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Sent: Friday, 1 August 2008 5:02 PM
Subject: Formation of Intersect - the new peak eResearch body for NSW

Dear members of the eResearch community,

GOOD NEWS
I am delighted to inform you of the establishment of Intersect, the new peak eResearch organisation for NSW.
The Intersect proposal was approved by six NSW universities and funding has been provided through the universities and the NSW government. Intersect was formally established as a not-for-profit company on 25thJune. A Board of Directors has been appointed with Professor Mark Wainwright as Chairman, and Dr Michael Briers as interim CEO.

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Social and cultural aspects of e-research, grid and/or cyberinfrastructure become increasingly an attractive research topic for social scientists and cultural anthropologists. It is not surprising why. Interesting and important research themes can be found almost on the surface of e-research phenomenon. As an example, at least two research questions are represented in the following titles of the papers presented at e-research conferences this year:

  • M. Daw, R. Procter, Y. Lin, T. Hewitt, W. Jie, A. Voss, K. Baird, A. Turner, M. Birkin K. Miller, W. Dutton, M. Jirotka, R. Schroeder, G. de la Flor, P. Edwards, R. Allan, X. Yang, R. Crouchley (2007) Developing an e-Infrastructure for Social Science. Paper presented at the Third international conference on e-social science, Ann Arbor, MI, US. URL

Question 1: Is there a limit for productive collaboration?

  • J. Dalziel, C. Nguyen, R. Warouw (2007) Macquarie University: ASK-OSS, DRAMA and RAMS: eResearch support from MELCOE. Paper presented at the E-Research Australasia 2007. Brisbane. URL

Question 2: Is there a limit for effective(?) technical communication?

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Last week some e-science websites published the following exciting news:

“Prestigious Prix Europa award has been won by the BBC Climate Change Experiment, in which the BBC and the Oxford-run ClimatePrediction.net project worked together and encouraged over 250,000 people to donate computer time to the world's largest climate modelling experiment…” (Climateprediction.net news 22-Oct-2007)

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"To design one is nothing,
To build one is easy,
To fly one is everything."

(Otto Lilienthal)

The UK PolicyGrid tries to design and implement a middleware infrastructure that supports policy-related research activities based on social science research. The project called “Semantic Grid Tools for Rural Policy Development & Appraisal” (nb. it’s not difficult to imagine similar policy grid for educational policy decision-making and research). The design of the middleware is based on the provenance architecture. It requires to provide a 'thick' description of the contextual information that allows to interpret data and resources adequately (e.g., Who, What, Where, Why, When, Which and How the resource was created). The concept of the Semantic Grid is central to the design of this project.

Challenging idea?

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The US Association for Institutional Research is quite serious about utilising their data archives and improving research in postsecondary educational institutions. This fellowship program for attending the Summer Data Policy Institute (June 8 - 15, 2008) and learning how to use their postsecondary education databases is open for researchers form all countries. (NB. The AIR's databases might be a useful resource for comparative educational research.)

Core URLs:
  • AIR's web site: URL
  • Program description: URL
  • SPIN link: URL

Other related links and thoughts are in the blog

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civitas.gif
Note: Picture from the Civil Society Institute website (about the logo).
E-research is about e-rights, e-responsibilities, e-access, e-intellectual property, e-privacy, e-etc. I can’t add much to the Jane’s Anderson’s and Kathy’s Bowrey’s paper, annotated this week in AustralianPolicyOnline, but felt that it would be inappropriate to leave it unnoticed in this blog. By providing a solid review of the literature about indigenous cultural property, open access to knowledge and the gap between them in the modern society, this paper also provides a good source for thinking about other legal and moral aspects of e-research in education, social sciences and humanities.

Below is the extract from the paper and URL. Together some more links related to this topic.

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This entry is about other aspects of the same, mentioned in the earlier blog, Australian e-Research Strategy and Implementation Framework. This time is about:

Research culture

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Recently (May 2007) the Australian Government accepted An Australian e-Research Strategy and Implementation Framework. This document outlines a general vision and strategic plan for the enhancement of e-research capacities in Australia over forthcoming five-year period. I think this document deserves some interest of academic research community too, particularly of those who work in education. This is my first thought about it.

Education for e-research

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