Well, as the media is cuttting science out of the newsroom and the science reporting is falling onto institutional press information officers and science bloggers, more and more people are looking for scientific information on science blogs, especially as the expertise of the blogger is likely to provide a more accurate assessment of a freshly published study than the mainstream media can usually do.
But many new readers of science blogs were put off by the fact that a blog is a personal platform. In other words, not every post was about pure science news. There may be a beautiful nature picture, a personal story, a YouTube video, a comic strip, an aggressive defence of science from the latest attack by the politically motivated anti-science groups, etc. They were asking “where is science on science blogs?”. Well, it’s there if one looks around for more than a few seconds. But not everyone has patience to look around. So Dave came up with the idea….
And the idea was to a) come up with a method for approving science bloggers, b) give such bloggers tools to tag their posts that are specifically covering peer-reviewed literature, and c) use the tags to aggregate links to all such posts in one place. Thus, the ResearchBlogging.org was born.
In the two years since its inception, ResearchBlogging.org has grown and improved and gained quite a lot of respect. A few languages other than English were added. Weekly ‘editors’ picks’ in various disciplines started getting posted. Seed Media Group became a partner. I use it as the only source of posts when considering the entries for my PLoS ONE Blog Pick Of The Month (only 13 days to go in December, folks, keep blogging!).
Yesterday, a new milestone was reached. Coverage of a PLoS article (in any of the seven PLoS journals) by a blog post that gets aggregated on ResearchBlogging.org was added to the article-level-metrics found on each PLoS article (under the “Metrics” tab) so it can be discovered by a single click from the article itself. Here is a short video demonstrating how it works:
Sure, PLoS articles can receive (and showcase) trackbacks from blogs which we encourage you to do, but some blogging platforms cannot send trackbacks, some trackbacking posts are just lists of links without additional explanations, or may even come from spam blogs. The advantage of linking only to blog posts aggregated at ResearchBlogging.org is that there is a vetting mechanism for blog authors, minimal criteria for inclusion of a post, and ability to flag and potentially remove inappropriate posts from it. Thus, only those blog posts that add value to the article are included. A one-stop shopping place for the best blog coverage of the article.