Chief Admin

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Blogs: 146
Pages: 1
Memos: 112
Invitations: 1
Webshots: 1
Groups: 1
Location: Kyoto and Auckland
Work interests: research, editing, ethnobotany, prehistory, plant genetics
Affiliation/website: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka
Preferred contact method: Any
Preferred contact language(s): English, German
Contact: email = researchcooperative-at-gmail-dot-com
Favourite publications: Aroideana, Economic Botany, Farming Matters, PLoSOne

Founding Member

Work: ethnobotany, plant ecology and genetics, human ecology, agricultural history, archaeology, museology
Affiliations: 1996-present: National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka. 1995: Freelance editor, Kyoto. 1994: JSPS Research Visitor, Kyoto University, Kyoto. 1993: Research Visitor, Australian National University, Canberra. 1991: Visiting Researcher, National Museum of Ethnology, Osaka.1990: STA Fellow, National Institute for Ornamental Plants, Vegetables, and Tea (NIVOT), Ano, Japan
Contact: National Museum of Ethnology, Senri Expo Park, Suita City, Osaka, Japan 565-8511
Biographical: Established the Research Cooperative in 2001
Favourite Publications: Economic Botany, Ethnobotany Research and Applications, New Scientist, Minpaku Anthropology Newsletter, Archaeology in Oceania

Category: Research Co-op

"OneAll Social" is a system module in the back end of our network. With this, Admin. can let new members signup using an existing account at another social network, or signin using that account. 

Another function of the module is to allow members to share their comments, blogposts, and other activities with other social networks where they have accounts.

At present, it is possible, in theory, to share to a Facebook account or LinkedIn account. Each member has to set this up for themselves after logging in to the Research Cooperative. 


If Facebook recognises your email address (used to set up the account at Research Coopeerative), then clicking on the Facebook Icon will activate sharing to your Facebook account.

After that, when you compose a blog post (for example) the sharing options will be shown after the text field, and can be checked or unchecked for the message:


I will try sharing the present post with my Facebook account, which is sure to be ignored as yet another dull message from the Research Cooperative! Sorry!


Advice for newly-joined members

By Research Cooperative, 2018-04-07

Dear Members (newly-joined), I am the creator and administrator of the Research Cooperative.  This means I am looking at the signup details of every new member, and making sure that real people are joining the network. So I am sure that this message is reaching real people! Please do not ignore the Research Cooperative after joining!  This is my main advice.  The practical value of our network depends on each member completing a public profile, and then using the forums at least occasionally. Our goal is NOT to become another global, personal-data-grabbing network. Fear not. Our goal is to support a large and active community of people interested in education, research, and the practical aspects of scientific communication and publishing.  Please have the confidence to ask for help or to offer help.  The best way for young researchers to learn about scientific writing is to help others, and also to learn from professional editors or translators, and from the comments of reviewers.  Paying for help from a professional editor or translator is also a good way to learn how to write better, and is a worthwhile investment. If this leads to a manuscript being accepted for review by a good journal, then much can be learned from the reviewers who help to make that journal good.  Having feedback from good reviewers, and acting on that feedback, is much more useful than having a paper uncritically accepted by a journal that has few readers. Experienced, professional editors and translators are strongly encouraged to promote their services through our network.  Inexperienced editors and translators are also strongly encouraged to raise their hands, and gain experience through our network.  These are all matters that can and should be discussed by our members in the various forums of the Research Cooperative. The opportunities and issues for communication in different subject areas, countries, and journals are very diverse. Finally, I would be grateful if new members can tell me anything at all about their impressions of the network, the general ease of use, specific problems with navigation, and any other issues.  All feedback is welcome. Sincerely, Peter Matthews (Kyoto, Japan) [Posted 7th April to 405 newly-joined members of our network]

Slogans for services page

By Research Cooperative, 2018-01-08

Recently I began putting a slogan header on the Services top page where all the service offers and requests are shown.

The aim is to change this whenever the existing slogan looks tired or badly chosen.

Today's new slogan is:

"Good communication needs authors who care about their readers. Please ask here for help, or offer help"

Suggestions for a better slogan are welcome, preferably something original.

Update (5th July 2018): current slogan is "Services for authors who care about their readers: Ask here for help or offer help!"

Message to the Editing Community group

By Research Cooperative, 2016-12-18

Dear Members of the Editing Community group of the Research Cooperative,

The ability to find or offer editing and other services in our social network depends entirely on members providing information in their public profile pages.

If you have not recently visited the Research Cooperative, you may need to request a new password . This can be done using the email address that you have registered with (i.e. the address with which this message has been sent to you).

Most of the data in a public profile is optional, but the more information you can provide, the easier it will be for other members to find your profile and the editing services that are offered or needed.

You can test this yourself by going to the search page for all members of the Research Cooperative , and using the search field to look for other members. After adding your own profile data, you can use this page to test whether your profile is in fact visible when relevant keywords are used to search the network.

Peter Matthews (Admin., Kyoto)

Today, as Admin, I changed a setting for Regular Members that determines which page existing members see first after login.

The options  for the Login Redirect Page are: own profile page, a site index page, or the URL to any page in the network.

I have set this to the URL to the Services forum page , which reprresents the core function of our network - a place where members can make offers or requests for services related to research writing and academic, educational or scientific communication generally.

The Signup Redirect Page remains unchanged: own profile page.

This is important because the first useful thing a new member can do is to provide information about themselves for the Admin to see (under the Account settings tab of the profile page) and for other members and site visitors to see (under the Profile settings tab of the profile page).

