-symposium op 16 juni 2016 over citizen science werd de website Iedereen Wetenschapper gelanceerd en gesproken over (de voors en tegens van) citizen science. Een ander aandachtspunt, dat hieronder behandeld wordt, was het verschil tussen crowdsourcing en citizen science.

Crowdsourcing

Hoewel er nog geen eenduidige definitie is, wordt gesproken van crowdsourcing als groepen mensen vrijwillig een bijdrage leveren bij het uitvoeren van (wetenschappelijk) werk, [1] bijvoorbeeld voor het verzamelen van gegevens.

Voordat de term crowdsourcing werd gebruikt waren er al projecten waarbij onderzoekers door burgers werden geholpen bij het verzamelen van data. Bekend is, dat onderzoekers van  het Meertens instituut [2] op huisbezoek gingen, om gegevens te verzamelen over bijvoorbeeld dialecten.
Een andere vorm van crowdsourcing is mensen inschakelen om gegevens te analyseren. Een voorbeeld hiervan is het Milky Way Project [3] waarin objecten in de ruimte worden geanalyseerd aan de hand van gedetailleerde afbeeldingen.
In beide gevallen is de onderzoeker is verantwoordelijk voor een wetenschappelijke opzet en afhandeling.
Bij een crowdsourcing project voor wetenschappelijke doeleinden zijn protocollen en controles nodig en dat blijkt ook bij het project Ja, ik wil. Hier moesten oude ondertrouwakten via gestandaardiseerde invoervelden getranscribeerd worden, waarna de transcripties nog eens extra gecontroleerd werden.
De ontwikkelingen op digitaal gebied maken het steeds makkelijker om actief mensen te betrekken bij onderzoek. Dat zie je bij dit soort analyse-projecten, en bij de jaarlijkse griepmeting en tuinvogeltelling, waarbij data wordt geleverd.

Citizen science

Weer een andere vorm van crowdsourcing wordt citizen science genoemd.
Een voorstel tot een definitie is te vinden op http://iedereenwetenschapper.nl/article/wat-citizen-science.[4] Hierin wordt gesteld dat citizen science ‘een actieve en doordachte bijdrage is van het publiek aan wetenschappelijk onderzoek’.
Ook hier blijft de onderzoeker eindverantwoordelijk voor het onderzoeksproces en de verwerking van gegevens. Een voorbeeld van citizen science waarbij van deelnemers iets meer wordt verwacht dan alleen het aanleveren of verwerken van gegevens is eTeRNA (https://librarytrends.weblog.tudelft.nl/2016/03/29/citizen-science-closing-knowledge-gaps/).[5] Deelnemers aan dit spel om RNA moleculen te ontwerpen kunnen gezamenlijk aan wetenschappelijke artikelen werken.

Wat is het nou?

Citizen science is volgens de gevolgde redenering een specifieke vorm van crowdsourcing, dus het woordje of kan worden doorgestreept.

Of gaat het verder dan dat.
Het definitievoorstel voor de term citizen science lijkt door de praktijk te zijn ingehaald. Op de gelanceerde website Iedereen Wetenschapper wordt aan burgers een bijdrage gevraagd in de vorm van data-levering en data-analyse. De oorspronkelijke crowdsourcing versmelt hiermee tot citizen science.

De verwachting is dat steeds meer onderzoekers, ook aan de TU Delft, projecten zullen opzetten, waarbij de bijdrage van burgers wordt gevraagd.
De ervaringen met citizen science zoals op het symposium gedeeld, laten zien dat onderzoekers bij een eigen project goede ondersteuning kunnen gebruiken. De Library kan hier mogelijk een rol spelen. Naast opslag en beschikbaar maken van wetenschappelijke gegevens, wat al gebeurt via 3tudatacentrum, kan de Library voorlichting geven aan onderzoekers en deelnemers over citizen science projecten. Voor ondersteuning, educatie en het uitwisselen van ervaringen zou de Library, zowel digitaal als fysiek, diensten kunnen aanbieden.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crowdsourcing
[2] https://www.meertens.knaw.nl/cms/nl/
[3] http://www.iedereenwetenschapper.be/projects/kijken-naar-de-geboorte-van-sterren
[4] http://iedereenwetenschapper.nl/article/wat-citizen-science
[5] https://librarytrends.weblog.tudelft.nl/2016/03/29/citizen-science-closing-knowledge-gaps/

