The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery

Microsoft Research has released The Fourth Paradigm: Data-Intensive Scientific Discovery.

Of particular interest is the "Scholarly Communication" chapter.

Here are some selections from that chapter:

  • "Jim Gray’s Fourth Paradigm and the Construction of the Scientific Record," Clifford Lynch
  • "Text in a Data-Centric World," Paul Ginsparg
  • "All Aboard: Toward a Machine-Friendly Scholarly Communication System," Herbert Van de Sompel and Carl Lagoze
  • "I Have Seen the Paradigm Shift, and It Is Us," John Wilbanks

Papers from the European Research Area 2009 Conference

Papers from the European Research Area 2009 Conference are now available.

Here's a selection from the "Open Access and Preservation" session:

7 Things You Should Know About Cloud Computing

EDUCAUSE has released 7 Things You Should Know About Cloud Computing.

Here's the abstract:

Cloud computing is the delivery of scalable IT resources over the Internet, as opposed to hosting and operating those resources locally, such as on a college or university network. Those resources can include applications and services, as well as the infrastructure on which they operate. By deploying IT infrastructure and services over the network, an organization can purchase these resources on an as-needed basis and avoid the capital costs of software and hardware. With cloud computing, IT capacity can be adjusted quickly and easily to accommodate changes in demand. Cloud computing also allows IT providers to make IT costs transparent and thus match consumption of IT services to those who pay for such services. Operating in a cloud environment requires IT leaders and staff to develop different skills, such as managing contracts, overseeing integration between in-house and outsourced services, and mastering a different model of IT budgets.

eSciDoc Infrastructure Version 1.1 Released

Version 1.1 of the eSciDoc Infrastructure has been released.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

  • Improved Ingest with support for pre-set states (e.g., ingest objects in status 'released'). Ingest performance has been improved significantly.
  • Support for user preferences added
  • Group policies extend the existing authorization options and allow for better support of collaborative working environments
  • Support for Japanese character sets in full-text and metadata searches, including the extraction of Japanese text from PDF documents
  • Support for OAI-PMH with dynamic sets based on filters
  • Improved and extended functionality for the Admin Tool, which now comes with a web-based GUI

Here's a brief description of the eSciDoc Core Services, which are part of a larger software suite (see the General Concepts page for further information):

The eSciDoc Core Services form a middleware for e-Research applications. The Core Services encapsulate a repository (Fedora Commons) and implement a broad range of commonly used functionalities. The service-oriented architecture fosters the creation of autonomous services, which can be re-used independently from the rest of the infrastructure. The multi-disciplinary nature of the existing Solutions built on top of the Core Services ensure the coverage of a broad range of generic and discipline-specific requirements.

“Adding eScience Assets to the Data Web”

Herbert Van de Sompel, Carl Lagoze, Michael L. Nelson, Simeon Warner, Robert Sanderson, and Pete Johnston have self-archived "Adding eScience Assets to the Data Web" on arXiv.org.

Here's an excerpt:

Aggregations of Web resources are increasingly important in scholarship as it adopts new methods that are data-centric, collaborative, and networked-based. The same notion of aggregations of resources is common to the mashed-up, socially networked information environment of Web 2.0. We present a mechanism to identify and describe aggregations of Web resources that has resulted from the Open Archives Initiative – Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) project. The OAI-ORE specifications are based on the principles of the Architecture of the World Wide Web, the Semantic Web, and the Linked Data effort. Therefore, their incorporation into the cyberinfrastructure that supports eScholarship will ensure the integration of the products of scholarly research into the Data Web.

Free Cloud Services from Amazon: AWS in Education

Amazon is offering academic community members free cloud services in its AWS in Education program.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Amazon.com, Inc. announces AWS in Education, a set of programs that enable the academic community to easily leverage the benefits of Amazon Web Services for teaching and research. With AWS in Education, educators, academic researchers, and students worldwide can obtain free usage credits to tap into the on-demand infrastructure of Amazon Web Services to teach advanced courses, tackle research endeavors and explore new projects. . . AWS in Education also provides self-directed learning resources on cloud computing for students.

Read more about it at "AWS in Education FAQs."

