The Scholar System

The Readmy Goal

We want to build Readmy from the ground up and so we have to understand how the academic system works in order to produce the resources that rely on today for information. Most, if not all, the information that is available today comes from research, which led to observation, discovery, and new ideas being formed. And within this cycle of outcomes, there have been several failures that in the context of innovation are as important as the positive findings. Innovation is led not only by those who are willing to think differently, but also those who are prepared to fail. And these small failures do not impede innovation, but act as small stepping stones that we can rely on, build on, and improve.

And here is the basis of the scientific discipline; it is the acknowldgement that the cycle of research to innovation is a process and that every step along this process is identified in future studies. It may not be up to scientists themselves to establish their findings to the general public, although many do that, it is up to everyone following the scientific method to create the primary resources. And this extends to all industries from entertainment arts to civil engineering. Each field changes and evolves as new questions are asked and novel information is found.

However, there is still a problem in how individuals at different stages in their scientific careers perceive their role in this system. Here we are addressing this through what we refer to as the “S(ch)olar System”. Much like the similarly named Solar System, it describes the relation between the 5 levels of the academic process to creating, processing, and sharing new information. And like how our planets are arranged in orbits, we see that individuals from each part of the scientific process are contributing to the discovery, or supporting it or learning from it.

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Level 1 – Primary Resouces

Primary resources are the main contributions of scientific research. These can be anything from original research articles, to review papers, to posters, presentations and public lectures. Every industry relies on this information to innovate and create new products and ideas.

Level 2 – Authors and Contributors

Authors are at the first instance the closest to a primary resource. These are the individuals that throughout their careers have contribute to designing the experiments, collecting the data, analysing the information and writing the results.

Level 3 – Reviewers

Reviewers, also referred to as the “Peer-Reviewers” are individuals within the system that will give their time and expertise to guide the creation and publication of new ideas. Several times, these individuals are seem as barriers to publication, but are in fact valuable assets that ensure that publications are impactful and showcase novel information.

Level 4 – The Community of Followers

Perhaps too much importance is given to Reviewers as the acceptors or deniers of new scientific information. A lot of the responsibility to accept or trust scientific papers relies on the active community of individuals at all stages in their careers to read, engage and question through the findings. This level might be actually the most important, and what drives innovation and improvement. In relation to the system, the followers are going to be using the information or building from it, and while they may not be directly involved with the primary resource, they rely on the community and their experience to measure the impact of that resource.

Level 5 – Learners and the Broader Community

If we think about this in simplistic terms as illustrated above, the learners are the farthest away from a primary resource. Or at least they may feel like that. There are several reasons for this such as skill limitations, difficulty of reading technical writing, or acccessibility to research pyublications. We have already addressed that research articles are not for everyone to read, but we believe that learners offer great insights to teach others while they are learning themselves. This creates a sense of interaction and cooperativity between members of the broader community. Communication helps students gain better appreciation of their skills in dissemination and can make them more comfortable when accessing information and processing it.

What the S(ch)olar System actually looks like

If we consider again the different ways that we are learning and how adaptable we are to obtaining new data and processing information, then we can appreciate that the S(ch)olar System in operation looks very different to the simplistic view that we have addressed above. In fact, like our Solar System, it’s dynamic and fluid and planets do not keep to their orbits.

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And the result is often astonishing. This means that the different levels of the system are not distinctly different from one another. Furthermore, those that are at the first instance the most connected to a primary resource are also learners themselves. And equally, learners are experts in areas that they are passionate about, topics that affect them personally, or have the exposure through friends and family.

And this is the basis of philosophy, the foundation to how every other discipline works. And how we as individuals should be addressing our contributions to society. It is this space where the Readmy Platform will operate. It is there to merge together philosophy, legislation, and society, which in turn contributes to learning, community, and innovation.

What is Networked-Learning?

