Articles by OWW Admin

With 13 years’ experience working in the Web (that’s 91 in human years), Jeff is a web designer & developer who applies a wide range of technical and creative expertise to enhance his clients’ web presence.

Today, April 17, from 12noon to 1pm, the OWW steering committee will be online at to chat with the community about the latest goings on at OWW. Anyone is welcome, so please join us.

To join, click the above link and log in using your OWW user name and password. When the chat window opens, click on “conferences” at the bottom of the page. At the next window, double-click on “Lounge” to enter the chat session.

Inanimate Carbon Rod

OWW is pleased to announce a new addition to our system: ROD:Research on Demand. ROD enables the creation of research results that meet the demands of your publication and graduation schedules. By design, ROD is never 100% correct, and includes errors as subtle or as blatant as you would find in actual research results. With ROD you get the time, AND the reasons, to complete your work.

The variability of results from scientific experiments has traditionally been a major inhibitor of research progress and matriculation. Complex protocols, expensive materials, exotic equipment, trained staff, and meticulous attention to detail are typically needed to obtain quality results required for publications, clients, and various intellectual property (IP) protection agencies. Having access to all of these components at the right time and, getting desired outcomes, can be challenging at the best of times. When deadlines loom, getting consistent results may be impossible.

With OWW’s ROD, “good enough to stay in the game” results needed to address complex external dependencies are algorithmically constructed for you. In fact, ROD delivers flawed data so well, in some cases, you may never even need to finish your experiment. Should you choose to, ROD gives you extra leeway to create delays that even your toughest PI’s will agree to. Think of ROD as the “dog ate my homework” for scientists.

How Does ROD Work?

OWW’s ROD system seamlessly merges the vast array of publicly-available published information with software technology from some of the world’s most prestigious labs to produce a realistic, but subtly flawed, mash-up of any data set you need.

Example Techniques Supported

Here is a partial list of the techniques that can be included in your ROD results:X-Ray Crystallography: Resolution just low enough to produce inconclusive but “interesting” results 100% of the time.

PCR: Samples that appear to show the specific sequences required but are artfully flawed with substrates that, upon secondary analysis, will always come up negative.

Microscopy: High quality JPEG images that, on a second viewing, revert to the family travel photos you submit to us. Pet photos or opening frames from YouTube videos may also be substituted.

Using ROD, OWW guarantees you will have negative results for any findings you submit. We give you publication-quality assets that are be remarkably realistic but, under further scrutiny, will never pass peer review. However, the time you gain by using ROD assets will give you that decisive edge in pulling together the actual data.

What Users Are Saying About ROD

Here’s testimony from some of our beta testers:“If my thesis committee didn’t get off my case, I never would have finished my degree. ROD gave me the time to do it right. OK. Maybe not ‘right’, but at least, ‘better’. My committee was convinced what I had submitted was worth reviewing. When they saw the negative results but understood the plausible reason for it failing, my senior advisor actually took me out to dinner. Thanks OWW!”

“ROD got me my first-choice post-doc. The data set I submitted looked great. I got lucky; the data was never reviewed but if it were, they would have noted that the reason it was wrong was not my hypothesis but that it was the data for another experiment cited in one of my papers. The “honest mistake” angle made me feel confident that if anyone digs into my past, it can’t be used against me. This is great. I love Open Science!”

“The FDA bought every line of the report ROD submitted for me. Our review was so well accepted that the entire lab is using it for all of our new clinical trial applications.”

“I never thought I’d get out of my lab position. Thanks to ROD, I’m now managing a major facility. I don’t even need to redo my experiments. The quality of ROD info is THAT high. My start-up page is OpeWetWare now! Thanks, ROD!”


The system is still beta. ROD will be available for general use at some point in the near future….

If you happen to be a user of OpenWetWare (registered or not) and also own another website or blog, why not spread the word by adding one of these cool OWW banners and buttons to your site?

Join OWWIt’s easy. Go to the Support OWW page and copy the HTML code that appears below the banner of your choice. Then paste it in the HTML of your website or the sidebar template page of your blog.

If you need help setting up your banner, contact us. We’ll do our best to help you.

Lorrie LeJeune writes: All of us who work online or with computers live in fear of The Big Crash. Sure, we make backup plans, and sometime the backups themselves, but we still wonder what will happen when the system goes down. Ironically, experiencing a major failure is often the event that drives us to build a stronger, more failsafe system. This is the case at OpenWetWare.

Two weeks ago OpenWetWare experienced a database crash. Yes, we did have backups, but in rebuilding the system we realized that these backups weren’t as robust as we wanted them to be. Over the last two weeks we’ve designed a new, multi-tiered backup procedure. In addition to our standard nightly backups, all data and images are now incrementally captured every five minutes and stored in several locations. These new processes will allow us to very quickly recover from even the most serious system crash, and will make OpenWetWare more durable than it’s ever been before.

Lorrie LeJeune writes: Here’s a great example of the collaborative nature of OpenWetWare at work. Last week community member Torsten Waldminghaus discovered that many useful bioinformatics protocols from wikiomics are archived on OpenWetWare. He sorted through them and added a series of links to the “In Silico” list on the protocol overview page. Thanks, Torsten.

This is true for all users: If you see a way to better organize something on OWW, don’t hesitate to step up. Send a message to discuss at openwetware dot org and we’ll help you get started.

Hello everyone. I’m Lorrie LeJeune, and two weeks ago I came on board as managing director of OpenWetWare. I’ve spent most of that time learning about its history, culture, and goals, and I think we’re moving in some exciting directions. Over the next few months we’ll be working to more fully realize OWW’s three-part mission of lowering technical barriers to information sharing in the sciences,  building a community of researchers who value open information sharing, and integrating OWW into the existing publishing and rewards model for science.

One example of how we’re working to lower the technical barriers is our new wiki-based lab notebook tool. The OWW Lab Notebook has all the functionality of a paper notebook and more. In particular, your OWW lab notebook is searchable and can display your work both by entry date or by project. We’re still shaking out the bugs, but Lab Notebook is currently available to all users. Look for the link in at the top right corner of your window after you log into your OWW account.

We’re also exploring both online and real-world ways of building the OWW community. This includes organizing a series of real-world meet-up sessions, and materials to help communicate the values of open science. If you’re interested in attending or hosting a local open science meet-up session, or talking about OWW at a conference, drop a note to me at

Finally, we’re looking at ways of integrating OpenWetWare into the existing publishing models for science. We want to be able to cite work that’s posted on OWW, and eventually we want to explore models for publishing original content. We’re also looking at how to post content like  protocols and supplementary materials that often falls between the cracks of traditional academic publishing.

If you have any ideas to help us carry out our mission more effectively, please follow the feedback link in the navigation bar on the OWW main page, or contact me directly at Information sharing in the sciences has come a long way since I worked at the bench and I’m looking forward seeing where the OpenWetWare community can take it.

by Jason

Welcome to the OpenWetWare steering committee(SC) blog. In case you have no idea who we are… the SC is the volunteer leadership that keeps OWW running (& improving!). We have a monthly conference call to brainstorm improvements to the site and to get updates on the many community-driven initiatives growing on OWW.

We can always use more help/ideas, and all OWW members are encouraged to join the SC or to simply call in to a meeting and listen in. Recordings of previous meetings (and notes) can be found on the SC homepage. We’ll be using this blog as another channel to keep the community updated on new initiatives, technical features, and anything else of interest to the OWW community. so stay tuned!