ReConEvent 2016

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Research Communication & Data Visualisation

This year’s Conference will take place on Friday 24th June with a free hackday on Saturday 25th June. Both events will be taking place at The Edinburgh Centre for Carbon Innovation (ECCI) High School Yards, Edinburgh EH1 1LZ

A number of factors are influencing the way we communicate research in 2016 including new technologies, publishing policies, the variety of research outputs and the assessment of research impact. This conference aims to explore the evolution of research communication and the rising interest in and requirement for data visualisation. What incentives are required for researchers to change how they communicate their work? What role will metrics play in the future at the journal level, article level and researcher level? How can researchers present their work in a visual format and what tools are they required to learn?

Data visualisation is a field that spans all disciplines, yet it is not always done well and visual representations are not used as often as they could be. This may be due to time constraints, publishing limitations or lack of training in the correct graphics or statistics software; how can we combat these issues? How can researchers use visualisations to communicate their work and complement their publications?

Hackday: In addition to the main conference, we will be holding an additional research communication & data visualisation hackathon the following day which is free to attend.

ReCon is the only event of its kind in Scotland, attracting delegates  working in publishing, technology, start-ups, the blogging/digital space, universities and business. The conference has a focus on scholarly publishing/sharing research and includes talks from world-renowned experts  working  at  the  cutting  edge  of publishing,  data management,  content  creation and research, in addition to offering ample networking opportunities.

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Geoffrey Bilder @gbilder

Geoffrey Bilder is Director of Strategic Initiatives at CrossRef, where he has led the technical development and launch of a number of industry initiatives including CrossCheck, CrossMark, ORCID and FundRef. He co-founded Brown University’s Scholarly Technology Group in 1993, providing the Brown academic community with advanced technology consulting in support of their research, teaching and scholarly communication. He was subsequently head of IT R&D at Monitor Group, a global management consulting firm. From 2002 to 2005, Geoffrey was Chief Technology Officer of scholarly publishing firm Ingenta, and just prior to joining CrossRef, he was a Publishing Technology Consultant at Scholarly Information Strategies.


Jeroen Bosman @jeroenbosman

Jeroen Bosman is scholarly communications and geoscience librarian at Utrecht University Library. His main interests are Open Access and Open Science, scientometrics, visualization and innovation in scholarly communication. He is an avid advocate for Open Access and for experimenting with open alternatives. He is co-author of the poster 101 Innovations in Scholarly Communication depicting innovation trends by research workflow phases and he has led the global survey in Innovations in Scholarly Communication with his colleague Bianca Kramer. Jeroen regularly leads workshops in online search and other aspects of scholarly communication, for students, faculty and professionals alike. When not working you can see him cycle touring (fast), photographing (slow) and drinking Islay malts (not necessarily at the same time).


Bianca Kramer @MsPhelps

Biance Kramer is a librarian for life sciences and medicine at Utrecht Library, with a strong focus on scholarly communication and Open Science. Through her work, together with colleague Jeroen Bosman, on the project ‘101 innovations in scholarly communication‘ (including a worldwide survey of >20,000 researchers) she is investigating trends in innovations and tool usage across the research cycle. She regularly leads workshops on various aspects of scholarly communication (e.g. online search, altmetrics, peer review) for researchers, students and other stakeholders in scholarly communication, and has an active interest in data- and network visualization. Her twitter handle reflects her love for children’s literature and librarianship alike.


Andrew  Tattersall @Andy_Tattersall

Andy is an Information Specialist at The School of Health and Related Research (ScHARR) and writes and gives talks about digital academia, learning technology, scholarly communications, open research, web tools, altmetrics and social media. In particular, their application for research, teaching, learning, knowledge management and collaboration. Andy is a member of The University of Sheffield’s Teaching Senate and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. He was the person who sparked interest in running the first MOOCs at his institution in 2013. Andy is also Secretary for the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals – Multi Media and Information Technology Committee. He has an edited book out in June called Altmetrics which is aimed at researchers and librarians.

He works on publishing platforms, innovative ways of displaying research content, and on understanding how technology can help to improve scientific communication.

Ian Calvert

Ian Calvert @IanCal

Ian Calvert is Senior Data Scientist at Digital Science. For the past four years he’s been processing various forms of data about research outputs from grants and papers to books, talks and government statistics, all with the aim of providing a better understanding of the research world. He’s currently working on GRID (www.grid.ac), a free database of research institutions to support the recording of good clean data about institutions.

