Digital Scientific Knowledge as a Living Discourse
Poster presented at FORCE2015 conference at Oxford University,11-13 Jan, 2015.
Research Object (RO) is an aggregation of various digital assets – data, methods, software and workflows – and thus relies on the underlying digital ecosystem of science, which is fragmented among multitude of disconnected tools and systems – data repositories, software tools, workflow systems, digital journals, wikis, social networks, etc. This fragmentation makes it difficult to handle the perpetual changing nature of scientific knowledge. How often do we see a scholarly output being changed or revised as the underlying method has a new version? I would like to see scholarly communication as a living discourse that would adhere to the continuous influx of scientific knowledge, along with the deeper appreciation of processes and connections among artifacts and activities. Complementary to ROs that focus on individual instances of science, I propose we should also focus on representing science as an ongoing process (in the digital world). This could be achieved by a digital ecosystem where we have a network of communicating tools that could harmonize scientific artifacts by exchanging information as they change and evolve. Such a network of digital tools will facilitate a virtual collaboration and thus communication among communities that often don’t interact (for example, database administrators, ontology engineers and researchers). I am proposing the aggregation of digital science ecosystem along with the aggregation of a single experiment. My research tries to demonstrate these ideas through a prototype (AdvoCate) that supports category evolution and connects and synchronizes to databases and ontologies that consume or use those categories.