The icons are here! A new way to share Blogging on Peer-Reviewed Research

We're pleased to announce that BPR3's Blogging on Peer Reviewed Research icons are now ready to go! Anyone can use these icons to show when they're making a serious post about peer-reviewed research, rather than just linking to a news article or press release.

Within a month, these blog posts will also be aggregated at, so everyone can go to one place to locate the most serious, thoughtful analysis and commentary on the web.

If you're a blogger, we encourage you to start using the icons now. If you're a blog reader, look for these icons to find the posts that bloggers have thought the most about, and worked the hardest to create. Here they are, in six different versions:


Visit this page to learn how to use the icons.

Visit this page to see who's already using them!

Thousands of thoughtful bloggers report on the latest studies, use blogs teaching tools for the classroom, and even speculate about future directions for their own research. But sometimes they also use their blogs to share links to news articles or press releases, or even photos, jokes, or personal rants. The Research Blogging icon makes serious blog posts by serious researchers, teachers, students, and others easy to locate.

In the future, it will do much more, as readers interested in any field of research can create custom RSS feeds with just the topics they want. Researchers will be able to find all the blog posts about a particular study. Scientists will be able to collaborate faster and more effectively. And everyone will be able to discuss and use that work to create new research.

The icons were designed by Uriel Klieger in a contest sponsored by Seed Media Group, Nature publishing, BioMed Central, Public Library of Science, and CABI. Thanks to our sponsors and to Uriel for helping to promote serious research blogging!

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Dave, this is a really fabulous contribution to the blogging community. Thanks for all of your hard work and that of everyone else involved in this project. I'll be trying to add the icon to my appropriate posts as time permits. Thanks again!

Thanks, Abel!

One suggestion: Don't spend a lot of time adding the icon to all your old posts just yet. We'll be debuting our new aggregation system in a few weeks, allowing for enhanced searching and locating of posts on peer-reviewed research. The procedure for using the icon will change to support those enhanced features, so that will be the time to add in your back-catalog of posts.

While I hope someone's already thought of this, but I'll recommend registering and enforcing such icons as certification mark(s), or at least ordinary trademarks and treat/license them as certificates.

BTW, your icon links appear to be broken

I know you're probably busy working on the new system, but I don't see what this accomplishes that simply tagging(or categorizing) your post with a suitable tag, say "BPR3", then searching for that tag on technorati, wouldn't accomplish.

I know this is just the beginning of this effort, but unlike the crowd, I need a little more information about how bpr3 will be doing things, and what the plans for the future are, before I'll buy into this myself.

For example, I embed metadata in my posts describing the citation I'm reviewing, so that it can be saved in a citation manager such as Zotero. Does bpr3 have plans to use this information or add it to the aggregated list of citation-containing posts?

If bpr3 is requiring people to hotlink to the badges on, is it using a host with sufficient uptime that my readers will not see a placeholder image?

Just how does the aggregation system work? Will bpr3 be crawling sites, or syndicating them through RSS? If I include code in my posts, will it break the post parser?

Mr. Gunn:

Thanks for your comment -- you bring up several important points.

We're very interested in how users like you save your metadata -- we're planning on implementing a similar system and we want to make sure it plays nicely with existing systems.

We're not *requiring* users hotlink to, if that's a concern for you. Indeed, our server experienced a spam attack during the icon launch yesterday and the database was down for awhile, but it didn't appear to affect the display of the icons.

We're currently working with the ISP to determine whether that was an isolated instance or if we need to move to a new ISP.

Our aggregation system will *both* crawl sites and use RSS. We will crawl to acquire the metadata to allow us to search citations, but we'll use the RSS feeds to determine what part of posts to display on our site. We will be testing the system on a variety in the coming weeks to ensure it doesn't break anything in anyone's blog before we release the beta version.

Great idea and I hope it will be taking off. Now I just wonder if it is ok to use the icons when writing in another language than English. In my blog I sometimes write posts in Swedish about research and would like to use the icon. Also, what if the language the article is published in is in, let's say, Swedish.

What I'm asking, I guess, is whether this is an international effort or "just" anglo/english?