With the growth of scientist participation in blogging and social networks, a considerable amount of meritable scientific chatter is unfolding online. Several prominent blogs have emerged, in fact NIF is now indexing may of these sites (via RSS feeds) and can be found in the Multimedia data type***.

In our continued effort to integrate and link data, NIF would like to create two-way links between your blog posts and the scientific articles they discuss through NIF Literature. For example, if users find an article in NIF Literature we can provide links to blogs or tweets that have discussed this article, in addition to the current link to full text access options. Your site or blog would also be included on PubMed search results thank’s to NIF automated LinkOut feature services.

However, it is currently very hard to achieve this goal and would require substantial manual curation efforts. In order to automate this process, we submit a few simple guidelines to the online science community.

1) Blogs and other long-form posts should always include related PubMed Identifiers (PMID) in citations. References can be in text, or placed together at the end of a post, but either way should include PMID: ######## for all citations. This standardized format of ‘PMID:######’ was suggested by the BioDBcore and biosharing.org initiatives and we strongly support it.

  • This is a MindHacks post without any citation information at all (aside form a link to Nature) – this is the worst possible scenario, for the purposes of this article. It is a wonderful dialogue on this exciting article, but very unlikely that people reading this article will ever know that this post exists – unfortunate for everyone involved.
  • This Neuroskeptic post correctly included citation information, along with the PMID, at the end of the post (see Screenshot below).

2) Short-form posts should include PMIDs when possible, particularly if linked directly to article. For example a recent tweet here.

3) Be found – index with search engines including NIF. For more information about submitting your site, blog or resource to NIF check here or fill in the small form here.

The internet was designed to enable a web of links between ideas, information and people. Following these simple guidelines will not only increase the connectivity between data, the social and semantic links are also valuable to information creators. First, it promotes more opportunities for scientific exchange and feedback. Secondly, it provides additional avenues to calculate impact metrics – similar to those observed by AltMetrics.org and PloS Journals.

Do you have any other thoughts related to increasing data integration and interpretability? Share them here in the comments below!

***If you would like to have your blog or site included within the NIF index drop us a line – info@neuinfo.org