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Too many tags spoil the metadata: Investigating the knowledge management of scientific research with semantic web technologies

Too many tags spoil the metadata: Investigating the knowledge management of scientific research with semantic web technologies
Too many tags spoil the metadata: Investigating the knowledge management of scientific research with semantic web technologies
Scientific research is increasingly characterised by the volume of documents and data that it produces, from experimental plans and raw data to reports and papers. Researchers frequently struggle to manage and curate these materials, both individually and collectively. Previous studies of Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) in academia and industry have identified semantic web technologies as a means for organising scientific documents to improve current workflows and knowledge management practices. In this paper, we present a qualitative, user-centred study of researcher requirements and practices, based on a series of discipline-specific focus groups. We developed a prototype semantic ELN to serve as a discussion aid for these focus groups, and to help us explore the technical readiness of a range of semantic web technologies. While these technologies showed potential, existing tools for semantic annotation were not well-received by our focus groups, and need to be refined before they can be used to enhance current researcher practices. In addition, the seemingly simple notion of "tagging and searching" documents appears anything but; the researchers in our focus groups had extremely personal requirements for how they organise their work, so the successful incorporation of semantic web technologies into their practices must permit a significant degree of customisation and personalisation.
1758-2946
Kanza, Samantha
b73bcf34-3ff8-4691-bd09-aa657dcff420
Gibbins, Nicholas
98efd447-4aa7-411c-86d1-955a612eceac
Frey, Jeremy G.
ba60c559-c4af-44f1-87e6-ce69819bf23f
Kanza, Samantha
b73bcf34-3ff8-4691-bd09-aa657dcff420
Gibbins, Nicholas
98efd447-4aa7-411c-86d1-955a612eceac
Frey, Jeremy G.
ba60c559-c4af-44f1-87e6-ce69819bf23f

Kanza, Samantha, Gibbins, Nicholas and Frey, Jeremy G. (2019) Too many tags spoil the metadata: Investigating the knowledge management of scientific research with semantic web technologies. Journal of Cheminformatics, 11 (1). (doi:10.1186/s13321-019-0345-8).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Scientific research is increasingly characterised by the volume of documents and data that it produces, from experimental plans and raw data to reports and papers. Researchers frequently struggle to manage and curate these materials, both individually and collectively. Previous studies of Electronic Lab Notebooks (ELNs) in academia and industry have identified semantic web technologies as a means for organising scientific documents to improve current workflows and knowledge management practices. In this paper, we present a qualitative, user-centred study of researcher requirements and practices, based on a series of discipline-specific focus groups. We developed a prototype semantic ELN to serve as a discussion aid for these focus groups, and to help us explore the technical readiness of a range of semantic web technologies. While these technologies showed potential, existing tools for semantic annotation were not well-received by our focus groups, and need to be refined before they can be used to enhance current researcher practices. In addition, the seemingly simple notion of "tagging and searching" documents appears anything but; the researchers in our focus groups had extremely personal requirements for how they organise their work, so the successful incorporation of semantic web technologies into their practices must permit a significant degree of customisation and personalisation.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 8 March 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 21 March 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 429579
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/429579
ISSN: 1758-2946
PURE UUID: ffe3e905-8a49-424f-af7d-fc638efe9a82
ORCID for Samantha Kanza: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4831-9489
ORCID for Nicholas Gibbins: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-6140-9956
ORCID for Jeremy G. Frey: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0003-0842-4302

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 29 Mar 2019 17:30
Last modified: 30 Mar 2019 01:39

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