PAM Bulletin Vol 40, No 1
- Message from the Chair
- SLA in 2013 is Taking Shape
- Note from the Past Chair
- 2012 PAM Division Board Meeting Minutes
- 2012 PAM Division Business Meeting Minutes
- Astronomy Roundtable: Pioneering the Unknown
- Mathematics Roundtable
- Physics Roundtable
- Vendor Update Summary
- UX for Non-UXers Session Summary
- Publisher Liaisons Report
- Strategic Directions Update
- Membership News
- Member’s Corner
- American Astronomical Society Publications Board Meeting
- APS Subscription Service: Effective Immediately
- PAM Bulletin Sponsor: AIP
by Margaret Lam
Monday, July 16, 2012, from 7:30am – 9:30am
Moderators: Marsha Bishop & Margaret Lam
Sponsor: SPIE Digital Library
E-science and data management by Christopher Erdmann
Data curation and the impact on astronomy librarianship by Lance Utley
ADS update by Donna Thompson
Developments in scholarly communication by Molly White
The Astronomy Roundtable began bright and early on Monday, July 16, 2012, at 7:30am at the McCormick Place Convention Center. When the 55 attendees arrived and settled into their seats, everyone did their
best to be bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for this early event. Moderators Margaret Lam and Marsha Bishop started off the roundtable with a brief introduction of the agenda and the speakers.
Due to budget constraints, no computer and projector options were made available for the speakers. However, a podium with a microphone was provided for the speakers, and a hand-held microphone was available
for the audience during the Q&A session, if needed. Without the aid of the AV equipment, the speakers had a bit of a challenge to visually engage their audience about their topics.
First speaker was Christopher Erdmann, Head Librarian, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, and he spoke about the latest tools in data management and the current projects that are currently happening at his institution. One project was the Seamless Astronomy group that involves a variety of people, from astronomers, computer scientists, information scientists, librarians and visualization experts, who are working together to develop the tools and systems that will study and facilitate online astronomical research for the future. Among the projects that are currently happening are the following: how to seamlessly integrate the raw scientific data with the literature, the appropriate linking of annotated scientific resources, and the study of how social media and networking sites, such as Mendeley, has influenced the dissemination of scientific information. In the past, the citations of data sets were either inconsistent or nonexistent, so access and scholarly recognition were difficult to determine and identify. Hence, the Dataverse Network project was started, so that there would be standardization in citations, a step forward in trying to resolve this issue. This particular project powers the Astronomy Dataverse Network, the Astronomy data repository for Harvard University and its affiliates.
U.S. funding agencies, such as NSF, now require researchers to provide detailed plans for managing their research data, called Data Management Plans, in their grant proposals. Harvard University, as
well as other universities, has been using the DMPTool to assist researchers to create these data management plans. The DMPTool provides guidelines to create data management plans that are catered
to specific funding agencies and to meet the necessary requirements.
Chris also briefly covered the interview process for a data set that is to be incorporated into the open data archive hosted by Harvard University. Those who are interested in creating links to data sets
with records on the ADS can do so by completing an online form. Another option is to contact ADS directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. His speaker notes can be found in this Google document.
Next speaker was Lance Utley, Librarian, National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Since he knew he was going to speak without the assistance of a PowerPoint presentation, he took matters into his own hands and was rather innovative in using paper signs as visual aids. He started off with a candid overview of his life journey in becoming an information professional and then explained how integral an information professional is to the data curation process. In order to understand data curation, he covered some basic terminology: data, information, and curation. He emphasized that the importance of good data curation is that information can be accessed with relative ease, and information professionals play an important role in this process. It is the duty of an information professional to be involved in the data curation process and to show that they are capable of assisting astronomers and other scientists in making their data available to other researchers. He mentioned a couple of references that are relevant to this topic, which can be found in his speaker notes.
The following speaker was Donna Thompson, Librarian, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, with an update on ADS. ADS has introduced ADS Labs, a testing area for the upcoming new interface for ADS. Featured capabilities of ADS Labs include a one box search, which allows for narrowing of search results from the beginning (e.g. most cited, most popular, most recent). Filtering by object, author, date range, refereed status can be easily accomplished by selecting from the facets offered on the results page. Also available are options to view your results as paper or author networks, word clouds, and sky maps for articles with object data. Metrics (e.g. cites, reads, h-index) are also available by choosing the Metrics option from the pull-down “More” menu. Another interesting option is “citation helper” which gives a researcher 10 articles cited by papers in the list that do not appear in the list.
The abstract page now also has a more modern look utilizing tabs and links to full text sources. Also available here are links to popular social media outlets to allow easy posting of your selected article
The newly revised full text search allows searching the full text of published journal literature. Most publishers are allowing ADS to access their full text for searching. AGU and AIP journals are now
being added to the literature that is searched and should be available soon. Easy filtering options are also available here. Searches can be narrowed by journal title, author, keyword and publication year. In
the new version of the ADS, the streamlined search and the full text search will be merged.
A quick explanation of the historical literature project was given, and Donna asked for help obtaining permissions to add metadata and scans for the Observatory Publications to CrossRef. Donna will post a
list of publications soon to PAMNET. She also asked that folks contact her while weeding their collections as the ADS is still scanning books and journals for inclusion in the ADS.
The final speaker, Molly White, Head Librarian, Kuehne Physics Mathematics Astronomy Library at the University of Texas-Austin, rounded out the morning’s discussion with developments in scholarly
communication. She briefly reviewed the definition of scholarly communication according to ACRL and suggested that scholarly communication is code for open access. Open access is embraced in the Astronomy subject discipline; however, the determination of who should pay for the publishing costs has been highly debated recently, and continues to be a controversial topic. Points were raised on the
sliding scale of page charges and whether a flat fee, for example, $3000, for a published article would be more equitable. In addition to page charges, the charges for figures were also noted as being
exorbitant in these times. Although open access is encouraged in Astronomy, faculty have been hesitant to publish in open-access journals due to fears that they are not as reputable as more
established journals, which can affect tenure. If tenure committees do not hold open-access journals in high regard, then tenure-bound faculty will be reluctant to publish in them. Another issue concerned
changes in collaboration and discovery of information amongst the science disciplines. Scholars no longer depend on the published journal to disseminate their information. With pre-print depositories,
such as arXiv, scholars have quicker access to data relevant to their research and discovery of new information. In addition, it can not be denied that Google has become a very popular tool of information
retrieval among researchers as well. The diversity of information retrieval tools and search strategies among the sciences will continue to evolve, but talking to your peers and experts will always be
important. It will probably remain as one of the most important ways to learn about new research in any field.
The discussion on the various scholarly communication issues, as well as the previous topics of data management and data curation, was still in high gear near the 2-hour mark. However, it had to be called a wrap as 9:30am drew closer. At the close of the discussion, SPIE Digital Library was acknowledged as the sponsor of the event and a couple of house-keeping announcements were made. Before everyone departed, the roundtable ended with the introductions of the attendees.