Mike Jones

Mike Jones @michaelhjones

Mike Jones  is Senior Product Manager for Mendeley Data – a free and open repository for scientists to share their research data and be cited. He has 7 years experience building products on the web, developing them from inception through wireframing, development, launch, measurement and iteration. Put it another way, he’s a practitioner of the art of fulfilling web users’ needs: with users and expert teams, identifying a problem we can solve for users, developing product concepts, building the product, testing the product, releasing and iterating it towards fulfilling and delighting its users and achieving business objectives.

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Joanna Young @joysci

Joanna is the founder and director of The Scientific Editing Company, a publishing services  and researcher training consultancy. Prior to this, she completed her Ph.D. and postdoctoral research at the School of Informatics at the University of Edinburgh. She is the author of several research publications, various blog posts and many tweets. She also runs the Edinburgh Entrepreneurship Club and an annual careers conference for PhD students and postdocs, NEON21. Her interests also include research communications, data visualisation, publishing, post-PhD careers & startups.


Cuna Ekmekcioglu @cunaekmekci

Dr Cuna Ekmekcioglu works at the University of Edinburgh, Library & University Collections. She leads the training and outreach programme for the Research Data Management Service and provides support and consultancy to research staff and postgraduate research students for research data management. She was the lead editor and one of the authors of the Research Data MANTRA course. (2010-11). She worked in the fields of technology enhanced learning and teaching. She was responsible for running computer aided assessment for academic staff across disciplines (2004-2006). She designed, developed and delivered online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses as part of the Office of Lifelong Learning CPD programme (2001-2003). She has good knowledge and experience in face-to-face and online teaching and learning, and training both postgraduate students and academic staff. She has an MSc in Information Management, PhD in Information Science, PGCE in Information Technology and Education, and national and European certificates in online course design, e-tutoring, and computer-aided assessment.


Isaac Roseboom

Isaac is Head of Insight at deltaDNA. Since moving into the games industry, Isaac has worked as a consultant on over 50 games, offering wide ranging expertise on data-driven game design and the use of predictive modelling. In addition, Isaac heads research at deltaDNA, trying to bring the best in analytics to the masses through its self-service platform. In a previous life Isaac was an astrophysicist, building data processing pipelines for large space telescopes.


Rebecca Kaye @NumberTelling

Rebecca Kaye is passionate about both numbers and graphics and the story telling potential of patterns within data.

After graduating from Manchester University with a BSc Mathematics and Statistics, she spent her time working as a statistician within government and health departments, helping policy and decision makers to make sense of big data.

Following her postgraduate research, Msc (Distinction) Design and Communication, she put theory into practice and applied her unique skillset to deciphering complex datasets and communicating the results using design priniciples. These skills have also led her to applying her design thinking to interactive commisions for the likes of RBS and Channel 4.

Rebecca is now co-founder of numbertelling, specialising in all areas of data visualisation from information graphics to interactive reports and everything in between.


Pawel Jancz @numbertelling

Pawel Jancz loves discovering new technologies and the possibilities they can offer when applied to the world of data.

His journey began in the field of economy and finance, where he graduated with a BSc in Corporate Finance and Accountancy. He was quickly introduced to the real world of finance, when he spent his first few years in Gdansk Shipyard.

After moving to Scotland, he expanded his skills across a variety of areas in both public and private sectors, where he specialised in finance and healthcare data. Whilst the topic areas varied wildly, the problems were familiar and it was this enthusiasm for problem solving that led him to programming. Pawel has since applied these powerful skills to help numerous organisations and charities.

Pawel is now co-founder of numbertelling, specialising across the fields of data extraction and management, where he programmes bespoke applications to do just about anything with data.

A compilation of videos and slides from #ReCon_16

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recon main room

(All pictures are Public Domain here and videos are CC-BY)

Here is a Storify of #ReCon_16 Twitter activity.

All available slides thus far are in this figshare Collection.

SESSION ONE – Academic publishing in the 21st Century

Moderated by Graham Steel

Andrew Tattersall,  Information Specialist at The School of Health and Related Research

More than Numbers: Alternative Indicators of Scholarly Communications and Reach

Andy T


Geoff Bilder, Director of Strategic Initiatives, CrossRef

The Citation Fetish

Citation has become a much practiced and little-understood ritual in scholarly communication. It is simultaneously aggrandised with quasi-magical career promotion properties and (paradoxically) trivialised when it is conflated with “linking.” Citation, like so much of scholarly communication, has become distorted. As we rush to make data and software “first class” research outputs in scholarly communication, we are in danger of building a citation cargo cult – where we emulate the surface features and rituals of traditional citation without providing a sound infrastructure for the future evolution of scholarly communication.