NSF Awards about $5 Million to 14 Universities to Participate in the IBM/Google Cloud Computing University Initiative

The National Science Foundation has awarded about $5 million in grants to 14 universities to participate in the IBM/Google Cloud Computing University Initiative.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

The initiative will provide the computing infrastructure for leading-edge research projects that could help us better understand our planet, our bodies, and pursue the limits of the World Wide Web.

In 2007, IBM and Google announced a joint university initiative to help computer science students gain the skills they need to build cloud applications. Now, NSF is using the same infrastructure and open source methods to award CLuE grants to universities around the United States. Through this program, universities will use software and services running on an IBM/Google cloud to explore innovative research ideas in data-intensive computing. These projects cover a range of activities that could lead not only to advances in computing research, but also to significant contributions in science and engineering more broadly.

NSF awarded Cluster Exploratory (CLuE) program grants to Carnegie-Mellon University, Florida International University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Purdue University, University of California-Irvine, University of California-San Diego, University of California-Santa Barbara, University of Maryland, University of Massachusetts, University of Virginia, University of Washington, University of Wisconsin, University of Utah and Yale University.

Open Grid Forum Digital Repositories Research Group Established

The Open Grid Forum has established a Digital Repositories Research Group.

Here's an excerpt from the home page:

The goal of the Digital Repositories Research Group (DR-RG) is to analyze how digital repositories can be built on top of federated storage infrastructure, focusing on the exploitation of existing data-related standards and the identification of need for new or revised data-related standards.

Draft Roadmap for Science Data Infrastructure

PARSE.Insight has released Draft Roadmap for Science Data Infrastructure.

Here's an excerpt from the announcement:

The draft roadmap provides an overview and initial details of a number of specific components, both technical and non-technical, which would be needed to supplement existing and already planned infrastructures for scientific data. The infra-structure components are aimed at bridging the gaps between islands of functionality, developed for particular purposes, often by other European projects. Thus the infrastructure components are intended to play a general, unifying role in scientific data. While developed in the context of a Europe-wide infrastructure, there would be great advantages for these types of infrastructure components to be available much more widely.

Working Together or Apart: Promoting the Next Generation of Digital Scholarship

The Council on Library and Information Resources has released Working Together or Apart: Promoting the Next Generation of Digital Scholarship: Report of a Workshop Cosponsored by the Council on Library and Information Resources and The National Endowment for the Humanities

Here's an excerpt from the Executive Summary:

On September 15, 2008, CLIR, in cooperation with the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), held a symposium to explore research topics arising at the intersection of humanities, social sciences, and computer science. The meeting addressed two fundamental questions: (1) how do the new media advance and transform the interpretation and analysis of text, image, and other sources of interest to the humanities and social sciences and enable new expression and pedagogy?, and (2) how do those processes of inquiry pose questions and challenges for research in computer science as well as in the humanities and social sciences?

Working Together or Apart considers these two questions. The volume opens with an essay by CLIR Director of Programs Amy Friedlander, which contextualizes and synthesizes the day's discussion. It is followed by six papers prepared for the meeting, and a summary of a report on digital humanities centers commissioned by CLIR and written by Diane Zorich.

Digital Video: Open Science: Good For Research, Good For Researchers? at Columbia

A digital video of the panel presentation: "Open Science: Good for Research, Good for Researchers?" at Columbia University is now available.

Here's the description from the Web page:

Open science refers to information-sharing among researchers and encompasses a number of initiatives to remove access barriers to data and published papers, and to use digital technology to more efficiently disseminate research results. Advocates for this approach argue that openly sharing information among researchers is fundamental to good science, speeds the progress of research, and increases recognition of researchers. Panelists: Jean-Claude Bradley, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Coordinator of E-Learning for the School of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University; Barry Canton, founder of Gingko BioWorks and the OpenWetWare wiki, an online community of life science researchers committed to open science that has over 5,300 users; Bora Zivkovic, Online Discussion Expert for the Public Library of Science (PLoS) and author of "A Blog Around the Clock."

Sun Microsystems Releases Open APIs for the Sun Open Cloud Platform

Sun Microsystems has released Open API's for its Open Cloud Platform.

