Presentation: “Open Notebook Science: Research in Real-Time” – Outline

I changed the name of my talk on Tuesday from “Open Notebook Science” to “Open Notebook Science: Research in Real-Time.” I figured most students wouldn’t know or care about open notebook science on it’s own, so I added the extra bit to highlight the one aspect of ons that makes people say “That’s so cool!” when I talk about it. I still have a ton of work to do for this talk, but here I’m going to write up an outline and then tomorrow I’ll throw together some slides.

I’m still debating on how to present. I’m a huge fan of mindmeister for presentations, and it could be high impact on the audience, but I’m worried about internet access and website loading times. I can’t believe that is something I have to worry about nowadays. Regardless, I think I’m going to have to stick with PowerPoint, well I’ll be using LibreOffice which is open sourced software and I think is an extension of OpenOffice.

Anyways here is my outline:

  1. Basics of ONS
    1. values of ons
      1. research in real time
      2. instant collaboration
      3. access to scientific information from project intialization to completion
        1. project ideas/planning
        2. protocols/methods
        3. data (raw and formatted)
        4. conclusions
      4. alternative publishing
  2. Tools for ONS
    1. host
      1. wiki
      2. cms
        1. wordpress
        2. drupal
        3. joomla
        4. blogging platforms
      3. google docs
      4. if you can add multiple content formats, it can be a notebook
    2. supporting software
      1. youtube/vimeo/bencfly
      2. flickr/picasa/etc
      3. figshare
      4. disqus/commenting system
      5. phone apps
      6. anything in the cloud that can be embedded!
  3. ONS Community – Physics 308L Junior Lab
    1. students allowed to choose notebook system of their choice
      1. github wiki
      2. google docs
      3. custom wordpress site via IheartAnthony
    2. rules
      1. must notebook everything
        1. be clear, detailed, and organized
      2. must communicate weekly
        1. read everyone’s notebooks
        2. comment in other notebooks what you like/how to improve notebook or technique
      3. allowed to “cheat”
        1. students in wednesday lab could read the monday labs and use their notes/software/methods etc
        2. allowed to surf internet for better tools, software, etc.

I would like to focus more on the benefits of ONS and the success of the lab than I would on building an open notebook. One of the reasons is because building and maintaining an open notebook is a much longer discussion and I would rather it be a discussion than talking at people. For that reason I may give a workshop this summer for students interested in keeping an open notebook.

The other reason is because my goals for this short talk (15 min or less) is that:

  • I want to raise awareness of open notebook science (as many students are unfamiliar with it, even in principle)
  • I want to show the benefits of ons over traditional note taking and over traditional publication
  • and I want to show how a collaborative community would behave, and this is what the lab simulates.

I think I want to start the talk by projecting a hypothetical future. In this future, peer review  publications are either non-existent as we currently know it, or they are reserved for organizing information scattered across notebooks. I will talk about a future where scientists get information directly from other labs, instead of peer review articles. Research is updated in real-time and scientists have full access to step-by-step protocols, raw data, software and code, thoughts, notes, ideas, and anything that may come up during the scientific process.

That future is beginning now and it’s starting with open notebook science.

How does that sound?

Tomorrow I’ll post what I imagine I’m going to say and my first (and possibly last) draft of the talk that I’ll be giving.