Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Applying the OpenWetWare approach to behavioral research

OpenWetWare is a good example of how to begin creating a shared interactive space to begin exchanging information and ideas about science.

The focus of this work is on biology, but the principles and structure that have been created are applicable to other science areas.

In OpenWetWare they have three main sections related to the research: materials (things that get used in biological research), protocols (procedures for different research activities) and resources (everything from biological material to journals).

For behavioral scientists, these sections would translate as follows:

1. Materials (research instruments, questionnaires, databases, etc.)
2. Protocols (procedures for collecting and analyzing data)
3. Resources (data sources, funding sources, journals, etc.)

Another dimension of the website includes: Labs, Groups, courses, blogs. In short, scientists and use this platform to manage their laboratory group or to create a new group of scientists to work on a common project. The courses section seems to be a wiki-based course platform. The blogs section provides a platform to create blogs related to biology. Again all of these would have easy parallels in the behavioral sciences.

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