Monthly Archives: October 2012


Why I Think Ditching Embargoes Was a Good Move by eLife

Posted 31 October 2012 by Matt Shipman

A new, open-access journal called eLife released its “media policy” earlier this week – including a promise to not issue embargoed news releases and language encouraging researchers to make their accepted manuscripts available to the public in advance of publication. I think this is a good move. As I read the eLife policy, the look on my face must have gone from neutral, to guarded optimism, to enthusiasm – then back to guarded optimism as I re-read the policy to... Read more

Unconventional Metrics: How Can I Tell If My Blog Is Working?

Posted 28 October 2012 by Matt Shipman

So you started a blog to give yourself a place to write about science. You’re using social media to push your posts out, and you know that some people are reading them. But how can you tell if you’re reaching the people you want to reach? And, more importantly, are you any closer to achieving your communication goals? On Oct. 27, I was part of a panel at the National Association of Science Writers meeting in Raleigh, N.C., that addressed... Read more

Some Thoughts on Facilitating Science Communication by Scientists

Posted 26 October 2012 by Matt Shipman

Earlier this year, there was another science communication blame-a-thon, with some people calling on scientists to do more outreach and some scientists wondering why they were being picked on. While both sides made valid points, I'm not sure this advanced the cause of science communication. I wrote a post at the time, asking scientists what they need to facilitate their involvement in outreach efforts. The comments on that post are worth reading, but one of the things that jumped out... Read more

Writing: How Long Does This Need To Be?

Posted 25 October 2012 by Matt Shipman

In a comment on my first post here, someone asked about writing. Specifically, they asked whether the length of a piece was more important than its substance. I responded in the comments that I don’t think the length of a story/post/article is important at all. But I was thinking this over as I drove home last night, and that’s not entirely true. Sometimes word count matters. There is a school of thought that writing for the web needs to be... Read more

Statement of Purpose (or, Why I’m Launching a SciComm Blog)

Posted 24 October 2012 by Matt Shipman

When I was first approached about launching a blog that focuses on science communication, two questions popped into my head. Is there enough to say about science communication to sustain a blog? And, if so, who would want to read about it? Judging from the existence of annual conferences that focus on various aspects of science communication (e.g., ScienceOnline, National Association of Science Writers), there is a lot to discuss when it comes to science communication. I plan to write... Read more