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The third quarter of my Panton Fellowship in the rear view mirror

- July 3, 2014 in Featured, Panton Fellowships

Three quarters down in my Panton Fellowship, it is time again to review my activities.

The open source visualization Head Start, which gives scholars an overview of a research field, remained one of my focal points. In April, I released version 2.5 which includes a brand new server component that lets you manipulate the visualization after it has loaded. The new version also contains the timeline visualization created by Philipp Weißensteiner, along with a consolidated code base and many bug fixes. Furthermore, I worked on the integration of Head Start with Conference Navigator 3, a nifty scheduling system that allows you to create a personal conference schedule by bookmarking talks from the program. Head Start will be used as an alternate way of looking at the topics of the conference, and to give better context to the talks that you already selected and the talks that are recommended for you. Finally, in the wake of Peter Murray-Rust’s visit to Vienna in June (more on that later), I teamed up with Chris Kittel and Fabian Dablander to take first steps towards automatic visualizations of PLOS papers. The accompanying branch can be found here.



I also continued to promote open and transparent altmetrics. In the blog post entitled “All metrics are wrong, but some are useful”, I argued that no single number can determine the worth of an article, a publication, or a researcher. Instead, we have to find those numbers that give us a good picture of the many facets of a paper and put them into context. In my comment to the otherwise excellent NISO whitepaper on altmetrics standards, I maintained that openness and transparency should be strongly considered for altmetrics standards. This is the only way to uncover biases inherent in all metrics. It would also make it easier to uncover attempts of gaming the system.

A highlight of the last quarter was Peter Murray-Rust’s and Michelle Brook’s visit to Vienna. The three-day visit, made possible by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF), kicked off with a lecture by Peter and Michelle at the FWF. A video of the great talk entitled Open Notebook Science can be found here. On the next day, the two lead a well-attended workshop on content mining workshop at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria.The visit ended with a hackday organized by openscienceASAP, and an OKFN-AT meetup on content mining, with presentations by PMR, Andreas Langegger (Zoomsquare), Roman Kern (Know-Center) and Marion Breitschopf ( It was a very enlighting yet intense week, as you can also read in PMR’s account of the activities.

Last but not least, I attended a meeting of the Open Access Network Austria working group on outreach. There, I will lead an effort to come up with a concept for enhanced visibility of open access efforts. Finally, I also contributed to the open science sum-ups of activites in Austria, Germany and beyond. Here you can find the monthly summaries for March, April and May [in German].

Sadly, the next quarter will also be the last of my Panton Fellowship, but a first highlight is already lurking around the corner: the Open Knowledge Festival will kick off in Berlin on July 15. See you all there!

Second Quarterly Report on my Panton Fellowship

- March 26, 2014 in Panton Fellowships

by Timothy Appnel

by Timothy Appnel

I am now almost halfway through my Panton Fellowship, so it is time to sum up my activities once again.

The most important activity in the last quarter was surely the work on the open source visualization Head Start. Head Start is intended to give scholars an overview of a research field. You can find out all about the initial release in this blog post. I was busy in the last few weeks with bugfixing and stability improvements. I also refactored the whole pre-processing system and further integrated the work of Philipp Weißensteiner with regards to time-series visualization. If you are interested in trying out Head Start, or – even better – would like to contribute to its development, check out the Github repository.

Furthermore, I attended the Science Online un-conference in Raleigh (February 27 to March 1). Scio14 was very inspiring and engaging. Cameron Neylon hosted a great session on imagining the far future of academic publishing. In Rachel Levy‘s workshop on visualizations, we reflected on our own visualizations and there were tons of tips for improving one’s work. Other great sessions included post-publication peer review (with Ivan Oransky), altmetrics (facilitated by Cesar Berrios-Otero), and alternate careers in science (led by Eva Amsen). I also encourage you to check out the videos of the keynotes which include a very inspiring talk by Rebecca Tripp and Meg Lowman on neglected audiences in science, and the awesone crowd-sourced 3D printing project for creating prosthetic hands by Nick Parker and Jon Schull.