Here's an excerpt from the press release:

Today at its CommunityOne developer event, Sun Microsystems, Inc. . . . showcased the Sun Open Cloud Platform, the company's open cloud computing infrastructure, powered by industry-leading software technologies from Sun, including Java, MySQL, OpenSolaris and Open Storage. Signaling a massive opportunity to open the world's nascent cloud market, Sun also outlined that a core element of its strategy is to offer public clouds and previewed plans to launch the Sun Cloud, its first public cloud service targeted at developers, student and startups. . . .

As part of the company's commitment to building communities, Sun also announced the release of a core set of Open APIs, unveiled broad partner support for its cloud platform and demonstrated innovative features of the Sun Cloud. Sun is opening its cloud APIs for public review and comment, so that others building public and private clouds can easily design them for compatibility with the Sun Cloud. Sun's Cloud API specifications are published under the Creative Commons license, which essentially allows anyone to use them in any way. Developers will be able to deploy applications to the Sun Cloud immediately, by leveraging pre-packaged VMIs (virtual machine images) of Sun's open source software, eliminating the need to download, install and configure infrastructure software. To participate in the discussion and development of Sun's Cloud APIs, go to sun.com/cloud.

In related news, according to the Wall Street Journal, IBM is negotiating to acquire Sun Microsystems.

Herbert Van de Sompel et al. on “Adding eScience Assets to the Data Web”

Herbert Van de Sompel et al.'s paper on "Adding eScience Assets to the Data Web" is now available on the Linked Data on the Web (LDOW2009) Web site.

Here's an excerpt:

Aggregations of Web resources are increasingly important in scholarship as it adopts new methods that are data-centric, collaborative, and networked-based. The same notion of aggregations of resources is common to the mashed-up, socially networked information environment of Web 2.0. We present a mechanism to identify and describe aggregations of Web resources that has resulted from the Open Archives Initiative-Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) project. The OAI-ORE specifications are based on the principles of the Architecture of the World Wide Web, the Semantic Web, and the Linked Data effort. Therefore, their incorporation into the cyberinfrastructure that supports eScholarship will ensure the integration of the products of scholarly research into the Data Web.

Presentations from the 9th International Bielefeld Conference

Presentations from the 9th International Bielefeld Conference are now available.

Here's a few quick selections:

  • Communicating the Results of Research: How Much Does It Cost, and Who Pays?, Michael Jubb (slides) (audio)
  • IR Also Means Institutional Responsibility, Leo Waaijers (slides) (audio)
  • University Investment in the Library: What's the Return?, Carol Tenopir (slides) (audio)

Cloud Computing: DuraSpace Report to Mellon Foundation

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has released a progress report from the DuraSpace project, a joint project of the DSpace Foundation and the Fedora Commons. (Thanks to RepositoryMan.)

Here's an excerpt from "DSpace Foundation and Fedora Commons Receive Grant from the Mellon Foundation for DuraSpace" that describes the project:

Over the next six months funding from the planning grant will allow the organizations to jointly specify and design "DuraSpace," a new web-based service that will allow institutions to easily distribute content to multiple storage providers, both "cloud-based" and institution-based. The idea behind DuraSpace is to provide a trusted, value-added service layer to augment the capabilities of generic storage providers by making stored digital content more durable, manageable, accessible and sharable.

“What Cloud Computing Really Means”

Eric Knorr and Galen Gruman provide a concise overview of "cloud computing" in "What Cloud Computing Really Means."

Here's an excerpt:

Cloud computing comes into focus only when you think about what IT always needs: a way to increase capacity or add capabilities on the fly without investing in new infrastructure, training new personnel, or licensing new software. Cloud computing encompasses any subscription-based or pay-per-use service that, in real time over the Internet, extends IT's existing capabilities.

Leslie Carr on Repositories and Cloud Computing

In "The Cloud, the Researcher and the Repository," Leslie Carr discusses repositories and cloud computing, especially the problem of large file deposit.