Google I/O 2016 The journey to AI-first

During the annual developer conference Google I/O, there were a lot of announcements made. Here is a little recap of the news till now on some renewed existing products and a few interesting new products.

Renewed existing products
Author Andrew Smith once said: “People fear what they don’t understand”. When Amazon launched Echo in 2014 the reactions were skeptical and people found the idea of a device that is always listing on command in your home, creepy [1]. Over time Echo became popular. Excitingly, one of the announcements in Google I/O 2016 was Google Home, which has a lot of similarities with Echo. It is a speaker you can instruct to listen and to control your house or, as many describe it, as ‘the always-present version of Siri’ or another virtual assistant software [1]. Google Home can be seen as a digital conversational partner with which you can interact in a hands-free way and one that can assist you with obtaining any intelligence you desire [1].

The virtual assistant software has also been adapted into Google’s newest messaging platform introduced as Allo, which is more than just another chat program. Allo makes it possible to send automatic replies or provide extra information when required by using a pattern of text and picture recognition in the context [1].

Google’s DUO is a video chat which goes a step further by providing an extra feature ‘Knock Knock’, which allows the recipient to see a preview of the face-to-face chat call before accepting the call [1].

New products
The days of using an app easier and quicker have arrived. Introducing: Instant Apps, which allows you to use the app (or a part of the app) instantly without any installation and without worrying about enough storage on your phone [1].

And then there is the innovation presented as DayDream, that takes you closer to all your VR (virtual reality) dreams on a mobile device [1]. DayDream is a development platform for mobile VR in order to create VR experiences (YouTube – Google I/O Highlights).



Google I/O Highlight (2 minutes)

Interestingly, most of the features emphasize the essence of AI (Artificial Intelligence). The importance of AI increases as it provides features to understand the context in order to assist the user more effectively. This gives the virtual assistant software a whole new meaning. Virtual assistant is not merely considered as an application or a product, it has become a kernel of every application and product. With the growth of AI inside of virtual assistant the impossibilities are becoming more and more possible. According to Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai “20 percent of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches” [2]. Presently, by using Google products, we, as the users, are feeding AI with data, which allows AI to expand its potential beyond words. As Pichai points out, he is on a journey from “mobile-first to AI-first”, but meanwhile, “there are areas where we will be ahead, and there will be areas where someone points a way and we do it” [3].




Google I/O Keynote (almost 2 hours)


Sources:
[1] google io 2016 what you need to know from allo to daydream
[2] google reveals 20 percent queries voice queries
[3] googles ceo sums up his ai vision

TNW Europe (part 5), Building a World Class Design Team

TNWConf2016

The 11th annual TNW Conference Europe took place on May 26 & 27 in Amsterdam. Described, as “The most intimate technology festival on the planet” by CNBC, over the years TNW Conference has become one of the leading technology events in the world. It’s organized by Dutch based online media company The Next Web and brings promising startups, investors, technology gurus, innovators and entrepreneurs together. It’s a great place to share their thoughts about the future of technology, marketing, talk about design or for networking, to get inspired or to boost your imagination.


UnknownAndy Budd talked about the importance of design and the challenges to achieve good design.
Good design is difficult to achieve and even harder to replicate. It gives you an advantage against your competitors. Company founders generally think that they understand the value of the design, but in the reality the user experience is poor. There are 2 factors for this mismatch.

  1. People believe that style and design is the same thing.
  2. Start-up’s doesn’t understand the value of design. Before they reach market fit- the time or the budget is already speeded.

