IDCCDec2011 Webtracks presentation at the On the importance of linking: Planning, provenance and citation workshop jointly organised by Webtracks and the Smart Research Framework projects.
The first release of the webtracks application is now available for download from the Webtracks SourceForge site. The application is built on the Java Restlet Framework. It provides a flexible foundation with extension points for developers to fast track custom implementation of the InteRCom protocol using the rich features provided by the Restlet framework. To illustrate how the application is used, the source code for an exemplar based on the ePublications archive is also available for download. Please see the project wiki for more info.
A recent article in the Guardian highlighted the dilemmas for open science. The brave new world of Science 2.0 enables researchers to ‘lay claim to an idea not by publishing first in a’ peer-reviewed ‘journal … but by sharing their work online in an instant…’ Yet, how do you measure the impact of an idea embedded in an on-line conversation, like a blog? And do you trust everything you read on-line? It seems to me there are no easy answers. However, I hope what we are doing in WebTracks would encourage researchers to participate in sharing their work on-line. Our InteRCom protocol would enable the linking of digital research objects, including datasets, as a semantically annotated virtual graph. Users can navigate this graph of Linked Data to follow the evolution of a piece of research, to access the supporting data and artifacts to evaluate the soundness of the work. And if you are a contributor, the graph provides a citation framework to ensure that your contribution will be noted. If you are a researcher, what would encourage you to take the plunge? Do you need better technical safeguards like the ability to control whom or how much you want to share or do you want to see a step change in social attitude towards reward and recognition first?
In March, Cameron gave a presentation on WebTracks at the JISC (MRD) International Workshop held in Birmingham. If you have missed it, here it is: