Traditionally, scientists have used paper lab books to capture the process and results of their experiments; these results have then been written up and published in journals, months (or years) later.
The Semantic Web and Semantic Grid, however, are motivating a possible sea change in the way scientists make their work available. With the Semantic Grid, a Web-based technology for sharing data and computation, scientists can share information in richer forms than traditional lab books and publishing has allowed. They will be able to make rafts of data generated in experiments available to other scientists, and to the public for compariosn exploration and study; they can share analyses of information and collaborate in new ways.
At the heart of this new technology-supported endeavor sits very traditional practices: a human scientist writing notes during an experiment into a paper lab book.
To move this crucial data from paper, where only one person can see it at a time, to the Web, where the community can benefit from it, we need innovative means of data capture that support how scientists work.
The myTea Best Practice project is about taking the lessons learned from the Smart Tea project in CombeChem (about capturing previously paper-based information into new digital forms) and applying that within the myGrid eScience project's work to support Bioinformaticians.
The myTea project is a year long collaboration between Smart Tea/CombeChem (University of Southampton) and myGrid (University of Mancher) eScience projects to develop an integrated experimental capture system for bioinformatitians. The project is funded by EPSRC.