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These are Andy Budd’s nine tips on how to build a world-class design team:

  1. Commit to a vision designers can get behind
  2. Hire great design leaders
  3. Demonstrate this vision through exemplar projects
  4. Put customer needs at the heart of the process
  5. Weave design into the fabric of the business
  6. Create a culture of collaboration
  7. Invest in quality
  8. Grow your team from the inside
  9. Operationalize design

Curious? or you want to see in-debt explanation of Andy Budd’s nine tips?
You can watch now the whole presentation on YouTube

P.S. Speaking about good design, you should definitely check the very beautiful storytelling platform for exploring The Wellcome Trust’s eclectic collection of medical and historical artefacts made by Clearleft.

Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 16.44.11
Digital Stories: Wellcome collection

Also very interesting: A step-by-step | The design process of this storytelling platform.

Clear left Design Stories

Photo credit:TNW

TNW Europe (part 4), Future UI as Professional Superpower

TNWConf2016
The 11th annual TNW Conference Europe took place on May 26 & 27 in Amsterdam. Described, as “The most intimate technology festival on the planet” by CNBC, over the years TNW Conference has become one of the leading technology events in the world. It’s organized by Dutch based online media company The Next Web and brings promising startups, investors, technology gurus, innovators and entrepreneurs together. It’s a great place to share their thoughts about the future of technology, marketing, talk about design or for networking, to get inspired or to boost your imagination.


763a135d-eafa-41a1-9392-fe99b493e41bJohn Underkoffler, founder and CEO of Oblong Industries talked about the new UI (User Interface) as professional power-the future of workspace technology. He is actually the guy who designed the futuristic and advanced UI for the film Minority Report 14years ago (!)

For the last 30 years, the UI (user interface) has changed a little. We live in computational world that becomes more and more complex.
UI is all you have; UI is the computer, because without UI you can’t control the CPU or GPU of your computer.
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John Underkoffler shared with us his “Eight easy pieces”, his vision for the future of UI.

  1. Let’s explode the displays- what will happen if every set of pixels wasn’t bound by the physical rectangle?
  2. G –speak – Minority Report alike system without the visual effects
  3. Distributed (everything) – extend the UI of the edge of one screen to the next one if they are close enough. Expect border free UI’s
  4. Bidirectional glyphs – get more expressive with the UI elements. We need to know where we are, what the machine thinks we are doing and where we might go.
  5. Cinema as input/output device – cinematic heresy or the future of editing? A metaphor for how powerful UI should make you in the context of all your digital data.
  6. Cognition at architectural scale – see more through the right scale. Build computers small or big, as we need!
  7. Time to reinterpret – Minority report reinterpreted. With a proper UI a team of collaborators can achieve much more, work faster and better.
  8. Make UI an exoskeleton, an extension of the human will.

Oblong built a system called Mezzanine that uses all eight principles mentioned above. Mezzanine changes how people work together by making the workspace more collaborative, easily sharable and scalable.

Oblong-Mezzanine-Video-Conferencing-Solution

“We want to build systems based on principles of humanity that can enhance your attention, amplify human meaning and get out what people are best at which is making new things and building the world the way it ought to be.”

The whole presentation is now also available on YouTube
Photo credit:TNW, Oblong

TNW Europe (part 3), Building with creative confidence

TNWConf2016

The 11th annual TNW Conference Europe took place on May 26 & 27 in Amsterdam. Described, as “The most intimate technology festival on the planet” by CNBC, over the years TNW Conference has become one of the leading technology events in the world. It’s organized by Dutch based online media company The Next Web and brings promising startups, investors, technology gurus, innovators and entrepreneurs together. It’s a great place to share their thoughts about the future of technology, marketing, talk about design or for networking, to get inspired or to boost your imagination.


 

facebooknewJulie Zhuo from Facebook talked about how to build new products and services with creative confidence. That can be a real challenge even for big company like Facebook.

