Projects are set up under the LRDI umbrella for participating investigators. A procedure has been developed to capture, document and preserve the records (Figure 1). An LRDI project is initiated by making contact with the researcher, review- ing the objectives and procedure, encouraging participation, establishing communications and arranging a site visit.
A professional resume (CV) is an important source of information and is requested during the initial contact. Research records are collected and interviews are conducted during the site visit. Photos are also taken of the participant and of the various records, which are also described individually with a cover memo. The interviews are recorded, transcribed and similarly documented with a cover memo
Arrangements are also made during the visit for organizing and preserving the records. After the visit, the documented records and interview transcripts are reviewed, and a research timeline is usually developed. A draft report is pre- pared based on the memos and is submitted to the researcher for review. It includes additional work that may be performed after the report is submitted.
Projects are conducted on an informal basis. Confidentiality is assured, and any results of a project are reviewed with the researcher before being released in public venues. Information covered by any nondisclosure agreements is not included unless permission is obtained. Early documentation typically addresses the entire record in a general way. Subsequent efforts may include more in-depth characterization.
For most long-term LENR researchers, a large record consist- ing of several components is available. The components are identified, described and collected during the site visit. They are different for each participant, depending on the type and amount of investigations, how the results were recorded and the methods of storage. Most researchers have six types of records.
Publications and Unpublished Reports
Investigators often include a comprehensive list of their LENR publications in their professional resumes. Publicly- available reports, papers and presentations in several venues, including journals (e.g. Journal of Condensed Matter Nuclear Science) and magazines (e.g. Infinite Energy) are obtained. Many of the publications for the LENR field have been assembled in the LENR-CANR.org website.1 ResearchGate2 is another source of participants’ LENR publications. Items not found in public sources are usually available from the par- ticipant’s files. Unpublished reports typically include analy- sis of lab results, progress summaries (e.g. to sponsors) and communications with other LENR researchers. A memo is prepared with a list of the publications found, and copies are collected and included in the project where possible.
Nearly all researchers have a large assemblage of electronic files in different formats created by various kinds of software. The files are generally of two types—documents and data files from experiments. The initial emphasis in a project is collection and description of the documents followed by the data files. The electronic files are found on current comput- ers and external storage, such as hard drives, flash memory, servers or the Cloud. Long-term researchers often have files on legacy media, such as CDs, ZIP discs, retired hard drives and floppy disks. The files are included or referenced in the project. Their location and the storage media on which they were found are recorded in a series of memos.
LENR research began in the early years of the digital age, so paper files often comprise a major component, particularly for long-term investigators. These records are often found in file cabinets and in boxes or storage tubs. Memos are used to document the records, including an inventory, organization, type of storage and location. The storage containers are also photographed. The materials are prioritized for scanning, and PDF files are created as needed using an LRDI scanner. Scanning may be accomplished on site, or the materials may be borrowed, scanned at the LRDI location and returned to the participant.
Laboratory and Experiments
The participant’s lab is characterized using any existing descriptions, including experimental methods, apparatus and equipment, materials, and data collection and analysis methods. Additional descriptions, including previous or legacy methods and equipment, are also prepared for the project as required. Photos of the lab and equipment are acquired—or new ones are taken—during the visit. Lab note- books are described when they are available, and electronic lab files are identified for inclusion in the project. Memos are prepared for the descriptions and photos of the lab, equipment and notebooks.
Photos, Recordings and Other Media
Most participants have a collection of other types of media, such as photographs and images, audio and video recordings, and correspondence (e.g. emails, letters). The photos often include lab equipment and experiments as well as events like meetings and conferences. Many participants, for example, have pictures or video recordings of presentations and atten- dees taken at International Conferences on Cold Fusion (ICCF). Video recordings typically consist of purchased items (e.g. produced to describe or promote LENR), recorded televi- sion programs (e.g. news broadcasts covering the field) and self-made recordings of conferences and related events.
Nearly all participants have a collection not only of their own work, but also items prepared by other LENR researchers. These items include books, published papers, conference proceedings (e.g. ICCFs), magazines (e.g. Infinite Energy), reports (e.g. SRI International) and related materials. They are found in both hardcopy and electronic (e.g. PDF) form. Some participants have reference management soft- ware such as Endnote for their collection of references. Copies of the electronic versions are obtained for the project, and photos are taken of the books and other hardcopy items. Memos are prepared listing the materials found and includ- ing the photographs taken.
Personal interviews with the participant are essential for LRDI projects. They provide the context for the research records and are principal sources for the timelines of investi- gation. The interviews are recorded using a hand-held device, such as a multi-function phone with a suitable app. The audio files are submitted to an online transcription serv- ice. When the transcripts are received, usually within 24 to 48 hours, a cover memo describing the date, participants and location is added. The interviews may be done in person or by phone using another app that records the call and pro- duces the audio files.
Generally two or more rounds of interviews are accomplished covering the full range of LENR research as well as a summary of the investigator’s pre-LENR background. They are conducted free-form to encourage the researcher to relate what he or she feels is most memorable. Emphasis is placed on making the recollection an enjoyable experience. More than one round of interviews has the advantage that the descriptions of events may vary, resulting in a more complete yet consistent description of the research trajectory.
Documentation of an investigator’s research record is most complete when a timeline of experiments and results can be constructed. The timeline is determined by examining the records and, particularly, by reviewing the interview tran- scripts as well as conducting follow-up conversations. A researcher’s timeline consists of phases and milestones that reflect his or her journey of LENR investigations. The basis of the milestones or turning points varies for different investigators and typically consists of his or her own experimental findings and progress, new ideas or insights, changes in sponsors and events in the LENR field. A major goal of the research timeline is to integrate the interview transcripts with the research record.
A researcher’s records are secured after they have been obtained and documented. Keeping the records available for more analysis and interpretation based on progress by the researcher or by new developments in the LENR field (and with concurrence of the researcher) is a principal objective of the LRDI. Both the participant’s records and the project documents (memos and reports) are shared between the LRDI and the participant. This sharing is accomplished by high- capacity flash memory (thumb drive) or in the Cloud using commercially available storage such as Google Drive or Dropbox. In both cases the files are backed up on a high- capacity external hard drive for the LRDI.
As noted, memos are used to document each component of the research record as well as with the interviews of the investigator. Attachments, such as photos or long tables, are included in the memos as required to document the materials found. Project reports are prepared based on the memos, and are typically organized as follows: 1) introduction; 2) research record components; 3) interviews; 4) timeline; 5) future opportunities; and 6) project methods. Future opportunities typically set forth actions to obtain additional information and conduct more in-depth analysis, such as more extensive descriptions of the records or additional detail in the timeline. The methods section describes the LRDI procedure and a list of the memos prepared during the project.
The project report is submitted to the participant for review and approval. The report and memos are added to the other project files in the selected storage medium. Where needed, the report is prepared in stages, such as information collection, organization (timeline) and documentation. Appendices are used in the reports for interview transcripts and voluminous descriptions of records, such as long lists of publications.
Nearly all LRDI projects are documented with suggestions of more that can be accomplished. As noted, the initial focus of a project is on a general description of the entire research record. The information can then be characterized more completely and in more detail in subsequent work. More interviews may also be conducted, such as for particularly significant events or findings. Additional visits to the participant may be necessary for the added records and interviews. The reports and other accomplishments of the projects may be presented or published, with concurrence by the participants, under LRDI sponsorship at conferences.