Open Notebook Science Challenge
The first round of this challenge calls upon people 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. (View the cumulative list of results and again in RDF format (courtesy of Pierre Lindenbaum) or as a web query interface (courtesy of Rajarshi Guha). Note: some of these values may be approximate - see respective notebook pages to ascertain assumptions and methods.)
Understanding exactly how an experiment was performed is essential to the efficient progress of science. There are no absolute facts in the scientific literature; every measurement reported is only meaningful within the full context of how it was generated. The purpose of a laboratory notebook is to report as much of this context as is reasonable. But to find trends data must be abstracted to a level where they can be manipulated in tables and charts. This is not a problem as long as one can drill down from each data point in a chart to the full context found in the laboratory notebook.
For example, a Google search for "vanillin solubility in THF" pulls up a lab book page EXP207 where it is reported to be 3.89M. This number might be used in a table of someone trying to quantify trends or test a mathematical model, in which case reliability of the number is important. By reading the lab notebook page it becomes clear that 118.5 mg of solid was measured on a scale with 0.1 mg accuracy. However only one measurement was obtained. All kinds of other details which might be important are provided, for example how long the mixture was vortexed, at what temperature and&