What does scholarly synergy look like?

A few months ago, Laurel Haak, Executive Director of ORCID, invited me to co-author an article in Science about data sharing and the need to create a web-based, multidisciplinary, collaborative  infrastructure for both sharing and analysis. Standards and Infrastructure for Innovation Data Exchange, which was published on Friday, highlights several key issues we need to resolve by working together. In an age of stretched research budgets, everyone – researchers, funders, universities – needs to find ways to efficiently and effectively reuse information and data.

While the Science article focuses primarily on creating a system for data, I’m in Berlin this week to celebrate a couple of collaborative projects that are already working on reuse. Today is the launch of ORCID, a system to accurately identify researchers and easily link them to their research. A significant amount of effort has gone into this project by hundreds organizations and the contributor identification technology lays the foundation for a vast number of sharing possibilities and research communities. Thursday is the kickoff meeting for ODIN, ORCID and DataCite Interoperability Network, and Martin Fenner, medical doctor and scholarly communications thought leader, invited me to speak about data sharing and coordination in the social sciences. ODIN is a European Commission funded project with the primary goals of referencing data using Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs), tracking use and reuse, and linking the objects to every person in its lifecycle.

These projects are emblematic of the synergy that underlies scholarly communication – a shared, connected body of knowledge – and both ORCID and ODIN demonstrate our ability to create something greater as a community sharing knowledge, and now, resources. I think it’s important to work together, all of us, to find solutions and stretch our research budgets further.

NOTE: I want to thank my co-authors Laurel Haak (ORCID), David Baker (CASRAI), Donna Ginther (University of Kansas), Matthew Probus (Thomson Reuters), Nirmala Kannankutty (National Science Foundation), and Bruce Weinberg (Ohio State University) for the opportunity to work together.