Articles by Julius

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by [Julius B. Lucks](

The SC has been talking about how OWW can be used as a repository for Supplementary Material – click [here]( for a recent experiment on how this might work.

by [Julius B. Lucks](

![Oww Badges](

_OpenWetWare publication badges are a way to notify the community that an OWW page has appeared in a journal or at a conference. Pages that have these badges are in a state suitable for publication, and can also be actively maintained with minor changes._

Did you ever wonder if your favorite OWW page has appeared somewhere else, say in a journal or at a conference? Or did you ever wonder if the OWW page you are looking at is finished, or if it is still being actively edited? I certainly have, which is why I have been playing around with OWW publication badges lately.

Recently I wrote a paper on OWW entitled [Python - All A Scientist Needs]( When the paper was done, I decided to submit it to the [arXiv]( I wanted to notify the community that the article was in a final form, and to create a cite-able version that was in an easy-to-read and downloadable PDF format. In other words, I wanted to turn my OWW article into something similar to a journal article. The reason why I chose the arXiv was that it provided me with the facilities that I wanted (arXiv ID for citation, PDF downloads, an established community of readers, free), without all the hassles of a traditional journal, none of which would have taken this article in the first place.

So now I have an OWW paper, and an arXiv paper, but how do I let the community know that they are linked? Here is where the OWW publication badges come in. I simply inserted a line into my OWW article that looks like

{{publishbox_arxiv | your_arxiv_id | list_of_author_names}}

and voila!, a link is created on the page to my original arXiv post (see above image of the publication box). If you visit the [arXiv page for the article](, you will notice in the comments section below the abstract that this article is ‘Regularly maintained at this http URL’ (where the ‘http URL’ is a link to the OWW page.) That is put there to let everyone finding the article on the arXiv know that if they want to see the latest version, they should check out the original OWW article.

But why stop at articles, why not include conference presentations as well? The beauty of these badges is that they are completely extensible. I’ve already created a badge for letting everyone know that you have presented this work, and to use it, just put this at the top of your page

{{presentationbox| link_to_the_conference | link_to_the_slides }}

Publication badges are easy to use, and a great way to let people know that all that hard work of yours is being appreciated through publications and presentations.

Got any more ideas about how to use publication badges, leave a comment, or go out and use them!

How many people do you know personally that use OpenWetWare? Unless you routinely go around asking people whether or not they are an OWW member, you probably don’t have a good idea. That’s mainly because there are no good tools on OWW that allow you to see where everyone is located, what lab they are in, and if they are in your area – yet.

The steering committee has been discussing several ideas along these lines including:

* A Google Maps Mashup showing the physical location/institution of OWW members
* Institution/Location pages containing a list of members in that area
* Location-specific mailing lists like the San Francisco Bay Area, Boston or London
* Local face-to-face meet-up groups

Each of these ideas would be useful in its own way, and I’m sure there are many more ideas that we have not thought of.

What we want to know from YOU is if you would find any of these useful, or do you have any better ideas? Please share your ideas with us by leaving comments on this blog post, or using the [OWW feedback page]( Thanks for your feedback!


How do you like OpenWetWare? What do you not like about it? What can be improved? Finally you can give us your feedback on these important questions with the [OpenWetWare feedback system](!

You may have have noticed that the there is a new friend in the navigation bar on the left side of every OWW page called __Feedback__. When you click on this link, it will take you to a form where you can give us feedback on any aspect of OpenWetWare. Some important questions the steering committee has for you are:

* What do you like about OpenWetWare? What is working for you?
* What do you not like about OpenWetWare? Are there ideas that you have that you think would improve our system? For example, do you like the chat feature? Do you find adequate help documentation on the site?
* Do you like the OWW wiki, or would you prefer some other collaboration tool?
* Do you read the OWW blogs?

Those are just a few examples of the things the steering committee would like you to help us with by giving us your feedback. Feel free to write us something even if just to say that we are doing a fine job!

To make the best decisions about where to take OWW into the future, the steering committee needs to hear from you. If you haven’t already done so, please take the OpenWetWare user survey by clicking [here](

As always, you can join the OWW [steering committee]( and/or join the steering committee’s [monthly conference call]( to help us better the OWW community.

The Steering Committee has been spending a lot of time these days brainstorming how to create a sense of community amongst OpenWetWare users. With over 3500 users and growing, we are worried that OWW could turn into a web-hosting service where people host their lab home pages, and don’t really communicate with one another. There are lots of things we could be doing better to bring users together, but the first step requires your help – we need to put faces to all those 3500+ names.

## Putting Faces to Names ##

How can you get to know someone if all you know is their name? The first step is for everyone to fill in a little bit about themselves in their user pages. Everyone gets a user page with their OWW account, and it is located at

(You can check out [mine]( for an example.) The User page is just like any other page on OWW – you can edit it by clicking on the ‘edit’ tab on the top of the page, and type in something about yourself. You can put up a picture of yourself, tell us where you are located, what you are working on, and what you are interested in in the same way. Just a few lines about yourself will make other users feel like there are people behind those user names, and we hope it will spark more discussions. Your user page is also a great place to try out editing the wiki, and if you are a new user, we have even created a mini-tutorial that is part of your user page – visit it and try it out.

Of course, filling in your user page is just the first step, and we have to hold our end of the bargain by coming up with better ideas to foster the OWW community. However, we can’t do much until people feel more at ease communicating with one another – so fill in your page!

As always, please leave a comment with any suggestions you might have, or if you are really interested, [join the Steering Committee](

By Julius

The steering committee is always thinking of great ideas to help shape OpenWetWare. This includes thinking of new ways to grow and connect the OWW community, new technologies to use and develop to foster the community, and better ways to maintain and support what we already have. In fact, the OpenWetWare blogs came out of this process!

The problem is that we often have too many good ideas and not enough time. It’s also not clear that our ideas are always good. To that end, probably the best idea that we have had is to stop debating with ourselves and ask the community.

This is where you come in. You can help us immensley by taking just a few minutes to fill out the OpenWetWare user survey. Just click the survey link, and fill out the online form. The survey is completely anonymous, and asks questions about how you are finding your OWW experience. We’ll then compile all the data, let you know about it, and use it to drive our future SC meetings.

Once again, you can fiil out the survey by clicking here. And if you really get interested in shaping OWW, take a look at the SC wiki page, and please join the SC monthly conference call!