Riverscapes Consortium

Value Proposition for Tool Developers and Researchers

One of the realities of most academic research in the riverscape sciences is investigators are rarely rewarded or funded for doing a better job on development of their ideas. Although we are frequently encouraged to articualte (or speculate) about the significance of our research and ideas and what their impact could be to broader audiences and application, most entities funding research rarely pay for proper deployment. Some researchers will argue that “deployment is not my job” or “my ideas are so good, someone else will take them and deploy them”. Those same researchers frequently complain why their great ideas are not having broader impact.

The primary value proposition for researchers to push further on development and deployment of their ideas should be “it is the right thing to do” especially to achieve F-A-I-Rness principles (Wilkinson et al, 2016). However, for busy researchers and tool developers we will settle for:

  • we are making it easier to do so (less time and effort required)
  • your sponsors and scientific publishers are increasingly asking for F-A-I-R outputs, open-source code and data, etc. and you need to comply
  • your impact will go further and reach broader audiences
  • you can leverage investments many others have already made, to better position your tools and or tool outputs

Moreover, you are not alone and help is available.

Why Bother? Why Go Beyond Research-Grade?

If you’ve gotten to the bottom of this page, you presumably scrolled through or read a bunch of detail trying to encourage investment in making tools Riverscapes-Compliant and hopefully profossional, production or commercialized. The reason is simple. If we believe our science is good enough to inform management, inspire the public to conserve and restore riverscapes, then we need to make the tools that represent that science scalable and accessible. If our science is only relevant to other scientists, then we at least should meet a standard of practice of transparency and reproducability.

Put another way, when we invest in scalability, and adhre to a shared set of common goals, bigger things can happen. One such example is, ironically, how Bezos led Amazon to operate. The video below is a recap of a point Philip Bailey made recently: