Will blogging change how ecologists communicate? In economics, it already has.

Pleased to announce that I’ve just gotten my third peer-reviewed paper out of blogging. This one is a short invited piece for a forthcoming special issue of Ideas in Ecology and Evolution on the future of scientific publishing.

In the paper, I list some reasons why blogs are a useful complement to peer reviewed papers, and discuss the role of blogs in economics. In economics, blogging has become an absolutely crucial means of communication and evaluation of ideas. So much so that it can be argued that a single once-obscure economics blogger (Scott Sumner of The Money Illusion) may just have saved the entire US economy. Yes, really–read my paper for more details! I conclude by asking why the “blogging culture” is so different in economics vs. ecology, and speculate on whether things will ever change in ecology.

The whole special issue should be interesting. Stefano Allesina’s paper modeling the consequences of alternative peer review systems is already up.

Like all IEE papers, my paper will be open access once it’s published (should be soon). But in the meantime, the page proof (which needs no corrections) is here.

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12 thoughts on “Will blogging change how ecologists communicate? In economics, it already has.

  1. I liked the paper, very interesting and you make some great points. I’d add another reason to blog, at least for those of us who teach; so often our students don’t really understand what it is that academics do on a day to day basis, how and why they do research, what conferences are for, why we write papers, apply for funding, etc. I’d like to think that my blog entries give my students a sense of what I am above and beyond someone who lectures, runs field trips and grades their work.

      • Well, understanding that ideas in science change and are not static notions from text books is certainly important! And also that they themselves could contribute to the development of a field.

      • Yes, I actually do use the zombie ideas thing in my undergraduate population ecology class, mostly to teach students that they need to think critically about what they read and hear, not just take it for granted because it was in a textbook or because someone with “Dr.” in front of their name said it. Also about the importance of doing the math rather than just trusting your pre-mathematical intuitions (a big reason the zombie IDH survives is because of its intuitive appeal).

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