“Great sites have little sites upon their back to bite ’em
And little sites have lesser sites, and so ad infinitum…”
So what happened was, Carole Goble asked on the myExperiment mailing list, “is there a list of scientist social networking sites”? Here is first attempt at such a list (not comprehensive), you’ll have to decide for yourself which are the great, greater, little and lesser sites.
For simplicity, I’ll break social software down into social networking, data sharing, blogging, ranking and video. These categories aren’t exclusive, as some sites do more than one of these tasks, but they help to classify the wild wild web of social software.
Social networking sites: “Me and my mates”
The primary focus of these social networking sites is to connect friends, actual, virtual or otherwise:
- network.nature.com, hosted by Nature Publishing Group
- scilink.com, allows you to find and connect with your peers
- biomedexperts.com, explore and expand your personal scientific network
- Epernicus.com a professional networking platform for health and life scientists
- labroots.com a “free, social networking site that enables scientists, engineers, and other technical professionals to connect, collaborate with, and learn from each other.”
- FriendFeed.com: Allows you to aggregate shared content, including news articles, papers, experiments, photos etc, a bit like Facebook (especially the “news feed” feature), but without the walled garden
- Academia.edu “its like an academic facebook”
- Facebook.com, one of the first successful social networking sites
- myspace.com, Rupert Murdoch thought he was on to a winner, maybe he was wrong? see MySpace users live up to gender stereotypes, (from Euan Adie)
- linkedin.com, like Facebook and mySpace but without the stroppy teenagers
- Twitter.com, what are you doing (in 140 words?)
The following are not aimed specifically at Scientists, but deserve a mention here:
Data sharing sites: “some interesting data I want to share”
The focus of these data sharing sites is to share many different kinds of data among peers (or strangers), whether it be scientific papers (see our review ), arbitrary web sites, photos or any other kind of database.
- citeulike.org, a free online service to organise your academic papers
- connotea.org, free online reference management for all researchers, clinicians and scientists
- 2collab.com, an Elsevier “me too” copycat version of citeulike/connotea
- RefWorks.com, a more sociable version of EndNote, see a brief review of RefWorks
- Mendeley manage, share and discover research papers
- myExperiment.org: find, use and share (dry) scientific workflows, (“OpenDryWare” if you like), now with mashup-able RESTful API goodness!
- openwetware.org, an effort to promote the sharing of information, know-how, and wisdom among researchers and groups who are working in biology & biological engineering for sharing wet lab protocols, using wiki and blog technology
- many-eyes.com, “democratizes visualization to enable a new social kind of data analysis.”
- Slideshare.net, the YouTube of the PowerPoint world, publish slides on the web
- del.icio.us, share bookmarks (the original)
- digg.com, “I really dig this”…
- flickr.com, “my boring holiday snaps”
- reddit.com, I “read it” and thought it was good/bad/stupid etc
- stumbleupon.com, stumbled upon this…
The following are not specifically aimed at Scientists, but are more generic…
Blogging sites: “You post, we host”
These sites make blogging easier. By providing a hosting service of some kind, “you post, we host”…
- scienceblogs.com, a network of 70 writers in science, selected bloggers write here by invitiation-only.
- nodalpoint.org, one of the first blogs in bioinformatics, on the web since 2000
- wordpress.com, hosted blogs see suicyte.wordpress.com
- blogger.com, or “blogspot” owned by the all seeing eye of Google, for example ensembl.blogspot.com
more generally there is also
For more blogging software, see the wikipedia entry of weblog software, which is more comprehensive.
Social ranking: “This is great, but that sucks”
These services aggregate many different sites into a single place and rank them according to some criteria, often using the (supposed) “wisdom of crowds” or a more formal kind of peer-review:
- technorati.com, search engine tailored to “user-generated media” (including weblogs)
- postgenomic.com, collects posts from hundreds of science blogs and then does useful and interesting things with that data.
- chemical blogspace, like postgenomic but more chemical
- blogs.nature.com similar to postgenomic and chemical blogspace, but hosted at Nature
- scintilla.nature.com, “Scintilla collects data from hundreds of news outlets, scientific blogs, journals and databases and then makes it easy for you to organise, share and discover exactly the type of information that you’re interested in”
- chemistry.org/exchange, user-driven scientific content: you can share, vote, and comment on articles and news among a global community.
- arXiv.org, pre-print server since 1991 created by Paul Ginsparg at Cornell University. Publications are “Endorsed“, like with traditional peer-review
- facultyof1000.com, Key articles selected and evaluated by a global faculty of top researchers and clinicians.
- PLoS One: social ranking of papers, from the Public Library of Science
Video killed the webbio star
These sites adapted the YouTube idea for more Scientific purposes, by linking videos to “proper” peer-reviewed scientific publications
- www.jove.com, the Journal Of Visualized Experiments
- scivee.tv, link videos to papers already published in PLoS
Some of the above is adapted from Stian Soiland‘s Fluffy Web 2.0 demo and an article by from David Crotty at Cold Spring Harbor: Why Web 2.0 is failing in biology. While we’re on the subject, “Media Studies” professor Tara Brabazon argues that “Web 2.0 has become a warm and dark space for people with too much time and too few ideas”. Judging by the innovative list of sites above, I’d have to disagree with her.
So, if there are any important science-oriented “social software” sites I missed, please let me know…
- Duncan Hull, Steve Pettifer and Douglas B. Kell (2008). Defrosting the digital library: Bibliographic tools for the next generation web. PLoS Computational Biology, 4(10):e1000204+. DOI:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1000204, pmid:18974831, pmcid:2568856, citeulike:3467077
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