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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….

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.

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 lorrie@openwetware.org.

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 lorrie@openwetware.org. 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.

You may be interested in the first ‘OWW action hour’ next week, Thu 14th Feb, noon-1pm EST. Where a bunch of people from the steering committee will be on-line and either completing their actions or chatting with you about what’s going on around the site. It’s the first one, and our attempt at creating a bit more of a real time community that meets more than just once a month by phone. We’ll ‘meet’ in the chat room here.  Maureen is making brownies (is that correct?) so add your name in the comments if you are coming so she can plan accordingly.


John Cumbers blogs: here are the initial requirements that we mentioned, please edit away here: , leave comments on the blog below…

From the Feb 6th publishing teleconference

1) Alternative channel for smaller publication units, e.g protocol publication, videos, wiki pages, not necessarily competing with traditional PDF type journals.

2 )ability to Publish OWW wiki pages

3) ability for community to give and get some type of reward

4) DOI given when community feels it is good enough

Old posting: What would be your top 5 priorities from a new style publishing system?

John Cumbers says:
I was charged with two tasks at the last steering committee meeting, the first was to stoke the fire of the steering committee blog, the second was to fire up the publishing group into action. With the steering committee teleconference this Thursday, I present both to you here for fear of being shamed:

We’ve been thinking about how OWW might shake up the publishing model for a while now, in July 06 there was an OWW retreat held at MIT, we had some great ideas for reddit, digg or slashdot style publishing systems but none were carried through (I take some of that responsibility, my idea was to launch a local version of digg (pligg) but it didn’t fly. Recently these ideas have surfaced again with Julius Lucks suggesting an OWW Arxiv style pre-print server and Drew Endy suggesting a Poww (Proceedings of Open Wetware journal) on the steering committee list serve. Now that OWW has more resources (staff, money..) there are calls to broach the subject once more.

It was suggested that the publishing needs of the synthetic biology community might be a good place to start this discussion as it was a young field, full of converts, and in need of a suitable low cost, fast publishing channel which was not currently being met. From emailing with Jim Haselhoff last year, editor of IET syn bio, I know that he already has plans for a free web based publishing model for foundational research in synthetic biology. It was also previously suggested that could work with publishers to provide incentives for sharing information that isn’t traditional peer-reviewed. On the traditional side, here is what is on offer so far:

Systems and Synthetic Biology published by Springer:

Molecular Systems Biology published by Nature

IET Synthetic Biology published by the IET

Journal of Biological Engineering published by the IBE/BMC

So I’ve probably missed some so please add any in the comments and I’ll edit them in, but there is a start to the discussion on what the community would want from a fast web based publishing channel and how it could be achieved, more importantly how could recognition be gained from this way of publishing.

I propose a discussion via the comments here first, followed by a teleconference for all those interested on Wed this week before the Thu main steering committee teleconference, please sign up if you’re interested, in the meantime: What would be your top 5 priorities from a new style publishing system, I start with mine:

1) Incremental publishing of open science, as it happens
2) commenting system, real names
3) A way to guide me through the information, down with the scroll bar
4) video, screen casts and beautifully laid out information
5) Something like RSS updates, without the feeling of being overloaded

Speak with you Wed/Thu I hope,


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](http://openwetware.org/wiki/Special:Contact). 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](http://openwetware.org/wiki/Special:Contact)!

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](http://oww.wufoo.com/forms/openwetware-user-survey/).

As always, you can join the OWW [steering committee](http://openwetware.org/wiki/OpenWetWare:Steering_committee) and/or join the steering committee’s [monthly conference call](http://openwetware.org/wiki/OpenWetWare:Steering_committee_next_meeting) to help us better the OWW community.

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