Maintaining Solubility Data Provenance from Wikipedia to Lab Notebook
I recently noticed a bunch of incoming clicks from the Wikipedia entry for benzoic acid to our Open Notebook Science solubility challenge wiki on the ONSC sitemeter.
It turns out that Andrew Lang added a link from the Properties section covering the solubility of benzoic acid in a few organic solvents.
Instead of pointing directly to the individual notebook pages for each measurement, clicking on the reference takes us to a page summarizing all of the solubility measurements of benzoic acid in various solvents. The values are averaged and a standard deviation is provided.
Clicking on one of these links takes us to a summary page of each measurement for one of the solvents.
Clicking a link from that collection takes us to the laboratory notebook page (for example EXP005) on the wiki and ultimately to a Google Spreadsheet (for example) with all of the calculations for that measurement.
The beautiful thing is that the original url can't be any easier to create:
And this same link will always link to the best possible values as more measurements are made and erroneous values are removed if found. With Andy's current code, if measurements at different temperatures are made, a plot is provided.
Now we're getting into some interesting territory. It is now so simple to refer to the solubility data of the ONS challenge that people who don't know the first thing about wikis, blogs or coding can start to partcipate in the use of ONS measurements.
The Open Notebook can be thought of like insurance. We don't want to have to use it - but if there is a problem we have to ability to trace the chain of provenance all the way to the source.
By the way notice that this is the only link in the Properties section of this Wikipedia article with a reference...