The Social Machines Mindset Emerges

Posted 10 November 2013 by David De Roure

For years computer technologists have been trained to focus on the design and engineering of computer systems – to build systems which address “user requirements”, where those users are somehow external to the system.  Thinking has changed a bit over the years and sometimes now (not often enough still!) those “users” are much more closely involved in the design, for example in the Web 2.0 approach – where perpetual betas can be achieved with websites in a far more agile... Read more


Posted 19 March 2013 by David De Roure

I'm on a panel this afternoon at Beyond the PDF 2 where I get to role-play the "funder" stakeholder on a  panel about new business models organised by Cameron Neylon and Anita de Waard. Of course I am not representing any one particular funder so I've decided to be "DDRC" as in Dave's Diverse Research Council. Here are my questions – a rehearsal for me, a heads-up to my fellow panellists and an opportunity for pre-panel feedback… 1. Financial considerations. I have an annual... Read more

Pages of History

Posted 17 March 2013 by David De Roure

Pages of History by  Philip T. Ransact* University of Oxford March 2065 Only now seen in museums and special collections, the academic paper was a primary means of intellectual discourse amongst scholarly communities of old. Invented four centuries ago, the physical document format largely fell into disuse after the turn of the millennium. While digital versions continued in certain disciplines for another three decades, the format was recognised to be slowing the pace of innovation and was eventually superseded. Could... Read more

Long Tail Research and the Rise of Social Machines

Posted 27 July 2012 by David De Roure

Long Tail Research It's simplistic I know, but... take a look at the figure on the right. On the vertical axis we have our increasingly powerful multi-cored machines – our supercomputers etc with all the CPUs, GPUs and petabytes. It’s the investment we know as cyberinfrastructure or e‑Infrastructure, and a lot of work has gone into building and using this, especially for high-end science. But on the horizontal axis there’s another hugely powerful trend – the massively greater participation of... Read more

Sound Scholarly Communication

Posted 21 June 2012 by David De Roure

My talk from the Sound Software 2012 workshop at Queen Mary University of London on Monday 18th – talking with domain-specific software experts about the scholarly record and how they might apply their sound software thinking to the greater challenge of reconstructable research. Different research communities have their own practices with respect to sharing and publishing research results, data, methods and software. The Music Information Retrieval (MIR) Research community is, I believe, an excellent example – particularly due to MIREX,... Read more

More Rs than Pirates

Posted 10 June 2012 by David De Roure

I’ve previously presented The Twelve Rs of the e-Research Record: repeatable, reproducible, reusable, repurposable, reliable, referenceable, re-interpretable, respectful, respectable, retrievable, replayable, refreshable and recoverable. This exercise started with an August 2009 piece, and listening to discussions at meetings last week I note a few more are being r-raised… But first, let me set the scene with something that’s been causing confusion. Traditionally I might conduct an experiment in my lab, repeat it, share it in the research record and you... Read more

The Clock says 2022

Posted 13 May 2012 by David De Roure

The clock says 20:22 which, I note to myself in passing, is also the year. Just finishing putting together my presentation on the Co-Evolution of Research. I’ve even linked to some images in a presentation from back in 2009 when we used to use PowerPoint (remember that?) In 2009 I talked about generations of e-Research but I don’t think people are interested in the subtleties of the early generations any more (though I might use the Grid as an example... Read more

Dave De DH Day Diary

Posted 27 March 2012 by David De Roure

March 27th is the day Digital Humanists blog their day, and so here is mine… 8.30am Brisk walk from station to office. Overtaken as ever by colleagues on Bromptons (I should use my bike, need to overcome my cycle-logical barrier…). Coffee, I still love the fact that our coffee machine has a shift key, but I never press it (though it is said shift happens). 9am meeting is virtually happening. Is it telephony or telepathy? Ah, skype. It’s our european... Read more

Generations – A Tribute to Prof DW Barron (1935 – 2012)

Posted 8 January 2012 by David De Roure

In his Inaugural Lecture at University of Southampton in 1971, Professor of Computation David W Barron (DWB) described himself as “only a second-generation computer man”, because those who taught him were the ones who had invented computers – he had worked in Cambridge with Maurice Wilkes, David Wheeler and Christopher Strachey. I guess that means the very many students who had the privilege of being taught by DWB are the third generation. And some of those (like yours truly) taught... Read more

A Gathering Storm of Scholarly Transformation

Posted 30 October 2011 by David De Roure

I’ve decided I like being a “transformer”, which is how Harvard astronomer Alyssa Goodman addressed the participants at the Microsoft Research Transforming Scholarly Communication workshop last week. The completely cool thing about this event is that it focused our collective energies on what can be done rather than what can’t – the art of the possible, with today’s tools on the desktop of the researcher. I had the privilege of “facilitating” (actually just gently nudging…) one of six groups: mine... Read more