This weekly Nautilus column highlights some of the online discussion at Nature Network in the preceding week that is of relevance to scientists as authors and communicators. Readers are welcome to join any of these discussions by visiting the links provided. The Nature Network week column is archived here.
María José Navarrete-Talloni writes about her involvement in a Chilean organization for scientists called RedCiencia, a web platform for Spanish-speaking scientists from all over the world that promotes funding opportunities and jobs, as well as publishing news and columns (including one by her).
The Semantic Web is based on the relatively straightforward idea that to be able to integrate (link) data on the Web we must have some mechanism for knowing what relationships hold among the data, and how that relates to some “real world” context. Jim Hendler tells us what it is really all about at his Nature Network blog, and how useful technology is ready to be applied in fairly simple ways.
More on technology: what can we do to close the “digital divide” among scientists? Martin Fenner writes that “many if not most scientists are experienced users of computers and the internet, and use email or public databases such as PubMed on a daily basis. But few scientists regularly use Web 2.0 tools, which would include both general tools such as Twitter, FriendFeed or Facebook, as well as tools specifically targeted at scientists (and this would of course include Nature Network).” Some good suggestions for closing the gap follow, both in the post and in the ensuing online discussion.
Mickey Schafer and Linda Cooper discuss whether poor writing can be useful in teaching people how to write well in their scientific papers, in the Good Paper Journal Club.
Happy second birthday to Nature Precedings, a wesite now hosting more than a thousand documents, including several specialized document collections. Hilary Spencer writes that thousands of researchers have signed up to read and view pre-print manuscripts, posters and presentations, and many have posted comments providing feedback on these submissions. Santosh Patnaik assesses usage of the service during its second year. More information and updates are at the Nature Precedings forum.
Streamosphere is the latest web application from Nature Publishing Group. Euan Adie has created a visualisation and aggregation tool that lets you track scientific discussion on the web in real-time. Futher details, with links to the service, are provided at the Nature Publshing Group news forum.
Further science-related blog reading and online discussion can be enjoyed at: