Social media help generate science 2.0

An extensive article written by Globe and Mail's Mathew Ingram has been published on the leading internet site- Internet Evolution.

This is just another sign that social media and online collaboration is really opening the door for scientists to connect with each other.
Here is an excerpt from the article itself:

"The idea that the Internet might be used for scientific collaboration shouldn't come as much of a surprise, since the Web's predecessor was originally created as a way to connect researchers at different institutions so they could solve problems together.

That said, however, collaboration has accelerated over the past few years, thanks in part to the increasing popularity of social media, or Web 2.0 tools, which have collectively lowered the barriers to online interaction for scientific researchers.

Another open-source science project is Bizarro's Bioinformatics Organization, which started in 1998 and uses wiki software to let researchers post models, questions, experiments, and discoveries related to biology and "informatics." Scientists were "looking for a central location for their open source projects," founder Jeff Bizarro told LinuxInsider. Today, the organization has 27,000 members from all around the world.

If Bizarro is like Facebook or Wikipedia, a collaborative network called ResearchGate has aspects that are similar to LinkedIn, the corporate social network. While the service allows scientists to search for and connect research done by others to their own work in order to see patterns or relationships that are worth following, it also allows scientists to create profiles and search for relationships with other researchers in similar or related disciplines.

ResearchGate, which has 180,000 members, says it wants to create something called "Science 2.0" using social media tools. According to the group's website, "communication between scientists will accelerate the distribution of new knowledge. Without anonymous review processes, the concept of open-access journals will assure research quality. Science is collaboration, so scientific social networks will facilitate and improve the way scientists collaborate."

Some scientists are using even newer tools to collaborate -- including Google Wave, the new tool launched by the search giant that some describe as a combination of email, instant messaging and a wiki.