There is no book with instruction how to build the perfect product but they’ve learned a lot from their successes and failures.

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Facebook developed a simple framework consisting of 3 questions, which they use for reviewing new products.

The first question is:

  1. What people problem are we trying to solve?
    To answer this we need a people problem statement but coming up with a good one is not that easy. The good people problem statement must be:
  • Human, simple, straight forward;
  • Solutions free; – to avoid bias
  • It’s shouldn’t be about us (Facebook) winning.
  • Gets at the why;
  • Functional, emotional, social.
  1. How do we know this is a real problem?
    What evidence do we have? Is it worthwhile to solve?
  1. How do we know if we solved the problem?
    Define measurable goals and metrics.

Julie shares interesting inside fact: There are posters on the walls in Facebook HQ that says, “Nothing at Facebook is somebody else’s problem”

“It reminds us that if something doesn’t work well, we can’t wait. We must take action to develop solution to fix that problem.” said Julie Zhuo.

The whole presentation is now also available on YouTube
Photo credit:TNW

TNW Europe (part 2), Google’s secret sauce

TNWConf2016
The 11th annual TNW Conference Europe took place on May 26 & 27 in Amsterdam. Described, as “The most intimate technology festival on the planet” by CNBC, over the years TNW Conference has become one of the leading technology events in the world. It’s organized by Dutch based online media company The Next Web and brings promising startups, investors, technology gurus, innovators and entrepreneurs together. It’s a great place to share their thoughts about the future of technology, marketing, talk about design or for networking, to get inspired or to boost your imagination.


google-new-logoGoogle’s director of product Aparna Chennapragada talked about how to build the mobile products of the future. Is there a recipe or special formula to do that? Google have a sauce, a secret sauce and it looks like this:

Secret sauce = AI+UI+I

Daily we use a lot of different products like Google Search, Google Translate, Goggle Now, YouTube (…. and many more). All of them have something in common. They are all powered by information (in many cases AI and machine learning in various forms). But why is this fact more relevant now than ever?
The answer is simple ”one word …Mobile” said Aparna.

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Mobile is the game changer. With 3 billion plus phones we produce daily a massive input of useful data that can help improve these products. Mobile changes the game on the output side as well. Nowadays we always carry our phones and that gives us access to products and services in situations and context that we never had before (like in the car for example). If you combine these two things together almost every other real-world problem has a chance to turn into software or more importantly AI problem.

Google’s formula solves this problem.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)+UI (User Interface)+I (Personalization)

The formula in depth:

 AI (Artificial intelligence)

There are 3 observations about AI

  1. Use AI for tasks that are easy for the machines but difficult for people.
    Google Translate is a good example for that
  2. Wow vs. WTH (what the hell!!!) ratio – If AI sends you to the wrong airport gate and you mist your flight (WTH) the product will need a lot Wow’s to make up for that WTH moment.
  3. Training shapes the learning – AI is as good as the training data. When overtime the data improves, the AI improves too.

UI (Interface)

  1. UI needs to be proportionate to the confidence in AI – Strong AI needs less UI and vice-versa
  2. Magic vs. Prediction trade-off– people tend to choose for predictable but slower approach instead of faster “magical” solution.
  3. User feedback is very important for improvements of the system but hard to get nowadays. For example: Google Now question “Will it rain this weekend?” gives no feedback to the system.

I (Personalisation) 

  1. Make the benefits clear and immediate- people will not use products that only promise benefits in a long run
  2. Allow users to teach – ask you users to help (when possible!)
  3. Who are your users – it is important to know who your users are. What will work for specific users in US will not automatically work in India.

