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10th January 2014 @ 05:36

Welcome to the OSM Team, we're delighted that you've joined the project. This aim of this blog is to provide links to all the relevant information you need to get you started. This post can be used at any institution although there will of course be different guidelines for practical work and analysis at different universities/research institutes and your supervisor will tell you everything that you need to know.

So, first up here is the OSM landing page: www.opensourcemalaria.org. This is the project's porthole and where you will find links to all of the online tools for the project:

The Wiki

First of all, head over the project wiki to find out about the story so far for the OSM project and also the current progress on different compound series. You can sign up for a wiki account here (pending Mat Todd's approval) and then you will be able to edit and contribute to these important pages.

The ELN

The most important tool for the project and most especially for us experimentalists is the electronic labnotebook (ELN - http://malaria.ourexperiment.org). This is the place where the team writes up ALL experiments and posts ALL data as soon as is physically possible. The ELN is one of the features of the OSM project that sets us apart from other drug discovery teams. All of our data and experiments can be viewed by ANYONE who has access to the internet. It is therefore really important that the ELN is maintained to the highest of standards so that anyone could follow the procedures or use the data. One important feature of the ELN is something called revision history. This means that although posts can be edited, a record is kept each time changes are made to a post. This is an essential feature for a scientific project as a lab notebook is a legal document and its is important that noone can change data or modify results. 

But what if I make an error or mistake? Don't panic, that's fine we all make mistakes! Of course its good to check over work for calculation or typographical errors before publishing but its fine to edit any errors. Each time you make an edit, a short comment is required to detail the reason that changes have been made. If something goes wrong with your experiment (even the best chemists occasionally drop a flask!), again don't worry just make a note of what happened on your lab notebook. Remember, some of the most important scientific discoveries have been the result of serendipity so it's important to record what you did accurately and what happened so that you (or any other chemist) can repeat the experiment again.

OK, so how do I complete a 'perfect' entry in the ELN?

Glad you asked:

1) First of all you need to sign up following this guide.

2) Follow this template for excellent results.

A word about Hazard and Risk Assessment (HIRAC)

The HIRAC is an essential part of each experiment and should be completed BEFORE you even remove any chemicals from the cupboard. The template is found here and a new HIRAC should be completed for every new reaction that you perform or if you scale up a reaction that has already been performed. Each HIRAC MUST be signed by either Alice or Mat prior to starting your reaction. More details can be found in the school safety handbook (also found here) and you should read this before conducting any experimental work.

GitHub

The main feed found on the project landing page is directly updated from OSM's GitHub repostitory. GitHub is the organisational tool for the project and is where the 'to do list' is hosted and edited. GitHub allows anyone (in- or outside of the project) to see what's going on and what needs to be done and hopefully prevents dupliation. To sign up to Github follow this guide and then you can join in discussions or update issues once completed. 

Twitter, G+ and Facebook 

The above social media sites are used to promote and publicise the project but also as important platforms for discussion. Many great contributions are received as comments on these sites so it would be great if you signed up for accounts (particularly for Twitter and G+).

Mugshots

All members of the team have a picture on the 'meet the team' part of the landing page. To be added to this hall of fame please sign up for a gravatar account and email opensourcemalaria@gmail.com from the address you used to sign up to gravatar. Alternatively, you can send us a picture but gravatar is preferable.

Specific Links

Many useful links for USyd chemists can be found here. Other institutions that would like to link from this page please comment below and the team will add the links.

Hopefully this page will help you to get started as part of the OSM team, it can seem daunting to sign up for so many accounts but each of these tools are helping us to run the project as efficiently and 'open-ly' as possible. As always, if you have any comments or ideas such as how to improve this blog or about the project please let the team know. Comment below or on G+, Twitter or facebook

Welcome onboard and good luck with your reactions.


Cheers,

Team OSM