Over the last decade, blogs became a popular medium for sharing reflections over a number of subjects that are not appropriately covered in mainstream media. As a result, many researchers turned to blogs as a privileged locus for scientific dissemination of their own work. Yet, blogging for science is still a challenge for many researchers despite their access to university facilities and to up- to-date research data. Although it is clear that writing for blogs is not the same as writing a paper for peer review, the appropriate tone to be used in the text and the amount of time a scholar is willing to spend on writing for this specific purpose is still a matter of discussion. This work is an attempt to address the particulars of scientific blogging in the Brazilian social and scientific context. It draws on an overall analysis of 106 Brazilian scientific blogs, using a variety of criteria such as the blogger’s credentials, institutional affiliation, frequency and length of postings, editorial guidelines (if there is one), explicit target public, and the use of some web design tools. Such an analysis allows us to raise questions about the reasons why press vehicles scientific blogs face problems in publication constancy, which are very similar to those faced by any fulltime university professor. As our analysis points out to the generalized problem of constant feeding of content that is prone to be found (at least in principle) in blogs and other more decentralized forms of publishing, we feel the urge to shift the overall discussion from the reasons leading to “successful blogging”. Rather, we argue for what seems to be a more promising framework that goes beyond the focus on the interactive possibilities of blogs and opens up space to question daily professional routines and specific scientific publication culture in Brazil compared to other countries.

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Public Communication of Science and Technology

 

Science blogging
Some particulars of the contemporary Brazilian scenario

Juliana Botelho   Coordenadoria de Comunicação Científica/ CEDECOM/Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Luiza Nathalia de Carvalho   Coordenadoria de Comunicação Científica/CEDECOM/ Universidade Federal De Minas Gerais, Brazil

Rachel Gomes   Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil

Over the last decade, blogs became a popular medium for sharing reflections over a number of subjects that are not appropriately covered in mainstream media. As a result, many researchers turned to blogs as a privileged locus for scientific dissemination of their own work. Yet, blogging for science is still a challenge for many researchers despite their access to university facilities and to up- to-date research data. Although it is clear that writing for blogs is not the same as writing a paper for peer review, the appropriate tone to be used in the text and the amount of time a scholar is willing to spend on writing for this specific purpose is still a matter of discussion. This work is an attempt to address the particulars of scientific blogging in the Brazilian social and scientific context. It draws on an overall analysis of 106 Brazilian scientific blogs, using a variety of criteria such as the blogger’s credentials, institutional affiliation, frequency and length of postings, editorial guidelines (if there is one), explicit target public, and the use of some web design tools. Such an analysis allows us to raise questions about the reasons why press vehicles scientific blogs face problems in publication constancy, which are very similar to those faced by any fulltime university professor. As our analysis points out to the generalized problem of constant feeding of content that is prone to be found (at least in principle) in blogs and other more decentralized forms of publishing, we feel the urge to shift the overall discussion from the reasons leading to “successful blogging”. Rather, we argue for what seems to be a more promising framework that goes beyond the focus on the interactive possibilities of blogs and opens up space to question daily professional routines and specific scientific publication culture in Brazil compared to other countries.

A copy of the full paper has not yet been submitted.

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