I’ve been invited back to Oxford AOPP to give a seminar in March. The seminar coordinator tells me it’ll be over ten years since I last gave a seminar there. Last time it was on gravity waves (no, not gravitational waves!). This time it wont be directly about atmospheric science research, but about very relevant technologies:

Communicating scientific thoughts and data: from weblogs to the NERC

DataGrid via data citation and institutional repositories

For centuries the primary method of scientific communication has revolved around papers submitted either as oral contributions to a meeting or as written contributions to journals. Peer reviewed papers have been the gold standard of scientific quality, and the preservation of scientific knowledge has relied on preserving paper. ?The establishment (whatever that is) has assessed productivity and impact by counting numbers of papers produced and cited. Yet clearly much of the bedrock of scientific productivity depends on

  1. Faster and more effective communication methods (witness the growth of preprint repositories and weblogs) and
  2. Vast amounts of data, of which more and more is digital.

Digital data to leads opportunities to ?introduce data publication (and citation) and to exploit metanalyses of data aggregations. Electronic journals and multimedia lead to a blurring of the distinction between “literary” outputs (i.e papers) and “digital” outputs (i.e. data). ?Web publication alone leads to a blurring of the understanding of what publication itself means. Digital information is potentially far harder to preserve for posterity than paper.

This seminar will review some of these issues, and introduce two major projects led by the NCAS British Atmospheric Data Centre, and embedded in earth system science, aimed at developing technologies (and cultures) that will change how we view and do publication and data exploitation.