The case of biomedical sciences

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Institute for Educational Technologies National Research Council of Italy. EXPLORING RESEARCHERS’ DISCOURSES ABOUT PRODUCING, DISSEMINATING AND EVALUATING SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION ON THE WEB. . The case of biomedical sciences. Juliana E. Raffaghelli Sara Valla Stefania Cucchiara - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of The case of biomedical sciences



Juliana E. RaffaghelliSara Valla Stefania CucchiaraAlessandra GiglioDonatella Persico

Institute for Educational TechnologiesNational Research Council of Italydoing research: A changing professionWeb developmentOpenness in science and education (Open Science)Participatory culture (Jenkins et al. 2006)New professional practices and ways of experience the academic profession (Borgman, 2007; Scanlon, 2014)DIGITAL SCHOLARSHIP (Weller, 2011)

Luigi Mengato, 2007 CC ways of doing research: Digital ScolarshipSearch

Manage references and data

Share, Disseminate


Juliana Raffaghelli, CC/

Open Access Social WebOpen Science Digital Scholarship New ways of doing research: Digital ScholarshipA new professoriate (Weller, 2011, based on Boyer, 1990)a) discovery (or the process of creating knowledge); b) integration (or the creation of new knowledge across disciplines); c) application (or the dissemination and exploitation of knowledge); d) teaching (or the core of the Universitys endeavor).

Social media and scholarship (Veletsianos & Kimmons, 2012)Networked and participatory scholarship is based on questioning traditions and formulating a new deontological approach to the way scientific information is produced and shared.Critical issuesDigital Scholarship is still at its infancy as research topic (Veletsianos, 2013)Studies done on early adopters, do not show what the majority do (Esposito, 2013)Diversified impact of digital technologies in research practices across disciplines (Harley, Acord, Earl-Novell, Lawrence, & King, 2010)Youngest researchers tend to use more traditional sources and ways of knowledge building and sharing, while established researchers are sometimes eager to try new ways (Harley et al., 2010)This finding goes against the Millennials hypothesisDisentaglement (different behavior with technologies in the personal and professional life)

Our caseA set of non-structured interviews with a group of 7 researchers and 3 librariansComing from the field of the Life Sciences and Medicine in the Italian context Focus: exploring how our study group experience the main dimensions of Digital Scholarship - defined as the production, dissemination and evaluation of scientific information with the adoption of web tools. Aim: identifying the learning needs of these researchers as a base for a learning design of a course on the use of digital resources to produce, disseminate and evaluate scientific information.

METHOD & PARTICIPANTSNon-structured interviews, 30-40 minutesPrinciples of qualitative research, whereby the phenomena studied are ill-structured, and require a work of conceptualization and categorization (Lincoln, Lynham, & Guba, 2011)Categorization of results using a grid regarding 4 areas (introduction, searching and managing scientific information, producing and disseminating scientific information, evaluating scientific information)

