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Todd Carpenter on FORCE 17: “We don’t have enough opportunities to engage these communities outside of our own, which is one of the things I love about FORCE.”

At Force 2017, we caught up with Todd Carpenter and had a little chat. This is what he told us.

Is this your first meeting?

No, I have been at more than half of them before it was Force11. The thing I love about FORCE is it brings communities together, different communities. There aren’t enough communities where there are researchers, administrators and funders, very few meetings pull all these people together. The people who are going to [academic conferences such as] AGU or ACS are mostly scholars, and the publishers who go are sales people. There's little opportunity for the technologists to come together and Force draws those communities together.

How does NISO benefit from this meeting?

There are three ways in which NISO benefits:

  • Thought leadership and awareness of where the community is heading. What are the issues that are revealed? like peer review of data and how we improve that. That conversation isn’t taking place much and this is a good place to push that idea forward
  • Promoting work that we've done ourselves, such as alternative metrics and data citation
  • Community development – we are also a membership organization, seeking to identify and address problems for our members.

What is the one thing that stands out during the meeting for you?

I had a conversation with one of the travel fellows from Latin America – Chile – talking about the western European-centricity of scholarly communication, that there are problems that we think we are solving that aren’t as significant in their eyes. Which is fascinating. It gave me the opportunity to understand better. We don’t have enough opportunities to engage these communities outside of our own, which is one of the things I love about FORCE.

How have things changed since the very first conference?

FORCE has become bigger, more diverse and the range of the issues that we are trying to address is different – more practical. Beyond the PDF started out more revolutionary, but Force11 is more evolutionary. It is simultaneously more narrow but more impactful.

What happens after you leave here?

Well, we concretely agree that we are going to try and develop a template of what is a peer review for data. There are a lot of practical takeaways from this meeting – and then we start planning the next one.

How do you plan to stay engaged?

I will be on the program committee again, and try stay in touch with new Twitter friends.

What areas were not sufficiently addressed at this conference that you think should be explored?

Peer review and discovery – how people find and discover science that is relevant to them, and a greater awareness of what is happening outside of western Europe and North America.


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