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article imageScientists use Twitter as a medium to be 'open and honest'

By Tim Sandle     Jan 12, 2013 in Internet
A scientist has started a Twitter feed using the hashtag "#overlyhonestmethods" to allow researchers, openly or anonymously, to profess some of the background to their research.
In January, a neuroscientist called Leigh (surname not disclosed) started the twitter hashtag #overlyhonestmethods for researchers to reveal some of the background behind their research: the good reasons, the bad reasons and the reasons that a perhaps a little bit "iffy".
The various tweets and comments have been reviewed by the science magazine The Scientist. Amongst their popular selections are:
The scientist who admitted that the test kits used were only selected because a company gave them away for free:
Indrayani Ghangrekar ‏@IndrayaniG
We used enzymes from NEB because the sales rep was nice and gave me free samples #overlyhonestmethods
The scientist who, perhaps jokingly, said that an equipment setting was selected because a different one was too noisy:
Ben Seymour @benosaka
Blood samples were spun at 1500rpm because the centrifuge made a scary noise at higher speeds. #overlyhonestmethods
A scientist who admitted that they took samples from himself for a study (which isn't the normal thing to do):
Kat James ‏@Kat_James
Healthy control blood was taken from a donor with informed written consent. I know they were informed because it was me.#overlyhonestmethods
Another scientist admitted that the run time for an experiment related to when someone remembered to collect the samples, rather than being based on any pre-set criteria:
dr leigh @dr_leigh
incubation lasted three days because this is how long the undergrad forgot the experiment in the fridge #overlyhonestmethods
A similar one goes: "The experiment was left for the precise time that it took for us to get a cup of tea", according to someone called @mahzabin.
This is only a small selection of the interesting tweets (there's a best of selection on the website Storify). According to The Guardian the hashtag has gone viral and many more interesting revelations are set to some.
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