The whole presentation is now also available on YouTube
Photo credit:TNW

TNW Europe (part 1), Trend-driven innovation

TNWConf2016

 

 

 

 

 


The 11th annual TNW Conference Europe took place on May 26 & 27 in Amsterdam. Described, as “The most intimate technology festival on the planet” by CNBC, over the years TNW Conference has become one of the leading technology events in the world. It’s organized by Dutch based online media company The Next Web and brings promising startups, investors, technology gurus, innovators and entrepreneurs together. It’s a great place to share their thoughts about the future of technology, marketing, talk about design or for networking, to get inspired or to boost your imagination.


tw-logoOne of the first speakers was David Mattin from Trendwatching.com and he gave an interesting presentation about trend-driven innovation and how to turn overwhelm into opportunity.

Nowadays we are overwhelmed, with the fast pace of upcoming new innovations, new services and products, it’s difficult to keep-up because they are arriving on daily or even hourly basis. These innovations and new services create new customer expectations and they are the drive behind the expectation economy. Good example for that is a newcomer like Uber who change the customer expectation in the taxi business (cabs arrive within 10 minutes).

As innovators, the important question that we must ask ourselves is:
“What will our customers want next?”

But how to do that?

  1. Asking people what they want is limited. They don’t know what they need until you show it tot them.
  2. Find out by watching them is too expensive and time consuming
  3. By analyzing consumer data – good for validation and enhancing but not for breakthrough innovation.

The real answer is:
“Stop looking at customers and start looking at successful businesses and the expectations they create”, said Mattin.

“It’s about the new expectations that this innovations create and when this expectation spread across borders, market, demographics then we are seeing a trend in action. Watching that happening is what Trend watching actually is.
“Trends emerge as innovators address people’s basic human needs and wants in novel ways”

A few examples that can lead us to a new trend:

  1. Stockholmståg – Algorithm anticipates train delays hours before they occur and the emerging trend is Beneficial intelligence – consumers will embrace digital services that make truly smart decisions for them.
  2. REI outdoor retailer – On Black Friday, a day of shopping frenzy in the US, REI outdoor retailer pays employees to take a day off to spend… outdoors (with heavy social media coverage #OptOutside) and encourages its customers to do the same.
    The emerging trend is Insider Trading – the right internal culture becomes an external asset.
  3. Renrenxiang – restaurant replaces staff with messaging app. The emerging trend is Informal info – effective information is informal information.

What if some of these innovations fail? Asked Mattin next.
It’s not about success or failure; it ‘s again about customer expectations.

For example: There are 3 new mobile phones, which have a great new features – the first is very secure, the second is highly recyclable and the third interchangeable. Only by seeing them, these phones will create new customer expectations, and companies like Apple and Samsung know that and are already innovating to meet those expectations.

The big wave of innovations and services can be really overwhelming, so if you look at those innovations though the lens of new customer expectations, the more innovation you see the more empowered you are to discover your own trends and soon that becomes habit, new way of seeing the world. The next step is to apply those trends, and if you can do that then you are really a trend-driven innovator concludes Mattin.

The whole presentation is now also available on YouTube.

Wat je nu echt moet weten over Snapchat

Ik wist dat het bestond, natuurlijk. Maar opeens was het overal: Snapchat in nieuwbrieven, blogposts, op het OCLC congres, in de krant, in gesprekken. Meestal samen met Instagram genoemd in de context van “the next big thing” op het gebied van social media. Instagram kennen we inmiddels wel, al is het maar van de “vette” foto’s die tegenwoordig op de monitor bij de personeelsingang voorbij komen. Snapchat is hot & happening, dus een onderzoekje waard.

snapchat logos

Met Snapchat kan je foto’s of video’s van max 10 seconden naar één specifiek contact of naar al jouw volgers sturen. Je kan de beelden bewerken door er op te tekenen of er teksten en emoticons of stickers aan toe te voegen. Je kan ook foto’s en video’s bundelen in een verhaal (story). Wat maakt Snapchat uniek? De Snaps (stories, foto’s en video’s) die je stuurt worden na het bekijken gewist. Hebben de ontvangers of volgers de Snaps 24 uur na het publiceren nog steeds niet gezien? Pech. Na 24 uur verdwijnen je creaties in de cyber-prullenbak. En dat is eigenlijk best wel fijn, want dan ben jij al weer wat anders interessants aan het doen waar je over kan snapchatten. Naast het chatten met beelden, kan je ook “gewoon” met tekst chatten met je volgers zoals je bij WhatsApp doet.

