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Bourne Free Access Nets Franklin Award

By Bio-IT World Staff

May 19, 2009 | Philip Bourne (UC San Diego), winner of the 2009 Benjamin Franklin Award presented by the Bioinformatics Organization, championed “open science” in his laureate lecture, while admitting there had to be a business model around it. “Someone has to pay for it,” said Bourne.

Academic research was breaking out of the traditional cycle of grants/posters/papers/journal articles, thanks to database curation, blogs, wikis, even multimedia (see p. 5). The distinction between knowledge and data is merging, Bourne said, with journals publishing more supplementary information, and databases increasingly curated. Bourne has even helped form a society for biocuration.

Bourne pointed to the value of semantic enrichment to papers, with web service calls to various databases for associated data. Another goal revolves around disambiguation. “I want the Bourne Identity!” he said—the equivalent of a DOI (digital object identifier) for authors. Initiatives such as Open ID and the NCBI’s MyBibliography are helping.

This article also appeared in the May-June 2009 issue of Bio-IT World Magazine.
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