For the recent AAAI Symposium on Computational Approaches to Analysing Weblogs, I prepared a paper which looked at various findings from 24 hours of posts in the blogosphere. While I did the research for this paper, I posted some findings on this blog. Each post looked at a single experiment and gave summary results and insights. The paper was, to a large extent, a compilation of these posts.
From this, I think there is an opportunity for social media, and blogs in particular, to change in a subtle manner some aspects of how scientific research is disseminated. Here is the model (version 0.0):
- An author posts a small piece of research on a blog.
- The post is reviewed by some number of peers either via comments or some other mechanism.
- The post is archived by an aggregator in a manner which makes the post persistent, searchable, etc.
- The post is cited in other posts, in formally published articles, etc. using a standard format for referencing articles published in this manner.
This proposal would probably need something like a microformat to support the aggregation and possibly the citation process.
A key to getting this to work is to figure out step 2. - how would peers be selected to review and how would the reviews become part of the aggregated meta data? I suspect that there are some interesting social network effects that could facilitate this based on self selection. It is possible that such a scheme could be built on top of a paper aggregation and search system like Rexa.