Monday, December 3, 2007

Posting Papers and Presentations-Any Ideas???

Hey folks,

A NRC great blog, great one more important tool keeping me from the constant barrage of homework. I am sure it will be a welcome respite.

I was glad to meet everyone at Austin, and look forward to trying out a blog with everyone. I must admit this is my first time using a blog as part of a professional organization, and it will be interesting to watch its development or demise. I wonder how active of a community it will become and if we will sustain the community. One things for sure at least blogs do not clog inboxes.

One of the major reasons we wanted a blog was to share our papers, research interests, current and future projects, job opportunities, announcements, etc. I figured we might want to start a conversation about posting the firstt aforementioned goal: our papers and presentations.

I think many were hoping we could post our papers and maybe PPT's. There of course might be limitations: a)paper was submitted or accepted for publication (good for you); b)do not have permission from all the authors; c) presented alternate format; e) paper needs retooling f)just don't feel like it. All of these issues are understandable.

I was hoping it would be simply uploading them to the blog. Didn't realize..oh yeah...that takes server space and blogger won't give that away. So we cant just upload the files..right?...We will have to wait and see how Google handles the GDrive launch and how that will integrate with Blogger. Until then this makes me want to just publish using Google Docs, I just hate having to reformat between Word and Docs.

So my ideas for sharing papers and presentations:

1) Publish them to google docs and spreadsheet
a) cut and paste final version of paper to Gdocs and presentations to Gpresentations
b) dont freak about reformatting issues
c) post hyperlink to published version
2) Publish on department or personal website
a) upload pdf version to website
b) post link
3) Cut and Paste entire paper to a new post or comment
a) Does that work?
b) Will it look cumbersome from a design standpoint?

Those are my ideas. Does anyone have any others? Do you see any advantages or disadvantages to these ideas or the ideas of others?


Angie_R said...

Maybe we could talk about ideas here and get feedback while we're writing papers or submitting proposals. Then, we could also upload papers in google docs to share with others to see what they think of them? I was also thinking we could write about challenges we are having as we write or do research. Maybe we could help one another find good sources and that kind of thing during the writing process.

I think we could paste papers in here as well; I think the only thing we'd have to be careful about is that this is public, and if something's not published yet, you would theoretically be opening up to the general public.

I know I have several projects in the works, and I could definitely use some feedback from others as I attempt to get them ready for publication.

What does everyone else think?

Greg McVerry said...

I think Angie's comments point that a blog may not be the best tool for a professional community.

I feel blogs work best when speaking from a single voice. Either one author or from a team that has a clear and shared vision of how to stay on message.

For now, blogger is free, and it provides us with the opportunity to try things out. I just don't think the final incarnation of the NRC grad community should end up being a blog.

First conversations get lost in blogs. They are arranged by dates, so the post Angie opened with will be quickly buried. Second it is hard to follow comments as they are listed in sequential order. Finally, as Angie noted they are open to the public.

What would be a better solution given unlimited time and resources?

At NRC, I would often talk to people about my research interest in discussion boards and would get looks like that work is dead. There seemed to be a belief that threaded discussions were "passe" (sp?). I mean who would be interested in outdated technology when we could use Second Life or atleast a social networking site or a blog?

I, however, believe a discussion board has important advantages over other genres.

First of all (and this may due to my ignorance of second life) why would you need this fancy GUI to take you to special rooms or buildings on our private island? We could do the same thing with a discussion board by having threads for papers, research interests, current projects, announcements, etc. Basically we would be doing the same thing done in second life without all the pretty graphics and the learning curve that comes with it.

Second we can password protect our discussion boards. Angie is right that people may be hesitant to share here because it is a public forum. Can we make this bog private? Is that possible? This would not be an issue with a simple discussion board.

Third the way discussion boards organize conversations has advantages over blogs or social networking sites. Since conversations take place in threads, or rooms, they are not lost in the mix. Usually a thread is in bold when a new post has been made, and people can easily post a new topic. We will not have to page through archives of old comments like you would on a blog or discussion board.

Finally, because they are hosted on our own servers it will be easier to share our papers. This is where the added cost comes in. Somewhere there would have to be a server to host the boards and allow us to upload space. That said, most open source or commercial discussion software allows for things to be easily uploaded.

Overall I am glad to have this community and hope to see it grow. As we think about what the final version of the NRC grad blog will look like I hope the "old technology" of discussion boards is not overlooked. I think it would meet most of our needs.

Is this the right forum for sharing our work? If so how should we go about doing it? What would be a better format?