I take exception!

In the course of promoting next year’s Science Blogging Conference, Coturnix writes:

Jean-Claude Bradley is the pioneer in the use of blogs in science in the way that too many of us are still too scared to do – posting on a daily basis the ideas, methods and data from the lab.

Not all of us are scared. I have colleagues with legitimate claims on all of the work I am doing at the moment, and none of them are willing to go to open-notebook. I anticipate even having trouble with my refusal to deal with Elsevier and my intention to publish only in open-access journals.
I’ve been in this lab a year, so everything I’m doing is directly based on someone else’s data and ideas — that is, to such an extent that I do not feel I can insist on an open notebook. Recently, though, I applied for funding to start an entirely new project. This will not mean that I can suddenly ignore my colleagues’ wishes, but it will put me in a stronger position to say, “well, this is my project, and I want to do it this way”.
I think of it as just another experiment. If I’m right, open science is a better way to work, and the benefits of choosing a better model will become apparent to my colleagues, and so open science will spread from early adopters like Jean-Claude (and, soon, I hope, me). If I’m wrong, I’ll fail — but I’ll fail on my own terms, and I can live with that.

3 thoughts on “I take exception!

  1. I’m hoping that an open notebook will attract like-minded collaborators to replace the scaredy-cats.
    And I don’t know if I can get to SBC, but I really really really want to.

  2. Indeed finding collaborators who agree to working under Open Notebook conditions is challenging. It would be difficult to try to convert an existing Closed collaboration. However, if you approach potential collaborators with your work already open it is much easier. There are also different levels of collaboration. I have asked people I contacted for specific information if they mind that I publish their email responses and that has worked pretty well. For example:
    http://usefulchem.blogspot.com/2006/01/chris-hulme-on-ugi-synthesis.html

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