Submissions/Open Notebook Computer Science

From Wikimania 2014 • London, United Kingdom

After careful consideration, the Programme Committee has decided not to accept the below submission at this time. Thank you to the author(s) for participating in the Wikimania 2014 programme submission, we hope to still see you at Wikimania this August.

Submission no. 6012
Title of the submission
Open Notebook Computer Science
Type of submission (discussion, hot seat, panel, presentation, tutorial, workshop)
Author of the submission
Dr. Vadim Zaytsev
E-mail address
Special:EmailUser/Spider or
Country of origin
born in Russia, working in The Netherlands
Affiliation, if any (organisation, company etc.)
University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Personal homepage or blog
Abstract (at least 300 words to describe your proposal)

Open notebook science is a relatively innovative open science paradigm of doing academic research in a transparent way. It involves keeping a lab notebook that collects all data and metadata on experiments, hypotheses, results, details and other observations that occur during the research phase, so that after the final objective is reached (or deemed unreachable), the complete path towards it can be exposed and made publicly available for inspection, replication and reuse. The open notebook approach is fairly well-known and somewhat popular in fields like biology and chemistry, that strive on experimental frameworks and traditionally involve lab notebooks, so in practice exercising this approach had the only consequence of sharing the already existing physical notebook. However, there are none to few adopters of this approach among computer science and software engineering researchers, mainly due to the seeming complexity of the method and the amount of extra effort that is needed to set up and to maintain such a lab notebook and the lack of positive feedback from it in the form of community encouragement and peer acknowledgement.

Another application of the open source/data/knowledge ideas to scientific research has resulted in proposing scientific knowledge objects (SKO) as a generalisation of an academic deliverable: they range from “gazeous” ideas to “liquid” exposed yet editable pieces to “solid” PDFs with final results, while still considering an academic article to be an atomic SKO. Since writing one paper can take weeks or even years, I claim that documenting metadata about such atomic SKOs is not enough to track and replicate someone’s research process, and propose to use subatomic SKOs such as tweets, wiki edits, git commits, quora answers, etc. The presentation will describe a feasible way to start practicing open notebook science for computer science and software engineering researchers, with the case study of the presenter.

Open Scholarship
Length of session (if other than 30 minutes, specify how long)
30 minutes
Will you attend Wikimania if your submission is not accepted?
nope, unless the scholarship request gets through
Slides or further information (optional)
in 2012 I have given two presentations related to this topic, all materials are available at (Open2012) and (Subatomic2012) though the state of it has advanced significantly since then
Special requests

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  1. Masssly (talk) 12:55, 5 July 2014 (UTC)[reply]
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