Wat Snapchat naast het vluchtige karakter nog meer zo populair maakt, is dat je de foto’s en video’s in de app maakt, dus zonder de mogelijkheid gebruik te maken van editing tools, mooimakerij of professionele apparatuur. Het gaat bij Snapchat niet zoals bij Instagram om het mooie plaatje, maar om het moment. De tekenstift en stickers nodigen uit om jouw creativiteit te botvieren op een laagdrempelige manier: het mag er uit zien als een kleutertekening (maar het hoeft niet, je kan zelfs echte Snapchat-kunstenaars volgen!).

Inmiddels bestaat Snapchat al een jaar of vijf en na een tijdje vooral populair te zijn geweest onder jongeren, beginnen nu de marketingmachines van bedrijven en organisaties en ja, ook hogescholen en universiteiten (HvA en UT) met Snapchat om hun doelgroep te bereiken. Je kan ook het NOS journaal, Ajax, CNN, Rihanna, Lil’ Kleine en waarschijnlijk je neefje van 12 volgen. Inmiddels hebben meer dan 2 miljoen Nederlanders een account. Ik nu ook.

Mijn eigen ervaring? Snapchat kijkt – met toestemming – wie van jouw contacten ook een Snapchat account heeft. In mijn geval waren dat mijn tiener neefjes en nichtjes, jonge meiden van modern-jazz les en één collega. Ik heb wat crea-foto’s de wereld in geslingerd, maar moet duidelijk nog even wennen. Is er iemand in de Library die een Snapchat-experimentje met mij wil aangaan?

Geraadpleegde bronnen:

Duurzame opslagcapaciteit voor de hele lange termijn

De opslagcapaciteit van dit glazen schijfje, 360 terabyte, is nog niet eens zo spectaculair. Bij een niet nader te noemen elektronica-gigant koop je externe schijven van 3 TB voor minder dan €200 per stuk. Maar gecombineerd met de afmetingen en vooral ook de duurzaamheid, is dit schijfje toch wel bijzonder. Het is bestand tegen temperaturen tot 1000 graden celcius en kan bij kamertemperatuur naar verwachting 14 miljard jaren mee [1]. Daarmee lijkt deze technologie uitermate geschikt voor het bewaren van belangrijke archieven van bijvoorbeeld musea en bibliotheken. En zou er iemand al zo’n grote dataset hebben? Misschien nu nog niet, maar dat kan in de komende jaren best komen.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights recorded into 5D optical data (Southampton.ac.uk)

Foto: Southampton.ac.uk: Universal Declaration of Human Rights opgeslagen in 5D optische data. Het schijfje is ongeveer zo groot als een twee-euromunt.

Het glas wordt beschreven met een ultra-fast laser. De laser creëert 5D nanostructuren in het glas. We kennen allemaal 3D (de dimensies lengte x breedte x hoogte), de andere dimensies komen van de omvang en richting van de afzonderlijke structuren. Het uitlezen gebeurt met een optische microscoop en polarisatiefilter (denk: Polaroid zonnebril) [2].

Het klinkt eenvoudig, maar dat is het waarschijnlijk niet. Wetenschapper Peter Kazansky van de University of Southampton (UK) is met zijn collega’s al 15 jaar bezig met deze technologie, die nu is bewezen door onder andere de Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR, zie foto), Newton’s Opticks en Magna Carta op schijf te zetten. Er wordt gezocht naar partners om de technologie productierijp te maken [2].

