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Open Notebook Science: Does Transparency Work?

By Jean-Claude Bradley

Drexel University



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This presentation will first describe Open Notebook Science, the practice of making the laboratory notebook and all associated raw data available to the public in real time. Examples of current applications in organic chemistry - solubility and chemical reactions - will be detailed. Key details of the current technical implementation will be described and possible applicability to nanotechnology projects will be explored. Finally, the implications for Intellectual Property protection, claims of priority, subsequent publication in peer reviewed journals and the eventual automation of the scientific process will be explored.


Jean-Claude Bradley is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and E-Learning Coordinator for the College of Arts and Sciences at Drexel University. He leads the UsefulChem project, a synthetic organic chemistry initiative started in the summer of 2005 to make the scientific process as transparent as possible by publishing all research work in real time to a collection of public blogs, wikis and other web pages. Jean-Claude coined the term Open Notebook Science to distinguish this approach from other more restricted forms of Open Science. In 2008 he created the Open Notebook Science Solubility Challenge to crowdsource the measurement of non-aqueous solubility. Sponsored by Submeta, Sigma-Aldrich, Nature and the Royal Society of Chemistry, the ONS Challenge has resulted in the publication of a book combining the results of 10 student award winners from the US and the UK. Jean-Claude teaches undergraduate organic chemistry courses with most content freely available on public blogs, wikis, games, Second Life and audio and video podcasts. He has a Ph.D. in organic chemistry and has published articles and obtained patents in the areas of synthetic and mechanistic chemistry, gene therapy, nanotechnology and scientific knowledge management.

Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Jean-Claude Bradley (2011), "Open Notebook Science: Does Transparency Work?,"

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