Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Elsevier Challenge

Stata Center. MIT
Originally uploaded by Roderic Page
Quick post about the Elsevier Challenge, which took place yesterday in the wonderful Stata Center at MIT. It was a great experience. Cool venue, interesting talks, probing questions (having a panel of judges ensured that everybody got feedback/queries). Some talks (like mine) were more aspirational (demos of what could be done), others, such as Sean O'Donoghue's talk on Reflect, and Stephen Wan's on CSBIS (see "In-Browser Summarisation: Generating Elaborative Summaries Biased Towards the Reading Context") were systems that Elsevier could plug in to their existing Science Direct product (and hence are my picks to go forward to the last round).

I was typically blunt in my talk, especially about how useless Science Direct's "2collab" and "Related articles" features were. Rafael Sidi is not unsympathetic to this, and I think despite their status as the Microsoft of publishing (for the XBox crowd, that's a Bad Thing™), the Elsevier people at the meeting were genuinely interested in changing things, and exploring how best to disseminate knowledge. There's hope for them yet! Oh, and special thanks to Anita de Ward and Noelle Gracy for organising the meeting, and the smooth running of the Challenge.

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