This is a test post while trying to fix some domain issues with the blog.
Three links today looking at the state of agile as a software development practice. Flavours of Agile In Flavours of Agile Pat Kua briefly describes and rates a number of agile processes. There are a ton here, and loads that I’d not heard of. One of the key messages that I get from reading this is that “AGILE” as a fixed practice has been growing, especially within in enterprise, and perhaps not to the benefit of actually delivering or simplifying the delivery of complex processes.
So Pat Kua recently tweeted: and this got me thinking about the worries I’ve had about not doing “diagramming” right, but the above tweet led me to read a ton of really interesting posts on software architecting. Bottom line is, as with so many things, pick the artefact that fits the purpose and the audience. UML - the unified modelling language (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unified_Modeling_Language) is the de-facto standard for creating entity-relationship diagrams. The following thread talks about why it looks like this approach has “failed"https://dzone.
The results below are oldish, but interesting around the rate of retractions in the scholarly literature, and there is currently a bit of a debate going on around retractions (e.g. What a massive database of retracted papers reveals about science publishing’s ‘death penalty’ | Science | AAAS Steen RG, Casadevall A, Fang FC (2013) Why Has the Number of Scientific Retractions Increased? PLoS ONE 8(7): e68397. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0068397 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0068397 https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/figure?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0068397.g001 The increase in retracted articles appears to reflect changes in the behaviour of both authors and institutions.
I took some notes on some of the sessions at the conference yesterday. Dave Smith - object oriented publishing. Dave makes a good case here about how we should think about the future of scholarly publishing — in terms of objects that can be reformed based on the needs and competencies of the readers. He points out that while we do have in place good ontologies and domain models, our entire view of publishing and our publishing infrastructures, remain laggy and are a barrier to moving in this direction.
Yesterday I attended a round table discussion hosted by the Belmont Forum about the release of their position on data accessibility statements and digital objects management plans. (It’s a bit of a mouthful, but the reason is that they are aiming to be clear and comprehensive around what they are asking to make it easier for researchers, publishers and other stakeholders to get to compliance around this policy.) You can read their position paper — Draft DAS Statement and Policy for October 2018 Plenary - Google Docs.
I’ve started working my way through The Surprising Power of Liberating Structures - a hand book of techniques for collaborative work. So far I’ve tried one technique from the book - one two four all. The idea is super simple and is an alternative to open brainstorming or post-it note sessions. Before describing the technique with a few comments, I’ll just point out one of the weaknesses of a group work activity like a retrospective.
Over the last few weeks I’ve been writing up some thoughts on the uses of blockchain in STEM. The first post I gave a general overview of my understand of blockchain. In the second post I looked at potential use cases of blockchain in STEM, and came up somewhat short. That said, a lot, really, a lot of very smart people are talking about this, and doing things in this space, so in this post I wanted to look at a few of those efforts and see how their thinking lines up or diverges from mine.
eLife is trying another experiment in peer review. When they launched back in 2012 they introduced a form of peer review known as consultative peer review. They are now looking at a new iteration on the peer review idea. Trials in how peer review is done are quite rare, so I think this is going to be interesting to keep track of. The new idea is that once an article has been accepted for full review by one of the editors, the journal is going to publish the article, along with all comments.
The following is not about scholarly communication, but is a post about one tool from the world of product development, how to think about marketing your product or service so that you can cross the chasm. Academic researchers are simultaneously the most innovative and conservative of users. There is so much pain in the process of academic research that there is a constant re-invention and invention of tools and proceeds, but at the same time there is also a huge time pressure, so for any new tool, technique or service to get wide spread traction is really hard in the academic market place.