Nature has announced a new collaboration with Reddit Science, part of the social news site Reddit. The move will see editors and reporters at Nature engaging with their readers at the subreddit r/science.
With more than 4m subscribers, r/science is one of Reddit’s busiest subsections. Each day thousands of people discuss and link to science stories from across the web. Editors at Nature are already active, helping to explain stories they have written, answering questions and directing people to additional information.
The new official collaboration will make this more of a formal process in giving Nature editors and reporters’ status markers / flairs next to their names that will identify their role at the journal. Journalists at Nature will keep their eye on top conversations originating from nature.com news stories and manuscript editors will bring their expertise to conversations.
“One of the big things we’re doing with /r/science now is trying to bridge the gap between the people who do or report science and the public that enjoys it,” says Reddit Science. “We’ve been encouraging scientists and journalists to make their affiliations public and participate actively when they see a user has submitted their article or their publication.”
In a report by the Atlantic, chief online editor for Nature news Ananyo Bhattacharya said one of the main attractions to get more involved in the r/science subreddit was the large numbers of PHDs and postdocs participating in conversations. “It is another way to reach our core audience and the flair system gives our reporters and editors some prominence while clearly signalling that we have chips in the game,” he told the magazine.
As with Reddit’s standard procedures, the redittors will be subject to the same rules against self-promotion as any other redditor and will not be allowed to submit their own publications. Nature editors and journalists will comment on content from nature.com – principally from nature.com/news. Any associates’ post will further comply with Nature’s long-standing policies of no commenting on Nature editorials, on retractions or corrections, or on why particular papers were accepted / rejected from publication.
Reddit added: “Nature is one of the most reputable and most cited scientific journals in publication and we’re beyond ecstatic that they want to participate in our subreddit.”
For a full interview with Ananyo on the Reddit collaboration, read Matt Shipman’s blog.