Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Open Notebook Science Claims and Logos

I have recently posted about definitions relating to Open Notebook Science. When I discuss ONS without qualification I generally refer to providing access to the entire lab notebook and associated supporting raw data in near real-time. As I explained in that post, only when these two criteria are met do you get the full benefit that anyone (human or not) can see what you have and have not done and can realistically contribute the next step in a project without having to contact the researcher (human or not) for more information.

I have also conceded that this is not necessarily an option for everyone interested in performing research more openly. Others (Dave Bacon for example) have suggested that more restrictive forms of ONS could be useful, especially when intellectual property protection is involved. Dave called this Pseudo-ONS and I have suggested Partial-ONS: both abbreviate to PONS.

This has been a tricky distinction to make quickly and the idea of logos for ONS has been kicked around. When Hope Leman asked me for an ONS logo I thought I would ask Andy Lang to create something and deal with this issue at the same time.

Inspired by the Creative Commons system, we set up an ONS claims page to link from the logos to descriptions. The options are AC (All Content) vs SC (Selected Content) and I (Immediate) vs D (Delayed).

Let us know what you think.




Labels:

8 Comments:

At 10:30 PM, Anonymous Rich Apodaca said...

Jean-Claude,

Interesting idea. I'm curious - what problem do these classifications and logos solve?

With Creative Commons licenses, my understanding is that they solve the problem of quickly communicating to a potential copier of the material the terms under which it can be copied.

What scenario do you envision with ONS that would make it useful to quickly determine which flavor of ONS a scientist is working under?

 
At 4:48 AM, Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley said...

Rich,
The most important problem is the assumption of what has or has not been done. If you claim to have an Open Notebook without qualification, the way that I have defined and systematically used the term in talks and documentation, you would have to assume that if it isn't in the notebook you haven't done it.

So if I wanted to contribute to your project I would look at all the experiments you tried and learn from your failures and successes and invest my resources to do the next logical experiment. If I found out later that you already did those experiments but didn't publish them immediately in your open notebook as you did them I would feel like I just wasted my time.

However if you claim to do PONS, where you are only sharing parts of your notebook and/or with a significant delay, I wouldn't invest resources in contributing to your project until we had a long discussion about exactly what you have or have not done.

The best example is probably the ONS solubility challenge. If you want to make a contribution, the first thing you would do is look at all the measurements done - and the techniques used - to decide on what to measure next and how. It would be annoying to start measuring a solute in a given solvent only to find out that it has already been measured 6 times using different methods - all with consistent results.

Full ONS facilitates rapid intimate collaboration between strangers in a way that PONS cannot. As long as everyone knows what the assumptions are no confusion will arise.

 
At 1:20 AM, Blogger Beth Ritter-Guth said...

I like all of the logos :-)

 
At 8:03 AM, Anonymous Hope Leman said...

Hi, all. This is a fascinating, important discussion and extremely useful for those of new to the concepts of Open Science in general and Open Notebook Science in particular.

I found these comments of Jean-Claude’s especially edifying (the wording “human or not” was an important one for use newbies):

“When I discuss ONS without qualification I generally refer to providing access to the entire lab notebook and associated supporting raw data in near real-time. As I explained in that post, only when these two criteria are met do you get the full benefit that anyone (human or not) can see what you have and have not done and can realistically contribute the next step in a project without having to contact the researcher (human or not) for more information.”

And I was grateful for Rich’s question, “What scenario do you envision with ONS that would make it useful to quickly determine which flavor of ONS a scientist is working under?” and Jean-Claude’s answer, “…if you claim to do PONS, where you are only sharing parts of your notebook and/or with a significant delay, I wouldn't invest resources in contributing to your project until we had a long discussion about exactly what you have or have not done.”

Thank you both for an illuminating discussion.

 
At 8:15 AM, Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley said...

Thanks for continuing the discussion Hope. Yes one of the reasons for my passion about full ONS is that I think it is an ideal (and perhaps necessary) set of customs for enabling rapid machine-to-machine advancement of knowledge. This is the direction we're heading in.

 
At 8:33 AM, Anonymous Hope Leman said...

Hi, Jean-Claude. Fascinating that the basic sciences are leveraging the principles of the older, longstanding technologies I am learning about in library school, such as MARC (machine-readable cataloging record).

Do you see what Tim Berners-Lee is trying to with the Semantic Web with his quite heavy emphasis on the development of standards via organizations of his choosing as helpful or as progress-hindering power grabs for top-heavy bureaucracies?

 
At 7:40 PM, Blogger 123456 said...

Hi, This is a good idea. I'm going to make use of the "selected content, delayed" logo to post a bunch of my intermediate datasets, and add a link to the open notebook science page on Wikipedia, as a partial answer to the question "why are you doing this?"

Cheers,

- Edwin Kite
eps.berkeley.edu/~kite

 
At 2:53 PM, Blogger Jean-Claude Bradley said...

That's great Edwin!

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 2.5 License