researchers, science writers, editors, translators, illustrators, publishers
Services and support for research-based communication in all languages and media. Meet people with related interests. Publish science! Thanks to Editage and Medlist International for practical support and advice. Click here for the Research Cooperative MOBILE format
(For previous years, see Co-op Diary Archive)
Over the last few days, I have set up a new Wordpress website to host quick ratings, opinion polls, and surveys of journals. The new site is called Journal Polls, and the URL is jrnls.net. To develop this, we will need volunteers to serve as curators for an assortment of journal poll collections. Over time, by asking the same set of questions repeatedly, it should become possible to compare the results for different journals sorted according to various basic categories. Our first Journal Poll Collection is focused on archaeology journals. The new website is introduced as "a service of the Research Cooperative".
Added a new, optional profile description field for postal address or other contact details. The full list of required and optional description fields is:
1. What is your location? (country, region, city, or other). 2. Self-description (yourself or your organisation) (multiple choice). 3. Work areas/research interests - general, specific, or both (longer answer). 4. Work affiliations (past or present) (longer answer).5. Preferred means of contact (multiple choice).6. Postal address (work) or other contact details (longer answer). 7. Preferred language(s) for correspondence (one line answer).8. Further details - e.g. working languages, short CV, reason(s) for joining this network (longer answer).9. What are your favourite local and international research-related journals, newsletters, or popular-science magazines? Please name up to six publications in total, without ranking, across these categories (longer answer).10. How would you like to use this website? (multiple choice, private).11. Comments for the Administrator (questions, issues, advice, etc.) (longer answer, private). Website 1 (optional, leave blank if you want). Website 2 (optional, leave blank if you want).
Added a new, optional profile description field: Work affiliations (past or present). It is optional because some members may be graduate students who join before having work experience.
In the topic focus groups, started changing the link "all research communiction groups" to "all topic focus groups". Discovered a way to add an group invitation link to the "About" panel in each focus group. This should make joining easier for new members.
Tested the Google Site Translation widget on our top page. It's very slow and makes the page load slowly in the internet browser. Deleted after the trial.
Moved the Google search box from RH column to LH column of the top page. It will not show on every page in the new position, but is in a better position for people arriving at the top page.
Redesigned and updated the topic index page. A major improvement, I hope!
Relabeled a sub-tab in main menu: changed "research communication groups" to "topic focus groups". This should make it much easier for people to find our many focus groups for different areas of research and research communication.
Added group for 'peace research'.
The number of people joining our network seemed to drop suddenly after the last change I made in the network description. I have replaced the new text with the old text, to see if the result is better.
Changed our network description (at top left of top page) to version 2 below from version 1.
Version 2: Join our global network for better research communication. All languages, topics, countries. Volunteer or paid services. Publish science!
Version 1: An international home for better research communication. All languages, topics, countries. Volunteer or paid services. Publish science!
This might be important as the word "Join" will now be the first word seen in search results that bring up the top page of our network.
Cross-posted messages about a conference for biomedical journal reviewers and a media communications course for scientists. I should ask all members to send in such information to any relevant groups in our network to which they belong.... under the theme of how to be active and useful things to do.
Deleted the Working Draft Depository group (only 2 members, no activity, and a function of doubtful value). Also recently: added link to the country focus group for Malaysia, in our country pages index. Use $100 worth of free advertsing provided by LinkedIn. Tried three variants at first, then switched to the better two. This probably led to about 4-5 new members joining over a period of a week, for a cost of about $20-25 per member. It is probably worth trying further variations of an advertisement, to see if the response rate can be improved. It seems to be a much better service for our network than Google Ads, doubtless due the generally professional-level membership of LinkedIn.
Moderated two new groups added by Lachezar Hristov Filchev, namely Landscape ecology and Remote sensing. members of the Research Cooperative are welcome to apply. Initially, at least, the Remote sensing group is open ot specialists in the field, while the Landscape ecology group is open to all.
I did meet two representatives from Comscore.com. They use panels of participating companies or organisations in different areas of economic activity in order to provide benchmarks for the performance of individual websites (and specific positions within websites). This allows them to rate the value of websites for advertising purposes, and this in turn allows website owners to set a rational price for advertisers. Unfortunately, there is no benchmark for the performance of online social networks like ours.
Added a page introducing social network research efforts by various institutions and projects. See our Social networks focus group. Next week, I plan to meet a representative from Comscore.com to learn about their website analysis tools, just to see if there is anything that might be useful for developing our own network website.
Ning has recently announced that their networking system (Ning 2.0) will be redesigned over the next few months and our network will have to move to the new system (Ning 3.0) somehow. This is likely to be a major technical challenge for our network.
The prospect has caused me a lot of anxiety. On the other hand, the new system might prove to be better, even if we lose a lot of content in the transition. Nothing is clear at the moment.
As a kind of distraction therapy, today, I bought a set of new domains that may be useful for the Research Cooperative: publishscience.org, publishscience.net, publishscience.info, and publishscience.co
With these we may be able to set up a new trial network at publishscience.org, and get feedback from new members before moving all our existing members to the new system.
Using publishscience.org as a domain name for the new Research Cooperative might also help members understand more clearly that our network is about getting science published.
Our Rocket Hub fundraising campaign finished last week. It was a flop (three donations were kindly made), but those of us involved did learn some useful lessons from the effort.
For the last several days I have been swamped with new member application requests at the Research Cooperative. Around 500 new members have joined in the last two weeks, following a mailout by our sponsor, Medlist. New groups added recently include Research Co-op Malaysia, and The Clockks Archive (support group for an long-term archive of published material).
Received confirmation that Dr Christian Corda is willing to continue serving as a founding member of our International Board of Advisors (which currently has just 2 members). Visited Rocket Hub 'crowd-funding' site to see our fundraising project. The project has 58 days left to run (full period is 70 days). $170 has been raised so far.
Created country focus group for Mexico (Research Co-op Mexico). Checked and reoriganised internal links for Co-op coordination and Project coordination pages. Submitted statement on open access issues to UK House of Lords, and copied to Co-op blog. Corresponded with Julia Schumann (UK member) about possibility of organising a meeting for beer, research and writing in London, for members living in London or nearby.
Reorganised the sub-tabs in the "Meet People" menu, and added new tab for the new "Indexers" occupation group.
Visited Rocket Hub 'crowd-funding' site to see our fundraising project. The project has 62 days left to run (the full period is 70 days). Only $90 has been raised so far, but some useful things have been learned already.
PJM returned to work at the National Museum of Ethnology.
Last updated by Peter J. Matthews Feb 15.