Our post topics include what makes humans unique, top-down versus bottom-up approaches to language evolution, the evolution of colour terms, Specific Language Impairment and Autism, the effect of second language learners on linguistic structure, cultural evolution and the singularity and genetic correlates of social sensitivity. We've written about the current trend for large-scale statistical analyses of linguistic features and social features, and contributed some of our own including phoneme inventory size and demography, alcohol consumption and morphological complexity and whether linguistic diversity is correlated with traffic accidents.
So, this is all good. But there is no way to connect blogging with academic research outlets at the moment.
Academic Research in the Blogosphere: Adapting to New Risks and Opportunities on the Internet
AC ADE MIC RE S E ARC H IN THE BLOGOS PHE RE : ADAPTING TO NE W OPPORTUNITIE S AND RIS KS ON THE INTE RNE T RC A DL T U R J M SWN E S S À G O E T , IH R I A E , A E IT R , E N .R B R S T H N A L T E M H E P E E , BL B N O A N H I L, I A L LY R I E Z N T C LMichael PleyerUniversity of Heidelbergmichael.firstname.lastname@example.org@symbolicstoragewww.replicatedtypo.com
Introduction• What do researchers want? – Interdisciplinary research ideas – Wide audience – Easy Collaboration – New ways to present, analyze, and discuss data – Publish results and theories freely – Rapid feedback• Blogging offers these.
IntroductionPositives: – New ideas can be presented and discussed easily – Faster than a traditional journal peer-review. – Can engages the public about ongoing research (Think funding bodies).
IntroductionNegatives: – Easier to push before letting ideas stew. – Side-steps proper assessment.This could dilute the impact of relevant research.
IntroductionWe review whether blogging can becomepart of research.Case study: ReplicatedTypo.org – our blogon language evolution.
Replicated TypoTopics:• Central Theme: evolutionary approaches to language and culture.• Reports on recent publications and conferences,• Basic introductions to Linguistics, Evolution, mathematical modeling and animal signaling.
Replicated TypoSimilar Blogs:• Many, many linguistics blogs. Mainly – LanguageLog.Language Evolution:• Babels dawn, Shared Symbolic Storage, Culture Evolves!, Biolinguistics Blog.• Babel’s Dawn has published a book directed at a general audience about the theories he developed on his blog (E.B. Bolles, 2011).
Replicated Typo• Our aims as science bloggers on Replicated Typo are: – to highlight and discuss new research on language evolution; – to engage with the general public by presenting language evolution research in an accessible way; – to be a platform for open science research into language evolution.
The Use of BlogsDiscussions of posts on our own blog have lead to:• Revisions / New avenues of research new avenues of research• Collaborations• Clarifications of research by the authors of the studies reviewed.
Publishing CodeReleasing code on our blog has lead tointeractions that benefited both the readers andthe researcher.We hope that model transparency and thesharing of code can help foster links betweenlanguage evolution and other fields who usesimilar techniques and technologies (biology,informatics, etc.).
Blogs vs. Articles• There is no universal consensus on the method or acceptability of citing ideas from blogs.• This devaluing of research and criticism appearing in open forums risks obstructing research.• Cf. #ArsenicGate
Other Issues• Concerns about standards and plagiarism are particularly important for blogs that are used to disseminating original work in progress.• A particularly sensitive issue is public access to experiment data and model code.
Student Benefits• Writing for blogs can benefit students. They… – Encourages wider reading. – Forces engagement with cutting-edge topics. – Help integrate students from diverse backgrounds into a particular language community. – Can help with networking.
General AimWe hope that presentation of research anddiscussion on the internet can, in conjunctionwith journal peer-review, lead to moreproductive, accurate and progressive research.
And Aims Here• We aim to raise discussion about these questions: – Can blogged research be taken as seriously as peer- reviewed research? – What are the risks of publicly accessible research? – Is research blogging adaptable to other fields, in particular fields involving minorities or low resource groups? – Are there particular concerns with running experiments or soliciting feedback online? – Is the field of academia doing enough towards public engagement on the internet?