Science 2.0 -- Is Open Access Science the Future?
"A lot of the how-to gets passed around as lore in biology labs and never makes it into the protocol manuals...So whenever a student or postdoc managed to stumble through a new protocol, he or she would write down what was learned on a wiki page [OpenWetWare]. Others would then add whatever tricks they had gleaned."
"Instead of making do with a static Web page posted by a professor, students began to create dynamically evolving class sites where they could post lab results, ask questions, discuss the answers and even write collaborative essays. And it all stayed on the site, where it made the class better for next year."
"...the Web provides better protection than the traditional journal system, Bradley maintains. Every change on a wiki gets a time stamp, so if someone actually did try to scoop you, it would be very easy to prove your priority—and to embarrass them... If you wait for the journals, your work won’t appear for another six to nine months. But with open science, your claim to priority is out there right away... The time stamps on every entry not only establish priority but allow anyone to track the contributions of every person, even in a large collaboration...we suddenly found people discovering us on Google and wanting to work together"
"...the real significance is the technologies’ potential to move researchers away from an obsessive focus on priority and publication toward the kind of openness and community that were the supposed hallmarks of science in the first place."