A Blog Around The Clock

i-77cb9830621cd0d12c254e60b30e9640-2008NCSBClogo200.pngAs the 2007 Science Blogging Conference was such a great success, we are already in full swing in organizing the 2008 conference and hoping to make it even bigger and better than the first one.

Our beta-version wiki is up – check out the homepage and the first, rough outlines of the program (feel free to edit the page and add your idea at the bottom or in the comments). At this point we are trying to get more sponsors so if you and your organization/company/magazine is interested, let us know soon.

Check out our blog for updates.

i-024aaf220abd9e18e7d6642bbe7fd592-Open Laboratory cover image.jpgLast time, almost in time for the conference, we edited and published the first-ever science blogging anthology, the Open Laboratory 2006, which was an instant hit. Thus, we are already collecting nominations for the next years’ edition. Send us your best posts (or best posts written by others) of the year by using this submission form and help us spread the news by adding this code to your blog or website.

Comments

  1. #1 Reed A. Cartwright
    May 2, 2007

    Would you mind if I stuck this article on PT as a guest author?

  2. #2 coturnix
    May 2, 2007

    Sure.

  3. #3 Larry Moran
    May 2, 2007

    Would it be possible to publish the list of judges for the science blogging anthology? I’m reluctant to submit anything again until I know who’s going to be making the decision about whether it will be published. The judges didn’t like any of my blogs last time. Will it be the same judges next year?

  4. #4 coturnix
    May 2, 2007

    Reed Cartwright and myself. In case of doubt about a post not in our area of expertise, we may send a post for “peer review” to another blogger to check. Larry, one of your posts almost made it last time around – it was a very stiff competition and you lost in the final round.

  5. #5 Larry Moran
    May 3, 2007

    What happens to the money that the book makes? I notice that you hold copyright to the works that are published and you are the only “author.” Who receives the royalties?

    Last year you said.

    Second, I’d like to thank the distinguished panel of twelve reviewers who helped me narrow down the field from 218 to 50 posts: Janet, Karmen, Jennifer, Jenna, John, Bill, MC, Carl, Leo, Heinrich, John and one anonymous reviewer, as well as Anton who tremendously helped on the technical side of this endeavor.

    Will you use the same group this year to create the shortlist?

    What are the criteria that you use to select the best articles? Do they have to be pitched at a general audience or is there room for articles that are directed toward a more scientifically literate group?

    Last year’s book was put together in less than a month so there wasn’t time to discuss some of these issues. This year we have more time so perhaps we could clear up some of them?

  6. #6 coturnix
    May 3, 2007

    OK, all of that information has been stated in this post, above comments, and in posts linked above, but let me put everything in one place once again:

    Copyright: Each author retains copyright to his/her work. There is a statement to this effect inside the book (and will be again next time). Each of the 51 authors in the first edition sent in a letter stating his/her approval of inclusion in the anthology (there were a couple of “No” responses so I used posts from the ‘reserve’ list), not expecting any payment for the contribution and retaining full copyright to the work. I have a folder containing all the letters and copies can be given to a lawyer in a case of lawsuit.

    Money: All the revenue (and it’s not that much – online books do not sell in the thousands) is in a special account with Lulu.com and will be used towards funding the next conference. This will be the model to use in the future years as well, I believe.

    Judging: Last year, due to the time-crunch, I used a jury of peers to help me narrow down the entries to 51. This year, as the entries have already been trickling in for a couple of months now, only Reed and I are the judges/editors. In a sense, I am the series editor and Reed is the 2007 editor, so Reed will be quite free to pick his own 50 if he wishes to do so and that will be the book. There will be no collective jury. Only in case of being unsure of the validity of science (e.g., we are not familiar with the blogger, nor is the entry in our field of expertise) will we send out the entry to another blogger/expert for evaluation.

    Scope: The idea is to highlight the diversity of science blogging and the quality of writing in the science blogosphere. Thus, last time around (and hopefully next time as well), we had 51 posts as different from each other as possible, covering every area of science, every style and format, every angle. There was a poem, a lyrical description of nature, a look at diseases from both a physician’s and a patient’s point of view. There was history and philosophy of science, there was fisking of creationism and pseudoscience, and there were essays about the practice of science, politics of science and life in academia. And yes, there were several entries with a very high science content, explaining in detail – yet in readable English – some aspect of science or a recent paper. All the original posts have been linked here so you can see for yourselves. We will strive to collect a diverse and high-quality collection this time around as well. Hard science posts are more than welcome.

  7. #7 Larry Moran
    May 3, 2007

    Coturnix says,

    Money: All the revenue (and it’s not that much – online books do not sell in the thousands) is in a special account with Lulu.com and will be used towards funding the next conference. This will be the model to use in the future years as well, I believe.

    Bora, this is an important point. I suggest you emphasize it in your advertising for the 2007 edition. The information on judging and the scope of the articles is also of great interest to potential submitters. In my opinion, you need to work at making the anthology appear as open and transparent as possible. You don’t want this to look like it’s just your favorite posts by bloggers that you know. That was one of the criticisms last year and I think some of it was justified.

  8. #8 coturnix
    May 3, 2007

    Good points. I can see how the people who were not intensely following the process at the time it occured can get confused about it when just glancing at the anthology afterwards. Thank you.

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