Blogs and their links with PubMed Commons

Photo of blog entry in a dictionary

Blogs grew quickly into a dynamic and substantial element in the way we discuss, criticize and share information about scientific publications. Science blogs are one of the filters many now use for the science literature – and one of the ways members of the public learn about research results and efforts.

Anchoring these blog posts to the publications they discuss is one of the ways members are putting PubMed Commons to good use. Here are examples from the spectrum covered by dozens of links to blog posts so far in the Commons.

Dorothy Bishop responded to Michael Farthing’s lecture on the challenge of research conduct, including links to her blog posts on perverse incentives for academics and registering proposed research in psychology.

Daniel Simons writes post-publication peer reviews on his blog. He’s posted one on Joaquin Anguera and colleagues’ study of video game training for cognitive control,  and one on a recent study of inattentional blindness to African Americans by Jazmin Brown-Iannuzzi at the Commons.

Coming across a media report of a study draws the attention of many academic bloggers, spurring both posts on their blogs and links to them on PubMed Commons. This happened when Andrew Kniss saw a newspaper article on Carsten Bruehl’s conclusions about pesticide use and frog population decline.

In other areas where there’s a lot of debate about a publication, or they read a post they found helpful, Commons members draw readers’ attention to detailed coverage in another person’s blog. George McNamara, for example, points to a post by Michael Eisen at the PubMed record for John Bohannon’s publication about peer review at open-access journals.

Important blog posts also unwrap the history of misleading use of studies in public debates. An example now in the Commons is about an autism prevalence study by Simon Baron-Cohen and colleagues. It was added by Jamie Horder, pointing to Ben Goldacre’s post on “The story behind this paper, and the remarkable media coverage it received.” It’s a Whodunit? about an MMR vaccine scare in the media.

Retractions of articles are being noted with links to blog posts about the background, for example by Allison Stelling and Ivan Oransky.

Attacks on research lead defenders to their blogs, too – and now to the Commons afterwards. James Coyne responded to critics of a randomized trial by William Hollingworth and colleagues of screening for distress in cancer patients.

Authors of publications who discuss their work on their own blogs draw readers’ attention to these posts at PubMed Commons. For example, Anne-Marie Cunningham has posted links to blog posts on her work with colleagues incorporating a pre-publication version with one article and an audio-visual presentation with another.

Seth Borderstein links to a post explaining the background to a publication on maternal microbe transmission. And Jonathan Eisen links to his post telling the story behind his team’s work on phylogenetic trees.

Discussing implications for future research of a study’s findings are another part of blog posts brought into the Commons. Graham Coop posted a link to his blog post on Sriram Sankararaman and colleagues’ work on genetic variants on the possible offspring of Neandertal and modern human parents.

The Commons is growing: from 2,000 members in January to over 3,000 today, who have made just over 1,000 comments so far. Want to keep up with comments that are getting good ranking scores in PubMed Commons? We tweet them @PubMedCommons.

That’s one more important reason for PubMed Commons members to add their “helpful? yes or no” clicks to the system: when you read it, please rate it. Help shape the Commons into a valuable place for discussions about biomedical publications – and drawing together the valuable discussions from outside. If you write or read a blog with a valuable discussion about a publication, think about sharing it at PubMed Commons.

The PubMed Commons team

More information

Membership of PubMed Commons is open to all authors in PubMed.

Join PubMed Commons

“You found this helpful:” What people like in comments on PubMed

Comment search and alert: A PubMed Commons guide


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About NCBI Staff

The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), a division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine, provides access to scientific and biomedical databases, software tools for analyzing molecular data, and performs research in computational biology.

2 thoughts on “Blogs and their links with PubMed Commons

  1. Pingback: Commenting on PubMed: A Successful Pilot | PubMed Commons Blog

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