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Followup on ‘open methods’

19 August 2007 No Comment

I wanted to followup on the post I wrote a few days ago where I quoted a post from Black Knight on the concept of making methodology open. The point I wanted to make was the scientists in general might be even more protective of their methodology than they are of their data. However I realised afterwards that I may have given the impression that I thought BK was being less open than he ‘should’, which was not my intention. Anyway, yesterday I spent several few hours reading through his old posts (thoroughly enjoyable and definitely worth the effort) and discovered quite a few posts where he makes detailed and helpful methodological suggestions.

For example here is a post on good methods for recovery of DNA from gels as well as a rapid response to a methodological query. Here is another valuable hint on getting the best from PCR (though I would add this is more true for analytical PCR than if you just want to make as much DNA as possible). Nor is the helpful information limited just to lab methodology. Here is some excellent advice on how to give a good seminar. So here is a good example of providing just the sort of information I was writing about and indeed of open notebook science in action. I’d be interested to know how many people in the School now use the recipes suggested here.

p.s. his post Word of the week – 38

deuteragonist , n.

In a structural laboratory, one who labels his samples with 2H.

e.g. “Jill says that to be successful at small angle neutron scattering you have to be a good deuteragonist.”

c.f. protagonist

nearly got my computer completely covered in tea. And there is much more where that came from. They are probably more funny if you are an ex-pat Australian working in the UK but hey, that’s life.

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