Provider Best Practices: First, Join Science Exchange

September 26, 2013 | Posted by Brianne Villano in Education, Lab Admin Tools |

Before joining Science Exchange in a Customer Development role, I worked for almost six years at one of the world’s premiere Clinical Research Organizations (CRO). I was a scientific service provider and now I get to work with them to help transform scientific collaboration. I feel lucky to have moved across the country to be a part of this team and I’m proud of the work we do on a daily basis.

So, if you’re already on Science Exchange, then let me say, “Good on ya!” You’re one of the scientists who are revolutionizing the way people think about and perform science. We are looking for great providers to join the site every day and work with the thousands of researchers seeking their expertise, so if you’re not on Science Exchange, please join us!

I mean, truly, there are 1,440 minutes in a day. How can we possibly accomplish all that we must? Science Exchange. It gives providers the tools they need to make every minute count.

My favorite feature is the sleek, simple dashboard with integrated management tools which allow you to submit estimates for project requests, monitor your current projects, submit updates to researchers with whom you’re working, and accept payment for services rendered, all without having to chase payments or enter a hundred accounts receivable.

Science Exchange:

  • gives you a simple way to manage your existing client base including reporting for your billing departments.
  • guarantees payment to your facility within 30 days of project completion.
  • provides an A-to-Z storefront which enables you to accept external orders and run at capacity.

Cheesiness be damned: join the revolution. Subscribe or follow us on our social media channels over in the sidebar to be notified when future Provider Best Practices posts are added. The lineup includes which browser versions work best with the site, the effect of storefront design on your business, and how to rank higher in Science Exchange search results.

Science Exchange Provider Starter Pack from brianne_sciex


About the author

    Brianne is dedicated to customer support and development for Science Exchange. She     is a formally trained biologist with a M.S. in Biotechnology whose past experience at           Charles River Laboratories sparked a flame for building client relationships.

SpaceX at Science Exchange: Dragons and Falcons and Grasshoppers, oh my!

September 19, 2013 | Posted by Team in Events |
Chris White answering questions at SpaceX.

Chris White answering questions at Science Exchange.

Last Thursday Chris White, Director of Business Development at SpaceX, came by the new Science Exchange office to quiz us on SpaceX trivia, give out some goodies, and, in general, blow our minds with all things SpaceX. We had a tremendous turnout and were thrilled that people were as excited to talk to Chris as we were.

The evening began with some trivia questions easy and hard, like “What year was SpaceX founded?” FYI it was founded in 2002. Next, we listened to some Johnny Cash, admired the Grasshopper “Ring of Fire,” and witnessed the majesty of SpaceX spacecraft in some short but sweet videos. Finally, Chris jumped into a candid and informative overview of SpaceX, DragonLab, and their revolutionary approach to commercialized microgravity experiments. We learned some about what makes SpaceX tick, how DragonLab is empowering scientists globally to do their own microgravity experiments, and what it’s like to sit down with Elon Musk.

All in all, we couldn’t have asked for a better night filled with insightful discussions, engaging info, and laughs all around. Thank you to Chris White and the team at SpaceX for making it happen!

– The Science Exchange Team

The Race to the Publish Line – After the Race is Won

September 18, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Grad School Help |
Me (Fraser) the day I received my PhD.

Me (Fraser) the day I received my PhD.

Over the past few years, it’s been almost impossible to miss coverage of the  increasingly bleak academic job market. With so few tenure track positions open for the hordes of PhDs and post-docs looking for work each year, it’s time to start thinking outside the academic box. About four years into my degree, I decided that I did not want to become a professor, but I had no idea what I could do instead. How many other jobs were there for someone to run PCRs? Who else needs mice scruffed, clipped and genotyped? I felt trapped on the academic career path, and that made climbing my wall even harder.

With the help of my network and friends, I began to realize that I did have skills valuable outside of academia. We Doctors of Philosophy are good critical thinkers. We figure out how to break down and tackle large problems. We can learn quickly, assimilate and evaluate new data, pivoting away from disproved ideas and generating new ones. We can communicate complex ideas to others. We are persistent and tenacious.  These are all qualities highly valued in areas besides academia. Realizing this was a good first step, but I still didn’t know what I wanted to do – I only knew what I didn’t want to do. Read the rest of this entry »

Learn about Next Generation Sequencing at the UCLA Clinical Microarray Core

September 13, 2013 | Posted by Team in Workshops |
Dr. Li and his team at the UCLA Clinical Microarray Core.

Dr. Li and his team at the UCLA Clinical Microarray Core.

Back by popular demand, one of our top providers is hosting a Next Generation Sequencing Workshop at UCLA. If you want to use Next Generation Sequencing in your research, but need help with set up, sample prep, or even data analyzation, the Next Generation Sequencing Workshop is the place to go.

The 5-day event is run by the UCLA Clinical Microarray Core, an expert in the Next Generation Sequencing field. The workshop was created to give researchers hands-on experience on all aspects of  Next Generation Sequencing including wet lab experience, data analysis sessions, and discussions with experts in the field.