Let’s move on to my work for the local Austrian community. Together with my fellow OKFN members Sylvia Petrovic-Majer, Stefan Kasberger, and Christopher Kittel, I became active (remotely for now) in the Open Access Network Austria (OANA). Specifically, I am contributing to the working group “Involvment of researchers in open access”. I am very excited about this opportunity as it is one of the objectives of my Panton Fellowship to draw more researchers in open science.

What else? Earlier this year, I was interviewed for the openscienceASAP podcast. In the interview, I talked about altmetrics, the need for an inclusive approach to open science, and the Panton Fellowships. You can find the podcast here (in German). If you have read my last report, you may remember that I spoke on a panel about open science at University of Graz. The video of the panel (in German) is now online and can be found here. Furthermore, I’d like to draw your attention to the monthly sum-ups of open science activities in the German speaking world and beyond: January, February.

So what will my next quarter look like? As you may remember from my last report, I am currently a visiting scholar at University of Pittsburgh. In the weeks to come, I will integrate Head Start with Conference Navigator 3, developed  by the great folks of the PAWS Lab here in Pittsburgh. Conference Navigator is a nifty scheduling system that allows you to create a personal conference schedule by bookmarking talks from the program. The system then gives you recommendations for further talks based on your choices. Head Start will be used as an alternate way of looking at the topics of the conference, and to give better context to the talks that you already selected. I will return to Austria in June, just in time for Peter Murray-Rust‘s visit to Vienna. There are already a lot of activities planned around his stay, and I am very much looking forward to that. As always, please get in touch if you have any questions or comments, or in case you want to collaborate on one or the other project.

First Quarterly Report on my Panton Fellowship Activities

- January 15, 2014 in Panton Fellowships

by jakeandlindsay

by jakeandlindsay

I am now a little more than three months into my Panton Fellowship. This means it is time to give an overview of my activities so far. As outlined in my initial blog post, there are two main objectives of my fellowship: working on open and transparent altmetrics, and the promotion of open science.

Regarding the promotion of open science, I would like to highlight two local activities first. Since September, I have contributed to a monthly sum-up of open science activities in the German-speaking world and beyond in order to make these activities and more visible within the local community. You can find the sum-ups (only available in German) here: September, October, November, December. At this point, I would like to add a big shout out to the other contributors: Christopher Kittel, Stefan Kasberger, and Matthias Fromm.

I was also a panelist at the kick-off event of the openscienceASAP platform in Graz, entitled “The Changing Face of Science: Is Open Science the Future?”. openscienceASAP promotes open science as a practice, and this event was intended as a forum for interested students, researchers, and the general public. It ended up to be a very lively discussion that covered a lot of ground including open access, open peer review, altmetrics, open data, and so forth.

Regarding wider community work, I have started to develop an open data policy for the International Journal of Technology Enhanced Learning. IJTEL will become one of the first journals in the field that has such a policy, and hopefully this will inspire others to follow suit. Furthermore, in my role as an advocate for reproducibility I wrote a blog post on why reproducibility should become a quality criterion in science. The post sparked a lot of discussion, and was widely linked and tweeted.

The fellowship also enabled me to attend several other events related to open science: in September, I went to OKCon in Geneva, and in November I attended SpotOn in London. Furthermore, I attended a meeting of the Leibniz research network “Science 2.0” in Berlin. These events were a great experience for me. I learned a lot, and I met many new and wonderful people who are passionate about open science.

I also used these events to discuss my second objective: the need for open and transparent altmetrics. Altmetrics will be the main objective for the second quarter of my fellowship. I will be looking at different altmetrics sources and how they can be used for aggregation and visualization. To kickstart the activities, I have outlined my thoughts on this topic in this blog post. Furthermore, I helped to organize a OKFN Open Science Meetup in Vienna on the topic. I also gave an introduction to altmetrics at this occasion; the slides can be found here.

The first three months of my fellowship were a busy yet wonderful time. Besides the activities above, I finally finished my PhD on altmetrics-based visualization. Now I am off for a three-month visit to the Personalized Adaptive Web Systems Lab of University of Pittsburgh. I cannot wait to see what the second quarter has in store for me! As always, please get in touch if you have any questions or comments, or in case you want to collaborate on one or the other project.