The University of Southampton

Social networking for scientists changes the culture

Published: 24 August 2009

The MyExperiment social networking site for scientists is the subject of a new video from JISC (the Joint Information Systems Committee), which explains the background to the project and key features which have already contributed to its success.

The new video is one of a series from JISC featuring the Virtual Research Environment (VRE) programme, which is trying to find ways to connect people and speed up research projects across disciplines.

MyExperiment, directed by Professor David De Roure of the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton and Professor Carole Goble of the University of Manchester, enables scientists to share scientific data and know-how, and to build on results already achieved and available on the site. By providing scientists with the opportunity to exchange scientific workflows, the MyExperiment researchers aim to provide them also with the means to achieve new scientific results.

In the JISC video the researchers explain the importance of building the user base at the same time as the data, and the crucial need to create an environment in which scientists feel comfortable in using the data.

‘It’s a radical new idea,’ says Duncan Hull, User Advocate from the University of Manchester. ‘We’re changing the culture in e-science.’

The next phase of myExperiment has already begun, with the aim challenging traditional ideas of academic publishing. The myExperiment Enhancement project will integrate myExperiment with the established EPrints research repository in Southampton and Manchester’s new e-Scholar institutional repository.

‘We are investigating the collision of Science 2.0 and traditional ideas of repositories,’ said Professor Carole Goble. ‘myExperiment paves the way for the next generation of researchers to do new research using new research methods.’ In its first year, the website has attracted thousands of users worldwide and established the largest public collection of its kind.

For further information contact Joyce Lewis; tel.+44(0)23 8059 5453

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