Re: Seeking Help with finding an assertion

Skinner, Karen (NIH/NIDA) [E] wrote:

>Many thanks to all for this lively discussion, the helpful references,
>and your generosity with your knowledge!
>I could not access the video presentation yesterday but was finally
>successful late tonight. It indeed was very interesting.  The paper:
>"Understanding user goals in web search" also appears really relevant,
>but it is not readily accessible through the NIH online publications. 
>I look forward to going through the other references, and your comments
>about them have been helpful already.
>Just a comment about "negative knowledge." I did not know it has any
>sort of formal meaning. I coined the phrase for my own purpose in
>reference to a situation where some information might exist, but a
>potential user might not be aware of it. For example, a consumer could
>go to a local store and compare prices for refrigerators. But if the
>consumer visited more stores, she could learn even more about prices and
>models. If she visited only one store, all other information about
>prices would be "negative" knowledge to her, because it does not exist
>for her -- i.e., she does not know about it. Certainly, at some point,
>the cost of expenditure of effort to "know" exceeds the benefit, whether
>that cost is determined by an hourly wage equivalent, or some subjective
>measure of the value of her time. 
We may also call it "inaccessible knowledge". To lower the barrier to 
knowledge accessibility, standard knowledge representation formats are 
needed so it will become easier and quicker for search engine to find 
and access relevant knowledge. Of course, smarter and more powerful 
search engines will also need to be developed to exploit fully such 
standard knowledge format ...

>In science, such an analysis quickly becomes very complex. In some
>cases, an investigator may not care if a certain study has been
>conducted because they only trust the reagents or data they themselves
>generate, and the existence of data and resources is irrelevant to that
I think part of it is me-Science 
( Not only does the 
technological structure need to be changed, but the 
social/cultural/legal infrastructure will need to be changed to 
transform me-science into we-science. Even some scientists are willing 
to share their data, whether others will trust the data is another 
matter. How can we increase the trustability of data is an interesting 
question? Would provenance help, for example?

>On the other hand, suppose that "database X" did not exist, but the
>existence of information that would have been found in it can be
>identified and obtained only through locating and reading thousands of
>individual papers. At what point does the cost of locating and reading
>the papers by "y" number of users exceed the cost of the database? It
>would seem that most of the cost would derive from the expense of
>determining IF the knowledge existed. How many papers would the
>scientist have to read before being certain the knowledge or data did
>not exist?
In the paper "will a biological database different from a biological 

The author envisioned that the gap between literature and databases will 
disappear. Scientists will be able to go back and forth seamlessly 
between papers and databases. Of course, this will require changing the 
way the papers were published (e.g., more structured annotation of the 
paper will need to be provided by not only the publishers but also by 
the authors) and the way databases link to the literature (e.g., 
database entries will automatically be linked to relevant papers or 
relevant parts of the papers).

Hope it helps,


Received on Tuesday, 10 July 2007 01:05:15 UTC