Monday, May 04, 2009

NFAIS Forum: Social Media and the Future of Scholarly Publishing - Part 2

Here are more notes from the NFAIS event on May 1.

Dr. Bay Arinze:

  • Dr. Arinze is the founder of, which is a research management and collaboration network.
  • Currently the site has 6,500 users from 95 countries.
  • The site is geared to make researchers more efficient in their collaborative efforts. It can help them manage the collaborations as well as locate new collaborators.
    • 5% of U.S. researchers collaborate outside of the U.S.
  • The heart of MyNetResearch is project management:
    • Online project collaboration and management tools
    • Management of project teams, schedules and tasks
    • Management of documents, including version management
  • The site features blogs, wikis, forums, chat and messaging. There are RSS feeds which help with knowledge discovery. There are also specialized research tools.
  • PhD students can use the site to manage their dissertation process with the committees.
Reynold Guida:
  • Guida is from Thomson-Reuters.
  • In thinking about a researcher's identity, they realized that there were six areas where information should be known:
    • Who are you?
    • Where do you work?
    • What do you do?
    • Who do you know?
    • What do you want to know?
    • What do you create?
  • They are now building an identity system called which is a researcher registry.
  • ResearcherID consists of one record for each researcher that contains a unique identifier for each record.
  • The registry uses consistent metadata, persistent location (URL), and controlled permissions. It is global and secure.
  • They are working to connect to other registries.
  • Users control their identities.
  • Found that institutions want to create records for their research faculty, Have a way for institutions to do that, however, the individual faculty members own and control their records. Those records can change as the faculty members changes (e.g., location).
  • Note: Over the weekend, this blog post from May 2008 was passed along to me on ResearcherID. The lesson from the blog post is to understand what the product is, what benefits you are looking for, and whether this product will deliver those benefits.
Jill Hurst-Wahl:
  • Wayne Hay (below) and I were charged with talking about social media in public and academic library environments.
  • Many tools are being used in academic environments including Twitter, Meebo, Skype, RSS, Elluminate, Youtube, Flickr, Facebook, wikis, blogs, LibraryThing and tagging. (And those were just from a small informal survey in FriendFeed.)
  • On college campuses, the physical library is trying to be the "third place" for people. The library wants to be the "center" of the campus.
  • Online the lbrary is using tools to communicate, to publish information, and to allow people to interact with content.
  • In thinking about content, users want to share it, tag it, find it faster, use it more seamlessly, mix, and mash it.
  • Barriers eliminate use.
  • It has been said that the Internet is a "fourth place". Everyone who spoke at NFAIS is trying to create a specific fourth place for people. People don't want multiple fourth places. Can these places interoperate? Can people move easily from one to another?
  • Librarians want to implement more social tools on their sites, but they do not want to have to study an idea in-depth/to-death.
  • The libraries virtual presences needs to be everywhere.
Wayne Hay:
  • Hay is from the Westchester (NY) Library System.
  • He talked about the current practices occurring in his system in regards to web 2.0. Tools being used include Facebook, Twitter, blogs, Flcikr, MySpace and YouTube. He should screenshots of some of the pages.
  • One library is using Facebook events for event sign-ups (likely with teens).
  • He referenced this article, HOW TO: Track Social Media Analytics.
  • In talking about demographics, Hay used information from Nielson Wire.
  • He seem the iPhone interface as being simple visual navigation. For the most part, we haven't figured out simple navigation. The Birmingham Public Library has.
  • He mentioned an international m-library conference that will be occurring in June.
Jay Datema:
  • Datema, from Bookism, talked about the challenges to adopting social media.
  • The problem:
    • Social media is irresistible
    • Social media supplants and does not replace original content
    • The parasite needs a host
    • The Internet is a copy machine
  • The business model needs to address "content ownership" where rights are distributed not owned. Who is the ultimate owner of your stuff?
  • Scott McNealy - "Technology has the shelf-lfe of a banana."
  • Datema mentioned that 125 New York Public Library subject librarians are blogging. In Twitter, epistemographer responded to my tweet on the topic and noted that "We've got upwards of 50 librarians blogging now at (some more frequently than others). More to come!"
  • Datema noted that social media is a bridge...bridging, people, content, ideas...
Darin McBeath:
  • McBeath, from Elsevier, was the final speaker.
  • Right now he sees a tug of war between publishers and the community over information. Publishers want control. The community is attempting to take control. Is there an amicable middle-ground?
  • He asked which is better "less more" or "more less"? Is less more or is more less? Do users want all of these features?
  • Should (could) we let customers be the publisher?
  • Should (could) we let customers create communities within our platforms?
  • He believes that publishers should provide common APIs and common XMLs so that the community can develop applications and share those applications.
A few other sites mentioned during the day included:
One quick thought from these speakers:
  • No one is waiting for the perfect solution.

Although I've been to Philadelphia before (smile!), it was nice to stretch my legs, visit familiar spots and find some new ones. Here are a few photos...

Ben Franklin Bridge, Philadelphia at night South St. Philadelphia
State House Bell aka the Liberty Bell Entrance to China Town, Philadephia

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Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting the notes. One correction to the ResearcherID section -- the URL to the service should be The URL you have now goes to the Canadian Infectious Disease Foundations.

ResearcherId is getting more publicity lately, and now I see they have an API for uploading and downloading content. The Terms of Use still haven't changed, though, so I still have the same reservations about what appears to be an attempt to privatize and monetize an identifier. Perhaps it is time for an updated post...

Jill Hurst-Wahl said...

Ah, thanks. I've made the corrections. ResearcherID, not ResearchID!

Jay said...

Hey Jill,

One Correction: It's Datema.

The addition of a blogging policy may be a deterrent for NYPL bloggers.....

Enjoyed your notion of the fourth place, too.

Jill Hurst-Wahl said...

Jay, thanks. I had your name spelled two different ways!

Amanda Crowe said...

FriendFeed has less users today than it did last October, according to Comscore. Co-founder Paul Buchheit says that isn’t accurate (and I believe him), but it’s clear that the service hasn’t grown much in the last few months.

Michele said...

Hi Jill,
MyNetResearch sounds interesting. It seems to me its a single source for most research activities. Do you agree?

Jill Hurst-Wahl said...


MyNetResearch sounded good, but I haven't looked into it in-depth. I think it might depend on how a person is used to (or wants to) work. I do remember thinking it would be great for PhD students.