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Life In The Long Tail of Science

Posted 13 March 2012 by The Fourth Paradigm

The following essay was written by Rob Fatland a Program Manager in the Earth, Energy and Environment Theme in the Microsoft Research Connections Team who is working hard to put Jim Gray’s Laws into practice. Research is a landscape of sharp topography, toothy peaks and steep terrains of specialization separated by rills, defiles, gullies, ravines and chasms. The metaphor has its limits; but to run with it for a moment, these gaps (traditionally safely ignored) are increasingly the subject of... Read more

Sub-Workflow Interoperability, the Pros and Cons

Posted 29 November 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

The following essay comes to us from Beth A. Plale, Ph.D. Director of the Data to Insight Center; Managing Director of the Pervasive Technology Institute (PTI); and Professor of Computer Science at the School of Informatics and Computing, Indiana University Bloomington. Workflow orchestration tools have gained recognition for their contributing role to scientific discovery. For example, a Taverna workflow designed to identify biological pathways implicated in the resistance to Trypanosomiasis was repurposed to study another parasite, Trichuris muris, by a... Read more

The Scientist’s Amanuensis: Part Two

Posted 18 August 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

The following two-part essay comes to us from Kristin M. Tolle of Microsoft Research, one of our esteemed editors here at The Fourth Paradigm and Peter Murray-Rust, a chemist and open data advocate. In the first installment of this two-part blog post, we introduced the idea of a computer-based assistant which would make the scientist more productive. In particular, we discussed the requisite changes in scientific communication that will have to take place in order to realize the full potential... Read more

The Scientist’s Amanuensis: Part One

Posted 10 August 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

The following two-part essay comes to us from Kristin M. Tolle of Microsoft Research, one of our esteemed editors here at The Fourth Paradigm and Peter Murray-Rust, a chemist and open data advocate. Stay tuned for part two, out in the coming days. Imagine a computer-based amanuensis, an intelligent virtual assistant that truly understands a scientist’s work. It remembers every experiment, including the data, variables, parameters, metadata, and situational context of the work. At a moment’s notice, this tireless assistant... Read more

The Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative

Posted 10 June 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

The following post comes to us from Dr. Neil Buckholtz, the Chief of the Dementias Aging Branch for the National Institute on Aging. Below, he tells us more about the Azheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initative, and it’s relation to data science. Background The concept for the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) developed in the early 2000’s out of discussions that I had with clinical scientists in the pharmaceutical industry who were thinking about how to evaluate whether drugs being developed for... Read more

Data-Intensive Science – Eugene Kolker

Posted 16 May 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

The following blog post comes from Eugene Kolker, the Chief Data Officer at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Today marks the beginning of the second Data-Intensive Science Workshop that Eugene has put together, with the support of the National Science Foundation. The post below details a bit more about the event and the issues it hopes to address. We all feel it. The people so glued to their phones that they walk into a sign post as they hurry down the street;... Read more

What’s at the bottom of the biodiversity data mine? – Mike Saunders

Posted 7 March 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

The following contribution comes to us from Mike Saunders, Director of Digital Media at Kew Gardens, where he oversees their digital platforms. The views expressed below are his own, and not those of Kew Gardens. As the quantity of data available online reaches ever greater volumes, the question of what value can be derived from that data, is increasingly interesting. Working at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, I’m particularly interested in biodiversity data, what it might be used for, by... Read more

Encouraging Scientific Data Use – Michael Lesk

Posted 7 February 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

Our first data-science essay comes to us from Michael Lesk, a professor at Rutgers University and Chair of the Department of Library and Information Science. The internet breaks business models, and it’s also broken the model for academic research. Everyone exploiting large data files to do research is enthusiastic. The barriers to expanding them throughout science are cultural, technical, economic, and legal. The major issues include culture, confidentiality, conversion and costs. Many authors have discussed these subjects before, with repeated... Read more

A look at the editors: Kristin Tolle

Posted 3 February 2011 by The Fourth Paradigm

<img alt=“mHealth Summit.jpg” src=“http://blogs.nature.com/fourthparadigm/mHealth%20Summit.jpg” width=“87.2” height=“140” class=“mt-image-none” style=“float: left; margin:0 5px 5px 0;”" />Our editor spotlight series continues with Kristin Tolle – one of the original editors of The Fourth Paradigm. She has been deeply involved with the eScience movement, predating her time at Microsoft, where she is currently a Director of Natural User Interface for Microsoft Research Connections. We asked her to tell us her story, and shed some light on her research interests and introduction to data science.... Read more

A look at the editors: Clifford Lynch

Posted 13 December 2010 by The Fourth Paradigm

<img alt=“Clifford.png” src=“http://blogs.nature.com/fourthparadigm/Clifford.png” width=“114” height=“155” class=“mt-image-none” style=“float: left; margin:0 5px 5px 0;”" />We continue with our spotlight series this week by (virtually) sitting down with Clifford Lynch of the Coalition for Networked Information in Washington, DC. Clifford has been key thought leader in the digital library space, specifically on the effects of IT on scholarly communication. Here he tells us more about his start in computer science leading up to his time at CNI, where he became Director in 1997.... Read more