From ONS to Peer Review: our JoVE Article is Published
Our article "Optimization of the Ugi Reaction Using Parallel Synthesis and Automated Liquid Handling" is now published on the Journal of Visualized Experiments (JoVE). I am very pleased with this because it showcases some interesting approaches to communicate science that were not possible not so long ago.
First, and foremost, this demonstrates that lab notebook pages and blog posts can be used to support claims made in a peer reviewed article. In a way this isn't drastically new since it has been possible for a while now to cite web pages in the peer reviewed literature. The key question is whether the reference is appropriate, regardless of its format. When providing a reference for a melting point or spectrum, nothing is more relevant that the lab notebook page where the specific batch of product was obtained and characterized.
Second, we have demonstrated that it is possible carry out research under Open Notebook Science conditions, write an article openly on a wiki, post it on a pre-print server (like Nature Precedings) and finally publish it in an peer reviewed journal. No, this won't work with every publisher. But if communicating science openly (beyond the confines of the regular Open Access model) is important to you, there are options out there that don't take anything away from the traditional system of academic validation.
Third, this is a good example of the use of video to enhance the communication of a protocol for a chemical reaction. But this is not a shortcut by any means. The process of writing a script and preparing for the shoot was very time-consuming because we were describing a whole workflow. When using video as raw data to record details of a specific experiment, it can actually save time that would otherwise be required to describe using text.
Finally, JoVE is an example of an Open Access journal with some Web2.0 capabilities, like the ability to leave comments and label them as agreeing or disagreeing with the authors. The final article can now also serve as a location for continuing the scientific conversation.