DigitalOcean: building a platform for scientific collaboration and social and media sharing on the Drupal content management system


The DigitalOcean (DO) Project is designed to bring essential Web 2.0 capabilities to an open-source software platform built for scientific collaboration and publishing. The DO platform is being built using the Drupal content management system (CMS). The following are some of the core features of the proposed platform: social networking, media/data sharing/publishing, and collaboration spaces for scientific virtual organizations (VO); active support for VO governance and reputation systems for members and objects; Creative Commons licensing, support for preprint archives and micro-articles, and; professional user-profiles that can be saved as well formatted biosketches. The DO platform serves as a collaboration environment for active research teams, a personal repository for individual researchers, an aggregation/filter for science information, and a scientific publishing tool. This article will outline the history and goals of the DO Project, the core technology concerns and solutions, and the opportunities that this new platform will bring to scientists across the planet.

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To date, activities of the DigitalOcean project have been funded by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, Outhink Media, Inc., the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the David & Diane Toole Foundation, the Toole Family Foundation, Oracle, Inc., Sony Pictures Entertainment, and Google, Inc., with other contributions from UC Santa Barbara (especially the Carsey-Wolf Center and the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management) and the New Media Research Institute. The Drupal code base is in active development and will be made available (most likely on Github) and seeded back into Drupal open-source repositories.

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Correspondence to Bruce Caron.

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Communicated by: R. Ramachandran

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Caron, B., Toole, D., Wicks, P. et al. DigitalOcean: building a platform for scientific collaboration and social and media sharing on the Drupal content management system. Earth Sci Inform 4, 191–196 (2011).

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  • Drupal
  • Social network
  • Social media
  • Reputation system
  • Virtual organization
  • Governance
  • Open access
  • Open source