Tag Archives: blogging

Video Tip of the Week: ScienceSeeker for science blogging

Active science outreach is hugely important today, and with many social media outlets it has become much easier for scientists to get the word out about the topics that they know well and find interesting. Blogs provide a particularly convenient format for timely pieces with multiple images and numerous links for explanations and background details. And more than some other micro-platforms blogs can offer sufficient detail to provide a complete story. Other shorter forms are great for sharing news or tips for good reading–but blogs have become widely used as a mechanism to convey longer form essays to share knowledge. A great assessment of science blogs and their history was just offered by Bora Zivkovik.

Increasingly social media outreach is being acknowledged as effective to spread information about research topics. A recent item showed that outreach that included bloggers drove downloads and citations of new papers (hat tip William Gunn on G+). This can help drive traditional metrics of impact that are useful for researchers’ professional goals. In addition, though, there is also building pressure on the science management infrastructure to recognize the value of outreach in non-traditional publications such as blogging. Altmetrics are being gathered and used as further ways to measure impact of researcher’s output and contributions to the science community and the broader public as well. It would be great to see these alternative outreach strategies recognized as valuable for grants and tenure situations, as well as being great for the public discussion opportunity.

So this week’s tip highlights one way that science bloggers can broaden the reach of their blogs: the ScienceSeeker aggregator. If you are writing on science topics, and if you are commenting on peer-reviewed publications, you can send your blog feed to a blog aggregator. An aggregator collects posts from a wide range of blogs, and makes them available in one place for readers to explore. You can use the aggregator to locate other blogs of interest to you in your field. And readers all over the world can use the aggregator to find excellent content.

You can learn about the ScienceSeeker goals and the development team here. This team is working hard on making the software foundations smooth and effective for you to use to enable the communications to get distributed widely. They are continuing to add new features as well, so you may notice some changes over time. But today in the video I’ll show some of the basic aspects of using ScienceSeeker as an effective channel to get the word out about topics you care about in science. Sign up and start writing!

In the video I mention the ways to get going, but I didn’t have time to cover everything. So let me summarize here:

Step 1: Create a login for yourself by registering.   From the left navigation area you’ll see the place to access that. Once you have registered you can log in for the next part, and in the future you use this to access the way to sweep your blog for new posts if you want to bring something over right away.

Step 2: Add a new blog. From the top navigation area you can add the feed for your blog. This is how ScienceSeeker will find your new posts and bring them over. You will get a bit of code to put into your blog to make the connection–you’ll have to log into your own blog to do this piece. There will be some instructions on the ScienceSeeker page to help you.

Step 3. Once you have put in the code at your blog, and the ScienceSeeker site has made the handshake, your blog can be “claimed”. You go into your account you made in step 1 and associate your blog with your registration. If your blog has multiple authors, they can all create registrations and they can also claim your blog at this point. You can also add multiple blogs if you blog in several places.

Step 4. Write! Post items to your blog and periodically the ScienceSeeker system will sweep your blog. Your posts will become part of the ScienceSeeker displays. All regular posts go in the main feed on the main page. But if in addition you have a citation attached to your piece, the posts can go to the special “Posts with Citations” section. This helps people specifically find posts on peer-reviewed research.

Optional: Step 5–generate a citation and include it in your blog post. All posts come over to the ScienceSeeker system. But if you want to add a paper citation do that with the “Generate Citation” navigation option. Get the code from ScienceSeeker (it will look like this; click to embiggen):

Then you paste it into your blog. Here’s an example of our blog–a WordPress style. We use the HTML tab to paste the citation into our post. This may vary on other blogging platforms. But here’s what it looks like on ours:

There’s certainly more to explore over there–but we hope this gets you started. If you aren’t blogging you can use the ScienceSeeker site to find things to read. But certainly we’d love to see you in the conversation. Join us!

One other nifty aspect of this outreach:

OpenHelix worked with the ScienceSeeker team and with Elsevier to make the ScienceSeeker system integrated with the SciVerse literature interface. If you have access to SciVerse you can add the ScienceSeeker app to your interface. In the video I highlight this, but here’s an example image. If you add the app you can look at papers and see if they have been blogged (and here’s the sample paper I show; my app is added, you would have to add to yours). You can also use the app to search ScienceSeeker for additional relevant content or generate the citation code when you find awesome papers to comment on. The DOI for the paper of that page is loaded, but you could swipe that out and put any DOI in to get the citation code.  Note: If the app is not live today in the Applications Gallery it will be very soon and you can add it to your SciVerse settings. I’ll update this when I see it live and available.

Update 1: Bora Zivkovik wanted to know if people were aware that the “handshake” step was editorial approval. Here’s what he says:

So the blog archive is examined to ensure that there is suitable content–not just any blog gets accepted. Thanks to Bora for the details.