We all learn in different ways, but there are key methods that we all use, even if we don’t realise them. Our brains work in fantastic ways, and one of these is forming connections between things that we observe through our 5 senses, the knowledge we have learnt, what we’ve been taught by others. All these elements work in concert to form what we manifest as logic, emotion, and intuition.

Networked-Learning basically means using all the information that we have collected and cross-checking it against new information that we learn and resources that we can store, retrieve and process, and build that into a digital framework representing how we naturally use information. Common examples of this are wiki pages with backlinks (links that connect different resources) to how we store relational information on our computers, diaries and notes.

How do we learn?

Cause & Effect

Cause and Effect
We respond to stimuli and learn from experience. We also learn to observe new information and how to process that.

Patterns & Rules

Patterns and Rules
We learn by following rules. These are anything from how to conduct ourselves to working in regulated environments.

Routine & Repetition

Routine and Repetition
We don’t only learn from routine, but we can identify ways to improve and make processes more efficient.

Experience & Emotion

Experience and Emotion
We learn through the experience of others and storytelling from those we trust and are emotionally linked to.

Is learning from publications any different?

Students and academics alike struggle to read and learn from primary resources, but learning from these may not be so different to how we learn through day-to-day things. It all depends on the attitude we take when learning and how we wish to store, retrieve and process that information.

Different sections are being learnt differently.

Research papers are not for everyone to read, but they do offer scientists an opportunity to go beyond their research fields and contribute to disseminating knowledge to members of the community. Not by repeating or summarising what papers say, but by processing that information in ways that are accurate, relevant and suitable for the general public.

How does Networked-Learning help?

We naturally rely on networked-learning when we store, retrieve and process information. We might not remember specific details, but from a broad idea or a memory, we can start to piece in the small bits of information that we don’t recall straight away. Some individuals may do this quickly, while others may take more time. The main idea here is that we all have different ways of learning and there is always room for improvement.

There’s a lot of diversity in the approach to collecting information, and no approach is the perfect or the best for everyone. Establishing a framework, however, can help individuals settle on a way that it suits them the best.
These applications were chosen as examples of what exists, and we have no commercial relation to any of these companies. From left to right: obtaining information, note-taking, networked-learning, sharing and dissemination.

The internet is saturated with videos and ads of the ‘best’ productivity system, and this encourages people to try new tools without focusing on what works for them. We want to encourage people to diversify their skills and try new ways of improving the way they collect and process information. That is why we are building this framework, not to encourage a single way of improving productivity, but to demonstrate how having a standardised system can help achieve more.

The Readmy Framework Promise

This is a community-focused project to document all contributions created by Seanasol Research, our network, and community using a networked-learning approach. This way we can connect different types of resources ranging from novel company findings, information from key publications, and views, opinions and comments from our community.

And to help individuals grow and become more diverse in their skills and knowledge they gain; we want them to feel comfortable with having a personal framework that they can depend on and share with their friends and family. Working with key advocates of productivity, we want to demonstrate to individuals how to manage their workflows, evolve as technology changes and find ways to safely and securely store and share information.

Welcome to Readmy

Readmy is currently under development, but we are going to be building it over the next year. To do this, we are opening up to our community and recruiting volunteers who will take on the reigns of developing the vision for the platform. By doing so, our contributors will be project partners. We also are relying on our community to help us bring relevant features, which they can submit using the Community Forum found in our parent website.

Dr Emmanuel Gonzalez-Escobar, Chairman and co-Founder of Seanasol Research and Founder of Readmy will be speaking at a public webinar on Tuesday March 30, 2021, at 12-1 PM hosted by the Lancaster Environment Centre. He invites members of the scientific community (students and academics) to bring their ideas and comments to share. Please use the registration link below (will open in new tab).

Webinar: Improving how we store, process, and retrieve scientific information
When: March 30, 2021
Time: 12 PM
Venue: Microsoft Teams (via registration)

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/improving-how-we-store-process-and-retrieve-scientific-information-tickets-146836356495

Use the passcode: March2021 to access the link.

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