Photo credit: Todd Eddy. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more info.

Altmetrics, ‘Altmetric,’ and Science Communication

Photo credit: Todd Eddy. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more info.
Photo credit: Todd Eddy. Shared under a Creative Commons license. Click for more info.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Iara Vidal, a Ph.D. student based in Brazil whose work focuses on altmetrics and scholarly communication. If you’re curious about altmetrics, or how they may be relevant to science communication, read on.

Being overwhelmed by information is not a new phenomenon, but it is a very real problem. We struggle to keep up to date with all the discoveries, papers, and books in our fields of interest. It often seems as though new fields of study, methods, and/or tools are created every month. Buzzwords are all around, and it can be hard to know if there’s anything useful behind the buzz.

One of these buzzwords is altmetrics. Continue reading “Altmetrics, ‘Altmetric,’ and Science Communication”

Science Blogging and Citations

Photo credit: North Carolina State University
Photo credit: North Carolina State University

Paige Brown Jarreau, author of the SciLogs blog From The Lab Bench, recently wrote a lengthy post on the science of science blogging. The post included a lengthy list of related journal articles, and one of them caught my eye: “Do blog citations correlate with a higher number of future citations?” With Paige’s blessing, I decided to unpack that particular paper a bit. Continue reading “Science Blogging and Citations”

What Twitter May Be Able to Tell Us (in Advance) about Citations

Image: Roger Winstead

Social media platforms allow people to exchange information, including scientific information. That’s one reason many scientists are active on social media. I just read a paper (not new, but new to me) that suggests social media – particularly Twitter – may actually also serve as something of a crystal ball for predicting the scientific impact of journal articles. Continue reading “What Twitter May Be Able to Tell Us (in Advance) about Citations”

Let’s Find Out What Science Outreach Can Accomplish

How do you measure the impact of science outreach? (Photo credit: fangol/stock.chng)

[Note: This post first ran Feb. 13 on Nature‘s Soapbox Science blog.]

Many people, including me, will tell you that science outreach is important. This is nothing new. The public lectures of Humphry Davy and Michael Faraday are thought of as crucial elements in the popularization of science in the 19th century, and they are as likely to be remembered for those outreach efforts as they are for their scientific contributions (which were considerable). But here’s the thing – we can’t prove it. Continue reading “Let’s Find Out What Science Outreach Can Accomplish”

We Studied a Zoo: How Two Studies Assessed Outreach Impact

Credit: Scott Liddell Capuchin monkeys. Image courtesy of Scott Liddell, http://www.scottliddell.net/

At the ScienceOnline conference earlier this month, I was bemoaning the dearth of literature evaluating the impact of science outreach activities. Luckily, Mun Keat Looi was part of this conversation, and he steered me to a 2012 paper he thought I’d find interesting. He was right. Continue reading “We Studied a Zoo: How Two Studies Assessed Outreach Impact”

Art as a Science Communication Tool: I Need Your Help

Photo credit: asifthebes/stock.xchng

Visual art has the power to inspire, provoke and fascinate. I know some incredibly talented artists that focus on scientific subjects, and I think their work is a beautiful and valuable science communication tool – but I’m having a hard time quantifying that value. So I want you to help me out. Continue reading “Art as a Science Communication Tool: I Need Your Help”