Sunday, March 30, 2008

People Are The Bioeconomy: Social Media for Engaged Information Conversations

People Are The Bioeconomy: Social Media For Engaged Information Conversations

Gerry McKiernan,
Library, Iowa State University, 152 Parks, Ames, IA 50011

While a substantial portion of the primary literature on alternative energy is published in scholarly journals, significant research is also reported in conference publications, dissertations, reports, theses, white papers, and other “gray” literature. This presentation will discuss this literature and the efforts of the Iowa State University Library to identify and acquire key gray publications on the production, use, and impact of biofuels, to support university scientific, technical, and sociological research initiatives. Two alternative energy blogs established to promote core publications and resources to a world community will also be profiled. Major current and future research alternative energy projects at Iowa State will be described as well.

The presentation will conclude with speculation on the potential use of social networking services, such as 2collab,, and the Nature Network to facilitate and support university/industry/government communication, collaboration, and coordination of bioenergy projects.


Engineering the Transition to the Bioeconomy

The 235th ACS National Meeting, New Orleans, LA, April 6-10, 2008

9:15 AM-9:45 PM, Sunday, April 6, 2008

Marriott Convention Center -- Blaine Kern D




NOTE>>Works in Firefox But NOT Internet Explorer<<NOTE


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Pronetos: The Social Network For Scholars

What is Pronetos?

Pronetos [] [] is a home to communities and scholars of every academic discipline: a global think-tank of the leaders in your field.
  • Share a paper with colleagues
  • Find scholars in your field
  • Post course materials
  • Network and collaborate
  • Find research in your field
  • Post an announcement to your colleagues
  • See the message board in your discipline
Pronetos is a social network for scholars and an Open Access publisher. It provides an intuitively designed, real-time, web based community platform that facilitates mass collaboration and democratizes content for global distribution among academics with the ability to archive and search that content. With Pronetos, ideas are shared at the speed of thought, and those who create them control them.

Pronetos is home to communities of every academic discipline – a global think-tank of the leaders in every field. Pronetos makes it easy for scholars to stay connected with thier colleagues, wherever they may be. Pronetos is a place for scholars to network, and build and share ideas with the greatest minds in their field.

Pronetos is a content repository that allows readers and authors to interact and build new ideas. Connect to scholars in your field as you would at a conference, except this conference is attended by scholars from across the globe. Make interdisciplinary contacts. Exchange ideas. Collaborate. Gain exposure for your research. Stay current on trends in your field. Join Disciplines, post discussions, upload articles, read, comment, and rate others’ articles.

Pronetos is the premier gathering place for scholars to collaborate, network, and publish their ideas. Watch in 2008 as we roll out our suite of Open Access publishing services. Publish your own manuscripts with global distribution, create custom textbooks for your classes, and much more.

Plus, you retain ownership of your material through Creative Commons licensing.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


The New Networking Nexus / Virginia Gewin

Nature 451, 1024-1025 /(20 February 2008) / doi:10.1038/nj7181-1024a

A crop of websites is making networking among scientists easier than ever

Compared with crafting computational expertise or sharpening gene-splicing skills, networking is one talent many scientists are slow to hone. Luckily, a crop of new websites is encouraging even the most reclusive researchers to rendezvous with colleagues without leaving the lab.

The success of social-networking websites such as MySpace, Facebook and LinkedIn shows the power of the Internet not only to cultivate, but to capitalize on, friendships. Although online networks may seem impersonal, they can do something for scientists that a handshake cannot: highlight common research interests without leaving the comfort of your desk. Say goodbye to name tags and awkward introductions — say hello to profiles and blogs. In the search for jobs, mentors, collaborators or data, these cyber-social mixers are revealing new ways to gain career advice, create collaborations and share resources


A growing number of websites, including Nature Network (a product of the Nature Publishing Group, the parent company of Nature)


and Chemical Forums


are coming online to meet more specific needs. Although these sites reach out to a broad spectrum of disciplines, scientists can create more focused forums, groups or blogs to spark more specialized discussions. [snip]

Scientists with common interests can connect across long distances and disparate scientific cultures. [snip]

With increased funding for cross-disciplinary science, many networks are experimenting with ways to help members collaborate.[snip]

Building A Critical Mass


Within3 [] charges only those hospitals, charities or medical schools that use its service to create a networked sub-community, called a channel. Within3 provides tools for channel partners to document their work as well as conduct polls and surveys or share documents.


Some sites do more than just bring people together; they let researchers share data, methodologies and protocols. [], funded by the UK government, lets users share workflows: the customary protocols for standardizing data, running simulations or conducting statistical analysis on large data sets. Standardized protocols for manipulating large data sets can be tweaked for specific purposes. Users can comment on their usefulness and link to other work-flows of interest.


Tag Along With This

Better yet, tagging — assigning a keyword or rating to a bookmarked online workflow or data set — allows myExperiment to connect users with similar resources that may be of interest. NanoHub [], part of the NSF-funded Network for Computational Nanotechnology, lets users rate the courses and simulation tools it hosts. [snip]

On NanoHub, tagging uses the collective wisdom of the community to introduce you to appropriate simulation software," says Noshir Contractor, director of the Science of Networks in Communities lab


at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois. He says scientists can expect more such sites streamlining their ability to find the right tools and algorithms.

Networking may get more efficient, says Contractor. Its unrealized potential is the ability to take data from networks that currently reside separately, and mash, or merge, them. He says users will soon be able to collectively mine the data of projects funded by several US agencies to see who is collaborating on what topics.

And of course, networking sites have their limits. Although they can facilitate connections, blogs aren't likely to become a wholesale substitute for a few beers after work any time soon.