To blog or not to blog ongoing research?

Research ideas are old when they are finally presented. The time from the submitting a paper to its presentation at a conference can take more than half a year. When submitting a paper the authors have already spent a lot of time working on the idea and writing it down. When the paper is accepted and finally available to the public, I have often already lost the initial excitement for the research idea.

But can researchers blog about ongoing research?

The excitement would still present at the time of writing. Other researchers’ comments could be incorporated before all the work has been done and documented. You could sort out ideas early that will not make it through the reviewing process anyways.

Unfortunately we are living in a world where novel and original ideas are one of the main assets of a researcher. The originality of a submission is usually one of the main review criteria’s. But if a research idea has been published in a blog others may already have picked it up so it is not original anymore. The submission containing the idea may get rejected and not appear as a publication in the researchers CV.

So, as long as researchers are judged by their publications novel ideas will probably remain in the vault until published. I wonder how a world would look like, where this is not necessary anymore.

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2 Replies to “To blog or not to blog ongoing research?”

  1. Sometimes I would really love to write about ongoing stuff and sometimes it is even hard to avoid it. Think about the PocketNavigator or the Apps I published in the Android Market. It might be necessary to publish a publicly available description for users of these Apps. Thus, truly blind review is already difficult.

    I believe that the submission process will change in the future. There must be ways to publish results early and still have a rigorous peer review later on. They do it that way in physics already and I assume that computer science will drift in that direction as well.

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