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Old 11-21-2011, 07:25 PM   #1
ECO
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Location: SF Bay Area, CA, USA

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Default Ten Simple Rules for Getting Help from Online Scientific Communities!

This is a fantastic summary of how to interact with online communities in general. If you're new to online communities, please take the time to read the whole paper.

To summarize the 10 rules:
  1. Do not be afraid to ask a question
  2. State the question clearly
  3. New to a mailing list? Learn the established customs before posting
  4. Do not ask what has already been answered
  5. Always use a good title
  6. Do your homework before posting
  7. Proofread your post and write in correct English
  8. Be courteous to other forum members
  9. Remember that the archive of your discussion can be useful to other people
  10. Give back to the community
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Old 04-30-2012, 02:19 PM   #2
angelaleejones32
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Hi, from Huntsville, AL. I work at Hudson Alpha Institute for Biotechnology and have read numerous threads related to projects I'm working on. Thanks to all!

Angela
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Old 05-01-2012, 04:01 AM   #3
pmiguel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ECO View Post
This is a fantastic summary of how to interact with online communities in general. If you're new to online communities, please take the time to read the whole paper.

To summarize the 10 rules:

[...]

Do not ask what has already been answered
On the other hand, if someone takes the time to post their gels/traces of an issue and otherwise post in an intelligible fashion, I think they deserve some slack on this point. There are lots of issues that look very similar to one another, but have different causes in sample prep.

Also, we rely heavily on kit lots that sometimes have issues that get past the company's QC. People asking questions about problems they are having is a source of information for others of us who might get stuck with a bum lot of a reagent.

And people working in the lab are probably not sitting in front of a computer screen 8 hours a day -- so they post less frequently. So again, I would give the bench-side questions more slack than computational ones.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ECO View Post
Remember that the archive of your discussion can be useful to other people
This is especially important to me. I generally do not answer questions asked me in PM's. If I am going to take the time to answer a question, I would like people other than the person posing the question to benefit from my answer as well.

I also want to encourage an ongoing discussion of bench protocols. There are lots of "standard" protocols, like alcohol precipitation of nucleic acids and phenol extractions, that really need 20 page protocols to specify all the caveats and failure modes that the master practitioner will be aware of, or at least equipped to handle.

--
Phillip
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Old 07-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #4
Classycammy
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Hi,

How do I post a forum question?
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Old 04-26-2013, 10:05 AM   #5
kbradnam
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I would add a following point:

11) If you claim that something isn't working or that there is a problem, then it is incredibly useful to others if you post the error message that you are getting.
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