Quick link to ScienceSeeker:   http://scienceseeker.org/

Van Eperen, L. & Marincola, F.M. (2011). How scientists use social media to communicate their research, Journal of Translational Medicine, 9 (1) DOI: 10.1186/1479-5876-9-199

Mathelus, S., Pittman, G. & Yablonski-Crepeau, J. (2012). Promotion of research articles to the lay press: a summary of a three-year project, Learned Publishing, 25 (3) 212. DOI: 10.1087/20120307

"Social Media" and Conferences

Other than the challenges of live blogging a workshop (which I was not able to do recently because of logistical reasons– I can’t write and chew gum at the same time), there are more serious challenges. Daniel MacArthur has been writing about those challenges in On the challenges of conference blogging : Genetic Future, having posted some information from a CSH Biology of Genomes meeting that was criticized and resulted in the clarification of CSH policy (like Daniel, I welcome the policy changes). It resulted in some discussion of social media and scientific conferences. If you haven’t been able to read the posts and discussions, I suggest you take a bit of time to do so. With a world of increasing numbers of scientists twittering, blogging, facebooking and who knows what in the future, it’s a discussion we should be aware of.

At Last, My ScienceOnline09 Report

brainstorm21 My ScienceOnline09 experience in many ways actually started the year before, at the 2008 North Carolina Science Blogging Conference- that’s just the old name for ScienceOnline. Last year I was a newbie – had never blogged and attended the blogging 101 sessions to try & learn how to blog for our new company blog. Trey got to attend with me last year – he had been blogging a long time already & got to go to the ‘fun’ sessions for old pros. We both thought the meeting was SO worthwhile, we put ‘the next one’ unconditionally on the company calendar. Eagle-eye Mary found the first announcement & I registered immediately, literally months ahead of the conference. Then I sat and waited – well, I mean I was doing other stuff in the meantime, but…

Anyway, the weekend of the conference finally arrived & Friday afternoon I trundled myself off to Research Triangle Park to the Sigma Xi Center for a wonderful networking event organized by the Duke University chapter of Women in Science and Engineering (WiSE). Erica Tsai of WiSE had made these ‘trading cards’ for some of the women bloggers attending the networking event & the conference & I was honored to be one of those women! The cards actually continued to encourage networking well into the ScienceOnline conference as some of the ‘card bloggers’ sought each other out. (I’ll link to their blogs & a few others at the end of this post.) Then there was an interesting talk by Rebecca Skloot on her upcoming book on Henrietta Lacks and HeLa cells.

Saturday was the start of the actual conference & I wasn’t a newbie any more. I attended great sessions on Open Access publishing; the Semantic Web; Race and Science; Social Networking; Blog Carnivals and How to Search Scientific Literature. I got to see demonstrations of all sorts of new things, and I got to meet lots of people doing lots of interesting things. The ScienceOnline conference is an unusual one in that it is not organized around a scientific discipline, it is more organized around a principle – that science and technology can and should be communicated quickly and effectively. That means that the participants of the conference included engineers, journalists, teachers, scientists and more. The ages of the attendees appeared to be anywhere from very engaged high school students all the way through senior faculty, and the ideas and goals of the attendees covered an equally diverse spectrum. Being an ‘unconference’, as I explained here, made it possible for all of the ideas to be shared and discussed across the full range of participants. I’m not sure anyone was able to 100% convert me to their way of thinking, but that’s not the point. I think the point of this type of ‘cross-cultural exchange’ is as a vital meeting grounds where different ideas can be combine and adapted so that online communications can continue to progress. Here’s a BioTechniques post (that quotes your’s truly) that gives another perspective on the conference, and below you’ll find a list to the blogs of some of the people I met. Maybe you will find something in the collection that stimulates your thinking as much as the conference stimulated mine – Enjoy!

Some of the Interesting people I met:

1.      Elissa Hoffman Appleton – http://access.aasd.k12.wi.us/Staff/Hoffman/Wpress/

2.      Daniel Cressey – http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/

3.      Neeru Paharia - http://icommons.org/nodes/acawiki

4.      AcmeGirl – http://kidsndata.blogspot.com/

5.      Corie Lok - http://network.nature.com   

6.      Alice Pawley - http://scienceblogs.com/sciencewoman/

7.      Erin Davis - http://spittoon.23andme.com

8.      Danielle Lee – http://urban-science.blogspot.com/

9.      Melissa Anley-Mills - http://www.epa.gov/ord   

10.  Patricia Cambell – http://www.fairerscience.org/

11.  Bjoern Brembs – http://bjoern.brembs.net:80/

Research Blogging (Science Blogging Conference)

Lots to report from the Science Blogging Conference. I have a stack of cards with notes and thoughts of things I want to do, things I want to report on and things I want to change or add to the blog here :). It was definitely a stimulating conference with lots of great people to meet.
Today’s my day off (having returned from the conference just yesterday and since it’s Martin Luther King day (daughter at home), but I wanted to get started. Tomorrow till have to be the longer post of my impressions and the things I learned. But before I go off today, I’d like to mention researchblogging.org

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science blogging conference

We are here at the science blogging conference this morning. It starts in 30 minutes. I’m looking forward to attending several sessions. First one im attending is on “open science” or how the Internet has changed science. I just wrote a post about that :). The next session I’m going to will be on teaching science online. Then there is the making your blog more interactive. Last are the general sessions. I’ll report on them all later. Right now I’m testing out my iPhone blog posting interface :)

EDIT by Mary: I’m watching this conference remotely on UStream.tv from this link: http://ustream.tv/channel/waynesuttontv

Science Blogging Conference

We’ll be attending January 19th, Jennifer and I, so hope to see you there. We haven’t been ‘science blogging’ long (of course we’ve been doing and teaching science for quite a while :), but we are excited to be joining the ranks of other science bloggers and look forward to the conversation. We’ll be writing more about the conference as we approach the date (and of course after!).