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Open access, open data, open research: a short story about how mapping US m...
Wed 26 April 2017, 12:00 – 13:30 BST
The Digital Age Research Programme are proud to host Dr Alasdair Rae, Reader in Urban Studies and Planning, University of Sheffield for an afternoon seminar; Including lunch!
In this seminar Alasdair will discuss the value of doing 'open' research. That is, doing research which is not hidden behind a paywall and where the underlying data is made freely available for anyone to use. It's based on his recent experience of publishing work on US 'megaregions' with Garrett Dash Nelson, his US co-author. Although they have never actually met in person, this story of open research and digital connectivity serves as a good example of the new possibilities and outcomes associated with taking a more open approach to scholarship. Their work was based on the analysis of more than 4 million commuter flows in the United States and they used open source tools developed at MIT to analyse their data. They did this using Amazon Web Services cloud computing and it was all written up collaboratively in Google Docs.
All will be revealed in the seminar.
The response to their published work has been both surprising and rewarding. To date, their paper in PLOS ONE has been viewed more than 200,000 times and the dataset more than 40,000 times. Their work also featured in a number of global media outlets and it reached a wide audience of policy makers, academics and the general public. It also led to several interesting new connections, including the Vice President of Strategy at the Tampa Bay Rays baseball franchise in the United States. More on that later, though. Ultimately, the focus here is on the value of 'open' and digital collaboration and, perhaps, knowledge as a public good.
Please come along, ask questions and share your ideas.