Friday, April 21, 2006

Posting data on your blog

From Postgenomic I read this blog post in Science and Politics on science blogs. Bora Zivkovic describes in his post the different types of science blogging with several examples. The most interesting part for me was his discussion of posting hypothesis and unpublished data. I was very happy to see that he already had some post with his own unpublished data and that the discussion about science communication online is coming up in different communities.

His answer to the scoop problem :
But, putting data on a blog is a fast way of getting the data out with a date/time stamp on it. It is a way to scoop the competition. Once the data are published in a real Journal, you can refer back to your blog post and, by doing that, establish your primacy.

There are some problems with this. For example, people hosting their blogs can try to forge the dates, so it would be best to have a third party time-stamping the data. Postgenomic would be great for this, there could be another section in the aggregator to track posts with data. Some journals will probably complain about prior publication and decline to publish something already seen in a blog.

The problems with current publishing systems and the agonizing feeling of seeing your hard work published by other people will probably help drive some change in science communication. Blogging data would make science communication more real-time and transparent, hopefully reducing the number of wasted resources and frustrations with overlapping research.

This is a topic I usually come back to once in while so I have mentioned this here before. The stream like format of the blog makes it hard to keep posting all the relevant links on the topic so I think from now on I will just link to the last post on the topic to at least form a connected chain.