Friday, July 23, 2010

What's the point of good science if nobody reads it?

AoB Blog There's some fantastic plant science being done, but it mostly gets dismissed (by non-plant scientists) as "boring botany". Annals of Botany is an old and well respected journal, which is not to say that it's particularly well read outside a limited field. Yet a lot of the content, beyond the scientific papers, is fantastic, such as Nigel Chaffney's brilliant Plant Cuttings, and deserves a much wider readership.

In connection with the work that Alun and I are doing for AoB to surface more of their content to new audiences (such as the Facebook generation), I had a very useful chat yesterday with Jason Hoyt and William Gunn about Mendeley. I've written here before about the fact that I struggle with Mendeley, but some of the developments coming in the next few weeks and months are going to make the service a LOT more usable from my point of view.

The most useful practical aspect to come out of yesterday's conversation was a feature which has existed on Mendeley for a while, but which passed me by completely - public collections. Public collections make it possible to interact with other Mendeley users in a variety of interesting and powerful ways - Tagginganna team take note!

There's already some great stuff on there, such as this useful collection of research papers and articles about Social Network Analysis. Spend some time grokking Mendeley's public collections and ask not what you can do for public collections, but what public collections can do for you ;-)