Progressive numberRoleDisciplinary FieldProfileMode of Interview#1PhD StudentBiology and Molecular PathologyJUNIOR - 2nd year of the PhD programmeFace to Face (FTF)#2PhD StudentStructural BiologyJUNIOR - Less than 5 years of experience, summing PhD and prior experience.FTF#3Expert Librarian MedicineLIBRARIAN - Expert trainer in the issue of uses of PubMed and scientific databasesFTF#4Biologist, postdoctoral researcher at her 1st yearPheripheric Neuropathy (ADVANCED) JUNIOR - Less than 5 yearsSkype#5Specialty trainee in GeneticsPheripheric NeuropathyJUNIOR - Less than 5 years of experience, clinical research.Skype#6Expert ResearcherNeurosciencesESTABLISHED RESEARCHER - Specialty concluded; 2nd year as PhD student, focus in the field of pathology of sleep. More than 6 years of experienceSkype#7Expert LibrarianMedicineLIBRARIAN - Expert Trainer on the use of scientific databases and information sciencesFTF#8Expert Researcher Biochemistry ESTABLISHED RESEARCHER - 6 years of experience in the field; PhD concluded and ongoing post-doctoral research.FTF#9Expert LibrarianGeneralist, covering several areas of STEMLIBRARIAN - Expert trainer and manager of information science systemsFTF#10Specialty traineeMedicine (Pediatrics)JUNIOR - External assistant to the research team. Clinical ResearchSkypeParticipantsMethodINTERVIEW ANALYSISInterview areaDescriptionFor each of the following areas (except for the introduction) the questions were three-fold: a) How do you use digital technologies in your work as a researcher? b) Which problems do you see in this use? Which training needs do you identify?Categorization of Results: IntroductionWe started the interview with an introduction to the theme. Nowadays scientific information has grown in an exponential way, particularly in the field of biomedical sciences. Furthermore, biomedical information on the Web is endless from a quantitative point of view; as a result, it can be perceived as dispersive and fragmentary. It seems crucial to adopt strategies and tools, necessary to select the sources of biomedical information qualitatively more valid, ad to raise awareness on the use, production, sharing and evaluation of scientific information. ITD-CNR is designing a course on addressing these needs among young researchers. With this interview, we would like to have your opinion on some of the key problems found in your professional practice; possibly, we wish to explore your learning needs in connection with the problems identified. Introducing the aims of the interviewsSearching and managing scientific information.This area of the interview focused on the problem of producing the background for an article or research problem; the researchers were asked to explain how they search and retrieve scientific information, and how they manage this information while in the first phase of production of a piece of scientific work. From traditional search in libraries and databasesTo the use of the open web and social media where researchers share not only final products but also raw data and other resources for researchProducing and Disseminating scientific information.In this area the researchers were asked to illustrate their own strategies to share their work and disseminate its results among the scientific community and the general public. From publication in traditional ways (prestigious Journal, Co-edited Books, Monographs.)To the adoption of open publications and social media (blogs, sector social networks, Facebook, Twitter, etc)Evaluating scientific informationThe last area was devoted to the problem of systems for evaluating the quality of research products. Here the researchers were asked to think about the strategies used to analyze the quality of a paper; and how they are applied to their own work; they were also invited to comment on the problem of evaluating the quality of research on a general way. From the use of traditional bibliometric indicators, to peer-evaluation.To the use of Altmetrics and open peer-reviewing. RESULTSCategories analyzedResultsInstruments usedProblemsTraining NeedsScientific Information searching, retrieval and managementTraditional databases (mainly PubMed)Top-down approach (Info search led by Research Unit Coordinators, not by the researcher)Young researchers: Little awareness of problems in the phase of information searchLibrarians: awarness of lack of skills for adequate information search and retrievalLittle awareness of Open Sciences resources (from databases to references management systems)Acknowledge need of improving data management skills. Overall, improve awareness about Open ScienceImprove skills to work with data on the cloudImprove skills for collaborative management of dataDissemination of Scientific InformationTraditional (Journals with high Impact Factor; prestigious conferences)E-mail, telephone, Skype.Top-down oriented approach (dissemination opportunities decided by Research Unit Coordinators)When & how to share dataTension regarding scientific reputation at the beginning of the career, to disseminate in social networks or through Open Science spacesImprove knowledge and skills to adopt dedicated social networks (e.g. Research Gate)To better understand open publication and the impact on the researchers career. Evaluation of Scientific InformationEventually, analysis of impact factor and h-index while consulting publicationsLibrarians: Selection of quality journals on the basis of impact factor, support to h-index building for researchers career advancementLack of awareness even at the level of traditional toolsUnderstanding bibliometrics and altmetrics to evaluate scientific quality and productivity.Introduction to open peer review* Grouped in three categories derived by the foreseen course topics.* Further distributed into three outputs types: use of instruments (particularly digital ones); problems identified; training needs identified with regard to the category and its relating instruments.DiscussionDifferences between young researchers (that started their research activity immediately after their degree) and young professionals doing clinical research (with some professional experience).Less awareness on managing, disseminating and evaluating scientific information, and more on searching useful sources that addressed clinical interventions.Millennials do not adopt technologies as expected at work (in line with Harley et al, 2010). Disentanglement (Veletsianos, 2013).The role of the institution in shaping professional skills, more than the availability of technologies.In a continuum between simply using digit