27 February 2009
Scientists are uncertain if blogging is part of science, journalism, or public discourse, says an editorial in Nature (2009 Feb 26;457:1058, doi:10.1038/4571058a). Embargoes rest on the principle that work should be peer reviewed and published before being covered by the press. To promote scientific communication, however, work can be presented at scientific conferences ahead of publication, and its authors can answer journalists’ questions — so long as they don’t actively promote media coverage. The same considerations apply in disseminating new scientific results in the blogosphere. Nature adds that researchers would do well to blog more than they do: societal debates have much to gain from the uncensored voices of researchers.
Thanks to Margaret Cooter