Bronnen:
[1] http://www.sciencealert.com/this-new-5d-data-storage-disc-can-store-360tb-of-data-for-14-billion-years
[2] http://www.southampton.ac.uk/news/2016/02/5d-data-storage-update.page

Citizen Science closing knowledge gaps

Washington Post tells us: “Three superplayers of an addictive online puzzle game have done something that Stanford University Medical School believes is unprecedented: They’ve become the first authors on a paper published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal based on their discoveries in playing the large-scale, online video game EteRNA.”

The Journal of Molecular Biology is a peer-reviewed scientific journal where authors with solid scientific reputation publish their works. The scientific article in question was published last month by the three “citizen scientists” authors, considered amateur scientists. How is this possible?

Who gets to publish scientific articles has to go through the regular channel of working with authorities in the scientific field and then becoming a scientific authority: it’s the thread of trust in the creation of knowledge. This is the traditional way to develop one’s own expertise and get recognised by the scientific community. However, this way changed over the last decades: new educational pathways grew inside the traditional academic environment via the MOOCs but also outside them via citizen science projects.

The MOOCs are educational models that approach a large audience, with a huge impact on the global education, where the knowledge, structured in various subjects is given away: it flows from universities to people.

In the citizen scientist project model, the knowledge flows the other way around. The universities need help, they have huge projects working with big data that ask for too much money and infrastructure or too many people, all in all too much for a university to handle by itself. They need help not only in the form of funding (level 1) and distributed computer processing power (level 2) but also through crowdsourcing human-processing power – fresh, non-biased input – to analyse complex problems, images or samples (level 3) [2]. So the universities created frameworks for people to learn and challenge them to help solve problems with great impact for the whole society.

Continue reading

Crowdfunding for academia

Every university wants to encourage the entrepreneurship of its students and at the same time, increase its visibility through their output. One new way is via the social supporting models of crowdfunding (financial support from an online community) and the crowdsourcing (support with services, ideas or content from an online community). Both were a hype in 2013 but they stayed around and they were adopted by universities around the world or by non-profit organisations as valuable alternative tools for the benefit of academia.

How does this parallel fund raising track works for universities now?

In USA, the University of Oregon took an active role in hosting a website, DuckFunder, for crowdfunding their students projects. Experiment.com is crowdfunding scientific research with a team behind the scenes that examines and approves an experiment before going public.

In UK there is an non-profit organisation, Hubbub, created for students, hosting a crowdfunding website for academia, colleges and schools. They defined the Sponsors and the Creators. The Creators (at least 16 years old) offer generic small rewards to the Sponsors – the “friends of the university” – to help the process of crowdfunding and get them involved in the projects of their interest. (Learn more)

In the Nederlands, University of Maastricht is busy with offering support to its students who want to find resources to realise their ideas. Both their crowdfunding and crowdsourcing projects can be found on their page on the Pifworld (Pay It Forward World).

University of Groningen supports its researchers and students via two websites made by/with the “social enterprise” Kentaa, who says it’s working with 9 of 13 Dutch universities to help raise funds for academic research projects. There one can find the webpages of Erasmus University Rotterdam, Wageningen UR, Radboud University and Twente University.

At TU Delft, somehow the students managed to (crowd)fund their projects via different and elsewhere available platforms. Among their initiatives, the following got a well deserved attention:

  • the Ocean Cleanup by Bojan Slat completed a fundraiser in 2014 that used the ABN AMRO platform SEEDS.
  • the Leg Bank for Colombia via the 1%Club platform – completed in 2014
  • Nuna 8 closed in the summer of 2015, via Zonnepanelendelen platform, crowdfunding specifically for systems based on sun energy.
    A picture of each sponsor was placed on the Nuna 8 solar car, which ended up winning the World Solar Challenge 2015 in Australia.
  • the EcoRunner – the hydrogen powered vehicle, still fighting to raise money on Indiegogo

What if we, as a library, step in as well to support our own gifted entrepreneur students? We could give them the channel they need for getting help with funds and resources from people who care in exchange for bringing TU Delft in the news with their great ideas.