Work interests: research, editing, science communication
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: Various, and especially the open access versions of older journals with effective review systems
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: Various
Category: Research Co-op
Potential for impact in science
By Research Cooperative, 2021-02-21
Today I sent the following message to a new member:
"Thanks very much for joining. It would be great if you can offer your services in our service forums, and join the Image Workshop community page here:
What we really need is more active use of the network by members: activity promotes activity, inactivity promotes inactivity.
The network is unique in its focus on science communication, so there are interesting opportunities to have an impact for any members who do become active."
The last point explains why I continue to maintain the network despite the persistent lack of activity. I still believe in the potential to improve science communication through better communication among all those involved in writing and publishing research.
Perhaps it is little like the origins of life on potentially inhabitable planets: life can happen, but not necessarily so. There might be life on Mars, or there might not. Our network might come to life, or it might not. Perseverance is needed.
Photo: The Perseverance rover has landed. Photo courtesy NASA, 19th Feb. 2021: https://mars.nasa.gov/resources/25609/high-resolution-still-image-of-perseverances-landing/
Specialist vs generalist services for science communication
By Research Cooperative, 2021-01-28
Our network, the Research Cooperative, succeeds and fails for the same reason:
The nework has universal aims that have attracted members from all scientific areas, but lacks the focus that specialist networks can provide.
Some companies succeed because they offer (for example) editing or translation for all possible topics (and farm out the work to unknown freelancers).
Yet there are many individual editors or specialist editing companies that succeed because of a particular focus on human sciences, or engineering, or medicine, or biology, or other areas.
We should not consider the "specialist vs generalist" contrast to be an "either/or" option at the Research Cooperative.
Maybe we can aim for both. For example, it may be good for us to set up service groups within our system that focus on specific subjects (e.g. offers and requests for editing in mathematics).
That was partly why we set up "topic focus groups"... but those groups are not designed for specific services related to each topic.
In reality, the group pages are not being used for topic discussions or for service offers and requests.
They are not being used, full stop. :-(
Perhaps this means that we have not made it clear that they can be used for discussion and service offers or requests.
We need to think how the functions and potentials of our network can be made more obvious for visitors, potential members, and existing members.
Any opinions on this matter are welcome!
Please reply to this blog. Thanks.
(Photo: nightfall in Kyoto, Summer 2020)
Responses to the Research Co-op Newsletter - July 2020
By Research Cooperative, 2020-07-17
The Research Cooperative Newsletter is sent out occasionally to all members with the aim of reminding members that our site is still active, and to encourage use of the site, and provide some guidance on how to use the site. Th Newsletter is very much "grey literature" and not very exciting, so we expect a proportion of members to "unsubscribe" and are happy if a measurable number of members read the message.
In the Admin dashboard, we can see what the response has been (see image below). Any suggestions on how to make our newsletter more interesting are welcome! Thanks.
OneAll Social and sharing from Research Cooperative to other networks
By Research Cooperative, 2018-07-15
"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.
Go to YOUR USERNAME in MAIN MENU>>ACCOUNT SETTINGS>>NETWORKS>>Facebook Icon (or other Icon)
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)
Login Redirect Page - first page seen will be the Services forum
By Research Cooperative, 2016-12-18
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.
Advice to a member posting a link to g*ost-writing service for students (re - aims of the Research Cooperative)
By Research Cooperative, 2015-12-20
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)