Monthly Archives: September 2014

I’m pleased to announce that at the beginning of 2015 I’ll be joining Elsevier Labs as Disruptive Technology Director 1.

In the past several years, there has been an explosion of creativity with respect to both research communication and research infrastructure. Whether it’s new ways to think about the impact of research (e.g. altmetrics), the outsourcing of experiments (e.g. Science Exchange) or the impact of massive datasets on the creation of large scale models (e.g. Big Mechanism), this is an exciting space to be in.

I’ve been lucky to be part of teams2 that have been addressing the issues of research infrastructure and communication through novel computer science. At Elsevier Labs , I’ll continue to focus on this area in an environment with amazing data, resources, people and potential for impact. This ability to focus is one of the reasons I’ve decided to make the jump from academia.3 In my new position, I’ll probably be out and about even more talking and writing about this area.4

Finally, a word on open science. My view on open science is strongly shaped by Cameron Neylon’s articulation of the need to reduce friction in the science system.5 The removal of barriers is central to being able to do science better. I think there is a strong role for commercial organizations to facilitate this reduction in friction in an open environment.6 Indeed, the original role of publishers did just that. From my discussions with the Labs team and others at Elsevier, the organization is absolutely receptive to this view and is moving in this direction.7 My hope is that I can help Elsevier use its many strengths to support a better, more open, and frictionless science ecosystem.

  1. See Horace Deidu’s Disruption FAQ 
  2. e.g. Open PHACTS, Data2Semantics, SMS, Wings, PASOA 
  3. Lada Adamic does a much better job of summing up the reasons for leaving academia and discussing the trade-offs. Many of her points ring true to me. 
  4. I really like writing trip reports 
  5. See also Please Keep it Simple 
  6. In a completely other context, see this discussion of how DigitalOcean works with open source. 
  7. e.g. Mendeley, Research Data Services @ Elsevier 
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