I am immensely, indescribably sad to learn this morning via an emailed missive from Spektrum der Wissenschaft (the German publishers behind our SciLogs.com platform) that they are going to shutter this platform down in September, the ostensible reason being that they “weren’t able to find investors for this platform” – the bane of any private endeavor. Some of you, my fellow Scilogs bloggers, may have known this already, but I certainly didn’t. More fool me.
A couple of days ago, Paige Brown Jarreau, my Scilogs co-blogger (“From the Lab Bench“) and our intrepid, supportive, Scilogs-Community Manager, launched her own crowdfunding project on experiment.com to fund her research work on science communication. It is a worthy effort, and her results will be Open Access, which is an awesome plus. Please do visit her blog as well as the project page to support her endeavor if possible.
Two things I encountered today, good and bad in equal measures. First, the good.
In the recent past, I received an invitation for reviewing a submitted manuscript from a noted journal (which shall remain nameless). The topic of the study verged on pharmacognosy and ethnobotany, both areas of knowledge that I – as an erstwhile drug discovery researcher in another lifetime – find fascinating. I accepted the invitation to review because the study piqued my interest.
Or, what one gets for trying to be good and law-abiding.
Navigating the labyrinthine maze known as the Copyright Law is never an easy task, either for the prospective blogger/author, or for the organization that would host/publish the work of such a blogger/author. This problem is particularly acute for academic or personal bloggers, who are attached – rather loosely – to free platforms (such as Google Blogger or WordPress), or to platforms hosted by non-profit concerns (such as this one, Scilogs.com – NOTE: Now hosted at my own expense at my server, inscientioveritas.org). I, as an academic/personal blogger, am not paid by Scilogs or anyone else for my blogging endeavors; I like writing, I like explaining how things work, and I am passionate about science, science communication and science education. I do this by carefully juggling my time in between my work as a bioscience researcher.
I have a blog. On Nature Network. Fancy that!
I must clarify, though, that the indicated ‘suddenness’ is procedural, rather than temporal. Richard Grant (yes, that* Richard; Hat-tip to you!) had planted the seed of an idea – of getting my own blog where I can rant and rant and… (did I say, ‘rant?’) to my blessed heart’s content. Taking advantage of the confusion and hassles over moving the NN blogging platform to MT4, I sneaked in. I mean, that must be it. Otherwise – think about it – why would they grant me access to a hallowed area already populated by heavyweights? (Ahem! Metaphorically speaking, of course!)