OpenWetWare:Community/Project brainstorming

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  • this page is inspired by our previous brainstorming of software ideas.
  • Please feel add/edit, and feel free to come up with a better organizational structure. I just tried to put it in 4 or 5 general categories that seemed to make sense for community topics.

Recruiting New Community Members


  • Jason R. Kelly 08:44, 8 August 2007 (EDT): Should have a button/page that allows people to easily invite their friends/labmates to join OWW. This is more relevant if we establish lab groups, etc, where we are storing the connections between users. E.g. a person could join and then invite their whole lab, adding all of them to the group 'Endy lab' or whatever all in one shot.
Agree--Dan 14:04, 13 February 2008 (CST)
    • wjf 14:10, 13 February 2008 (CST):I did something like this before. It's pretty simple. Al would be needed would be a form and an emai message. Hmm... let's think about it. I like the idea. You would also get an email message when the user joined.

Social Networking on OWW

  • Vincent 05:45, 25 February 2008 (EST): As we know Facebook-like website are very popular. Would it be possible to get some inspiration from there ? What are the Wiki extensions relevant to support a social network on OWW ?
  • Frederico: It would also be great to add tags such as country, lab or interests to the user's main page so that they could find users with related interests or working near them.


OWW Posters

  • Vincent 05:45, 25 February 2008 (EST): It could be cool to have ready-made PDF posters (A4 format) to promote OWW, so people can easily print them out, and advertise in their lab/university.

OWW Presentations

  • Vincent 05:45, 25 February 2008 (EST): To have some ready-made presentations for people to easily promote OWW in their lab/university (Powerpoint, PDF, Wiki-based). There is already a wiki page with some presentations ... can't remember where.

Outreach Officers

  • Vincent 05:45, 25 February 2008 (EST): Recruiting more Outreach officers to be our local contacts around the world. We could advertise on the OWW front page.

Supporting Existing Community Members (getting the avg scientist on OWW to be more open)

Information contribution

System for maintaining and organizing community writing of Help pages

  • So people can find out where they can plug in; what's the best pages to work on, etc.

OWW journal clubs

  • --Vincent 05:58, 7 December 2006 (EST): Organizing a section of OWW where several journal clubs would be hosted (Computational Biology, Synthetic Biology, Lab Techniques in Microbiology ...) -- Has it been tried before ? Not at the lab level but with article discussions openly discussed by OWW users.

A given OWW journal club would have a focus on a defined area (use of categories), a place where people could suggest articles to be reviewed , and a selected article (voted every 2 weeks for example) being open for discussion through an open forum. It could be concluded by a conference call if people are motivated (more constraining to organize). It would be great to build a rich literature review that OWW could share and point to in the rest of the wiki.

Dear OWWers, I started an online journal club page with a draft here: Journal Club. Have a look and extend at your leisure. So far it's only a static article review. But with the excellent chat feature that was added recently, people could gather on a specific article page and really discuss world-wide. Jasu 09:41, 18 April 2007 (EDT)

OWW Short Course

  • Lon 13:33, 30 November 2006 (CST): Although there are protocol and course pages on OWW, both containing educational information and objectives, it might be good to have some more refined experiments. By this, I mean for newcomers to the biological sciences (new lab members, new labs) or those moving into new areas to have a set of standard experiments they could perform to establish good laboratory techniques and to be able to communicate problems with OWW members and/or their labmates. This could also be an alternative for lab instructors to use. This could be something like an updated and more encompassing Short Course in Microbial Genetics (or any another good lab manual).


  • This would be similar to the protocol curator idea. Basically a push to have people sign up to be curators, and maybe work on getting some scientific currency associated with that. "e.g. im a curator for protocol X on OWW" would mean something. But could just boot up by recruiting people to be curators...

Moved to Talk:Protocols/Template.

Reward mechanisms for contributions

  • Vincent 05:55, 25 February 2008 (EST): it could be great to have some ways to reward people contributing to OWW. It could simply be based on a better visibility of their contributions. A digg-like system has already been discussed many times, is there a technical issue there to start a trial ? How about dvertising top contributors every month: most prolific contributor, most visited pages ...
  • reid 16:20, 29 February 2008 (EST): Similar to a 'digg it' like button, we could have a slashcode karma-like system. The problem with both of these is how do you map reward points to users? Take a curated / owned protocol page for example. Does the curator / owner of the page get rewarded? Does everyone who made an edit get rewarded? Does the page creator (if different from the curator) get rewarded?
    • Ricardo Vidal 16:44, 29 February 2008 (EST): How about if the articles get the reward? So to say giving it more or less approval rating, thus earning the authors the deserved reward.

Front Page highlights

  • Frederico: A good idea might be to implement a "featured page" add in the main page, invite users to sign for that option and to assign them a day to be featured. That might encourage users to develop their pages.

Feedback from other users

  • Frederico: When I joined OWW the possibility of being examined seemed a little intimidating but receiving feedback encouraged me to continue. Perhaps the best thing to make new users develop their pages would be to drop a comment or two (although that might be difficult with so many new users).

Information management

Categorizing pages

  • Strategies to get this going? Wikipedia seems to do it fairly well.
  • Vincent 05:55, 25 February 2008 (EST): Would it be possbile to agree on a basic controlled-vocabulary to categories pages. Those categories could then be available from a pull-down menu when you edit a page. Any other category tag could still be added using the normal wiki way.

OWW Event/Conference

  • Vincent 05:59, 25 February 2008 (EST): It would be great to bring OWW members together, face-to-face. It could be a unique event on its own, or bundled with a conference, or some informal regional events.


  • Vincent 06:20, 25 February 2008 (EST):It would be great to have a system where people can try to get feedback from the community on their protocol, article, results .... It tried to set-up a 'feedbacks-wanted' page some time ago. it didn't work. OpenWetWare:Feedbacks_Wanted . So many times you feel that your contributions/questions are just lost.
  • Vincent 06:20, 25 February 2008 (EST): As they do it for softwares, how about having monthly themes / questions to crack. Software guys do that to find bugs in Open Source code packages. We could imagine having each month a specific topic on which the OWW community would focus. The topic could be decided by votes (doodle style). It could be a technical problem, or an open question thing (i.e. how do I promote Open Science in my lab ? )

SuperUsers (e.g SC-types)

Community Portal / Community To DO list

  • How does someone who wants to help out mroe on the nuts and bults of OWW ind out how to plug in?

Steering committee

  • Steering committee is the volunteer community voice of OWW that meets monthly to decide what are the most pressing new initiates or challenges facing OWW.
  • Adding chairs seemed to be a good way to enable people to plug in, are there are other ideas?
  • Vincent 05:57, 25 February 2008 (EST): we should maybe advertise more the SC conference calls for OWW members to join.

SC Blog

  • how do we get more people to post?

Discussion space

  • The mailing list is one approach, blogs are another, chat rooms - what's the best way to let community members talk about how to make OWW better?
    • We've talked about trying a forum, we could revisit that idea.

Supporting open science generally

  • More tutorials and writeups on typical methods, how to get stuff done, what to read and who to talk with to get up to speed.

OWW mini-grants

Community norms & values (encoding openness and sharing in the community in a persistent way)

Etiquette page

  • We currently have a page on Etiquette. We may need better ways to inform new users of this, as well as to keep it up to date as the community evovles
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