Major props to Shema et al for considering the characteristics of research bloggers and their blogs. I confess to feeling sheepish that I have not registered Genomeboy with researchblogging.org, which allows bloggers to refer to peer-reviewed research in an academic citation format. I suppose because consideration of peer-reviewed research is scarce around here (yes I know: as are most things) and because other people do that kind of stuff so well, I’ve never made it a priority. Maybe I need to rethink that stance.
Much of what the authors found was not terribly surprising: research bloggers tend to be highly educated, male and into the life sciences. They blog mostly under their real names, mostly in English and mostly about big sexy papers in big sexy journals. I would hope that the ecosystem will become more diverse; it seems like ways to make that happen ought to be the focus of future research (if that’s not happening already).
All that said, five years ago I doubt that a paper on research blogging would have been published in any peer-reviewed journal, let alone a prestigious outlet like PLoS ONE. You’ve come a long way, baby. Rock on.