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Embracing the new generation of researchers in Web Science

From: Sarven Capadisli <info@csarven.ca>
Date: Mon, 16 Jan 2017 13:41:32 +0100
To: W3C Semantic Web IG <semantic-web@w3.org>
Message-ID: <45fa4dad-e898-e45b-b05a-42a230c966ad@csarven.ca>
From https://twitter.com/pietercolpaert/status/820939669030535168 :

"More and more of my colleagues are switching from Latex to HTML for
writing articles. Easier than I thought :) @Linked_Research #openaccess"
- Pieter Colpaert.

Right on!

That is the *new generation* of researchers in SW/LD moving
towards practices that are *native* to the Web, which also happen to be
what this community is working towards materialising.

I refer to them as the "new generation" not in terms of these folks
being new to LD or related Web standards/technologies/tooling but that
they are amongst those who *will* phase out archaic practices that have
been lingering on far too long. As previously amply discussed just about
everywhere, the practices are due to the recent generation academics
sticking to the status quo and adhering to demands of the 3rd party
publishers' requirements, or simply because they were *brought up* in
their careers to strictly comply with desktop/print based knowledge
dissemination. This generation, resistant to evolution, swims in a very
"cool medium" - the Web - without actually embracing it.

The "new generation" of academics *will* open up a new phase for the
SW/LD community and set a revised agenda to pioneer the field and its
practices. This is not about publishing and consuming research knowledge
in "Webby" methods (that is really only a part of the big picture), but
diving right into the essence of understanding and welcoming
decentralisation, interoperability, data responsibility, accessibility,
user experience, and a *true* sense of linking and building on ideas
that can be tracked and discovered. Perhaps most importantly, helping us
to better understand the effects of what we do, and the how the Web is
changing societies.

The new generation will also make it possible to better track down
research challenges which can be identified based on actual data (as
opposed to having a "feel" of what is hip), making the case for what is
justifiable "research".

And with that, I would like to point you to some events that are in the
spirit of the above:

* Linked Data on the Web (Pioneering the Linked Open Research Cloud):

* Workshop on Web Observatories, Social Machines and Decentralisation:

* Enabling Decentralised Scholarly Communication:

* Call for Linked Research:

It is important to note that some of the academic conferences in
Semantic Web (and multiple conferences and journals from non CS
disciplines) have shown interest in experimenting with these ideas. I
will be the first to admit that the observable progress is relatively
slow, but it is now at least on people's radar. This is an improvement
on where we were a few years ago.

If you are a researcher coming into the LD/SW field, you are encouraged
to get on the "new generation" bandwagon. If you need help to get up to
speed, ask/share your challenges! https://gitter.im/linkedresearch/chat
is one place where you can collaborate with the other researchers
working towards the same vision. If you are asked to submit your
knowledge using archaic methods, as well as giving up your rights by
handing it over to 3rd party services, ask why! After all, on the Web
*you* are entitled to share your contributions being your own
"publisher". You do not need permission.

As always, resistance is futile! ;)


Received on Monday, 16 January 2017 12:42:18 UTC

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