Researchers need data

Have you ever read an article that talked about the outcome of some research done? Have you ever felt that it would be neat to see how they (whoever did the research) arrived at their conclusions? Ever felt it would be nice to see the data they used or wished you could have at the data to play around with or re-purpose.

I was reading this post by Cameron Neylon. Pretty smart guy and I’ve just started reading his blog. I am particularly intrigued by this paragraph in the aforementioned post –

Data publication, serving, and archival. There may be less journals but there will be much greater diversity of materials being published through a larger number of mechanisms. There are massive opportunities in providing high quality infrastructure and services to funders and institutions to aggregate, publish, and archive the full set of research outputs. I intend to draw heavily on Dorothea Salo’s wonderful slideset on data publication for this part.

(Note: I’ve linked to Dorothea Salo’s slideshare presentation below)

If i understand right, there is a need to have some kind of shared infrastructure for researchers to publish their research output and therefore the ‘data’ behind the research. (Not being from a research background myself, I don’t know if I’m completely understanding the scope of what’s being asked).

If that’s what is needed and if there is a business case for providing this type of service any organization would do it. I can see the business potential here and definitely the enormity of what is being asked. Its going to be an interesting 2-3 weeks. I’ll be watching Cameron’s updates.

Graphing HMTL tables (idea?)

Can somebody invent this –

Should be able to highlight a table containing data on any webpage, (maybe) right click and choose to plot graph. Data should be imported to a table that user can update to see changes to graph. User should be able to save data including the one they modified, to profile and access later. When saving, source of (link to) original data should also be saved.