Category Archives: Scio12

Planning For #Scio12: Open Notebook Science Discussion

This is the week of the greatest conference in the world: Science Online 2012! I’ve never been but I’ve heard amazing things about it and I can’t wait to go, hence my personal declaration. Not only will I be going, but I’m also co-hosting the Open Notebook Science session with Jean-Claude Bradley. The session is on Thursday at 1:30pm.

Since this is my first time attending Scio12 (as it is lovingly referred to on twitter) and unconferences in general (are there other unconferences?) I have a lot to adjust to. Another issue is that my session is on the first day so I will only be able to get a feel of the conference very briefly before I’m up.

But I’m not worried. From what I’ve been told I’m just supposed to lead a discussion. And I’m excellent at doing that. I really don’t enjoy the sound of my voice for an hour and I much prefer to engage my audience. In this format the audience isn’t really an audience, but rather a collection of peers who have valuable information to share.

And share we will!

So for the next three days I am going to be planning what I would like to share with the audience and what I hope to learn from those in the session. I’ll make a mindmap that will be live updated and from time to time I’ll ask some pre-questions to try and build some steam for the session.

Currently here is the session plan:

We will discuss the semantic representation of Open Lab Notebooks and automated discovery by social mapping of ONS content. An example of merging ONS datasets with “Dark Open Science Contributors” – companies and government agencies that will donate large amounts of data to the public domain – if they are asked – will be presented. (e.g.Alfa Aesar and EPA donate Open Melting Point data ). We will also discuss the variety of electronic platforms for ONS and how to apply them in undergraduate science lab courses.

This plan was made with JC Bradley and Steve Koch, but Koch won’t be able to attend and I’m filling in.

Personally I’d like to discuss how to make ONS both viable for most scientists, and how to engage scientists to participate in ONS. Let’s face it, most people read and contribute to blogs daily. But open notebooks in my experience receive very little attention. I’ve had posts record hundreds of hits, but those same posts have 1 or 2 comments.

How do we get others to engage in the conversation? How do we get others to start their own notebooks? How do we prove that ONS isn’t just some fad, but is required for long-term scientific health?

And how do I get people going to Scio12 to comment on this post to start the conversation for the session before we even step foot in the room?