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Monday, December 19, 2005

More open source science sites

Here are some examples of web sites enabling more open collaboration between scientists.

1) Openwetware is an MIT project to share mainly molecular biology information through a wiki. So far most of the posted experimental data seems to be laboratory protocols. Our UsefulChem project is listed here.

2) MetaCollab is a wiki focusing on collaboration in general with an open source science section. Our UsefulChem project is listed in the open research section.

It is interesting to observe the evolution of all this. Both of these sites use MediaWiki and there appears to be no way of getting RSS feeds from sub sections, only the entire site (although I think it is possible to get email alerts for certain pages). One of the things I really liked about Wikispaces was the flexibility of using RSS to track either the whole site or certain pages or discussion posts.

But a general problem with wikis is the difficulty in following changes. The text in the RSS feed is usually marked up extensively and not reader friendly. This is one reason that I am sticking with the wiki/blog hybrid strategy. The blog is for reader friendly RSS feeds and fine detail; the wiki for high level organization linking back to more detailed blog posts.

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