Anita de Waard
VP Research Data Services
Anita de Waard has a degree in experimental low-temperature physics from Leiden university, and worked at the Kapitza Institute in Moscow, before joining Elsevier as a physics publisher in 1988, in which time she started the journal ‘Computational Materials Science’ and the Handbook of Biological Physics series.
Since 1997 she has worked on bridging the gap between science publishing and computational and information technologies, collaborating with different academic groups in Europe and the US. She developed the conceptual framework for XPharm, an XML-based major reference work in Pharmacology; pioneered work on the Rat Brain Atlas and a semantic model for articles in cell biology, and helped lay the foundation for what became the GeoFacets project. From 1999– 2006 she started and chaired the Reed Elsevier Data Standards group. In 2006 and 2009, she was awarded the Reed-Elsevier award for Excellence in Innovation.
Anita has been collaborating with academic groups throughout her career; from the application of Semantic Web technologies to scientific communication in the DOPE project in 2003, and the development of an Entity Identification database in the EU-funded OKKAM project in 2010. She developed and led the Elsevier Grand Challenge for Life Sciences and the ISMB 2010 Killer App Award, which both rewarded researchers for ideas pertaining to novel forms of science publishing.
Other projects include co-chairing the W3C HCLS group on Scientific Discourse Structure, and co-organising a series of workshops with the goal of enunciating the key possibilities and main impediments to change scientific communications, including ‘Beyond the PDF’ and ‘FORCE11: The Future of Research Communications and E-Science’ Dagstuhl Perspectives Seminar, both in 2011.
From January 2006 onwards, de Waard has been working part-time as a researcher at the University of Utrecht, funded by a Casimir project grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. Her research focuses on discourse analysis of biological text, with an emphasis on finding key rhetorical components, offering possible applications in the fields of hypothesis detection and automated copy editing tools. As such, she has organized and chaired two workshops on Detecting Structures in Scholarly Discourse within the aegis of the Association of Computational Linguistics.
For her new remit within the Research Data Services group, Anita is interested in developing cross-disciplinary frameworks for sharing research data and making experimental collections available to scientists.