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Re: Bionet controversial topic #7: What a biomechanics datarepository should contain in order to be valuable?

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  • Re: Bionet controversial topic #7: What a biomechanics datarepository should contain in order to be valuable?

    Marco Viceconti wrote:
    > ...
    > Using again Paul Ostic words we have a grand,
    > and perhaps naive vision. Is
    > it too grand? Is it too naive? Or is this the
    > Grand Challenge that would
    > provide a quantum leap to biomechanics research?
    > Considering that this would be a life-long endeavour,
    > once again the
    > opinion of young fellows, the only ones who may have
    > the chance to see it
    > done, is particularly welcome.
    Though not being a young fellow, just a not so
    old technical assistant, I'd like to contribute
    my two euro-cents...

    Your global repository is an idea spinning around
    in my head for years now. I really do think your
    vision of a global repository is _the_ Grand Challenge
    for the biomechanics community.

    And that's exactly the problem: You will need a
    special kind of community to get it started, and,
    what is even more vital, to keep the project running.

    I don't see this kind of community. Even worse: The
    scientific community of our area is kind of the
    opposite of what's needed.

    The more or less social problems regarding the
    process of keeping an open repository project
    alive have been discussed quite detailed by
    the now so called Open Source scene. Especially
    "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" by Eric S. Raymond
    has spawned a tremendous amount of critics and
    critics of critics.

    To summarize it very abridged: You'll need a
    "charismatic" leader to gather people around
    him, and you need lots of people being concerned
    with the theme in a very personal way. While
    these prerequesites may eventually be feasible
    in parts of our community, the consequence will not:
    People get paid in kudos, not in citation indices
    or anything else, what would be of any worth in
    the official evaluation of their work.

    It's a pity, but I fear, it's like that,


    Rainer Goellner
    IfADo (that's: Institute for occupational health)
    Dortmund, Germany

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