A few weeks ago I went to a great conference at Rice, called Scientia. The theme was Research and Innovation in Undergraduate Science and Engineering Education. One of the most interesting speakers was Wendy Newstetter, Director of Learning Science Research, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology. She talked about her ethnographic work looking at labs, and her most recent book arrived on my desk today. Science as Psychology: Sense-Making and Identity in Science Practice. This is an inside, cognitive look, at a large number of labs, and how learning and science happens in them. I am so excited about this approach, because it directly relates to the Research Flow problem the UX team will be working on over the next six months. Leah Krevit, AUL for Public Services, pondered last Fall, essentially, How does research happen? And how can the library make a tool that will include all of the things that researchers need in one place? We are calling this Research Flow, and it probably includes the initial research process, communicating with lab partners, publishing, printing, posters, discovery layers, catalog, journal articles and PDFs, citation needs, plagiarism education needs, and more.
It is exciting when the cognitive sciences, librarianship, and scientific research can all collectively work and solve problems together, especially complex problems like scientific communication and information organization.