The event will be held from November 4 – 8 at UCLA. Registration is $800 for members of UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center (JCCC), $1200 for other UCLA attendees, $2000 for non-UCLA attendees.

You can register now at the link below or contact Dr. Xinmin Li at [email protected] for further information.



Official Experimental Hierarchy

September 12, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Company, Lab Admin Tools, Science Exchange News |

Screen Shot 2013-09-11 at 8.26.39 PM

Over the past two years, Science Exchange has compiled and listed over 1800 unique services available for request. With services ranging in fields from biological methods to chemical analysis to microfabrication, we felt it was time to categorize these services by some logical order – a true experimental services hierarchy.

After several months of research and diligence, we have just launched the Official Experimental Hierarchy on Science Exchange. This new Hierarchy will interface with and improve the search functionality on Science Exchange, allowing users to quickly find the services they are looking for. Based on their search terms, users will enter the tree at the lower levels, and be able to browse around the nearby branches to identify the exact technique they are looking for, or find related techniques that best suits their needs. It will also provide a platform to ensure that our requesters and providers are speaking on the same terms.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Race to the Publish Line – Climbing the Wall

September 11, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Grad School Help |
Photo Credit: Gaelen Hadlett on Flickr

Photo Credit: Gaelen Hadlett on Flickr

It wasn’t until years into my research that I had to deal with severe stress-related mental issues that threatened my work and my health. High school and college taught me to excel in a particular learning environment, so the first year or two of grad school weren’t that stressful for me. I was taking lots of classes, and I knew how to handle the papers and the tests and the homework.

The rest of grad school is really an apprenticeship; writing essays didn’t help me for reach out to professional connections and establish collaborations, and taking tests didn’t prepare me for repeating an experiment ad nauseum. Satisfaction was more elusive. I loved science, but I had no idea if I was doing well, and if I wasn’t doing well, I had no idea how to do better. I never really talked about it that much – at least not to my labmates. I thought I was handling it pretty well. I never bought into the myth that productivity was measured by hours in lab. I made sure to get eight hours of sleep a night, to eat well, to take time to relax (and sing!). Read the rest of this entry »

Interview with Chuck Zercher from Organic Syntheses

September 5, 2013 | Posted by Elizabeth in Reproducibility |

Lessons in reproducibility from the Organic Syntheses journal.

As we begin our work to make all areas of scientific research more reproducible with the Reproducibility Initiative and the Science Exchange validation service, I was really interested to discover the journal Organic Syntheses. Organic Syntheses is the first journal (that I am aware of) that requires reproducibility of a procedure to be confirmed prior to publication. Chemists that I’ve spoken to trust that the procedures and results described in Organic Syntheses are likely to be able to be reproduced in their own laboratories.

OrgSyn’s website states that “In order for a procedure to be accepted for publication, each reaction must be successfully repeated in the laboratory of a member of the Editorial Board at least twice, with similar yields (generally ±5%) and selectivity similar to that reported by the submitters.”

To learn more about their process, I interviewed Chuck Zercher, Associate Editor of Organic Syntheses and Professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of New Hampshire Read the rest of this entry »

Reproducibility Initiative member reports critical finding about scientific reproducibility

September 5, 2013 | Posted by Team in Reproducibility |


We are proud to say that our Reproducibility Initiative advisory board member Melissa Haendel is part of a critical paper published today that identifies insufficient information in scientific literature as a major barrier to reproducibility.

The study indicates that a central issue within the reproducibility crisis is the lack of detail in published studies.  Specifically, the study showed that 54 percent of resources documented in scientific literature were unidentifiable. The lack of specificity in published research poses a serious obstacle to other scientists replicating work from literature.

Haendel and her group studied almost 240 articles from more than 80 different journals which were chosen from a wide range of subjects including neuroscience, immunology, and general science. They developed a set of criteria to assess whether experiment information such as antibodies, model organisms, and cell lines were identifiable. That only around 50 percent of the information in the literature was identifiable illustrates the necessity for increased transparency in scientific publications.

“The stories we tell in scientific publications are not necessarily instructions for replication.” said Melissa Haendel, Ph.D., an ontologist and assistant professor in the Library and Department of Medical Informatics & Clinical Epidemiology at Oregon Health & Science University and senior author on the study.“This study illuminates how if we aim to use the literature as the scientific basis for reproducibility, then we have to get a lot more specific.”

Congratulations to Melissa Haendel for leading the way for reproducibility! You can read entire study for free at PeerJ.

The Race to the Publish Line – Other Runners on the Road

September 4, 2013 | Posted by Fraser Tan in Grad School Help |

Sonia_OSullivan_in_the_Oman_Cup_RaceEach lab has its unique environment. In some labs, everyone works on specific aspects of a larger project in close coordination. In others, everyone works on their own project independently. Some professors are very hands on, checking the details of each day’s work, while others are hands off, checking in every few months to guide the scope of the project. But no matter what, you are never alone. You are part of multiple communities; your lab and department, your circle of collaborators and colleagues, and the scientific community in general. Read the rest of this entry »

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