What This Site Is and How to Use it

The principal intention of this website is to make people aware of the world around us - immediately around us. Under our feet and in front of our noses.

By increasing awareness, through engagement and openess, using the principles of Open Science, perhaps we can engender greater interest, involvement.

Open Science has been defined as: “...to make the primary outputs of publicly funded research results – publications and the research data – publicly accessible in digital format with no or minimal restriction”. In fact there is more to it than that. So much of the research, discoveries and all the fascinating stuff is bound up in academic journals, academic institutuions, and, worst of all, academic jargon. The scientific and academic terms are essential - but they get in the way when the information and excitment is shared with normal people. So making all this understandable is the biggest part of the exercise.

There is a lot of information here, of various disciplines, and it is going to be added to over time. Pages on this site will interlink both within the site and outwardly to external resources. Just like nature, the network of associations between all the organisms and environmental factors that we study.

Ecology is a complex subject, complex in both its myriad of relationships and effects, and also the scope. There is a lot in ecology which is imperfectly understood and some that is not even suspected, and every day new discoveries of relationships and effects within our environment are made.

Palaeoecology, the ecology of the past, is no different. It is just a little more remote and a little harder to fathom.

So explore this website, and keep coming back to see how it progresses - it will take time because it is a lengthy business, studying nature in detail.

And if you are inspired to comment on, engage with, or follow up something you see here, great. Do. Use the Contact page in the menu (and here). The more we humans get involved with the natural world and undo the disjoint between us, the better for everyone concerned.

So. Where can you find out more about Open Science?

The European Union supports the principles of Open Science - see their pages here.

Participation in the Open Life Science program has been incredibly useful in furthering understanding of the principles, and getting involved - A mentoring & training program for Open Science ambassadors.

EU funded projects to get Open Science out there can be found online - here, and here. These are funded for a limited time and so these links may one day die.

University College Dublin Library has a good webpage here and UCC here. These pages are more to do with Open Access, i.e. access to freely available academic information through those libraries, but there is good information there.