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Mike Jones, Senior Product Manager, Mendeley

Research Data: Challenges and Opportunities

Preservation and accessibility of research data is one of the biggest issues currently facing science. Recent studies suggest that up 80% of original research data obtained through publicly-funded research is lost within two decades after publication. In response, funding agencies have introduced data-sharing mandates, requiring researchers to publish their data. In scientific publishing, concerns about the reproducibility of science and scientific fraud are increasing; sharing data leads to more transparency and trust. Furthermore for researchers themselves, sharing data adds to the possibilities for generating new findings. He’ll look at a range of solutions (Mendeley and others) that allow researchers to manage their data throughout their research lifecycle, and make their data available to and citable by others.

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SESSION TWO – A picture tells 1,000 words: data & information visualisation

Moderated by Joanna Young

Joanna Young, Director, Scientific Editing Company

Data & information visualisation: the good, the bad & the ugly

Designing good visualisations can be challenging and it is important to consider a number of factors before touching a computer. Data visualisation is a large field and different research projects will require different types of visualisations and software tools. This talk will cover a range of different data and information visualisation examples that are relevant to researchers.

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Pawel Jancz (Data developer specialist), NumberTelling

Seven principles of design

The principles underpinning good design can be a powerful tool when applied to information. In our talk, seven principles of design, we look at how you can apply these principles of design theory to your data so that you can see the story behind the numbers.

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Ian Calvert, Senior Data Scientist, Digital Science

Data visualisation: early and often, the path to clean data. 

Visualisations are often an afterthought, or a nice-to-have added on at the end if you’ve got time. I’ll try and convince you to make visualisations an integral part of your workflow, and show how it can make not only your own life easier but improve things for the community as a whole.

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Isaac Roseboom, Head of Insight at deltaDNA

What does it mean to be `data-driven’?

Modern companies love to claim that their decision making is `data-driven’ but very few have visibility of data beyond a few performance metrics. In this talk I will show how deltaDNA is helping games companies use data to understand how players interact with their products and drive design and marketing decisions from this.

recon roseboom


SESSION THREE – Profiles, sharing, engaging, publishing: online tools for researchers

Moderated by Graham Steel

Bianca Kramer & Jeroen Bosman

Of shapes and style: visualising innovations in scholarly communication

Changing research practices are reflected in the patterns of creation and usage of research tools. Analyzing and presenting these complex patterns greatly benefits from visualisation. In their “101 Innovations” project, Bianca Kramer and Jeroen Bosman have used a variety of visualisations from the very start. They will tell the story of changing scholarly communication using these visualizations.

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Cuna Ekmekcioglu,  Senior Research Data Officer, Library & University Collections, The University of Edinburgh

Understanding and overcoming challenges to sharing personal and sensitive data

Researchers today are pressured to share their research data and make it accessible to other researchers as part of the scholarly/scientific record. But what if you have collected data about human subjects? Does the need for disclosure control about human subjects necessarily mean that your research data cannot be shared and re-used? For many researchers, the sensitivity of research data is one of the main barriers to data sharing. Fear of violating ethical or legal obligations, lack of knowledge about disclosure control and the time required to anonymise data to a suitable standard often prevent valuable datasets from seeing the light of day.

This presentation will touch on topics such as informed consent, anonymisation and pseudonomisation techniques, and what it means to be ethical with regard to data sharing about human subjects, including rich, qualitative data and research into social media content.

recon Cuna



recon room back

Many thanks again to our Audio/Visual assistant for the day, Peter Doris of Nexus Digital Media for filming the Conference.

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And a thank you to our amazing sponsors!

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scientific editing company

A compilation of videos and slides from #ReCon_15

Posted on Updated on


(All pictures are Public Domain and videos are CC-BY)

Session 1

Beyond the paper: publishing data, software & more

Moderated by Joanna Young

Researchers around the world are producing large quantities of data, images and information every day. In addition, they are writing software, building databases, producing videos, images and other forms of media. How can we manage and share this properly? How can we ensure that researchers receive credit for different outputs?

Scott Edmunds – “Beyond dead trees: publishing digital research objects”


Post internet, the world quite literally is our oyster. Big data, open data, uploading, downloading are just a few of the terms that we take for granted in an online age. SLIDES

Arfon Smith – “Predicting the future of publishing” SLIDES


Stephanie Dawson – “The Big Picture: Open Access content aggregators as drivers of impact” SLIDES


How do researchers identify the most relevant papers from roughly 1.8 million articles published in ca. 28,000 scholarly journals each year? And how does discovery lead to “impact”? Established aggregators have traditionally depended on citation counts as the principle measure of relevance. As the Open Access movement sets increasing amounts of data (articles and references) free on the internet, new ways to collect, rate and rank content across publishers are being developed for and by the digital generation. The crux of the Open Access movement may well not be its moral imperative or its new business model, but the myriad of projects which can build on access to structured digital information. How will new Open Access aggregators with novel, open measurements of impact affect the current publishing landscape? Case study: the ScienceOpen platform currently aggregates 1.5 million Open Access articles and is developing tools to showcase excellent research across publishers via editorial selection in Collections.


