The currency of science news

Ok, I take the point that journalism should not only talk about science upon the publication of a paper. 

Absolutely.

Science news can be much more fluid and the semi-public knowledge of a finding precedes formal publication.

But if there is a paper then it should be cited. Not merely linked obscurely, but properly cited
Scientists have been complaining about the failure of journalists to cite papers associated with their science news stories for ages. Ed knows this as well as anyone in science journalism. So I am confused as to what he is about here.

16 responses so far

  • Wait. You are saying that Ed is asserting that he is specifically not citing to the scientific literature that backs up his news pieces? That is fucken wacke!

  • drugmonkey says:

    He's claiming a hyperlink is sufficient, I believe.

  • jipkin says:

    Not only should papers be cited, everything should be cited. I long for the day that journalists have to actually cite everything in their articles... no excuse not to do so with digital publications where any visual clutter can be eliminated with a button toggle.

  • duke of neural says:

    I've noticed some correlation between not linking to the actual paper and oversold bullshit. So I'd like things to stay as they are.

    "AMAZING MIRACLE BREAKTHROUGH!!!"posted on facebook? Do I see a link to a journal article? No? Then I can safely ignore it completely.

    "AMAZING BREAKTHROUGH, HERE'S THE PUBMED ARTICLE" Then I need to drop everything and read at least the blurb.

    (This is not a comment on Ed's stuff, BTW)

  • neuromusic says:

    hyperlink to DOI is quite sufficient.

    that said, there's an art to hyperlinking, and I think ed did pretty well, as the link wraps the specific claim/conclusion that his article is based on.

  • physioprof says:

    If he's linking to the actual peer-reviewed publication, then what's the problem?

  • DrugMonkey says:

    It's handier to have the actual citation so that a human can read it and immediately get the info. also, links have a way of going dead.

  • I try to make link text the title of a document when possible, whether it's an academic paper or not. This is to make it easier for people to understand what they're clicking on, and it provides some resilience in case of link rot.

  • Comradde PhysioProffe says:

    "It's handier to have the actual citation so that a human can read it and immediately get the info. also, links have a way of going dead."

    I'm having trouble giving a flying fucke about this.

  • neuromusic says:

    I'm far more interested in Ed's justification than the merit of its convenience for scientists.

  • Ola says:

    Ain't privilege a wonderful thing!

    FFS Ed, most scientists are just trying to get by, so if they need the citation for the clicks and altmetrics, then what does it cost someone in the alleged profession to provide it?

    There are better ways to tell Elsevier to go suck a dick, without screwing over the providers of your raw material.

  • Today's daily reminder that the professional concerns of scientists and of science journalists do not always align.

  • Science Grunt says:

    I thought that he wasn't putting the full citation so that people wouldn't care if the paper was on Nature or in the Molvanian Journal of Bunny Hopping. And the whole dead linking issue can be solved through the doi mechanism. Even if the journal goes dead along with the website, you can retrieve the name, issue and volume from doi.

  • drugmonkey says:

    doi is nonsense. never kicks in until weeks after the publisher has the manuscript up in the queue and importantly, if publisher links can go dead, DOI can chunder as well.

  • LadyScientist says:

    I used to be one of those anonymous commenters in online news article comment sections requesting or posting the full citation for the article mentioned. A hyperlink is insufficient, in my opinion. Posting the citation at the end of the article is helpful in cases where the hyperlink no longer works (perhaps the web address for the article changes) or doesn't work due to restrictions on internet access. Also, I often feel that more citations should be given in cases where general, contextual statements are made without direct attribution to sources.

  • LadyScientist says:

    Oh, just noticed that some of you made similar comments as mine, already!

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