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Research Engine
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New tools to help you control and share your research
New tools to help you control and share your research

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New feature at Research Engine!

Some of our users were asking for a way to have shared notebooks in a project. That is, notebooks in which any member of the project can write into. In this way they could, for example, easily keep track of lab equipment usage.

We are happy to announce that this is now possible in Research Engine! If you think this could be useful to you, head over to your Notebooks tab and give it a try.

We keep listening to suggestions from our users. If you have an idea or a complaint, please let us know either here or in Research Engine's public repository ( https://github.com/andresgsaravia/research-engine/issues?state=open )
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- Keep Innovating
- Remember Whom We Serve
- Pass on the Savings

Those are the principles of PeerJ, a peer-reviewed journal publishing under CC-BY licenses. Let's hope each day more publishers follow lead and make research available to the general public, which is the one who payed for it in the first place.
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Pascal's triangle and the number e

You get Pascal's triangle by drawing 1's on top and getting new numbers by adding the two numbers above them, like 4 + 6 = 10 in this picture.  This triangle has lots of great properties. 

In 2012, a guy named Harlan J. Brothers found the number e in Pascal's triangle.  First multiply all the numbers in each row.  Then do the trick shown here!

This picture is from +Alexander Bogomolny, and he has an easy proof that the trick works:

http://www.cut-the-knot.org/arithmetic/algebra/HarlanBrothers.shtml

Let me just see how quickly the trick works.  The bottom row of numbers in this picture multiplies to give 26471025.  The row above that gives 162000 and the row above that gives 2500.  So, we get

2500 × 26471025 / 162000² ≈ 2.5216...

Hmm, pretty bad!  Not very close to

e ≈ 2.718281828....

I guess the convergence is slow.   But still, it works eventually.  The proof boils down to the fact that the nth power of (1 + 1/n) converges to e when n gets bigger and bigger.  If we try a fairly small n we get something like

(1 + 1/5)⁵ ≈ 2.4883...

which is also not very good, but if we try n = 1,000,000 it starts looking better:

(1 + 1/1,000,000)^{1,000,000} = 2.718280469...

I heard about this Pascal's triangle thing from the amazing +Richard Elwes.  If you had circled him, you wouldn't need me to tell you about this!
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Congratulations to all #Winners   of Google Cloud Developer Challenge 2013!! :)   #gcdc   #gcdc2013  

+HealthMate 
+Gdirection 
+Farejador do Planalto 
+Research Engine 
Geo Sketch
+Travellog 
D.I.Y Property
MishMash
+Tourbly 
+FunnyLeni 
+Grow 
+Travel Journal 
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We won the #GCDC  contest for our category!

This is very exciting and a reassurance of the good work we've been doing. Thanks to everyone for your support and faith in a challenging project. Now is up to us to continue making Research Engine a better tool to the benefit of us all!

Google Cloud Developer Challenge Winners Announcement
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In the APS' blog post Getting the word out (http://physics.aps.org/articles/v6/126) an editor introduces a new journal: Physical Review Applied to narrow the gap between basic and applied research.

In their own words: The challenge is getting the best of relevant applied physics research into the hands of engineers, biomedical professionals, and industrial leaders.

Certainly this would be very helpful and APS has been a very important publisher in the scientific community. In the journal's webpage says they will offer an Open Access option. To really get the word out lets hope this open option is the most common and not excessively expensive, as with other known journals.
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Each day more people are making research available under a Creative Commons (CC) license!
     BioMed Central is not only making their articles open by default under the CC BY 4.0 license but they make the data supporting that research as friction free as possible with a public domain CC0 waiver.
     Currently here at Research Engine we have our data shared in the same CC license as the rest of the project. Maybe we should allow that data to be shared under another license (like CC0). What do you think?
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The Open Science Framework (OSF) is another initiative to provide new research tools for scientists. It has a different approach than Research Engine (RE).
     Both propose a project as the central entity around which all data is organized. In RE for each project you have several fixes sections (wiki, notebooks, datasets, writings, etc...) while in OSF each project has a wiki, a collection of files and some modules with each module (which can be another project on its own) having its own wiki and files. Each project/module can have its own list of collaborators and can be
watched or cloned individually.
     The flexibility provided by OSF is different from the fixed format of RE and the focus is a little different; OSF seems to be tailored towards organizing and sharing research results, while RE is made to produce the research online collaboratively.
     Both platforms have a different approach to the same problem and they both help the effort of Open Science. It's good for resaerchers to have a variety of choices.
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The arXiv hosts many public accessible journal preprints for a wide variety of scientific areas. This has proved to be a very effective dissemination-of-knowledge model and there's even some evidence that it improves scientific communication (http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1306/1306.4856.pdf). This pre-print publications also enable a wider discussion and dissemination with non experts (v.g. http://www.technologyreview.com/ and http://astrobites.org/ ). This changes occured by pushing back the boundary of accessible knowledge from published to pre-print articles (the fact that it's free certainly is also important)

What would happen if we pushed the boundary further back? What if the knowledge is readily accessible even before it has the form of a structured article? Maybe this could improve not only the communication but also the elaboration and quality of articles.

And this is one of the new ways of making research that we want to explore at Research Engine. We want to enable authors to have (at their choice) every aspect of their research publicly accessible with the hope this will improve Science overall.
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The reason for Elsevier's confidentiality clauses is certainly laughable.

Current technologies now enable full access to all aspects research (not just published articles) at very low costs, but Elsevier is fiercely clinging to an outdated bussiness model in detriment of the science community and hence all humanity.
A week or two ago the subject of Elsevier confidentiality clauses came up on Google Plus. Now we are in the fortunate position to be able to watch an Elsevier executive explaining the reason for these clauses, in a video that lasts approximately one minute. If you haven't got time for the video, there is a transcript provided, but then you will miss the audience reaction, which is priceless.
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