Monday, March 20, 2017

Research Impact

How to assess the impact of one's research? Let me count the ways.  Certainly you can count up productivity metrics such as number of grants, dollar amounts of said grants, number of students supervised, number of journal papers published, and for some fields, number of conference papers published. I have also been looking at collaboration metrics related to social network analysis which is of great concern to me, being here at the Beckman Institute where we care a lot about interdisciplinary collaboration.  The next step is impact metrics which traditionally are author bibliometrics (such as the h-index) or journal bibliometrics that often look at citation-based measures. The Public Library of Science's approach is broader, looking at views, social media impact, and more.  Sometimes honors and awards bestowed upon a person or group explicitly include impact as the rationale; a few such awards I found are even called "Research Impact Awards".  I have been looking at various types of alt-metrics as well.  And finally, we can do what we always do, which is to tell stories to explain impact.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Open Science and more

I am surprised to discover I have not posted here for a couple of years. What?? Anyway - today I wanted to collect some interesting pointers to open science.

Our INSIGHT project is available on the Open Science Framework at this particular place:  The other IARPA project "FAST" is also posted there.  OSF has been recommended by the Center for Open Science too.

Related to our INSIGHT project, we did a survey of data repositories related to neuroscience and the social and behavioral sciences.  This survey included IPCSRNITRC, COINS, OpenfMRI, SumsDB, 1000 Functional Connectomes project and its successor the International Neuroimaging Data-sharing Initiative, BrainBiodiversity Bank, XNAT, and The WholeBrain AtlasC-PAC is the Configurable Pipeline for the Analysis of Connectomes.

I just learned of rOPenSci - open tools in the R programming language.

The National Data Service is being spearheaded by NCSA

Of course there is a long history of open-source software, of which two of my favorite examples are Bugzilla and NAMD.

The scientific journals are also important players here, obviously PLOS as well as others.

A bit of larger context of the Web itself:
World Wide Web Consortium and the Web Ontology Language (OWL) and the Extensible Markup Language (XML) and the IEEE Standards on metadata and the Internet of Things and the Harvard Dataverse and the Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) and the Dublin Core Metadata Initiative and the DSpace open source repository application and the Open Archives Initiative  and the Registry of Research Data Repositories (RE3Data) form a complex ecosystem of philosophies, approaches, technical requirements, standards, and infrastructure.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Big data is a big deal

"Big data" is a big deal.  The US National Science Foundation has a Big Data initiative.  The US National Institutes of Health has a "Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K)" program.  The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has a Big Data effort as well.  There are lots of cool examples of scientific communities that are organized around data sharing and analysis, such as the Allen Brain Atlas, the Neuroscience Information Framework,  the Worldwide Protein Data Bank, the Materials Project,  and more.  The US Government's current sites include NASA's Life Science Data Archive and the Aviation Safety Reporting System, JPL's Small Body Database Browser and Molecular Spectroscopy Catalog,  and the Department of Defense's Information Analysis Centers.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Back in the day, there was a lot of talk about multidisciplinary research.  As a human factors researcher, I am already used to being interdisciplinary - between the worlds of industrial engineering, psychology, and computer science. Now there is more talk of transdisciplinarity - such as the talk that Dan Stokols will give here at UIUC next month.  It is interesting to ponder this longitudinally -- that a topic that was once between disciplines, then becomes a discipline itself.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Of course I am interested in the new White House BRAIN initiative.  There is a White House infographic, fact sheet and blog entry.  And plenty of commentary on a variety of news sites.  Part of the basis for this is the Brain Activity Map (BAM!) project described in this paper published in the peer-reviewed journal Neuron.  Certainly, creating maps is helpful, and thusly inventing technologies to help you create the maps is important.  But it is also important to focus on human health and performance issues (e.g., PTSD, TBI, dementia, etc.) that are the reason to care about such maps.

Monday, April 01, 2013

Shout out!

I just read Professor Brian Cunningham's post over at his Nanosensors blog.  Very good advice for graduate students!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

On university-industry collaboration

Tomorrow I will participate in a UIUC faculty development seminar on "Working with Companies".  I think it will be a good introduction to a lot of issues, including:

I will mention several cool examples of industry collaboration with the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, including