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).