Why Do Scientific Researchers Read Blogs?

June 24, 2016

Scientific researchers -- at least the ones reading the blogs runs by the open-access publisher PLOS -- turn to blogs for expert commentary and in-depth analyses of research papers, suggesting an opportunity for publishers to more frequently engage readers who turn to their peer-reviewed journals for scholarly articles. PLOS earlier this year surveyed its own blog readers, who in addition to ranking their favorite types of blog posts said they read blogs mostly to keep up with current events and research in science, stimulate their curiosity, and for educational purposes. Despite the popularity of blogs, however, few researchers see them as platforms to showcase their work before it is published in a peer-reviewed journal. Only 56 of the 996 respondents said they have ever posted a draft of a research paper on a blog, largely because they feared they would get "scooped" by other researchers or rejected by publishers.

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