OpenWetWare:Steering committee/Meeting - January 2008

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SC Reports

Brief reports on the month's activity should be written by each chair 2 days before the SC meeting. At the meeting each chair will bring up any open issues that require discussion, but won't need to recount everything described below.



  • Article about OWW in Scientific American -- please comment!
  • TOPAZ (technical platform that underlies PLOS One) is being beta-released, if anyone wants to play around with it let me know.
  • Random, but i've been playing around with video lab notebooks

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  • haven't done an oww-all email yet, bill do we have an easy way to let people unsubscribe from the newly created list. (need to have that option at the bottom of the email).


News and highlights

  • A couple of new updates to the main page this month, including a very cool image from MIT 20.109 as a media spotlight and announcement of Lorrie joining us as MD.
  • re: discussions of whether external links from the OWW main page are OK, note the link to the Scientific American open science article as an example of an external link that seems appropriate for "News and Highlights."
  • The UNM PHYC500 course highlight has been up for several months. Please suggest (or go ahead and post) a lab, class, or group to feature in its place.


  • Suggestion from John to add most recent 5 signups to the main page automatically and to have "say hi" links so that people can write notes on their talk pages.
  • Also, need to put the SC blog straight to front page, john has signed on to keep the blog moving -- though everyone should be comfortable posting something there.


  • Julius B. Lucks 10:54, 10 January 2008 (CST): Just got settled in Berkeley - will do something next month.


  • Protocols
    • 75% of our visits come from new users (by IP), since they aren't coming mainly to the main page, we might consider having a bar shown to new visitors only (and only on the common pages, or only on the protocol pages) that explains how to join OWW.



  • POWW
  • Pligg
  • Arxiv (although Julius is MIA) --John Cumbers 21:13, 9 January 2008 (CST)
    • Julius B. Lucks 10:54, 10 January 2008 (CST): I'm back.
    • We discussed ArXiv a fair bit and part of the conclusion was that if we set up a system to turn OWW pages into a form that ArXiv would accept then ArXiv is basically doing the job of providing a DOI (as well as some credibility, though that's less for bio then for physics). barry suggested that this something OWW wants to be providing as we start to address more "publishing" issues so might not be worth the cycles setting up something with ArXiv.
    • Will discuss this (and other topics, like POWW) more at a Publishing sub-committee meeting in the next 2 weeks set up by Julius and John.


  • Lorrie officially hired! She'll be starting full-time at the end of Jan.



  • John was wondering how to get ppl that sign up to be more active members of the community, rather than simply creating lab webpages. Do we need to have better practices in place before we went on an outreach blitz, for instance.
    • Lorrie recommended getting ppl to particpate organically via gentle solicitation (e.g. tools like lab notebook).
  • Julius: better ways to communicate w/ entire community would be helpful


  • Fair bit of discussion about how we could use protocols as a cornerstone for a lot of interesting community building/publishing stuff. For instance, by creating a 'myProtocols' page for each user so they can better organize themselves, while at the same time showing how many OWW users have "signed up for" a particular protocol might be a big help.
    • Would encourage contributing protocols in common spaces as well as help people find top notch protocols.