One of the most important and institutionalized forms of science communication is the peer-reviewed journal article. These articles are essential to disseminating information among researchers in specific fields of study, and the extent to which those journal articles are cited by researchers in later articles is of enormous professional importance to researchers – particularly researchers who work in academic settings. But it appears that many researchers face an uphill battle when it comes to getting citations and related professional benefits.... Read more
Matt Shipman: ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Matt Shipman is a science writer and public information officer at North Carolina State University, where he writes about everything from forensic anthropology to computer malware. He previously worked as a reporter and editor in the Washington, D.C. area for Inside EPA, Water Policy Report and Risk Policy Report, covering the nexus of science, politics and policy.
In his free time, Shipman runs a non-profit organization called the First Step Project that has nothing to do with science, plays guitar badly (but with enthusiasm) and keeps track of the juvenile humans who live in his house. You can follow him on Twitter: @ShipLives.
Anyone interested in hiring Shipman for freelance writing or editing projects can reach him at shiplives[at]gmail.com.
Matt Shipman: All Posts
On December 6, Reddit’s Science “Subreddit” announced a partnership with the venerable science news source Nature. Why did they team up? I wanted to know what Reddit, essentially an online bulletin board with an active community of users, would get out of partnering with Nature. I also wanted to know what Nature would get out of partnering with Reddit, which – though nicknamed “the front page of the internet” – has occasionally come under fire for the unsavory nature of... Read more
“Breasts: A Natural and Unnatural History,” by Florence Williams, is one of the best nonfiction books I’ve read in years; a smart, funny read that touches on everything from evolutionary biology to toxicology and environmental health. In November, I met Williams at the annual conference of the National Association of Science Writers and she was exactly as smart and funny as I’d hoped she’d be, based on her writing. I wanted to know how she got into journalism, why she... Read more
Reporters and editors need each other, but this mutually beneficial relationship can sometimes be rocky—particularly for freelance reporters who might work with editors at a dozen different news outlets over the course of a year. In the interest of editors and freelancers everywhere, I asked a freelance writer and an editor to talk it out. Below, you’ll find a conversation between freelancer Jessica Morrison and editor Laura Helmuth. Morrison is relatively new to professional science journalism (less than two years).... Read more
I recently wrote a post about the challenges facing women in the science writing community and referred to a ScienceWriters2013 panel called The XX Question. A video of the panel has now been made available, and I am including it here. It is worth watching. The session was organized and moderated by Deborah Blum, and the panel consisted of: Emily Willingham, Florence Williams, Kathleen Raven, Christie Aschwanden and Maryn McKenna. ... Read more
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Eva Amsen, outreach director for the open-access journal F1000Research. Her post discusses F1000Research’s efforts to publish more papers on negative results. For more on negative results, see a series of posts published on Communication Breakdown earlier this year. In 2012 Ben Goldacre gave a compelling talk at the annual TEDMED conference, in which he told several stories about publication bias in medicine. In one particular example, he mentioned the case of the... Read more
If you’re at all interested in science communication (“scicomm”), you’ve probably seen references to the “scicomm community.” And if you also spend any time on social media sites, you’ve probably seen the term a lot recently. Some people talk about building a better scicomm community (I’ve done that). Some people talk about its failings. Some people talk about leaving it, or even breaking up with it. But what is it? I guess there are two ways to think about it.... Read more
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Jacquelyn Gill, a paleoecologist and biogeographer at the University of Maine. She blogs at The Contemplative Mammoth. The science communication community is in the middle of a major shakeup, after a series of incidents in recent weeks that highlight that we are not immune from sexism and misogyny. Flies have been left down. Mistakes were made. Feelings are hurt, and tensions are high. Many people are feeling fatigue, both as activists and... Read more
In late February of 2014, I’ll be moderating a conversation about online press materials – the stuff that public information officers (PIOs) make available to reporters online. What do reporters want or need in an online press package? What do PIOs think reporters want or need? And what do scientists make of all this? The conversation about online press materials will be part of ScienceOnline Together, being held on the NC State University campus (where I work) in Raleigh. I’ll... Read more
Gender bias, stereotypes, the shutdown, video games, crowdfunding and bad pitches – among other things. It’s hard to keep track of all the posts on this blog, or any blog, so I to write a quarterly roundup that pulls several months of posts together in one place so that people can see what they missed. I should have written, and published, this roundup in September. Oops. So, this roundup covers much more than three months – and the next roundup... Read more