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Digital Tools for Diagnostics

Publication Type  Conference Paper
Year of Publication  2011
Authors  Kong, G.; Carmichael, A.; Thompson, M.; Farrell, J.; Walker, K.; Beasley, D.; Conroy, J.
Conference Name  Science Exchange 2011
Conference Start Date  09/02/2011
Conference Location  Barossa Valley

The way that we use the internet is evolving rapidly. It’s no longer enough to simply access information – it now has to be personalised and shared. The ease of communication that the internet affords has given rise to faceted searching and social networking and these concepts are now key drivers in the way we collect, organise, preserve and disseminate information.

Users of the internet want and need to be able to find their desired information quickly and easily – whether it’s a car on e-bay, a fashion item, a book, an old high school buddy, the answer to a trivial pursuit question, a physics problem or political statistic, it doesn’t matter – if it can’t be found quickly and easily, if it can’t be stored, edited, manipulated or shared, it will not attract users. Information that is not digital or is not organised for internet searching or compatible with social media, will become invisible.

This applies as much to scholarly information as any other and anybody considering the future of digital libraries, record databases, catalogues, etc must include these factors. This may seem like foreign ground for science, but the internet creates a unique opportunity for science communication, engagement with science communities and participation with the broader social milieu. If they say a “rising tide floats all boats”, then we need to make sure ours is at least in the water.

PaDIL, the Plant Biosecurity Toolbox and Remote Microscopy have been busy in the past year working on infrastructure, processes and products that consider the internet-user interface and the need for social networks, shared knowledge, shared workspaces, easy access and information output that fits the personal and social context of its users. To achieve this goal, we propose a conceptual framework based around a new web portal known as BowerBird.

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