back to article Scientists shun Web 2.0

Science publishers' efforts to have the research community sup the Web 2.0 Kool-Aid have failed, and scientists have given a resounding thumbs down to a gamut of crowd-tapping initiatives, showgoers at SXSW heard on Saturday. A panel of science web publishers said scientists had consistently shunned wikis, tagging, and social …


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  1. Jerry Bakewell

    Over my head

    What's the last sentence mean? It was obviously supposed to be something witty.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    or perhaps

    it is because WE ARE BUSY WORKING!! But seriously, the whole web 2.0 concept relies on throngs of dissatisfied desperados who surf the web during work hours. I know, I used to do that, before my research started taking off. But I should really get back to proposal writing...

  3. Andy Dent

    Our scientists use wikis

    There are thousands of scientists using wikis within CSIRO.

    Or, to find examples closer to El Reg, try Googling


    Ohh, wait.

    Scientists are refusing to PAY for wiki's etc. Guess the vendors haven't noticed people can actually get the job done using the open source products ;-)

  4. Torben Mogensen

    Scientists _invented_ WWW

    The World-Wide Web was invented by scientists to share information, so claiming scientists aren't interested in using the web is a bit silly. I think the impression that we don't comes from he fact that we don't use MySpace, YouTube, WikePedia or such commercial sites, but rather arrange our own non-commercial and often very specialized forums.

  5. Jerry Bakewell

    Correction but no clarification

    I see you've corrected the last sentence, but it still doesn't make much sense to me!

  6. Robert Cannon

    But they didn't invent Web 2.0

    The slice of the population that likes playing with Web 2.0 gizmos is still pretty small, and it just doesn't intersect much with those doing research. When Web 2.0 applications get to the point of really doing something useful for scientists with reasonable efficiency (we're trying to develop such a thing...) maybe they will do it. I can't see a scientist using existing wiki type tools to annotate and link protein references any more than my grandmother getting her photos on flickr.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Overheard on a Texas veranda...

    Cleetus: "Zeek, dem syerntists int usin mar proprieatary soshall applerkation!"

    Zeek: "Dang!"

    Cleetus: "P'raps I'd better adopt FOAF fer 'scribin kermunities"

    Zeek: "But cleetus, you don't have no friends; how's FOAF gonna help?"

    Cleetus: "Dang!" (spit)

  8. Name

    By scientists, you mean life science researchers.

    Life science researchers also shun LaTeX for MS Word, have never heard of Firefox, and in at least one instance I'm aware of, are still using Zip disks and sneakernet to move their files around the lab, and do so quite happily. Many life scientists(which is the population the article is talking about) are also quite suspicious of any statistical treatment of data more advanced than standard deviation, think microarrays are a fad that'll soon pass with no lasting importance, and extol the virtues of using CsCl to purify DNA.

    Their behavior isn't a comment on Web2.0. Most grew up in an era when having an IT person on the team wasn't even a concept. Most software running our instrumentation was written in Visual Basic by the weird brother of one of the employees at the company and only runs under NT. Every tried to do something with the standard tool used by most of my colleagues, Reference Manager? The UI is from windows 3.1, and has probably stayed that way because focus group members raise hell every time a button gets moved.

    Seriously, though, Connotea is a fantastic tool, and one that people are starting to pick up on more rapidly. The Digg clone, DissectMedicine is less used, and the "MySpace for Scientists", Nature Network, is expanding to more areas. Nature blogs about it here:

    Here's the list of the initiatives, which this article fails to mention:

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