Here's an excerpt from:

The solution that Tim [Brody] has come up with is to allow the researcher's desktop environment to directly use EPrints as a file system—you can 'mount' the repository as a network drive on your Windows/Mac/Linux desktop using services like WebDAV or FTP. As far as the user is concerned, they can just drag and drop a whole bunch of files from their documents folders, home directories or DVD-ROMs onto the repository disk, and EPrints will automatically deposit them into a new entry or entries. Of course, you can also do the reverse—copy documents from the repository back onto your desktop, open them directly in applications, or attach them to an email.

Cyberinfrastructure Report: e-IRG White Paper 2008

The e-Infrastructure Reflection Group has released the e-IRG White Paper 2008

Here's an excerpt:

The purpose of the e-IRG White Papers is to provide a "snapshot" of technical, policy and organisational developments in the e-Infrastructure domain, influencing the provision, use and broader uptake of the services. Based on this situation analysis, the White Paper outlines the opportunities and challenges stemming from these developments. This analysis culminates in the e-IRG recommendations, providing suggestions for the next steps to maximise benefits from the considerable investments to the electronic infrastructures supporting research activities made in Europe so far.

The selection of topics for this White Paper was based on the recently re-articulated mission of the e-IRG being "to pave the way towards a general-purpose European e-Infrastructure". The topics that at the moment are most important for accomplishing this mission, were chosen after a broad consultation of experts, and presented to e-IRG delegates during the e-IRG workshop in Zurich (April 2008). The topics deemed to be especially relevant at this moment were:

  • Grid and Cloud computing
  • Security: A holistic approach
  • Education and Training
  • Global Collaboration
  • Sustainability of the computing-related e-Infrastructure
  • Remote Instrumentation
  • Virtualisation

What's a Fast Wide Area Network Data Transfer? Now, It's 114 Gigabits per Second

At SuperComputing 2008, an international team headed by California Institute of Technology researchers demonstrated wide area network, multiple-country data transfers that peaked at 114 gigabits per second and sustained a 110 gigabit per second rate.

Read more about it at "High Energy Physics Team Sets New Data-Transfer World Records."

A Web-Based Resource Model for eScience: Object Reuse & Exchange

Carl Lagoze, Herbert Van de Sompel, Michael Nelson, Simeon Warner, Robert Sanderson, and Pete Johnston have deposited "A Web-Based Resource Model for eScience: Object Reuse & Exchange" in arXiv.org.

Here's the abstract:

Work in the Open Archives Initiative-Object Reuse and Exchange (OAI-ORE) focuses on an important aspect of infrastructure for eScience: the specification of the data model and a suite of implementation standards to identify and describe compound objects. These are objects that aggregate multiple sources of content including text, images, data, visualization tools, and the like. These aggregations are an essential product of eScience, and will become increasingly common in the age of data-driven scholarship. The OAI-ORE specifications conform to the core concepts of the Web architecture and the semantic Web, ensuring that applications that use them will integrate well into the general Web environment.

Presentations from the Oxford Institutional and National Services for Research Data Management Workshop

Presentations from the Institutional and National Services for Research Data Management Workshop at the Oxford Said Business School are now available.

Here's a selection:

Presentations from Reinventing Science Librarianship: Models for the Future

Presentations (usually digital audio and PowerPoint slides) about data curation, e-science, virtual organizations and other topics from the ARL/CNI Fall Forum on Reinventing Science Librarianship: Models for the Future are now available.

Speakers included Sayeed Choudhury, Ron Larsen, Liz Lyon, Richard Luce, and others.

Presentations from eResearch Australasia 2008

Presentations from the eResearch Australasia 2008 conference are available.

Here's a brief selection:

E-Science Talking Points for ARL Deans and Directors

The Association of Research Libraries has released E-Science Talking Points for ARL Deans and Directors.

Here's an excerpt:

The term "e-science" is roughly—though not precisely—synonymous with "Cyberinfrastructure;" where the latter term is prevalent in the United States, e-science predominates in the United Kingdom and elsewhere in Europe. Both terms refer to the use of networked computing technologies to enhance collaboration and innovative methods in research. "e-science," however, has a more specific focus on scientific research, whereas Cyberinfrastructure is more inclusive of fields outside the sciences and engineering, and incorporates greater emphasis on supercomputing resources and innovation.

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