PowerPoint presentation delivered during the April 25,
2006 workshop "A Morning with Three Scientists," held at the
University of South Florida Tampa Library, Tampa, Florida.
Addresses important considerations underlying successful
Developing a Karst Portal: Present and Future Bob Cronk Board Member and Webmaster Karst Waters Institute
Karst Waters Institute The Karst Waters Institute (KWI) is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit institution whose mission is to improve the fundamental understanding of karst water systems through sound scientific research and the education of professionals and the public. The institute is governed by a Board of Directors and does not have or issue memberships. Institute activities include the initiation, coordination, and conduct of research, the sponsorship of conferences and workshops, and occasional publication of scientific works. KWI supports these activities by acting as a coordinating agency for funding and personnel, but does not supply direct funding or grants to individual researchers. The KWI views their website as one of the important mechanisms for advancing the goals of the organization.
Karst Waters Institute Goals (partial) A dvance scientific knowledge by fostering interdisciplinary state-of-the-art karst research to ensure a valid and reliable basis for information provided to both the public and private sectors and the scientific community. Objectives under this goal: Sponsor interdisciplinary national and international conferences and symposia. Provide karst scientists an outlet for their current work by publish proceedings volumes from the conferences and symposia Encourage karst scientist to publish completed studies in respected journals. Stimulate cooperative graduate education with degree-granting institutions to ensure an adequate supply of karst scientists for the future By offering an interdisciplinary short course designed to draw graduate students from diverse backgrounds together. By awarding the William Wilson Scholarship annually to a graduate student who shows scientific curiosity and research promise. Serve as a Coordination Organization to facility research among karst scientists. Develop or identify appropriate techniques and methods for karst research, based on studies of sufficient scale and duration, to advance our understanding of this vital resource.
KWI: Public Education
Conferences and Symposia
Statistics Sessions Per Day Approx. 300 sessions per day.* 10%-15% are robots
Statistics Pages Electronic documents are the most requested pages 10%-15% are robots
Karst Information Portal Evolution Phase I: Aggregation KIP as a listing site (websites, researchers, databases, images, etc) Major challenge: Collecting and cataloging information and keeping it up-to-date Phase II: Integration Cross-site/cross database search capabilities with integration tools Major challenge: Development of the computation and modeling tools and especially the meta-data level tagging of data Phase III: Collaboration Facilitating communications and exchange of ideas among portal users Major challenge: Choosing the metadata protocols which facilitate support
karstwaters.org Present and Future KWI s challenges: Dedicated resources for collecting, organizing, and cataloging information and links Keeping the links updated; removal of outdated links (e.g., job postings) IPR issues Tool sets for analyzing the data Constant fresh content to keep visitors coming back. Because of these challenges, for the foreseeable future, karstwaters.org will probably remain an information and aggregation site. KIP could provide the integration and collaboration that were on the wish-list for the KWI. so, we would like to be able to give input to the direction of the KIP.
Example Approaches: Aggregation The days of static listing sites are over! Google has changed that. But we still have need for relevant and authoritative information. Relevance and authority are difficult to quantify: No matter how carefully you compose your search query, it seems like the top ten results will almost always contain a porn site. Approach: Bring relevant information to your website and moderate all link references (e.g., KWI), but the problems discussed in the previous slide remain. Approach: Everyone is an authority (e.g., Yahoo Answers) Approach: Everyone is an authority, but everyone also has peer review responsibility (e.g., Wikipedia) Approach: For academics, limit results to peer-reviewed journals and articles, attempting to measure author credentials (e.g., Microsoft s Academic Live Search)
Yahoo Answers Approach
Microsoft s Academic Live Search
Academic Live Search Academic search searches for peer reviewed journal articles contained in journal publisher portals and on the web in locations like citeseer Academic search works with libraries and institutions to search and provide access to subscription content for their members. Access restricted resources include subscription services or premium peerreviewed journals. You may be able to access restricted content through your library or institution. Relevance is based on the following two areas, as determined by a Microsoft algorithm: Quality of match of the search term with the content of the paper Authoritativeness of the paper. Currently, it does not use citation count as a factor in determining relevance.
Beyond Aggregation Existing technologies allow us to create a karst portal that is personalized, providing the user with: Authentication Authorization Entitlement Membership in a community of interest within the larger KIP community of users. Simple tools like blogs, forums, email, chat provide a first-order level of collaboration. New tools are providing collaborative document sharing (e.g., Sharepoint) Competing paradigms for meta-data are proposed: Topic-mapping Tagging Resource Data Frameworks (RDF) Semantic Web Directed Label Graphs Web Ontologies XML Schema ! But what standard metadata Approach will emerge?
Ultimate Goal Provide a site so that karst professionals balance What can I get vs. What can I give. Provide needed tools that help bring about a collision of data that will allow new twists and new analyses and new relationships among that data. Asimov s observation: The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but rather, Hmm.... that's funny...."