Hi everyone,

we’re very proud to release the alpha version of our first app:

We believe it is the simplest way to aid the modern scientist to stay up-to-date with recent research articles.

It’s very straight forward. You enter search keywords, pick out the journals you would like ScienceFilter to scan and enter your email address. That’s it! You will receive updates by email on a regular basis.

In this first version the query logic is still at a very early stage. It searches for all the words you enter and does not yet support quotes and logical operators. A better query logic will be part of the next release.

Let us know what you think!



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Open Access

To me, paying for published scientific content never really made sense. After all, Scientists don’t get anything out of it (except the fame, of course…). Open Access just seems like the natural way access to scientific findings should be. Of course, I know that it is not, so I am all the more excited about the success OA publications are having recently.

My primary OA sources:

The Public Library of Science (PLoS) is doing an excellent job of providing high quality, peer reviewed (and otherwise) journals. The focus lies with life sciences, the by far largest branch of interdisciplinary research out there. They are a non-profit organization looking to break even this year (!). Very impressive I think.

The Journal of Poetic Economics. I love this blog! Heather Morrison compiles opinions, presentations and statistics on the progress of OA in scientific publishing. And of course the blog too is completely OA, making data available as Google spreadsheets. Fantastic.

Directory of Open Acces Journals (DOAJ) is of course also on this list. They list OA journals and provide a very nice overview. I find the site a little unintuitive to navigate and journals are only included when they post themselves or are suggested by a third party. Nonetheless, a very good starting point.

Directory of Open Access Repositories (OpenDOAR). Is a site listing OA repositories hosted at universities, research libraries, etc. Very basic site kept at the University of Nottingham with an impressive listing of available initiatives. Just like DOAJ it is a little hard to navigate and crowd sourced. But also like DOAJ it is a very good starting point.

And last but not least, the bookmark feed for It might be the best aggregator on Open Access news out there.

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webdigest, vol. 2

Check these out:

The JISC has published a new report (actually it was published in mid feb. but I haven’t gotten around to actually looking at it until now..) on how open access strategies can actually prove financially beneficial for institutions. While I never doubted this, it is nice to have some numbers, albeit theoretical, to substantiate the argument. The fact that some publishers react very emotionally makes it even more noteworthy. It was written and compiled by Alma Swan of Key Perspectives. They have a number of other very interesting papers and reports on academic publishing and other topics in their archive.

The DFG (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, ie. German Research Foundation) announced, that they will from now on only accept a limited number of references for grant proposals from applying scientists. They are calling it “Quality not Quantity” policy. By doing so, they

“[...]want to demonstrate that content matters more to us [than quantity] when evaluating and funding research.”

I think this is a wonderful move. It forces scientists to pick which publications they think are the most applicable for any given application. And maybe it is a move that could, should it be adopted further, ultimately lead to a softening of the publish-or-perish paradigm. Further comments by Martin FennerDebora Weber-Wulff and nature news.

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morning paper

Isaac Stone (Twitter founder) says in an interview with “Die Zeit” that services like Twitter make us become better people:

“…ein Triumph für die Menschheit!”

ie. a triumph for humanity.. I think a lot can be said about web2.0 services, but this is going a bit too far.

And the iPad is going to end wars. I’m sure of it.

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webdigest, vol. 1

Check these out:

New ALA (American Library Association) Report, ”Understanding the Semantic Web: Bibliographic Data and Metadata“, unfortunately its not free. However that is not the main point here I think. To me, the “semantic web” is one of the most overused buzzwords of the last couple of years. The idea sounds great, the implementations sound great but in practice, I just haven’t seen it work. Sure, there are projects like DBPedia or twine that have built impressive databases and suggestion engines around semantic technologies. But they just don’t breach my added value barrier – I don’t find them useful enough. Anyway, the semantic web is apparently (or obviously) coming to bibliographic metadata as well. Here you can read what the ALA thinks about it (via Stephen Abram).

Martin Fenner’s afterthoughts on a workshop on Reference Management in Times of Web 2.0 he held together with Lambert Heller. Basically I think he is spot on. Reference management software (or webapps) can be much more than passive organizational utilities. In my opinion, they can become the digital version of libraries. And not in the sense of replacing libraries, but extending them (via Martin Fenner).

We will be posting these digests weekly or so (we’ll try anyway).

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Our first goal is to make working with literature less of a hassle. It is our firm belief that searching, organizing and sharing research papers should be as easy as reading a website and making bookmarks.

Shelves will be our first application, and will enable you to do just that. Broadly speaking, it is a reference manager, but hopefully it will be much more once we get your input on how to tweak our ideas and add yours!

Shelves will allow you to search and organize literature you use for your research in a single online interface. Sharing and exporting references to use in your word processor or scripting language of choice will take only a couple of clicks, and best of all, bibliographic bliss is only an import of your existing references away.

Unfortunately Shelves is still in development, and we are mere humans.. But we can’t wait to roll out the first test version and involve you in the development process.

Until then we will be posting our thoughts and musings on science and other topics we come across, and of course announce any news regarding Shelves and other ideas we have right here.

So if you like, check back, or even better, follow us!

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Welcome to our blog!  We got a little fed up with people asking us when we’d finally be online, so we decided to start it off with sharing our thoughts and ramblings. Our website will follow soon is online!

We are Gerald, Moritz, and Max and we live and work in Berlin. Project Scio is what we are working on, and Project Scio’s goal is to make life for scientists easier.

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