Presentation Open Access

Overcoming the discoverability crisis

Kraker, Peter; Schramm, Maxi; Goyal, Girija; Akin, James

Introductory slides for the Open Publishing Fest event "Overcoming the discoverability crisis"

Participants: Peter Kraker (OKMaps), Girija Goyal (ReFigure), James Akin (ReFigure), Maxi Schramm (OKMaps)

With contributions from: Umar Ahmad (AfricArxiv), Alessia Bardi (OpenAIRE), Peter Murray-Rust (openVirus), Konrad Lang (CyVerse Austria), and Michael Roy (Lever Press) & Charles Watkinson (Michigan Publishing)

Duration: 2 hours

The current pandemic has exposed a host of issues with the current scholarly communication system, also with regard to the discoverability of scientific knowledge. Many research groups have pivoted to Covid-19 research without prior experience or adequate preparation. They were immediately confronted with two discovery challenges: (1) having to identify relevant knowledge from unfamiliar (sub-)disciplines with their own terminology and publication culture, and (2) having to keep up with the rapid growth of data and publications and being able to filter out the relevant findings.

Both challenges currently pose big problems for researchers, leading to delays, duplicated work, and findings that are based on questionable results. Observing the many shortcomings of discovery workflows in the course of Covid-19 confirms that discoverability itself is in crisis. We currently do not have the tools to get a quick overview of current research results and to be able to evaluate them correctly.

In this event, we want to discuss this crisis, but also highlight various discovery approaches that have emerged in the course of the Covid-19 pandemic (or already before). In particular, we want to showcase the potential of open infrastructures for the development of innovative discovery solutions.

The event will be divided into three sections: we will kick off with reports from researchers, librarians and practitioners on real-life discovery workflows in the Covid-19 pandemic and the problems associated with it. Second, we will invite open infrastructures and open source toolmakers to present potential solutions. Third, we will host a discussion on what is needed from a systemic point of view to overcoming the discoverability crisis.

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