Bringing ecology blogging into the scientific fold: measuring reach and impact of science community blogs

R Soc Open Sci. 2017 Oct 4;4(10):170957. doi: 10.1098/rsos.170957. eCollection 2017 Oct.


The popularity of science blogging has increased in recent years, but the number of academic scientists who maintain regular blogs is limited. The role and impact of science communication blogs aimed at general audiences is often discussed, but the value of science community blogs aimed at the academic community has largely been overlooked. Here, we focus on our own experiences as bloggers to argue that science community blogs are valuable to the academic community. We use data from our own blogs (n = 7) to illustrate some of the factors influencing reach and impact of science community blogs. We then discuss the value of blogs as a standalone medium, where rapid communication of scholarly ideas, opinions and short observational notes can enhance scientific discourse, and discussion of personal experiences can provide indirect mentorship for junior researchers and scientists from underrepresented groups. Finally, we argue that science community blogs can be treated as a primary source and provide some key points to consider when citing blogs in peer-reviewed literature.

Keywords: blogging; communication; impact; science community.

Publication types

  • Review

Associated data

  • Dryad/10.5061/dryad.kf8b0