Blog-based research notebook: personal informatics workbench for high-throughput experimentation
In this age of information technology, many researchers are still conservative in keeping a log of their activities in paper-based notebooks. This style of log-keeping brings about the situation that our experimental data and their descriptions are recorded separately into hard disks and papers, respectively. Such a data separation is likely to be a serious rate-limiting factor in high-throughput experimentation from the view point of getting feedback on each researcher's work from what he has done. We propose to utilize a blog (Weblog) as an electronic research notebook and discuss technical requirements for maintaining it, on the basis of the blogging experience for four years by one of the authors. We need a user-installed blog server with authentication function for personalization and network infrastructure enabling us to ``blog anytime, anywhere''. Although some knowledge-sharing systems have similar electronic notebooks as their front-end, the present blog system is different from these because it stores personal information which is not meant to be shared with others. This blog-based notebook cooperates with these e-notebooks by promoting hyperlinks among their contents, and acts as a personal informatics workbench providing connections to all the resources needed.
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