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In addition to maintaining a database for lab members and other interested parties to search data and update records, the Ronald lab has also developed a robust pipeline to check for the genotype, integrity and performance of all microbial and plant seed stocks available in the lab. We have a system in place that allows us to check critical information such as antibiotic selection, availability and details of genotyping primers, disease and other phenotype data, and a user log that tracks access dates and associated details. The Ronald lab also routinely trains new lab members and provides refresher training to existing members in all aspects of database management. We also have a lab expertise database in place which allows us to ensure reproducibility and standardize data recording.

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At a recent conference in Davis, "Publish or Perish: The Future of Scholarly Communications and Academic Careers. #PublishPerish14", similar questions were asked and partially answered. You can check out the webpage where you soon will be able to watch the whole conference http://phylogenomics.blogspot.com/2014/02/publish-or-perish-future-of-scholarly.html. You could for example establish open lab notebook practice in your lab or establish a lab wiki were people can share data and protocols. Of course all this requires a change in culture and good record keeping. Something we for sure should all strive towards.

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The availability of relatively recent tools such as Slideshare and Figshare will also contribute towards better data tracking, sharing and record keeping in the years to come.

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Ask me anything journal club

- on correcting the scientific record

Who: Pamela Ronald is a Professor at the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis. She also serves as Director of Grass Genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute.

Drs. Ofir Bahar, Rory Pruitt, Benjamin Schwessinger, and Arsalan Daudi are all present or former postdoctoral fellows in Prof. Ronald’s lab.

What: Prof. Ronald’s lab studies how plants respond to disease, and how plants can defend themselves against invading microbes. Last year, the group retracted its PLOS ONE and Science papers after finding that a bacterial strain they had been using was contaminated and a bioassay they had relied on was flawed. They investigated into what went wrong, and published new results in PeerJ last month to correct the scientific record.

Prof. Ronald, Dr. Bahar, Dr. Pruitt, Dr. Schwessinger, and Dr. Daudi will be answering your questions live, regarding their article and their retraction experience, or any other topic of relevance to plant-microbe interactions.

Plant interactions with microbes are important in the context of plant health and global food security, and of course maintaining the integrity of the scientific record is of paramount importance. So take this opportunity to get all your questions answered by five experts in the field who have been through the process of correcting their work!

Image: Gene Hettel, CC-BY-SA

When: February 18, 2014 09:00 am PST

Where: Ask me anything - on correcting the scientific record