After reading this article on the Guardian introducing it as the Facebook for professors, postdocs and PhDers in the sciences, I decided to spend some minutes and creating an identity on Nature Network. Here is my profile on Nature Network.The goal is to get people from different institutions and different research fields to talk to one another about the thing they have in common: a love of science. Check the flash quick tour video.
The article quotes Frank Norman saying
One of the nice things is the absence of markers to indicate status. When you read a contribution, you don’t know whether it is from a professor or a student, you just judge it by whether it makes sense.
It is interesting how Guardian stresses this “democratic” aspect of the Web, very wikipedian, very everyone-is-an-expert. It obviously totally resonates with me. In fact, on the other hand of the scope
One lecturer, who does not want to be named, says the scientific community is concerned that Nature Network and other Facebook-style academic communications could be “dangerous” because comments are not peer-reviewed.
Interestingly the more everything we do becomes digital, the more it seems everyone is concerned in measuring it:
Dr Timo Hannay, director of web publishing at Nature Publishing Group, predicts that scientists who post comments, blogs and data from experiments on sites like Nature Network will eventually be allowed to count these as part of their research output. “There should be a way of measuring the impact of a scientist who posts comments on a site like Nature Network. These could be added to their publishing record”.
And Matt Brown adds
Our vision for Nature Network is that every scientist in the world will have a personal profile on the site. Likeminded people and potential collaborators could then be easily found through a tagging system. Ideas can be discussed in the forums. Who knows, many years from now, traditional activities such as writing an academic paper could be peer-reviewed online.
And the article closes with the usual oh-gosh-some-more-content-to-monitor information overload fear:
Some see it another way. “If sites like these can increase awareness of research and provide easier ways to forge collaborative links, that is good,” says Brown. “If they provide more text that needs to be read, digested and responded to, that might not be so good.
By the way, you can check my profile on Nature Network and, if you are in there as well and read this, connect to me, friend me, or do how-they-call-it-on-Nature to me. I’m waiting. Somehow.
UPDATE: I created a group called “Trust Research” on Nature. Join in.