Science and Society

The Open Laboratory - the best science blogging around

Now this is a fantastic project. Even better, it’s been going since 2006!

Called Open Lab (or The Open Laboratory, in book form), it’s a collection of the best science blogging on the net. Each year, some 50-53 posts are selected from the hundreds sent in, and amalgamated into a book.

Not only is this extremely cool, but it actually gets better. The books are available through Lulu - why, you ask? Well, it’s simple. Lulu is a print-on-demand service. It’s a brilliant idea - no wastage, no huge print runs, customised printing and it means that people who might ordinarily not be able to get a publisher interested, can still get their work out there. Hurrah!

For anyone who’s interested, the nominations for Open Lab 2009 can be found here - over 370 so far, and counting.

If you’re interesting in purchasing copies of the previous three years’ worth of goodness (which we did yesterday in digital format), they can be found simply by clicking on the pictures.

It comes to about US$94/95 for all three, plus normal P&P. Alternatively, buy all three for less than $30 us digitally, and simply print them out.

Enjoy! I’m looking forward to getting stuck into 2008 tonight…

For anyone who’s interested in print-on-demand technology, have a look at this: the awe-inspiring Espresso Book Machine®, which is being trialled in a few places in the states. What I would give to have access to one of these in Wellington…

Also, an admission: you can get the 2007 Open Lab book on Fishpond…for$65. And they’re available on Amazon but again, you’ve got to pay postage and packaging, and they’re no less expensive.

  • Robert McCormick

    There is no link to the 2009 nominations

  • Ken Perrott

    I am looking forward to the Espresso Book Machine too. Ideal for someone who wants physical books, rather than a Kindle or similar e-book reader. As long as there is a pdf file somewhere the book can be downloaded an printed in store while your wait (over a cup of coffee).

    Surely this must be technology which will catch on?

  • Aimee Whitcroft

    Oh dear, apologies! It’s been repaired.

  • Aimee Whitcroft

    I really hope so too, and I’m sure it will in places like the states. I’m still not a fan of kindle-esque e-readers - they’re a great idea, but I just don’t think they’re quite worth the money yet (particularly not in GBP), and the ergonomics of them is also something which needs to improve.

    The question is, I guess, when will POD be available here? If I though it could work, I might consider investing :)

  • Ken Perrott

    One area I see e-readers as being useful is for handling downloaded documents and similar. Particularly now that science papers are accessed on-line in almost all cases.

    I used to dutifully print off papers I wanted to read and ended up with a huge collection. it would be much more convenient to save to an e-reader which would store and manage the documents.

    I am amusing most people are like me and can’t really read off a monitor screen.

    I the screens of current and upcoming e-readers are as good as claimed - wouldn’t this be a great way for scientists to manage papers?

  • coturnix

    There are only 10 days left until the deadline. Please submit some posts from SciBlogs until then to be considered for the inclusion in the anthology. All the information is here. Thanks.

  • Aimee Whitcroft

    Indeed. So put forward your votes, everyone!


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