Rules and Application Form

Drexel University’s

Open Notebook Science Challenge 2010

Generously Sponsored by the Royal Society of Chemistry

The College of Arts and Sciences and

The Department of Chemistry Program





The first round of this challenge calls upon groups or individuals with access to materials and equipment to measure the solubility of compounds (aldehydes, amines and carboxylic acids are a priority) in organic solvents and report their findings using Open Notebook Science. More details and links to examples can be found at


There are five awards of $500 (US Dollars) each. Although students may collaborate, awards will be made to an individual student based on their entry – not to each collaborator in the group. Students may only win one prize. Also if we end up using enough of your data we may invite you to participate as co-authors on a peer-reviewed publication.

WHO IS SPONSORING THE CHALLENGE? Drexel University Department of Chemistry, with Associate Professor of Chemistry Jean-Claude Bradley serving as the Contest Organizer of the Challenge.

DOES IT COST ANYTHING TO APPLY? Not a cent. You do need access to equipment and chemicals. One of our sponsors has agreed to donate some chemicals, while supplies last. Contact the Contest Organizer to see what is available.

WHO'S ELIGIBLE? Any student,graduate or undergraduate,enrolled at a college, university or other post-secondary institution during the 2009-2010 school year who is a legal U.S. resident or legal United Kingdom resident and at least eighteen (18) years of age or the age of majority in his/her state of residence, whichever is older as of date of entry.

WHEN WILL THE CONTEST START AND END? . The Challenge starts on April 1, 2010 and will end December 1, 2010 or after the five awards have been made, which ever comes first.

WHEN WILL THE AWARDS BE ANNOUNCED? Awards will be announced possibly as early as April 1, 2010 and on the first of every subsequent month. There is a possibility that no award will be made on a given month if there are no suitable candidates. Award winners will be posted on the website

WHAT ARE THE EVALUATION CRITERIA? Basically we are looking to reward students who show promise of becoming good scientists. This includes maintaining a laboratory notebook (including links to raw data) in a manner that makes it easy for others to understand exactly what you did and what you observed. The log portion of the notebook must be recorded in a timely fashion, usually within 24 hours of performing the experiment. Nobody maintains a notebook perfectly from the start and that is why the organizers will be providing feedback in BOLD directly on your notebook pages. How quickly and thoroughly you address that feedback is an important criterion. Creativity in the design of the solubility measurement technique in terms of efficiency, speed and reproducibility will also play a strong role in the evaluation. Participation in the scientific community via Web2.0 networks would certainly be a plus. And, of course, the number of measurements will count.


After filling out and sending the entry form at the end of this document, simply request an account on this wiki ( and create a page with information about yourself that you don’t mind being public. You must use your real name for a username. You can then start recording experiments using a format similar the examples on the wiki. The organizers will provide feedback in the form of comments in BOLD directly on the wiki. Hitting the Recent Changes link on the left navigation bar is a good way to keep track of edits.

CAN I GET HELP? Because you’ll need access to equipment, you probably will need help from teachers or other supervisors. We strongly recommend that you get as much help as you can at your local institution and in the wider community. However, ultimately you will be evaluated by your individual actions, based on your entries in the wiki and in the Web2.0 community. You will need to name a contact at your institution who is a faculty or staff member in the entry form.


The judges will be comprised of researchers from around the world competent in the field of chemistry. Their names will be posted on the main wiki page.

IS EVERYTHING MADE PUBLIC? Yes, that is the whole point of Open Notebook Science. The wiki has a Creative Commons Attribution license on every page. That means that anyone may use your work as long as they attribute you in derivative works. That also means that you won’t be able to claim Intellectual Property rights (i.e. patents) for the material you publish on the wiki.