Monday, September 26, 2016

Stressors and Drivers of Food Security: Evidence from Scientific Collections #SciCollFood

Stressors and Drivers of Food Security: Evidence from Scientific Collections
19-21 September 2016
National Agriculture Library, Beltsville, MD
Hosted by: U.S. Department of Agriculture

The Stressors and Drivers of Food Security: Evidence from Scientific Collections workshop was organized by Scientific Collections International (SciColl) at the National Agriculture Library in Beltsville, Maryland, 19-21 September 2016. The SciColl mission is "Increase the use and impact of scientific collections for interdisciplinary research and societal benefits. Expand the access, awareness and appreciation of scientific collections" and the "Stressors and Drivers of Food Security" workshop was designed to help show the importance of scientific collections to the topic of food security.

Wester
The first day opened with welcomes from Paul Wester, Director of the National Agriculture Library and Catherine Woteki, Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics at the US Department of Agriculture. David Schindel (Chairman, SciColl Executive Board) then gave an overview of SciColl to the approximately 40 attendees from around the world.

Two keynote talks followed. The first, from David Inouye (Professor Emeritus at the University of Maryland and Principal Investigator at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory) covered the importance of collections and field studies of pollinators in fostering food security. Kristen Gremillion (Professor at the Ohio State University) on the fascinating topic of ancient crops, archaeological collections, and food security.

The keynotes were followed by a series of short talks from:
Grace Costantino from the Biodiversity Heritage Library gave a talk entitled "Literature Resources to Support Food Security Research: An Introduction to the BHL".

Kalfatovic
The second day of the meeting was focused on four sessions devoted to presentations about different research challenges, followed by commentaries and discussion by panelists representing different collection domains. The focus will be on how different collection types could contribute to research.

I chaired the first session, "Varieties of Food," that featured talks from Rod Page (University of Glasgow), "Unknown Knowns, Long Tails, and Long Data", and Ari Novy (Director, US Botanic Garden). The session was followed by comments from a reactor panel and discussion from the audience. The remaining sessions followed a similar format with reactor panels and audience discussion.

Biological Stressors and Aides
Biological Stressors and Aides
  • Kevin McCluskey, Kansas State University
  • Marcia Maués, Embrapa 
Environmental Stressors and Benefits
Feeding the 10 Billion
Feeding the 10 Billion
The closing day of the workshop was devoted to developing new strategies and discussing next steps. Breakout groups were organized to discuss the following topics:
  • New strategies for increasing the use and impact of collections and associated databases for food security research
  • Case studies that exemplify cross-cutting and forward-thinking uses of collections and associated databases for food security research
  • Major recommendations for the research and collections communities, funding agencies, and/or networks (such as SciColl)
The results of the workshop will be published later this year in a white paper. The video recordings of the workshop are available on the SciColl YouTube channel.

More information:


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Report on the ICSTI 2016 General Assembly & Workshops

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The International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI) 2016 General Assembly & Workshops

Denver | 10 September 2016 | Twitter Stream


On 10 September 2016 I attended the ICSTI 2016 General Assembly & Workshops in Denver with Suzanne Pilsk on behalf of Smithsonian Libraries.  ICSTI 2016 General Assembly was held in Denver to take advantage of the International Data Week meetings being held the following week.

The Member Initiative Presentations followed a brief business meeting.

Smithsonian Libraries were invited to present during the Member Initiatives session on the topic of Smithsonian Research Online and activities around that including the Public Access Mandate and the implementation of Smithsonian Profiles. Suzanne Pilsk wrote and delivered the presentation on behalf of SIL,

The other Member Initiative talks were by:
  • Kathleen O'Connell (National Research Council Canada)
  • Mustapha Mokrane (Inferential Council for Science on World Data Systems)
  • Tae-Sui Seo (Korea Institute of Science and Technology Information)
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(from left: Pilsk, Mokrane, Seo)

These talks were followed by two workshops:
  • Information Trends and Opportunities Committee (ITOC) Workshop 
  • Technical Activities Coordinating Committee (TACC) Workshop 


Information Trends and Opportunities Committee (ITOC) Workshop 
Enabling Innovations for Researcher Workflows and Scholarly Communication
"The Information Trends and Opportunities Committee (ITOC) is the catalyst for strategic thinking of ICSTI. It conducts foresight/horizon scanning to identify trends and opportunities of interest and relevance to ICSTI members. The Chair of ITOC is Margret Plank, Head of Competence Center for non-textual Materials at the German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB)."

