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CCAT Workshop – 16 April 2018

Big Data, Small Data, Missing Data: Harnessing the evidence base for a changing academy

11.00 am – 1.00 pm

The Curtin HIVE, Building 200A, Curtin University


More and more data are available every day on scholars and scholarship, research outputs and impact, and the ways in which we reach (and do not reach) publics and the users of scholarship. Bringing together world-leading experts on bibliometrics, social media, and scholarly communication from across the globe, as well as at Curtin, we will tackle one of the core questions for the modern university. How do we responsibly use this burgeoning quantity of data available to us to plan for the future? Looking at questions of research mobility and diversity within the academy, the presence and reach of scholars on social media, and our ability to understand who uses our campus facilities we will dig into the questions of what the data can tell us, and perhaps more importantly, what it can’t tell us.

This workshop will be of interest to research managers, institutional strategists and leaders, as well as those engaged in data collection and analysis at both small and large scales. Limited seats are available.

Talk Outlines

The Matrix of Geotagged Data in Social Media: Fun versus Not-so-fun

With the explosion of social media, massive data is generated at a whopping rate of petabytes-per-minute. The information recorded in the past few years has easily surpassed that of the entire prior history of humanity. The layers of geotagging has also added further dynamics to our geosocial universe. This potentially gives researchers new possibilities for studying patterns of our geographical behaviour in the living world. For example, academia may be able to better explore the physical interactions and impacts between universities and communities. This talk dives into the world of geotagged social media data, exploring the possibilities, limitations and accessibility of information from various sources.

Presented by Tama Leaver and the Curtin Institute for Computation team.

Absence of Evidence: Scholarly Communication and its Visibility on Social Media in Southern Africa

As part of the Scholarly Communication in Africa Project, which ran from 2010-2014, a study was undertaken of the online visibility of work from a set of Southern African universities. SCAP found that scholarly communication in the southern African context was more diverse than expected, but that visibility online, and in social media, was very limited compared to North American and European research outputs. We will discuss how this absence of evidence affects perspectives of African scholarly outputs both internally and externally and how this has changed since 2014, particularly in the context of the challenges facing South African Higher Education institutions today.

Presented by Cameron Neylon and Eve Gray.

Labor and reward in science: Do women have equal voice?

Despite progress, gender disparities in science persist. Women remain underrepresented in the scientific workforce and under rewarded for their contributions. This talk will examine multiple layers of gender disparities in science, triangulating data from scientometrics, surveys, and social media to provide a broader perspective on the gendered nature of scientific communication. The extent of gender disparities and the ways in which new media are changing these patterns will be discussed. The talk will end with a discussion of interventions, with a particular focus on the roles of universities, publishers, and other actors in the scholarly ecosystem.

Presented by Cassidy Rose Sugimoto


Cassidy Rose Sugimoto

Sugimoto researches within the domain of scholarly communication and scientometrics, examining the formal and informal ways in which knowledge producers consume and disseminate scholarship. She has co-edited two volumes and has published 50 journal articles on this topic. Her work has been presented at numerous conferences and has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, Institute for Museum and Library Services, and the Sloan Foundation, among other agencies. Sugimoto is actively involved in teaching and service and has been rewarded in these areas with an Indiana University Trustees Teaching award (2014) and a national service award from the Association for Information Science and Technology (2009). Sugimoto has an undergraduate degree in music performance, an M.S. in library science, and a Ph.D. in information and library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Eve Gray

Eve Gray is a Senior Research Associate in the IP Unit in the Faculty of Law at the University of Cape Town, where her focus is the potential of open copyright models for the effective dissemination of scholarly publication. Working as a scholarly and then an academic textbook publishing director in the 1990s – the early years of a democratic South Africa – she became aware of the disruptive potential that the new and expanding World Wide Web offered in this field. She moved on to work as a publishing and communications consultant and researcher, at the intersection of open copyright models, scholarly publication and development-focused research dissemination in southern Africa. She carried out the consultancy that created the Human Science Research Council’s Press as a highly successful early open access social science scholarly publisher. Eve has participated in a wide range of projects on open and collaborative science and open publication in the region.

Cameron Neylon

Cameron Neylon is Professor of Research Communication at the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University. He is interested in how to make the internet more effective as a tool for scholarship. He writes and speaks regularly on scholarly communication, the design of web based tools for research, and the need for policy and cultural change within and around the research community.

Cameron Neylon is a one-time biomedical scientist who has moved into the humanities via Open Access and Open Data advocacy. His research and broader work focusses on how we can make the institutions that support research sustainable and fit for purpose for the 21st century and how the advent of new communications technology is a help (and in some cases a hindrance) for this.

Tama Leaver

Tama is an Associate Professor of Internet Studies at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia and frequent expert media commentator. His research interests include online identity, social media, digital death, infancy online, mobile gaming and the changing landscape of media distribution. He has published in a number of journals including Popular Communication, Media International Australia, First Monday, Comparative Literature Studies, Social Media and Society, Communication Research and Practice and the Fibreculture journal, and is the author of Artificial Culture: Identity, Technology and Bodies (Routledge, 2012); co-editor of An Education in Facebook? Higher Education and the World’s Largest Social Network (Routledge, 2014) with Mike Kent; and Social, Casual and Mobile Games: The Changing Gaming Landscape (Bloomsbury Academic, 2016) with Michele Willson. He has been awarded teaching awards from the University of Western Australia, Curtin University, and in 2012 received a national Australian Award for Teaching Excellence in the Humanities and the Arts. He’s @tamaleaver on Twitter, and his web presence is