ScienceOnline 2011 Debrief Part 3: Some session ideas for #scio12

A few days ago I posted some thoughts on the programming of the recent ScienceOnline 2011 conference and yesterday I posted some thoughts about the more social and fun aspects of the event.

In this post I like to look forward to next year's conference and start thinking about some of the sessions I might like to organize. My very early thoughts are coalescing around undergraduate education around. I have a couple of ideas which I think might be interesting to pursue.

First of all, I'm interested in collaborations around teaching undergrads about the scholarly information landscape. On the one hand, this is about making sure students can find the information they need for their school work, both formal sources like journals and informal sources like blogs. And this brings up the problem of how do we get them to think about what formal and informal really means? Students don't just arrive at university with that knowledge built in. We might like to think they do, we might hope they do, and certainly the ones we like to hang around with at conferences already do. But, trust me, most of them don't know much about scholarly communications in their fields when they arrive on campus for the first time.

So, how do we work together to teach students to navigate the disciplinary landscape and become productive and critical consumers of and contributors to their disciplinary conversation. Not surprisingly, this seems like an opportunity to practice some stealth librarianship.

My second idea is related to the first (and perhaps really it's just one great big idea): how do we teach students about the great big wide world of open science? How do all the various players in higher education make sure that the incredible depth and complexity of what going on out there is communicated to the next generation? How do we raise the next generation of Cameron Neylons, Steve Kochs and Jean-Claude Bradleys (not to mention the next generation of Dorothea Salos or Christina Pikases)?

There's a lot to cover here: blogs, blog networks, blog aggregators, open access, open data, open notebooks, citizen science, alt-metrics and all the rest. I guess the central tenet of stealth librarianship in the ScienceOnline world is to demonstrate that libraries and librarians are researchers' most natural collaborators in advancing and promoting open science. I've done some things along these lines myself already, but it would be interesting to see what others have done. And it would be valuable to talk about what we can do together to advance the open science agenda.

These thoughts are, of course, very preliminary but I'd definitely like to hear feedback both in terms of the ideas themselves and if there's anyone out there who'd like to join me.


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I saw you from afar a few times at #scio11 but never got the chance to really speak with you -- with luck I'll be able to next year! As for this sentence:

"So, how do we work together to teach students to navigate the disciplinary landscape and become productive and critical consumers of and contributors to their disciplinary conversation."

Yes please! I would love to know how to improve upon how I already do this. I recently wrote about the literalism vs. skepticism divide I see among my students when blogging about Jenny and Blake's #scio11 panel. I wish I know how to get them to be more critical, without becoming overly critical (like I often see in early grad students). Or, maybe I just need to acknowledge that this is part of the development of becoming a critical thinker? That first one is overly literal, then overly critical, then fears s/he knows nothing, then eventually gets to the point where s/he feels s/he has enough knowledge and expertise and framing to separate the wheat from the chaff.

At least, that sounds like my development as a scholar from undergrad to grad school and beyond.

If you want non-librarians on a panel on this topic I would certainly be interested!

KBHC, you're on the list! I definitely want a good mix of librarians and non-librarians on the panel.

John - These are issues that I wrestle with every day. I would love to see a group of faculty and librarians discussing some practical ways of helping undergraduates understand these issues. Thanks for putting this in writing!

You're welcome, Bonnie. These are my issues too, obsessively speaking, and I think ScienceOnline is a great place to start a larger conversation about these issues -- and the role that libraries and librarians can play in the educational process. In the past, we've emphasized maybe the research side of things (and with some success this year too!) so I'd like to see us bring in the educational parts of our roles too.

I've already had some good feedback and some volunteers too, as you can see above, both on the faculty and librarian side of things.

Do you want me to add you to the list?

Count me in for something. :-) I want to talk about this -- and also *do* or demonstrate it. (In a way that isn't off-putting, of course). I also think that simply our continued presence at #scio is helpful at spreading the word and opening the lines of communication.

John - Sure, add me to the list. If your panel is already getting full, I would be happy to contribute ideas for discussion, examples of small things I've done or just act as a sounding board for panelists as a description and plan takes shape.

Stephanie, Bonnie, thanks!

It's early days, of course. I can see how this could become two sessions or just one. What I'm envisaging is a session(s) with an equal number of librarians and faculty and a total of 4 or 6 people on the panel. We'll see how it turns out!