Three articles in Science focus on "the data deluge and the opportunities that can be realized if we can better organize and access the data." These (I think) call for specialist information literacy, although sadly information literacy is not mentioned in the articles. For me it highlights the disciplinary differences in information literacy: in these fields understanding how to retrieve, make sense of and communicate numerical and biomedical data are important for being information literate (knowing how to use textual databases is not enough). The "seventh pillar" of creating new information is also important (and being able to describe the data using an ontology, and share it ethically). Thanks to Peter Willett for alerting me to this special issue.
- Wald, C. (2011) "More Than Words" Science [online] February 11. Discusses use of biomedical ontologies to organise and retrieve information.
- Pain, E. (2011) "Surfing the tsunami." Science [online] February 11. Talks about the problems created by the "heaps of data" in public biomedical data sets. Tool/services mentioned include the Neuroscience Information Framework "a dynamic inventory of Web-based neuroscience resources: data, materials, and tools accessible via any computer connected to the Internet."
- Travis, K. (2011) "Sharing Data in Biomedical and Clinical Research". Science [online] February 11.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Ready for rain, Glasgow, February 2011