July 13, 2017

Experimenting with open peer review in class


The previous posts were all written as part of a series of course assignments with the aim to experiment with open education and open peer review / open evaluation. Students were given 2 guidelines for writing a blog post and reviewing / elaborating their feedback to others' blog posts.

June 26, 2017

„I am not quite sure, whether my data is actually useful...“ - a CS-participants perspective

header of StadtWildTiere (source: wien.stadwildtiere.at)

This blogpost is about Citizen Science (CS) and a case study about "how determined an Austrian citizen, participating in a CS project, is to contribute to this project and if or what she expects in return". For this case study the project „StadtWildTiere“(wien.stadwildtiere.at) was selected from the website „Österreich forscht” (citizen-science.at) and an interview was held with a woman. So the basic result is, that in this case the reports of the woman‘s observations are rather a byproduct, that generate automatically as she pursues her hobbies like observing animals while going for walks, hiking and taking photographs. Therefore she also doesn‘t really expect something in return. But let‘s start from the beginning.

June 22, 2017

Pipers right, penguins left: 

Editing wars and collaborative construction of facts on Wikipedia

What insights can STS bring into understanding the way Wikipedia is organized? What mechanisms govern knowledge creation on Wikipedia and how are conflicts regulated within it?

June 9, 2017

Opening up scientific research to developing countries

Abstract: Institutions in some parts of the world do not have the same ability to pay for accessing research as large universities in developed countries do. Hence it is important for these institutions to have some alternative way of accessing material that they need in order to be able to conduct research and to teach. The increasing openness of scientific research has been beneficial for institutions in developing countries, and the aim of this blog post is to look at how western institutions and governments are supporting open scientific knowledge for the benefit of poorer countries.

June 8, 2017

Whatever happened to the Iraq Virtual Science Library?

Whatever happened to the Iraq Virtual Science Library?  

There is a tension in the open access movement between increasing researchers’ access to scholarly publications and transforming the academic publishing system. Open Access advocate Kamran Naim is so excited about everything happening today in open access (the Max Planck 2020 initiative and the new Unpaywall chrome extension, for example) that he was reluctant to talk with me about the Iraq Virtual Science Library, a project from more than 10 years ago.  “There may be more interesting things going on in the world of open Science” he warned me.  Still, for me, the Iraq Virtual Science Library was an awakening to cost and barriers to scientific literature set up by journal publishers, and how it deepens inequalities.  I'm glad he agreed to the interview anyway- which informed much of the following story, which starts with the Iraq Virtual Science Library (launched in May 2006) and ends with the open access database of Iraqi Academic Scientific Journals.

June 7, 2017

How will science be evaluated in the future?

By Belén Pacheco-Fiallos
Abstract: Traditionally, publications are considered the only scientifc product, and citations counting and the Journal Impact Factor as the only way of measuring academic excellence. However, this system of scholarship could be replaced by a new, more dynamic alternative model, in which adjacent scientific products are taken into consideration and broader forms of impact are measured by Altmetrics.  In a attempt to include doctoral students in this ongoing conversation, I had lenglty conversations with two of them and here I outline their opinions, fears and recommendations. 

Openness and Hackers: Romanticism of Resistance?

Romanticism of Resistance?

Discussing Ideas of Openness and Freedom in Hacker Ethics

June 7, 2017 by Sophie Huber

Hackers are fascinating cultures. In the framework of this blogpost, the question is raised how ideas of openness and freedom are expressed in two documents of “hacker ethics”. It will be argued that the visions of hacker communities display similarities with visions, as well as problems, of the open science movement. 

                             Illustration 1: Everything is Political!

June 6, 2017

(F)actually inevitable: 6 frames popular media use when writing about the mystery of Open Science

Opening up “openness”

There is generally a lot of fuss made about the notion of “openness”. Everything should be open. Not only beers and bars, but above all our minds. However, some 15 years ago, also science jumped on the bandwagon of becoming “open”, starting the movement of Open Science, that basically wants every single scientific thing produced made accessible for everyone, everywhere, everytime. Sounds pretty good, right?

MOOC-What lies beneath?


The Massive Open Online Course  (MOOC) is a emerging method of education.  Today, we can find a different courses, depending of our interest, to learn online. It has a lot of differences regarding to the traditional face to face learning method, but, there is no doubt, that MOOC will have a big influence on the future education. When it is about who are the most ‘famous’ providers, at first place it’s a Coursera a MOOC platform and content provider, which  in late 2013, landed another $20 million in funding, bringing the total venture investment in Coursera to $63 million.

Crowd Science in Math

Source: https://www.groton.k12.ct.us/
Carl Friedrich Gauss said that “mathematics is the queen of sciences”[1] because it is not motivated by applications in other fields of sciences but is vastly applied to them. Since mathematics is a “pure” science[2] the process of discovery in it is for the most part enclosed within a single individual researcher or a group of researchers. In this article I would like to explore the Polymath Project and the implications of how it has changed the way of doing mathematics. More specifically I would like to touch upon the question of how can crowd science become a tool for solving the most challenging (mathematical) problems?

June 5, 2017

Hacking tractors – deeper than code

Hacking tractors – deeper than code

Me hacking a tractor (Eberswalde, 2017)
I am interested in tractors. I never had the pleasure to drive one and I probably never will. My interest in tractors is rather conceptual – I am fascinated by tractors as carriers of rich and sometimes quite bizarre culture(s).

“Open Science” as a metaphor and desideratum for the state of the science system at large

Inequalities within (social) sciences at large: Has everyone who wants to the chance to become a (social) scientist?

"Let's open up (social) sciences for everyone who wants to become a (social) scientist!" is the claim behind this blog post.

May 10, 2017

Who the hell is teaching herbalism?

This was my first thought as the occasion came up lately to join watching and interacting in an MOOC about herbalism together with my mother-in-law. Well I knew at that time that there are programming or language courses, but a two hour lesson about herbals and their benefits? I mean herbals are great they have indeed much more benefits you can imagine, but why such an massive online course? What kind of people are joining this course, and, as I already mentioned, who the hell is teaching herbalism in a massive open online course on a Friday night? Good thing that I've decided to give it a try, I really haven't expected to use this experience to write a blogpost a few weeks later, but I guess that's what we call a lucky coincidence.

MOOCs, Coursera, and Neuroscience

As new technologies are born, they promise to revolutionize learning, however accredited education is still largely being done in a group with a single teacher. MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) were the hype around 5 years ago, however nowadays there’s a widespread scepticism surrounding them. My first, only, and yet-to-be-completed MOOC is an advanced lecture on Medical Neuroscience by Leonard E. White, Ph.D., Associate Professor at Duke University. This massive 6-unit course offered on Coursera covers Neuroanatomy, Neural Signalling, Sensory Systems, Motor Systems, Brain Development and Cognition. One of my flatmates found it; she downloaded all the materials and videos, and we decided to proceed with the gargantuan task together.

Art Sandbox

Art Sandbox

I have examined the web for online-courses dedicated to the history and theory of art and have made a list of five curious and griping MOOCs.