HiveMind: A Tool For Collaborative Science

I’ve been attending a number of meetings over the past few weeks and one of the themes that I hear echoed from both scientists and software engineers is the need to stay current with the latest developments in their fields.  When I ask how they’re currently doing it the responses vary, but it usually comes down to the fact that they’re relying on their colleagues, or their magazine subscriptions to keep them up-to-date. 

HiveMind is specifically designed to keep people informed of the latest developments, and to help people share information.  For scientists this means that we configure feeds from all of the top journal publishers (like PLoS, Nature, and Science) when we install HiveMind.  This gives you immediate access to the latest articles.  You can create search agents to help you find just the articles that are relevant to your project.  You can “star” articles to highlight articles that may be of interest to your colleagues.  You can use the “tag” feature to add keywords to articles and thus classify the content of the article.

For example, if you are working on a VEGF inhibitor project, you could add a tag like “VEGF” to an article to insure that your colleagues on the team don’t miss the article.  If you’re working on a multidisciplinary team and you come across an article on angiogenesis biomarkers, you could add tags like “angiogenesis, biomarker, VEGF” to insure that other team members also see the article.  You can also add your own comments to the article, to help highlight important concepts from the article.  Think of it as a way to support your own company journal club. 

If you work in the commercial side of the business, HiveMind can help you keep track of the competition.  You can subscribe to searches, and Google Patent searches, in addition to the latest news from trusted sources like the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and industry insiders like BioSpace, FiercePharma, and many others. 

As with any organization though, keeping up with external developments is only half the battle.  HiveMind helps you keep track of internal developments as well.  For example, if your lab is required to create weekly or monthly reports, HiveMind lets your team log their individual achievements and associate those achievements with company goals.  The Lab Supervisor can then easily aggregate these achievements into a report. You can also “star” and add notes to individual achievements that you want to recognize.
HiveMind also supports more informal reporting through blogging, which gives everyone the ability to share new discoveries.  It’s a great tool for capturing conference notes and sharing the lessons learned through conference sessions.
Lastly, HiveMind lets you bookmark interesting sites and share the bookmarks.  You can even monitor bookmarked sites for changes.  For example, if you are monitoring a competitor’s web site for changes to their pipeline, you can bookmark the site and periodically crawl it for updates.

To learn more about HiveMind, click here.


About Mark Fortner

I write software for scientists doing drug discovery and cancer research. I'm interested in Design Thinking, Agile Software Development, Web Components, Java, Javascript, Groovy, Grails, MongoDB, Firebase, microservices, the Semantic Web Drug Discovery and Cancer Biology.
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