Why do you put your lab notebook and data online?

Posted in News, Outreach

The usual follow up to that question, is “what if someone scoops your research?“. I will not disagree this is a possibility. Others are concerned with intellectual property and I respect persons have their reasons, ambitions, and agreements with other parties. Rather than speaking to public perceptions I just want to respond to the initial question. The focus of our research program is environmental physiology with a reliance of genomic techniques. All students (graduate and undergraduates) maintain lab notebooks at genefish.wikispaces.com. Some use the wiki and a few people also use Evernote. As a PI, these notebooks allow me to easily monitor research progress. Our research group can easily keep up with each others research and providing assistance at the bench is simple. Another reason is that most of research is federally funded, therefore it seems sharing as much we can in real-time is appropriate.

Probably one of the biggest reasons is that by sharing our science we hope to contribute to a culture. In genomics, we have so much more data than we need. By sharing the data I hope others can use the information and focus more an making new discoveries (that they share).