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3:45pm

Panel: Managing the Long Tail of Science: Data and Communities
    Wednesday July 18, 2012 3:45pm - 5:15pm @ Grand Ballroom 7th Floor

    Panel: Managing the Long Tail of Science: Data and Communities

    Abstract: Long tail statistical distributions have been used for years to describe service time distribution in queueing theory and network performance decay. The first reference of the long tail to data appears to be a 1992 article that refers to long tail kinetics, the variety of data from complex, disordered materials that cannot be described by conventional kinetics.  The application of the long tail that gave the term its wide popularity is to online business.  Chris Anderson, in his 2004 Wired magazine article, proposed first that merchandise assortments can grow because goods are not limited by shelf space, and second, that online venues change the demand curve because consumers value niche products. These complementary forces result in a tail that steadily grows both longer as more obscure products are made available but also fatter as consumers discover products better suited to their tastes. How is the long tail interpreted for scientific and scholarly data? And perhaps more importantly, what is the growth path of the long tail?  Will it too grow fatter as “consumers” discover products better suited to their tastes? The long tail in science has been variously used to refer to scientific data and the scientific communities that produce the data. The long tail is many creators with small amounts of data. The scientific research making up long tail data can be regional or localized – a population survey of a minority group, or the study of a coastline basin. Where some scientific communities coalesce around community models, big instruments, or community repositories, long tail communities generally have not. Today much of the long tail data is lost as an individual retires or leaves science. Additionally, the methods and tools used within a long tail community are varied, the data are distinct, and the challenges for preservation are great. The implications and opportunities for managing the long tail discussed in this panel of  distinguished experts:
    Panel moderator:  Beth Plale, Professor of Computer Science, Director, Data To Insight Center, Managing Director, Pervasive Technology Institute, Indiana University
    Panel participants:
    Geoffrey Fox, FutureGrid PI, and Professor of Computer Science and Informatics, Indiana University

    Nassib Nassar, Senior Research Scientist, RENCI, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

    John Kunze, Associate Director, University of California Curation Center in the California Digital Library

    Anne Thessen, Data Conservancy, Marine Biological Lab, Woods Hole

    NOTE: The list of panelists was revised on Monday, July 16.



    Speakers
    Data Conservancy, Marine Biological Lab, Woods Hole

    Professor of Computer Science, Director, Data To Insight Center...

    FutureGrid PI, and Professor of Computer Science and Informatics...

    Associate Director, University of California Curation Center...

    Senior Research Scientist, RENCI, University of North Carolina...


    Type Panel Session
 

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