This weekly Nautilus column highlights some of the online discussion at Nature Network in the preceding week that is of relevance to scientists as authors and communicators. Readers are welcome to join any of these discussions by visiting the links provided. The Nature Network week column is archived here.
Teisha Rowland provides her perspective on the oft-discussed topic of why scientists blog in the science blogging forum. She writes: “many of the stem cell blogs I’ve seen focus (often entirely) on stem cell news and politics, while not going into the biology enough to quench my curiosity. This originally inspired me to create my blog; I wanted to explore the topics less visited by most stem cell blogs (i.e. history and the biological details) and in this way educate myself more as well as make this information more accessible to a wide audience.” Another perspective on science blogging is provided in this stimulating post by Anna Kushnir.
Metrics are in the frame again, as Bart Penders argues in the citation in science forum that despite their many flaws, scientists have to take them seriously. Other views follow.
Massimo Pinto comments on Italy’s decision to “outsource” its grant peer-review process. It’s bordering on humiliation, he writes, but necessary. Roberto Cerbino adds that it is “he first step toward a more intelligent organization of peer review procedures in Italy.” Join their discussion at the Nature Network Italy forum. A different aspect of peer-review is hotly debated as a result of a post by Martin Fenner, who muses on whether companies and organisations would pay journals for “peer-review information”. Whatever one may think of that idea, peer reviewers’ reports should be kept confidential, writes Roger Macy in the Nature Opinion forum discussion arising from a recent Nature Essay in which Toby Murcott argued for journalists’ access to peer-reviewers’ deliberations.
Further science-related blog reading and online discussion can be enjoyed at: