Category Archives: ScientistsDB

The potential benefits of making yourself visible online as a scientist

The potential benefits of making yourself visible online as a scientist

This is a presentation I gave at MIT to the Boston ACS Young Chemists regarding how they can take advantage of some of the online tools to spread the message about their activities, their interests, get engaged with collaborative science and participate now to gain benefits from the growing world of AltMetrics


Navigating scientific resources using wiki based resources

Presentation given at ACS New Orleans Spring Meeting

There is an overwhelming number of new resources for chemistry that would likely benefit both librarians and students in terms of improving access to data and information. While commercial solutions provided by an institution may be the primary resources there is now an enormous range of online tools, databases, resources, apps for mobile devices and, increasingly, wikis. This presentation will provide an overview of how wiki-based resources for scientists are developing and will introduce a number of developing wikis. These include wikis that are being used to teach chemistry to students as well as to source information about scientists, scientific databases and mobile apps.


Let’s Give Lee Dirks an Article on ScientistsDB and Wikipedia

Recently the world lost a great man…Lee Dirks. I believe he made a great contribution to our domain. I believe he deserves to be recognized and think that an article on Wikipedia would be appropriate. Whether he can have an article or not is not our choice of course but the choice of editors who may or may not deem Lee notable. I believe he is.

In order to produce an article for Wikipedia I would like contributions to write the article on ScientistsDB and then it can be copied over to Wikipedia once we have the relative references etc. The alternative is to write it on Wikipedia directly and if anyone wants to try that feel free to lift the framework article I started on ScientistsDB here.

Can we honor Lee in this way by ensuring that his contributions are gathered together in an encyclopedic article? Please help.

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Posted by on September 14, 2012 in ScientistsDB


Serving up and consuming community content for chemists using wikis #ACSPhilly

Unfortunately I had to leave the ACS Meeting in Philadelphia but my colleague David Sharpe will be giving this presentation for me. I have made available a copy of the presentation on Slideshare here but also uploaded a narrated version onto YouTube.

“Wikipedia has become the world’s most famous encyclopedia using as it’s platform the MediaWiki open source software. The software is supported not only by the MediaWiki foundation but by a community of developers who build widgets and add-ons to extend the capabilities. This presentation will review how MediaWiki has been used as a container for a number of resources of value to chemists, specifically SciMobileApps, SciDBs and ScientistsDB holding content regarding mobile scientific apps, scientific databases and scientists. We will also review how chemistry content within Wikipedia has been used to enhance the content underlying the RSC ChemSpider database and how the platform supports an educational environment for chemistry students.


Social networking tools as public representations of a scientist

This is one of my presentations at the ACS meeting today in San Diego regarding how to use social networking tools to expose yourself as a scientist

Social networking tools as public representations of a scientist

The web has revolutionized the manner by which we can represent ourselves online by providing us the ability to exposure our data, experiences and skills online via blogs, wikis and other crowdsourcing venues. As a result it is possible to contribute to the community while developing a social profile as a scientist. At present many scientists are still measured by their contributions using the classical method of citation statistics and a number of freely available online tools are now available for scientists to manage their profile. This presentation will provide an overview of tools including Google Scholar Citations and Microsoft Academic Search and will discuss how these are and other tools, when integrated with the ORCID identifier, may more fully recognize the collective contributions to science. I will also discuss how an increasingly public view of us as scientists online will likely contribute to our reputation above and beyond citations.


A YouTube Cartoon Movie for ScienceOnline2012

I have previousloy blogged on “Why are pornstars more notable than scientists on Wikipedia?”. It created a wave of comments and feedback, some on blog, a lot more off-blog. One of the results was a Xmas project that resulted in ScientistsDB that I discussed here.

I’ve been watching a number of amusing videos that have been showing up on YouTube of late and, as a bit of an exercise nut, I have posted a couple of funny ones to my Exercise blog [1,2]. Last night, while helping my friend Mark Jensen do some stopped-motion photography while he was painting a sign, I happened upon the process by which these types of movies are made. It’s possible to make them using XtraNormal. Since it is possible to make the first one for free…I had enough credits at least to do what I wanted to do…

So, I made an XtraNormal movie about the situation about “Adult Film Stars and Scientists on Wikipedia”and the development of ScientistsDB. I kind of dedicated the movie to ScienceOnline 2012 as that is where I suggested the fictional discussion between “Sean and Tony” would take place.

I’m sure there are going to be a lot of interesting discussions at ScienceOnline2012 and look forward to seeing everyone there. By the way, if you have been involved with any semantic web projects or projects using Linked Open Data please connect with myself @chemconnector or @kristiholmes on Twitter as we’d like to invite you to give a short (3-4 min) talk at ScienceOnline2012.


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ScientistsDB – A wiki for scientists, about scientists, by scientists

ScientistsDB – A wiki for scientists, about scientists, by scientists

Join ScientistsDB

Recently I wrote about the issues of notability for scientists versus porn stars. It seemed to kick off quite a discussion…40 comments, 100 Tweets, comments off my blog on other people’s sites. It got mentioned on Wikipedia Signpost..and I take that as a compliment! There are some comments made on various Wikipedia pages [for example, 1]. Not everyone agreed with what I had to say and I received some GOOD guidance and input about how to improve the articles on Wikipedia that I had been writing. There were some supporting comments about how it was appropriate for me to write about people I know (in regards to the Conflict of Interest on Wikipedia).

When I originally wrote the post I was in a particularly “ranting” type of mood based on a few other things going on in regards to other systems, especially in regards to who makes final decisions. In retrospect some of the issues I blogged about had been brought up in various forms by other people over the years and in some ways my comments were “nothing new”. However, it is clear that the exposure the post got did resonate with a number of people.


I have sat with a number of friends and chatted, over a “cool glass of water” (or more), and chatted about exposure for scientists in general. We chatted about Wikipedia articles, about LinkedIn as a networking site for professionals, about the new systems such as ProSkore, and whether Klout would persist as a system for measuring influence.

Sean Ekins and I have introduced two wikis to the community…one for Scientific Mobile Apps and one for Scientific Databases. One addition to the family of scientific wikis that makes sense, based on the recent experiences with Wikipedia and the discussions around notability guidelines for scientists, is the new wiki ScientistsDB.

This wiki is for ANY scientist to have a wiki page about them online. We have no notability guidelines in place, and hopefully will not need them. Time will tell.  The hope is that scientists will contribute their own articles, that the community will also contribute/edit/expand and that ultimately, when the article is in good enough shape, it might be used as the source of an article on Wikipedia. There it can be challenged, discussed, edited and moved through all of the potential phases of a Wikipedia article before it is accepted. We believe that all scientists are entitled to a presence that ScientistsDB can enable. As the data are gathered then we have the possibility of starting to form network maps, relationships and connections that would have been unavailable before. We have a way to introduce scientists working in the same domain, connecting people working on the same classes of compounds, diseases, genes, etc. This is all part of a potential future…for now the Wikipedia articles for scientists (almost 50,000 of them) have been harvested and kept categorized according to Wikipedia categories and all scientists are welcomed to add their own articles. All content is licensed according to CC-BY-SA 3.0.

For now we are starting to get articles. A good model article is from Alex Clark.

We look forward to your thoughts and comments!


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