Peter Burnhill – “Where data and journal content collide: what does it mean to ‘publish your data’?SLIDES


Session 2

Moderated by Graham Steel

Digital communities and social networks for educators and researchers

There has been a rapid rise in the number of digital communities and social networks designed for researchers/educators. How are we using these communities? Are we starting to use them more for collaborations? What are the key benefits of these networks, platforms and communities? This session will explore how we currently use these and how we might use them in the future.

Hello Edinburgh from Mendeley

Fran Ayers from our Sponsor, Mendeley SLIDES


Steve Wheeler – “The Future is Open: Education in the digital age” SLIDES


The advent of the World Wide Web, and the popular emergence of social media have together forged new opportunities for education. The so called democratisation of knowledge has been promoted by the open nature of the Web and amplified by social networks and sharing services. What does this mean for education and how can it be harnessed appropriately for education? In this presentation Steve will explore the open nature of the web, its dangers as well as its benefits and discuss a number of new and emerging characteristics such as the wisdom of crowds, rhizomatic learning, and open scholarship. Openness also includes open software, open practices and open publishing, as well as the rise of Massive Open Online Courses and open learning. What will these mean for the future of education, and what new skills and literacies will teachers and students need to make the most of these opportunities?

Session 3

Moderated by Joanna Young

Altmetrics, analytics and tracking engagement

Citations, H-Indexes, Journal Impact Factor, article downloads, tweets… several metrics now exist to measure research. Researchers, departments, institutions and journals can track engagement at the journal, article and individual levels. How will these diverse range of metrics be used in future?

Euan Adie – “Seven Lessons: what we’ve learned from trying to measure impactSLIDES


Anna Clements – “So where does the University Library fit in : Digital Research services at the University of St Andrews” SLIDES


Anna’s talk includes Snowball metrics – but also largely looking at how we generally have responded to, and perhaps now leading on, the changes in funder mandates, publisher policies and technological advances affecting the research process.

Kaveh Bazargan – “Letting go of 350 years’ legacy – painful but essential” SLIDES


Kaveh showed how publishing can be more accurate, faster and much cheaper, by using online systems, allowing authors and journal editors to work more enjoyably, and letting the computer do the work.

Session 4

Moderated by Graham Steel

Incentives and impact

As research communication and academia evolve, how will researchers have to adapt? Impact is now a component of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) but how will this affect how research is performed and disseminated? What effect will this have on research careers? What incentives are required and how can researchers optimise their impact?

Stephen Curry – “Re-thinking research with a view to impact: an academic perspective” SLIDES


In this talk, Stephen picked up on issues of metrics, altmetrics (both considered in the HEFCE metrics review) and the whole interaction between academic publishing and our mis-firing culture of incentives, with particular mention of the need to encourage academics to be more accountable to the public that funds them.

Martin Fenner – “Moving beyond the impact factor, what changes are needed at the government, university and individual levels?” SLIDES

It is widely accepted that Journal Impact Factor (JIF) has its many flaws. With this in mind, what are the alternatives to JIF and where are we headed in this regard?   

Ian Viney – “Capturing and understanding research impact on an international scale” SLIDES


Research councils have encouraged the detailed collection of feedback on research output, from researchers across the UK, using the Researchfish system.  This approach has built a national dataset, supported by 100 UK research organisations, containing 1.1 million reports of output linked to £40bn of public and charity research funding.  Funding agencies outside the UK are beginning to use Researchfish with new subscribers in Canada and Denmark.  Dr Viney will outline RCUK plans to improve and extend the evidence of research progress, productivity and quality.  Analysis of this data is increasingly being used in “science of science policy” studies to better understand what leads to impact and to improve research evaluation and strategy development.  Dr Viney will summarise some of these projects and their main findings to date.

Panel Discussion featuring: Euan Adie (Altmetric), Martin Fenner (PLOS), Ian Viney (MRC) & Stephen Curry (ICL)



Many thanks to our Audio/Visual assistant for the day, Peter Doris of Nexus Digital Media for filming the Conference.

peter doris

And our Keynote speaker for this year is ?

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Stay tuned for news of this event via our new website and elsewhere on social media ahead of this exciting event. Hashtag to follow on Twitter is #ReCon_15 – our Twitter account is @ReConEvent.

We have a fantastic line up of speakers.

Tickets will go on sale asap.

As a teaser, our Keynote Speaker will be none other than………… Steve Wheeler !!!! steve wheeler Are his eyes really that colour ? Find out for yourself… Research in the 21st Century: Data, Analytics and Impact