ResearcherID now with Mashups

A real Web 2.0 application needs a serious mashup(web_application_hybrid). At least the folks at ResearcherID thought so. You might remember that ResearcherID creates a unique author ID for each interested scientist and was launched by Thomson Scientific (recently renamed to Thomson Reuters) earlier this year.

The new ResearcherID features include a mashup with Yahoo Maps that shows the location of your collaborators. Here are some examples from fellow Nature Networkers:

Wentworthville, Australia is the furthest I can go to find a paper coauthor.

Now the really interesting question would be: when do we see mashups with Nature Networkers? For a start we have the Nature Network London Flickr Mashup created by Matt.

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17 Responses to ResearcherID now with Mashups

  1. Nicholas Wigginton says:

    Interesting that Vancouver, BC is now in the middle of the Hudson Bay.

  2. Graham Steel says:

    Ye Olde plate tectonics.

  3. Maxine Clarke says:

    Maybe more like the monster mash than a mash-up. Have you cross-posted this request to the NN new requests forum, Martin? (I’ve temporarily forgotten where that is, now!)

  4. Maxine Clarke says:

    BTW I got an “internal server error 500″ when I clicked on the link with your name on, Martin.
    I like that Flickr map with the scientific sights of London, though — amazing. Pity there aren’t more of them on there.

  5. Bob O'Hara says:

    I’ve been getting 500 errors too, and have also been asked for a password to view my own data. If I get past that I get another 500 error. Grrr.
    The NN data would be a nice test-bed for mash-ups and visualisations of network data. Is it easy to extract the data from the site?

  6. Cameron Neylon says:

    What do people think in general terms about having their ID controlled by a company like Thomson? Is that better/worse than it being in the hands of a journal or perhaps a non-commercial authority, or someone like Google? I’d rather be asked for a password (or proper authentication) to see my own personal data than to not be asked at all though. I’m all for open research data but I don’t give out my home phone number if I can help it.

  7. Martin Fenner says:

    Cameron, as I wrote in my original post on ResearcherID, I think that an author ID should rather be controlled by a non-commercial entity such as Pubmed.
    Sorry for the 500 errors, it worked for me. Mashups are fun. And a Nature Network Mashup would be a nice extension of the new institutional information in the profile.

  8. Heather Etchevers says:

    I’m with you, Cameron. I view this initiative with some suspicion, though the mashup thing with the map is kind of cute. There are other sites doing this sort of thing, without the fanfare: I recently stumbled on “Authoratory”:http://www.authoratory.com/ when looking for a friend’s work address, and naturally checked what they had compiled on me. It’s extremely skewed. The interesting part of Thomson’s exercise is that you in theory can curate your information. My worry, though, is that everything else they do is geared to making money for Thomson – which is legitimate – but nearly all the public information relative to me is available through the non-commercial Medline, or through my actions on my lab website. I’m not clear what the advantage is to _me_, aside from not weeding through multiplicate Fenner M records. And until I understand what the advantage is to _Thomson_, I’m waiting.

  9. Martin Fenner says:

    Heather, the Nature Network profile page is actually not a bad place to list you publications. Maybe without some of the advanced bibliometric stuff, but people will find your papers. And future versions of Nature Network could do more, e.g. by better integration with Connotea.

  10. Maxine Clarke says:

    If an individual IS could ever work in the sense of being integrated with all the many systems with which an individual interacts, many of them proprietory, I think it would be better being managed by an organisation such as CrossRef, which manages DOIs (article unique IDs). CrossRef is a consortium of many publishers who have recognised a common interest – that of directly linking to the articles they collectively publish (but who in other respects are competitors).
    Incidentally, there is also a good search system for all journal articles indexed by CrossRef — you can try it out by going to the nature.com “advanced search” page, ignore the nature.com search (;-) ) and click on the right-hand tab, Crossref search. It covers peer-reviewed articles, not the informal news style articles.
    Another Crossref project is Crosscheck, the plagiarism check (which we are testing out at the moment at Nature).
    I have no idea if CrossRef would be appropriate for a researcher ID, but it seems to me that an international consortium beats either a single company doing it, or an outfit like pubmed that is (1) governement owned and (2) limited to biomedical subject areas of science.
    Is this the right place to ask a question about Researcher IDs? As advised in a NN forum somehwere, I signed up for mine at ClaimID, but every time I use it for a comment on a blog somewhere, I have to log in — so I have to complete two actions, the anti spam blogger comment and the claimID login. ClaimID seems to have no “remember me” option. Any experience/advice?

  11. Martin Fenner says:

    Maxine, CrossRef is thinking about author IDs and there was a “meeting”:http://www.crossref.org/CrossTech/2007/02/crossref_author_id_meeting.html about this topic last year. But I don’t know the current status.
    You also mention OpenID. I like the concept and more and more sites support it (including Connotea), but using OpenID is still complicated. You only have to remember one password, but you have to login to your OpenID provider such as ClaimID.

  12. Cameron Neylon says:

    I think openID is the way forward but then I am probably more techie inclined than most. It does mean you have to log in as a separate act rather than when you are doing anything specific. But at least you don’t after that (except for sites that don’t support it). There are some technical advances that may make this go away relatively soon, but the some advances may lead to to Google having control over it. Hence my question.
    But there is a bigger question here which relates to attribution in general. The day may come when someone wants to cite a comment made on Nature Networks as the key turning point in the development of some scientific point. Until we know who these people are, and more importantly, how they relate to those people who write papers, or publish elsewhere on the net its really not going to work well. ID is critical to making all of this, potentially valuable, material attributable. And the more I think about it, the more I become convinced that attribution is at the core of reforming science.

  13. Cameron Neylon says:

    But I do like a good mashup :)

  14. Martin Fenner says:

    Cameron, very good point about attribution. And this attribution needs a timestamp, see our discussion about “open notebook science”:http://network.nature.com/blogs/user/UE19877E8/2008/04/06/in-which-i-get-into-a-little-muddle-about-archiving.
    Which reminds me, we need an easier way to directly link to comments here on Nature Network. For example a *link* button next to the *moderate* button.

  15. Cameron Neylon says:

    Yes, been having a very interesting conversation about versioning of web documents and the impact that has on the ability cite them. The end result seems to be that you need to archive and cite specific versions but you also need to be able to separate out comments from the document and cite them separately. And timestamps are critical. As is a strong policy and legal framework on attribution.

  16. Martin Fenner says:

    Cameron, “WebCite”:http://www.webcitation.org/ is one solution to the problem of having permanent links to web resources.

  17. Cameron Neylon says:

    Yes, Webcite is good. I have been a bit worried about using it for more general citing though. Its not clear to me that if it is publisher supported that the business model can support it for general use.
    Arguably precedings could also be used by placing a page which is simply a pointer to a web document which would give you a DOI at one remove. I suspect again though, that its not what it was really intended for. The ideal would be to grab a DOI for everything but they cost money.