A Blog Around The Clock

Nature: It’s good to blog

In today’s Nature you can read an editorial that says, right there in the title, It’s good to blog:

Is blogging a part of science, journalism or public discourse? In fact it may be all of these — an ambiguity that can sometimes leave scientists feeling uncertain about the rules of the game.

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The blogosphere differs from mass media and specialized media in many respects, but the same considerations apply in disseminating new scientific results there. Authors of papers in press have the right to correct misrepresentations and to point to results that will appear in a paper. But a full discussion should await the paper’s publication.

Indeed, researchers would do well to blog more than they do. The experience of journals such as Cell and PLoS ONE, which allow people to comment on papers online, suggests that researchers are very reluctant to engage in such forums. But the blogosphere tends to be less inhibited, and technical discussions there seem likely to increase.

Moreover, there are societal debates that have much to gain from the uncensored voices of researchers. A good blogging website consumes much of the spare time of the one or several fully committed scientists that write and moderate it. But it can make a difference to the quality and integrity of public discussion.

Read the whole thing, then go over to the Nature Opinion forum to discuss it.

There are also related threads there, see here and here..

Comments

  1. #1 Dan
    February 26, 2009

    Nice discussions on the Nature forums. I especially liked your response to Maya. One of the main problems that was under-emphasized though is that blogging need not take up much time. It’s just free-form writing, usually working out my thought process in one go and clicking “Publish”.

    In comparison, I spend far more time clicking through and reading others’ blogs. That’s the time-consuming and addictive part for me, which drives my wife crazy. ;-)

  2. #2 Coturnix
    February 26, 2009

    Me, too. I spend a lot of time reading and commenting. My own blogging does not take much time. Longer, more serious blog posts usually are written in my head while driving, walking the dogs, or taking a shower, then quickly transcribed and posted.

    There is also an interesting thread about that – the time needs for blogging – here.

  3. #3 DNLee
    February 26, 2009

    thanks for sharing. makes the arguement that science blogging is a apart of my science service easier to defend.

  4. #4 humorix
    February 26, 2009

    “Authors of papers in press have the right to correct misrepresentations and to point to results that will appear in a paper”.
    When all the newspapers will agree… We shall talk again of it.

  5. #5 Nathaniel Marshall
    February 26, 2009

    If I published anything bloggable you’d probably beat me to it anyway…

  6. #6 Coturnix
    February 26, 2009

    ;-)

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