Science Online: We can make blogs first-class citizens in scholarly publishing


#solo11 (Science Online) is fantastic as ever and very different from last year. Masses of great people to meet.

Today (through Martin Fenner ) we’re going to look at how to use blogs for science. I’ll probably be blogging quite a lot. Feed at:

Here’s my first

Many thanks to Martin for setting up this blogging session at #solo11. I have been blogging for 6 years and have found it a very useful way of communicating ideas and getting feedback. I am now strongly convinced that blogs are a better technical platform for formal and informal communication os science. There is, for example, no technical reason why scholarly publications should not be on WordPress rather than some proprietary backroom system.

This post is short, to test Martin’s blog. Here are some advantages of blogs:

  • The authoring interface is natural (I use Word, others type directly, some use LaTeX)
  • There are many natural tools that come as standard (index, search, archive, chronology)
  • Blog feeds can be filtered, combined, repurposed. (Ever tried repurposing a PDF hamburger?)
  • You can subscribe to feeds and get immediate notification
  • There is a really easy way to comment. Some blogs get 100 comments in a day. It’s rapid. Feedback is great
  • Blogs can be hyperlinked so a subject can be discussed in many places
  • specialist plugins can be built (e.g. for chemistry, scholarly publication)
  • … and I can keep going

and some disadvantages

  • you don’t get citations
  • you don’t get citations
  • you dont’ get citations

That’s a human problem, not a technical one.



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3 Responses to Science Online: We can make blogs first-class citizens in scholarly publishing

  1. Henry Rzepa says:

    Some enlightened publishers allow the citation of a blog post in a formal peer-reviewed conventional article. For example, we recently handled some galley proofs for J. Cheminformatics, in which several citations referenced blog posts. An example:
    H. S. Rzepa. \(re)Use of data from chemical journals\, URL: (Archived by WebCite® at on 23-02-2011.)
    Note the archiving of the blog post using WebCite. Although I had done this myself, the journal was prepared (as I understand) to do this on behalf of the author if they had not done it.
    I think this is an important aspect of regarding blogs as first class citizens.
    This is only one downside. My blog posts include data presented within the post using the Jmol java visualised. WebCite does not support archiving this component, which is lost on the Webcite version. This is essentially a technical problem however.

    • pm286 says:

      It’s interesting that there is one paper that cites the NaH Oxidation. It then says – “but apparently this was due to oxygen”. That SHOULD have been attributed to the blogosphere, but of course it wasn’t.

  2. Pingback: Mechanism of the reduction of a carboxylic acid by borane: revisited and revised. « Henry Rzepa

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