06 May 2009

Research blog: open or restricted?

I have mixed feelings about releasing this whole information to any audiences, when it is part of my current research. After having a conversation with physical scientist friend about this question, he reminded me that formal publications such as journals etc., take still so long due to the review process etc that when such information becomes available to the scientific community, it is already obsolete. "Nowadays scientists have a look at other scientists' blogs to see new guidelines and ideas on cutting-edge research"- he added. Even my doctoral students upload their pieces online before they become part of their Music portfolios, which is something I always discourage them to do. In a world of billions of Blogs updated on daily basis (including Richard Branson’s blog providing clues about future potential managerial decisions), it is hard to imagine that non real-time information is what people are looking for nowadays. Having said that, this problem raises another question. What is the best way to showcase my research outcomes?; the final project or a daily dissemination of the struggles and methodologies which gave birth to the final project?. I always thought of the former but I am thinking of giving a chance to the latter. I presume that my main conservative reason in the past was that some one other than me could take the idea and do it / propose it somewhere else (people say that this is the true story behind Facebook…). However, in my field, we are talking about art and innovation in music composition and sound, involving interdisciplinary areas. I trust this is not quite the same as the Space race or the Cold War era, where secret information was a bonus for victory. Are we not revisiting the idea of focusing on the actual event (of creating art) as in Fluxus artistic experience, versus presenting finsihed art in the form of objècts trouvé as found in conventional museums?
I think the complexity of this research project could only benefit from comments and contributions from colleagues and it may help to progress faster or even to find spontaneous collaborators in specific areas without the need of dependence from a large funding application. However, potential funding bodies may or may not disagree with this open policy. Similarly, Virgin partners may or may not find useful Branson's tips on his blog about an investment which is on the fly. Nevertheless, the information is there for someone to take it and interpret it. So, the key here is how to make it open to the targeted community without being completely available! Another question is whether I will feel as comfortable as I feel now when updating small improvements or changes in my research blog if I know that it could be seen by any one.