Lab Scribbles: Real-time open access science

In this episode we interviewed Dr. Rachel Harding, a postdoctoral fellow at the Structural Genomics Consortium, University of Toronto. Rachel’s current work is focused on the structure of huntingtin, a mutated protein in individuals suffering from Huntington’s disease. During the episode we talked about Huntington’s disease, sharing your results on a regular basis on a blog, setting up a blog and the intellectual property issues related to sharing your data in such a way.

An interesting point in this area of research is that not all results are published: positive results only are actually published and reaching a positive result requires a lot of trials and errors. However those trials and errors are often neglected.
Rachel created a blog, called LabScribbles, where she records everything she does in the lab, all her positive results but also trials and errors. Rachel explains this workflow, how it helps her improve her method in the lab, how it helps other researchers, how it helps her exchange with them, and even create a community around her work.

We also explored the intellectual property issues related to the Labscribbles a blog. In Rachel’s case, her funding comes from the Cure for Huntington’s Disease Initiative Foundation, a non-profit biomedical organisation. Depending on your employer and organization, it might be forbidden to share your research in such a way, but Rachel was able to explain, in her opinion, how such intellectual property are not a real issue (in most cases).

Bonus: "Open Access Materials"