Programming note.

Observant readers will have noticed that three of my last four posts -- the ones sporting the spiffy Research Blogging icon -- were posts discussing peer-reviewed journal articles. This is a substantially higher proportion of writing about the details of scholarly research than I normally feature on this blog.

But I think I've developed a taste for it.

Thus, going forward, I've decided (for the foreseeable future, anyway) to stick to discussions of scholarly research and to set aside freewheeling musings on current events, answers to emailed requests for advice, passing observations of pedagogy, and polls of questionable utility. I'm sure there will still be plenty of places you can find this kind of content on the internets. This blog just won't be one of them.

Since it's Thursday, I anticipate that some of you will be asking, "But what about Friday Sprog Blogging?"

As should be obvious, my conversations with the Free-Ride offspring over the last four-plus years have been neither scholarly nor peer-reviewed. Moreover, the sprogs, now creeping closer to nine and eleven years old, have expressed to me that it's probably time to give these weekly discussions a rest. They have other things they'd rather be doing, and the whole thing just isn't as cute as it used to be when they were little.

(Plus, as we learned at ScienceOnline2010, the mommyblogger thing seems to be in tension with doing serious blogging about matters scientific.)

This is not a turn I had anticipated for this blog back when I started writing it, but it feels like the right path for it right now.

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Over at BPR3, a reader brought up an interesting question about the nature of peer-reviewed research, which I thought was relevant to our readers here as well. I'm reposting my entire response below. The system of peer review, the bulwark of academic publishing, has served scholars for centuries.…
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It's about damned time.

By MonkeyPox (not verified) on 01 Apr 2010 #permalink

April Fools?

By Josiah Kiehl (not verified) on 01 Apr 2010 #permalink

Janet,

Whatever direction you decide to take your blog, you can count on me to be a loyal reader of it. Of all the SciBlogs, yours is my favorite.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 01 Apr 2010 #permalink

April fools?

Ah, good old 4/1.

No sprogs?! I do not approve. Why aren't the sprogs starting a Friday journal club, if this is the desired direction? I am vastly more interested in their opinions of much peer-reviewed literature than the bulk of the interwebs. I hope they will at least be willing to publish the occasional work of art. *grumbles*

Seriously, you are a wonderful writer and I am sure the blog will be lovely whatever you decide to do with it. I would humbly suggest you keep at least some short posts in the mix; they can still be about peer-reviewed stuff if that's what you like (can you tell I am digging Ed's pocket science?).

This seems to be a common inflection point among long term bloggers.

If they keep going, they seem to oscillate from focused to unfocused. I haven't gotten there myself, but I've been the irregular blogger for the last nine months due to a number of stressors, so I'm probably overdue for an inevitable focus switch.

Whether or not this is an April-Fool's-related anomaly, I do want to let you know that I really, really enjoyed those posts.

I'd miss the sprog blogging. And the rambling. So I'm hoping it's an April Fool's joke. But--if it isn't, I'd still read you, because you're a good and interesting writer.