That time of year: Conference time

Added by Branwen Hide on 10 December 2009 18:18

Why is it that the run up to Christmas everyone else seems to be winding down but me? Last week was conference week with issues relating to training, e-journals, costs of scholarly communications, and data all covered at various event.

Starting on Monday with the UKCGE workshop Latest Developments in Research Council Practice. The workshop designed to basically bring people up to speed with what was going on in the research councils with regard to graduate education, but also included discussions on the Research Development Framework, the future of the Roberts money, and funding of both masters? programmes and part time PhDs?.

On Wednesday I spoke about our work on e-journals and cost of scholarly communications at the French Forum, Online Information 2009. I think the presentation was well received, with a lot of translating going on during the question and answer session. However, I was slightly embarrassed by my lack of French language skills; I am a Canadian (though from the wrong cost -I am from Vancouver) and married to a French man ? so I think I will have to find some classes soon.

On Thursday, I managed to attend one day of the International Digital Curation Conference, and as always the event was very busy, full of interesting people and good discussions. I found it very informative, and enjoyed keeping an eye on the twitter updates as the conference progressed. One of the projects I was particularly interested in was Neurohub presented by Anne Trefethen director of the Oxford E-research Centre. The project sets out to develop an information environment for neuroscientists. What I liked about her presentation was the emphasis she placed on the different ways researchers work and the different tools they use to do they same things even in the same lab and the problems this creates for them in trying to develop this type of project. Many of the things she discussed and highlighted were also raised on our case studies in the life sciences report which was published last month, but are often left out of these types of presentations.

To wrap up the week I attended the ELIXIR UK community event held by the BBSRC, MRC, NERC and the Wellcome Trust. Not knowing much about the ELIXIR project, I found the event very informative and took quiet a few notes considering it started at 10am and finished at 1:30pm with a 15min coffee break (I will talk about this more in a subsequent blog).

All in all it was a busy but productive week. I am looking forward to Dec 21st when my calendar becomes a little less hectic.


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