Reddit and Science Commons

Science Commons got picked up on reddit this week. It was surreal - we hit the top of the charts for about 24 hours, got way more web traffic than usual, and the SC/Dylan video got almost 4000 views. Wacky.

And now our logo's embedded on the reddit logo on the home page.

This is neat. We've spent years toiling away at Science Commons and save one or two articles, mainly which tend to focus on me personally, we don't get a lot of attention. I was surprised and gratified to see this happen, organically, from a lot of folks who I wouldn't have expected to give a hoot about us.

I'll address a couple of things that came up in the comments at reddit. First, we don't publish the articles ourselves, so if you're expecting to find the literature at our site, you'll be disappointed. You can find open science content from publishers who use open licenses via the Directory of Open Access Journals (the ones with the SPARC Europe seal use CC Attribution). Second, we do a lot more than just articles. Access to the lab materials is a huge problem - that's our materials transfer project. And data integration is a big issue, both legally and technically.

But welcome to the team, folks. We're glad you stopped by, and we hope you stick around. Science matters. If we're going to claw our way out of the holes we've dug, science is going to be a big part of the clawing. Seeing the power of the crowd pay even a little attention to this kind of work gives me hope.

And on a cold, grey day in the dead of winter, in the middle of a nasty global economic downturn...hope's a pretty good thing to have. Thanks.

More like this

That is fantastic!!!! Some will use this new knowledge immediately, many will not, but all will have this information now in the back of their heads, ready to be used when need arises.

I've passed the thanks on to reddit.

I'm also impressed with Reddit's response, especially considering that it wasn't submitted to the general site, but instead the science subreddit. Not only are there plenty of woo-wackaloons on Reddit, but there's also plenty of jaded users who are tired of bad science journalism and headline sensationalism who aren't likely to take any science submission seriously.

But then, it does appeal to the little miser in all of us, doesn't it?

Mr Wilbanks,
As an atheist, and a recently turned active political activist, I'm looking for resources on the Internet that I might use to help people understand the problems we do have, and how real scientists are looking at them, what solutions they might have. Though that was overly simple in explanation, the ramifications should be clear. Much of what I see my activism being is education. Our fellow citizens vote nearly blindly in a kind of beauty contest that holds the balance of the stability of our country in it's vote. I want to inform people and would be more than happy to include your work and efforts as part of where people can go to learn.

Admittedly, I have often been frustrated by the restricted access to technical and scientific papers. Robotics and AI leads me down alleys on the Internet that invariably have that wall stuck up to block access. I appreciate your work, and want to share it. Please let me know if there are any issues with linking to your site with full attribution?

I was really glad to see that too. Reddit's a great site because you never know what previously unknown article is going to make it up to the front page, and getting an article up to a certain level of prominence (if it's worth voting up of course) is much easier than on other sites.

And, it's almost all text. I love the simplicity of the whole thing.

Re: the topic: I've also been annoyed with only being able to read the first few paragraphs of some pretty important pieces of research, especially in linguistics and astronomy. Having never gone to university I don't have that access either, and I don't live in North America either so no chance of finding a friend to grant me access through their account.

Keep up the good work!

Reddit is science country. I, for example, continue to have a man-crush on Carl Sagan's ghost.

I've been trying to track you down for a project I'm working on to create a Science Commons with Africa with the UN Economic Commission for Africa. It would be great if you could email me and we could discuss potential collaborations with Science Commons. Thanks

By Jody Ranck (not verified) on 01 Feb 2009 #permalink