Thursday, September 25, 2008

ResearchBlogging Mentioned in the Economist

During the last year I have been serving as a library 'consultant' for the ReasearchBlogging project. The project is in the very capable hands of Dave Munger

An article mentioning the project appeared in the print edition of the Economist. I was expecting Dave to be mentioned or quoted in the article. He was not. To give someone the benefit of a doubt, Dave could have been left on the cutting room floor.  After spending time with Dave in March, he is devoted to making the site work and deserves the credit. 

While the Seed Media Group can certainly deserves recognition for development efforts and hosting the site, the concept was brought to them by Dave and is 'owned' by Research Blogging, Inc.  a non-profit he set up for the project. In fact, it is really owned by those involved in the project - the hundreds of bloggers and readers to make the site function. 

Don't get me wrong. The project has been very fortunate to have the Seed providing development support. The folks there have simply been great to work with! The project may not have gotten off the ground without them. I just feel strongly that Dave deserves the credit for the project, something the article does not articulate.

OK, off the soap box.  

A quick primer for those not familiar with the project. Bloggers, often experts in their discipline, frequently find peer-reviewed research they'd like to share. They write thoughtful posts about the research for their blogs. However, these post are often difficult to discover. ResearchBlogging is meant as a discovery tool for those communications and a way to uncover peer-review research.

My thinking, and interest in the project, is that in time the site could be used to help build a quality index of the blogs themselves. Blogs citing blogs; a Blogger Citation Index (BCI), of sorts.  

Bloggers interested in the project can register with the site. A simple form is used to create a snippet of code that is placed in their posts.  This snipet not only notifies ResearchBlogging about the existence of the post, but also creates a properly formatted citation for their blog. ResearchBlogging then regularly scans registered blogs for posts containing the code snippet. (Made easier if the original article has a DOI!).

Interestingly enough, while I have been involved in the project, library and information science is not yet a default topic. While there are a number of LIS bloggers there is less discussion about peer-review literature when compared to other sciences. Perhaps if more LIS bloggers would participate we can get it added. Until then, just add the topic 'Library and Information Science' under 'other.'

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Christina said...

I noticed that all of Dave Munger's work was not mentioned - everywhere it's all about Seed - like they invented the idea. I like seed, but I've been watching this (and participating) since the beginning so it's disappointing that it's being painted this way. BTW- my couple of posts are in a weird category, I'll have to figure out how to get future ones in other > lis

kayla said...

Thanks for the posts!