Publishing Original Research on Blogs -- Revisited

Over a year ago I threatened to perform some original research and publish it on my blog. I got as far as writing an introduction to the project, but I never actually posted any data. I know, I suck.I had hoped to make the project simple enough that people could follow along. The problem was the available data were not in a form that would be accessible for most readers. So, I've held off until now. But the appropriate data have now been deposited in Genbank, so I can continue the series.

Over the next couple of days I'll post the previously published entries, and they will be followed by the subsequent new entries. I'm hoping to walk through this slowly enough that anyone with a computer and an internet connection can mimic what I'm doing. I'll cover retrieving sequence data from Genbank and analyzing those data using various techniques from molecular evolution. It's molecular evolution for the masses.

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This is a repost (with some edits) of an introduction to publishing original research on blogs -- a series I am reintroducing. The original entry can be found here. In April of last year, Bora pushed the idea of publishing original research (hypotheses, data, etc) on science blogs. As a responsible…
Previous entries: Part 1 - Introduction Part 2 - The Backstory Part 3 - Obtaining Sequences Part 4 - Obtaining More Sequences Part 5 - Examining the Outgroups This post is part of a series exploring the evolution of a duplicated gene in the genus Drosophila. Links to the previous posts are above…
Jacob at Salamander Candy has written the post that I have been meaning to write. With so much freely available sequence data in GenBank and loads of free software with which to analyze it, we should encourage the general public to start looking for 'interesting things' (building phylogenies,…
We have lots of DNA samples from bacteria that were isolated from dirt. Now it's time to our own metagenomics project and figure out what they are. Our class project is on a much smaller scale than the honeybee metagenomics project that I wrote about yesterday, but we're using many of the same…

If this is purely an educational demonstration, then I'm all for it. If it is meant to circumvent peer review, I have to be very strongly opposed. It's one thing if people discuss peer reviewed research on blogs (and even here there are challenges), but presenting new work without subjecting it to peer review is not something I would want to see develop in this medium.

Excellent. This is pre-peer review. One can do it on Nature Precedings. Or use blogs or wikis like Rosie Radfield and Jean-Claude Bradley labs to post daily lab notebooks. Or one can do it in a more organized fashion as you are suggesting you'll be doing. Most journals (including Nature and PLoS) do not consider this to be prepublished, thus, once the work, with a help from your commenters, becomes ready for submission to a peer-reviewed journal, you just go for it.

It's purely educational. It's not pre-peer-review. I don't intend to publish any of this anywhere else.

In that case, there is absolutely no concern stopping you from doing this.

You need to be absolutely certain that you have cleared doing this with your advisor. If I were your advisor, I would forbid it.

Sounds like fun*! I'm quite interested in following along and trying it out for myself.

*Of course, my notion of fun may be somewhat eccentric, as demonstrated by the fact I usually have a science or math text on my bedside stand for light reading.

"Redfield", not "radfield".

I've been slipping in post frequency lately. Today I can post that my cells aren't growing.... (But at least I'm in the lab a bit.)