OpenWetWare:Steering committee/Meeting - September 2007

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Audio from meeting.

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.


  • Traffic (pageviews and session) is following the previously increasing trend that can be seen since beginning of 2006 (~600k sessions/month in August).
  • The number of edits/month is pretty much the same for each month in 2007 as in 2006 (so far at least), and the same situation is true for the number of new articles produced.
  • Summary: Upward trend in traffic over 2007, but stable trend in edits and number of new articles.


  • First community blogger is active at
    • Blogs also have a nice homepage now: (thanks to jenny). Feel free to make it better / provide comments on talk page here.
    • We're going to be offering the blogs widely and publicizing the existence of the SC blog.
  • Nature is considering doing a wiki-review and want advice / suggestions for how we could collaborate. (it needs to be hosted on, but they could allow OWW logins, for instance). Thoughts / suggestions?
    • Reshma suggested that reviews for wikis should be written differently to make them more accessible to contributors - more modular, more neutral point of view. It is likely also important to have a particular person in charge of curating the reviewing and seeding structure and content. Otherwise, I am not sure it will get going.
    • Julius asked that we push back on nature a bit about whether we could have links back to OWW-reviews, and that sort of thing. (e.g. how best to work together on this). If you have more thoughts email jason.
  • Also, will ask Cumbers if he wants to look into talking with other publishers (maybe one focused on reviews) as to whether they'd like to work together on this.


News and highlights

  • Maloof Lab (UCD) highlight posted 8/27
  • Possible 20.109 class highlight coming...
  • suggestions/nominations, as always, welcome
    • BioNumbers - though I don't know if they plan to make the info freely available? It's in a google doc at the moment and only they can edit it...
    • Blogs? (depends if we are ready to offer them widely).



  • Reshma 11:58, 6 September 2007 (EDT): TK just requested hooks into the sequence databases via accession number (like Biblio does for Pubmed citations).
  • Bill described backend work that he has been doing this month to set up a development server and to prepare us to move to faster servers on rackspace next week. He's also worked on re-vamping the new-user management system. Next month will likely be more community-side projects, so he'll be contacting folks who have expressed interests in the features he works on as well as posting updates to the wiki.
  • We decided to have a pretty liberal policy on new extensions that users ask for: they'll be suggested to Bill and he will post them to the beta server to make sure they work OK and check that they won't be onerous to maintain. If it looks good then it will be uploaded to main site and email will be sent to SC list announcing it -- the software chair will then follow up with it in a few months and if no one is using it we can remove it.


  • Elsevier investigating writing an extension for biblio to include the science direct citation count
    • I think this is a bad idea. It accelerates "celebrity science" in which the worth of an article is determined by how often it is referenced, rather than how good it is. Citation counts are evil. tk 10:59, 5 October 2007 (EDT)
  • IET synthetic biology - plans for the journal
    • IET likes the idea of submissions living on their server and then being wikified for comments. They might be someone to work with down the line when they make more firm plans.



  • We're going to be bringing the wikiomics community into OWW in a BioInformatics section. Sri is going to look into how much work it will be to clear some of the spam out of their site before we merge the content (they didn't have logins, so they have more of a spam problem then we do here).
  • Suggested adding a check box to the new user sign up to let people sign up for mailing lists on the site.