Jeroen Bosman and Bianca Kramer (Utrecht University Library/101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication). Innovations in scholarly communication: openness, efficiency and reproducibility drivers.
  • For those of you who may not yet have looked at the 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication project, it is worth your time. The project provides a valuable empirical underpinning from a survey of over 20,000 researchers on just how the core nature of scientific communication is changing.
Cameron Neylon (Force 11). From Principles to Action - The FORCE11 approach to innovation in scholarly communications. 
  • "FORCE11 started as a movement for change amongst a particular group of technically minded people in scholarly communication including publishers, technologists, researchers, advocates and funders. Over time it has evolved in a number of directions, now positioning itself as a forum where different stakeholder communities can come together to seek a consensus on how to move forward. In particular a pattern has emerged in which successful groups seek first to articulate and refine a set of principles that can help to guide implementation but do not specify it. If a wide consensus can be developed on principles then the next phase moves towards community implementation. The success and challenges of this approach will be discussed with examples."
Lambert Heller (German National Library of Science and Technology (TIB)). Wikidata and Wikimedia Commons as a platform for collaborative annotation and reuse for scientific data. 
  • Excellent talk about the use/re-use of Open Access literature within WikiSource.
Courtney Soderberg (COS, Center for Open Science). An Open Science Framework for managing and sharing research workflows. 
  • Soderberg's talk was an excellent and engaging discussion of the mission of the Center for Open Science (COS). COS's remit is to increase openness, reproducibility, and integrity of scholarly research.
Alex Viggio (University of Colorado Boulder). Lessons Learned from the OpenVIVO Experiment.
  • Very interesting overview of the OpenVIVO experiment. OpenVIVO is hosted version of the VIVO software (which runs Smithsonian Profiles) to which any researcher around the world can enter their own profile.

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(from left: Viggio, Soderberg, Heller)


Technical Activities Coordinating Committee (TACC) Workshop 
Trends in Scientific Software Development, Sharing, and Use
ICSTI’s Technical Activities Coordinating Committee (TACC) typically focuses on exploring and communicating technical aspects of innovative trends in information science-based tools that help make STI more useable and accessible. The Chair of TACC is Brian Hitson, Director US DOE/Office of Scientific and Technical Information (DOE/OSTI).

Jay Billings (Oak Ridge National Laboratory & DOE Office of Scientific and Technical Information). The New Department of Energy Software Center
  • Billings discussed the DOE's Software Center, why such a center is needed, and ongoing development efforts.
Andrea Ross (Eclipse Foundation). Eclipse Foundation: A symphony of R&D collaboration
  • Ross gave a fascinating talk about the Eclipse Foundation and its efforts to nurture a community of software developers collaborating on a massive scale to develop high quality software.
James Willenbring (Sandia National Laboratories). The IDEAS Scientific Software Productivity Project
  • The Interoperable Design of Extreme-scale Application Software (IDEAS Project is a collaborative project of the seven national labs, a university, and three major computing facilities. "A key deliverable of the IDEAS Project is the Extreme-scale Scientific Software Development Kit (xSDK), which strives to provide the foundation for an extensible scientific software ecosystem, with components developed by diverse, independent teams throughout the high-performance computing community."
Fernando Pérez (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory). Project Jupyter: from interactive data science to reproducible computing in HPC environments
  • "Project Jupyter is a language-agnostic platform for scientific computing and data science that is widely used in research, education and industry. It evolved from the original IPython project, an interactive shell for the Python programming language, as the ideas in IPython were generalized to represent interactive computational processes in any language."
Eleonora Presani (Elsevier). SoftwareX – A new Open Access software journal
  • Presani's talk, on the multidisciplinary SoftwareX journal was a fascinating discussion of ways to document and create a scholarly communication dialog around a deliverable product (sofware). Post talk discussion include some compare/contrast to Journal of Open Source Software
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(from left: Billings, Ross, Willenbring)