Notes about Open Notebook Science

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In Is Open Notebook Science the Way of the Future?, Inna Tysoe provides a brief description of Open Notebook Science and discusses how well it works:

... Open Notebook Science (or ONS) is the complete publishing of lab notebooks on the Internet. And by complete I mean putting out experimental data (including data from failed experiments) on the Internet in almost real time. The idea, of course is that by putting it all out there, the scientific community will be able to generate more ideas, faster...


So is it working? Yes and no. Some scientists point out that if "your field is 'hot' enough, you can be sure someone will use those ideas to their own benefit, very likely at your expense" but that, on the other hand, the Open Notebook can be quite useful for publicizing yourself and asking general questions about method. Others think that people are too busy with their own work to publish someone else's. And still others think ONS has incredible potential to at least alert supervisors to easily preventable mistakes. And some are even hopeful that funding agencies will take a greater interest in the Open Notebook.

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Many thanks for the shout out.

I certainly think we're in a transition phase in terms of open access across the whole scientific process from hypotheses to experimental data to publication and back. The 2000s saw the beginning, it is likely the 2010s will see the resolution of many of the issues.

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