Six Tips for Science Blogs. Dr Dinah Parums

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Six Tips for Science Blogs. Dr Dinah Parums. These tips include balance, accuracy, relevance, referencing, originality and writing.

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Six Tips for Science Blogs. Dr Dinah Parums

  1. 1. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums •  I have been writing life science blogs for less than a year, but have been publishing scientific and clinical medical research papers and reviews in peer-reviewed journals for 30 years. I have also edited scientific papers. •  There is concern that life science is either badly reported or ‘sensationalized’ in the popular media. •  If more scientists and health professionals published well-written science blogs, this situation could change. •  My six tips for writing science blogs are that they should be: 1.  Balanced 2.  Accurate 3.  Relevant 4.  Well-Referenced 5.  Original 6.  Well-Written h"p://dinahparums.com  
  2. 2. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums 1. BALANCE •  Ideally, your blog will be 1,000 to 1,500 words in length; that is, no more than two A4 single-spaced pages of text. •  You are writing an ‘evidence-based’ article, so no matter how short, it should contain evidence for and against, any unanswered questions and further studies that should be done. •  Just like Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo’, your blog should have a ‘why’ and a ‘wherefore’. •  In this way, you will avoid ‘sensationalized’ and non-factual articles. h"p://dinahparums.com  
  3. 3. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums 2. ACCURACY •  Check the literature at the scientific ‘source’. •  Never use a ‘generalized’ review by a non-scientist as your source. •  If you can, interview the scientific source or quote from the original material. •  Then check everything again as you reference your article. •  Try not to give your own ‘personal’ opinion or interpretation unless you are qualified to do so. •  Remember that anything posted on the internet can be challenged. h"p://dinahparums.com  
  4. 4. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums 3. RELEVANCE •  With science, particularly life science, it is not difficult to find relevance. •  A topic which you may know little about, which generates lots of interest but which has had little explanation is a good one to choose. •  For example, I knew nothing about ‘crowdfunding’ science research at the beginning of 2014. There were no reviews of the topic but the word ‘crowdfunding’ was everywhere. I wrote about it, learned a lot and my blog was helpful to others: http://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/crowdfunding-life-sciences/ •  You may wish to use your blog to promote or link to other sites you wish to promote; but be careful to ensure that this is done in the right context, eg: http://www.pinterest.com/dinahparums/qa-in-histopathology-dr- dinah-parums/ h"p://dinahparums.com  
  5. 5. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums 4. REFERENCES •  I usually start my blog by collating the reference sources with their URLs, if they have them. •  These sources should be acknowledged, even in a short blog. •  You may use hyperlinks within the text of your blog or place the full reference with or without its URL at the end of your blog, just as you would for a science paper. •  My tip: when preparing your blog, use both – the full reference and the URL. •  You may be invited later to expand your blog in to a full article for publication in a journal. This happened to me, as: http://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/biologics-non-small-cell-lung- cancer-nsclc-part-current-status-2014/ was the basis for publication as a journal review article. h"p://dinahparums.com  
  6. 6. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums 5. ORIGINALITY •  Depending on your target audience, your blog needs to grab the attention in some way. •  Start with the title of your blog; for example, ‘puns’ or references to something in popular culture can work, as in: http://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/national-center-advancing-translational-sciences-ncats- may-longer-lost-translation/ & http://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/l-carnitine-ischaemic-heart-disease-story-mice-men/ •  Try to keep it tasteful. •  The content or your blog may show ‘originality’ without deviating from facts, in the following ways: 1.  You may be asking a question that no-one else has: http://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/collaboration-nih-big-pharma-non-profit-organisations/ 2.  You may research the evidence that challenges a long-established belief: http://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/dietary-fats-vs-carbohydrates-coronary-artery- atherosclerosis/ 3.  You may be bringing something new and important to the attention of your blog reader: http://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/collaboration-nih-big-pharma-non-profit-organisations/ 4.  You may be raising the profile of a topic or group you have a personal interest in: https://lsconnect.thomsonreuters.com/role-pathology-in-nsclc-targeting-therapy/ h"p://dinahparums.com  
  7. 7. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums 6. WRITING •  Just because you are writing a short blog, there is no reason to abandon your writing skills. •  When published online, your blog will be read by more people than most journal articles, so write as well as you can. •  Remember that each article you write forms part of your ‘curriculum vitae’: https://www.visualcv.com/dinahparumspublications •  Check spelling and grammer, but also ‘tone’. •  Blogs can be a good way to develop your own style. •  Blogs which are balanced, accurate, relevant, referenced, original and well-written will attract quality readers, quality comments and enhance your networks. h"p://dinahparums.com  
  8. 8. Six Tips for Science Blogs Dr Dinah Parums •  Good Luck. •  Remember my Science Blog B.A.R.R.O.W. and the six tips for writing science blogs, which is that they should be: 1.  Balanced 2.  Accurate 3.  Relevant 4.  Well-Referenced 5.  Original 6.  Well-Written h"p://dinahparums.com  

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