Open Notebook Science

My experience with open notebook science has without a doubt been a very enlightening one. I’ll admit that when the approach was first described last semester during my first Junior Physics Lab with Dr. Koch, I experienced a certain amount of trepidation. For so long I had been indoctrined in the traditional manner of performing laboratory science and like others I was not very enthusiastic about making a change. The aspect I was most wary of was the fact that my fellow classmates would have instantaneous access to all information in the notebook and that especially all my mistakes would be there for everyone to see.

After two semesters of using ONS i feel much different towards it than I did in the beginning. I no longer feel awkward having my mistakes in full view of others, because I know their’s are there as well, and by having access to each other’s successes and failures we can better learn and perfect the techniques used in our labs. One of my favorite aspects of ONS is the use of technology to better archive all aspects of our procedures, both written and media based. I’ve actually looked to see how to use this in all aspects of my life. I am now an avid fan and user of both google docs and evernote. It may be a long road but if scientists as a whole were to adopt the ONS format they and scientific advancement would benefit.