We discuss the technical and philosophical merits of maintaining electronic/open notebooks. On the technical side we will discuss available tools and current best practices and confront issues of data management and long term archiving. Philosophically we debate the role that open notebooks may play in converting traditional scientists to adopting open access models, and the potential broader impacts they may have on the public perception of science. We hope to leave with better ideas of how to face challenges that electronic/open notebook scientists may face technologically, culturally, and professionally.
Questions: How can we convince scientists to make the transition to open/electronic lab notebooks? What are the best platforms for electronic and online lab notebooks? What are the long term implications of keeping an open/electronic notebook? What are the responsibilities of keeping an open notebook? How do scientists deal with terms of service/ownership of research notes when sharing online or storing them in the cloud? How do researchers manage their first electronic notebooks to ensure information retention as lab notebooks evolve? Why are scientists so slow to embrace the open model? Should scientists consider notebooks as a source of outreach? Can open notebooks become an alternative source of publication? Should electronic notebooks be treated the same way as the shared data which they contain? Would a network of open/electronic notebooks provide better access to information, ease issues with storage/archiving, and create a greater sense of (open) community?