Adding public profile data with the Profile settings allows other members to find you, and any services you may be offering or needing, and also allows you to find other members who have also provided public information. Having a public profile is the first step needed to build a useful personal network and working relationships.

Account and Profile data can be updated at any time after login, by going to your profile page using the menu tab with your profile name (in the site main menu).


One trope that fits all?

By Research Cooperative, 2016-10-25

Lately I have been playing with different possible short phrases with which to summarise the aims of the Research Cooperative, in the title position of our home page.

Recently, under the logo image and text, I posted the words:

exploration, knowledge, wisdom

All very fine words, and relevant, but somehow pompous and vague at the same time. They do not explain the network concretely.

So then I changed to this for a few hours:

for better communication (any science, language, audience)

This errs too far in the opposite direction: too much information will dilute the impact, or make it disappear entirely.

So for now, I have settled on just the single phrase

for better communication

This refers not just to the better communication of science, but also to better communication between all participants in the ecosystem of science communication... which extends in many directions (academia, industry, public education, specialist audiences, general audiences, etc.).

If anyone has further ideas, please comment!

We can change the wording again, and perhaps rotate various tropes that describe what we are doing, or are trying to do, with the Research Cooperative. One trope can never describe all aims, or satisfy all members in a large group.

Dear (Co-op member),

I see that you are using the Research Cooperative to post content that is in some way relevant to the Co-op, while also including links or copy that promote various businesses that I presume are paying you (or an agent) to produce copy.

That's OK so long as the content you post stays relevant, and that the businesses you promote are not ethically contrary to what the Research Cooperative stands for.

In a recent blog post, you included a link to a business that advertises g*ostwriting services for students and other writers.

Such a business is VERY contrary to the aims of the Research Cooperative.

If authors choose to work with other people to write something, then the other people should be acknowledged as coauthors. There is nothing wrong with coauthorship in situations where it is permitted (most research publications).

School kids and university students are meant to be learning how to think and write independently. Encouraging them to fake their work is something that I cannot tolerate (as Co-op admin.).

Please remove the blog post in the next few days. Alternatively, I can delete your membership.

Please understand my stance on this.

Thanks, Peter (Co-op Admin)

The Research Cooperative has been set up as an NPO but lacks funding to develop effectively and to become a registered, officially recognised NPO.

Our network still appears to attractive to many people, but could be more useful with more activity of various kinds.

So... if any of our members has time and energy, I encourage them to look at the Philanthropy University , which has recently opened shop with a range of free online courses for philanthropists, fundraisers, and NPO organisations.

The courses have been developed by the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.

Please have a look, and if you can learn anything of potential use for the Research Cooperative, please report back to us!

Thanks, Peter

Dear Members and Visitors,

Our network attracts on average around 100 to 200 visitors per day. What do you all do with your time when visiting our network?

I looked at some Goggle stats for our site (7th Feb 2013 to 8th Feb 2015, a period of two years).


(1) Most visitors run away within a few seconds (thanks for finding us!)

(2) A significant number of visitors stay long enough to look at two or three different pages (see "session duration" and "page depth" below). That only requires two or three minutes.

(3) Very few visitors (including members) stay long enough to log in, write a message, or find someone who can help or who they can give help to.

Conclusion: we are not very successful attracting people who really need the social connections that are possible through our network.

Why is this?

Your opinons about the network are valuable, whether good, bad, or indifferent. Without your feedback, we cannot develop the Research Cooperative effectively.

Associative Search for Social Networks

By Research Cooperative, 2014-05-11

I often wonder what the ideal search system for members of social network like ours.

Recently I heard the phrase "associative search" for the first time.

This kind of search is relevant for the museum where I work. We have public access databases, but these merely give results that exactly match the keywords entered into an in house search engine. There is no intelligence in our database search engine.

Here is a good description of how associative search works, from a blog of the Internet Archive:

" When using the new search within a single program feature, the browser dynamically refines the results with each character typed. As typing proceeds towards the final search term, unexpected 60-second segments and phrases arise, providing serendipitous, yet systematic choices, even while options narrow towards the intended results.These surprising occurrences suggest the diverse opportunities for inquiry afforded by the unique research library and encourage some playful exploration. "

This kind of search system is really needed for public, user-friendly, opean access search of museum archives... and it will be especially valuable for users who are not experts for particular kinds of material. Even if they only have a rough idea of what to call something, they have a chance of finding what they want through associative search.

However, this depends on rich and fully indexed content. From a friend in Australia, I heard that a "Virtual Museum of the Pacific" failed from the start because the system was unique or specialised ("designed by programmers") - i.e. too difficult to maintain and update.

It is a trap to invent new technology that is then expensive to maintain and update. In most situations, it is probably best to innovate in how we use easy-to-maintain generic systems.

I hope that someday Ning (host of the Research Cooperative) will realise that it has created an ideal test platform for testing search systems with online social networks.

Associative search might be an ideal service to provide for social networks.

While thinking about this, I also realised that even inactive members of our network can be of interest, since they have provided at least some information about themselves in each public profile page. That information in itself may have value as an archive of mini-biography, even as members inevitably lose contact with the network, by choice or otherwise. Our network can become a kind of social memory for people involved in research communication.

I need to think about this more.

Meanwhile, I recommend the following note by Thomas T. Hills and Thorsten Pachur ,

"Searching Our Cognitive Social Networks: How We Remember Who We Know"

found at


(See also " Associative search and the Research Cooperative ")

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