Notebook features: an introduction

In keeping this open lab notebook, I have sought to address three goals (in addition to all the traditional reasons for keeping a lab notebook)

  1. Provide an educational resource
  2. Experiment with scientific infrastructure and tools for sharing and replicating research
  3. Facilitate the rapid and open dissemination of scientific research

which are coincidentally evocative of NSF’s Broader Impacts areas. In this series of posts I plan to explore and illustrate some of my experiments to address these goals through various web-based tools available for an open notebook platform. Many of these have been documented in the notebook itself as I experiment with them (see #notebook-technology). Not all of those experiments pan out and older tools and techniques are often replaced with newer ones as I explore, and these posts are usually more technical notes written to help me think through and remember what I’m trying out. In order to provide a more accessible snapshot of notebook features, I thought it might be helpful to write a series of posts describing these tools and techniques.

Below is an index of posts in this theme that I will continue to update as I have a chance to finish them. If there’s anything about the notebook that you’d like to hear more about, feel free to suggest it in the comments.


  1. Reproducible code: embedding code and dynamic documents
  2. Parsing linked data in the semantic notebook
  3. Hashes: An immutable and verifiable record of research
  4. Digital archiving. See also a separate entry on advantages and challenges in archiving with figshare, and some comments about DOIs


  1. Readable, multi-device typography
  2. Notebook analytics: Who reads this stuff anyway?
  3. A fast, inexpensive, and scalable online platform
  4. Online notebook essentials: link, tag, search
  5. Integrating social networks with the notebook