Science Collaboration Technologies

Online scientific collaboration has the potential to accelerate discovery and innovation for marine geologists and geophysicists, who increasingly need to share information, data, and educational resources across large groups of people and large distances. Fortunately, the computational nature of much marine geology and geophysics research makes electronic data and information sharing possible with online content management and social networking tools. With these ideas in mind, The Galley was launched in the summer of 2010 on R/V Marcus Langseth cruise MGL1004 to Shatsky Rise in the western Pacific Ocean. The site was built around the needs of the scientific party and crew, enabling them to share information during and after the expedition. The inaugural group of members included senior scientists, graduate students, ship’s crew, marine mammal observers, individuals from the R/V Marcus Langseth Office of Marine Operations, and a few scientists onshore. Beginning with this core group of individuals, we have started to build a network of scientists, students, and professionals in the marine geology and geophysics community that is not limited by physical or institutional boundaries.

The website is an open platform for (1) sharing news and information that concerns members of the marine geology and geophysics community, (2) hosting collaboration spaces for marine geology and geophysics researchers, (3) sharing information about field expeditions, research facilities, and relevant community research programs, (4) sharing educational resources including electronic course materials, tutorials, and software, and (5) hosting discussion forums with relevant community members. The site is designed to be as self-service as possible so that any member can start a discussion, share an announcement, or create a web page. In addition, members of The Galley can self-organize into large or small, private or public interest groups, such as multichannel reflection seismologists, software users, or members a specific research project. The self-service functionality will enable the network to scale with minimal administrative overhead and maximum creative freedom for contributing members. Future plans are to expand the site’s interactive content management capabilities and other features to further promote scholarly communication and collaboration among the community members.