Monthly Archives: April 2012

Searching ScienceSeeker blogs

ScienceSeeker is developing an API to allow other services to access
our database, and we’d like your input as we proceed. The details of
an API can be complex, but the concept is simple: It’s a way that
websites, applications, and other services can use our data to build
additional functionality. For example, a journal might want to show
its readers how frequently their articles are being cited by blogs,
and when our API is complete, they could use ScienceSeeker’s database
to find out.

The API consists of a single web request to the search application. All
search parameters will be contained within that request, as parameters
in the URL. The search application will return XML-encoded data which
will contain relevant search results.

You can search for blogs, for posts, or for topics. For example, you
might want to search for all blogs which contain “Skeptic” in the title,
or all posts with a topic of “Deep Sea Dive”. (You can’t search blogs
and posts at the same time; you have to select one type of object to
search.)

The supported list of search queries, or “filters,” is still in
development. We expect to support searching by title, topic, summary
text, citation, URL, posts to a blog with a specific title or topic, and
some other filters.

We are also in the process of developing a second means of accessing the
API, which would support more complicated queries with AND, OR, and NOT
syntax. For now, multiple filters in a query will be considered to be
“AND”ed together.

The documentation for the API is not solidified yet, but is available
for reading
. Feedback is welcome!

Introducing our new slate of editors

Here’s the slate of editors that will be offering their expert recommendations, selecting the best posts in their favorite fields of study. Each editor will choose 4 to 5 posts a week from among the hundreds we collect each day, making it easier for you to find the best posts on ScienceSeeker. You can also follow their picks on Twitter.

Sarah Chow
When not busy in the lab measuring the thermodynamic properties of the reaction between a molecule called cAMP and the Pacemaker protein, Sarah Chow spends a lot of her nights tweeting, blogging and—her newest endeavor—podcasting for Experimental Podcast and video blogging on her website. On Saturday nights, you can find Sarah putting girl guides and boy scouts to sleep as the leader in charge of the sleep over program at Science World British Columbia.

To keep her sanity, she runs for miles in the beautiful trails of Vancouver. She will be making her picks in anthropology, biology, chemistry, ecology / conservation, health, medicine, and philosophy.

Matthew Francis
Matthew Francis is a science writer and speaker specializing in physics, astronomy, and related fields. He is a former college professor, ex-planetarium director, occasional musician, and frequent wearer of jaunty hats. He blogs about science and science communication at Galileo’s Pendulum; he is also the physics and math editor at Double X Science and freelance physics/astronomy writer for Ars Technica. His writing has appeared at Wired Science, the Scientific American Guest Blog, Culture of Science, and the 365 Days of Astronomy podcast. Matthew will be making his picks in astronomy and physics.

Cristy Gelling
Cristy Gelling is a postdoctoral cell biologist at the University of Pittsburgh working on the human genetic disease alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency using her favorite domesticated organism, bakers’ yeast. She writes articles for Bitesize Bio that she hopes are useful for other lab rats, she blogs about science and her last days in the lab at The Blobologist, and when she’s feeling motivated she harasses her friends in Pittsburgh into writing about science at Steel City Science. She’s either from Australia or from New Zealand, depending on who’s asking the question. She will be selecting posts on biology, chemistry, and academic life.

Jason Goldman
Jason Goldman is a doctoral student and avid blogger and editor. He blogs at Thoughtful Animal, has served as Psychology and Neuroscience Editor for Research Blogging, and was editor of The Open Laboratory 2010. He will be selecting posts on psychology and neuroscience.

Mark Hahnel
Mark Hahnel is a stem cell biologist and geneticist who is the force behind Science 3.0. He’s currently helping with the development of ScienceSeeker, and he is Project Manager for Figshare. He’ll be making his editor’s picks in biology and genetics.

Peter Krautzberger
Peter Krautzberger studied mathematics in Munich and Berlin and recently spent two years at the University of Michigan as a DFG postdoctoral fellow. He founded mathblogging.org, the math copy-cat of scienceblogging.org, as well boolesrings.org, a network of academic homepages using wordpress. He will be making his picks in the field of mathematics.

Andrew Watt
Andrew Watt is a PhD candidate at the University of Melbourne where he is investigating diagnostic measures for Alzheimer’s disease, and a few other neurodegenerative conditions. He has a background in genetics and psychology and has even dabbled in documentary film-making, although that was quite some time ago now.

For many years Andrew has had a, some would say unhealthy, fascination with the human brain. And in an effort to share his fascination he created A Hippo on Campus, a blog where he investigates contemporary research from the fields of neuropsychology, neurobiology, and beyond. He’ll be making his editor’s picks in medicine, neuroscience, and psychology.

Allie Wilkinson
Allie Wilkinson is a freelance science writer and multimedia specialist with a background in environmental studies and conservation biology. She also founded This Is What A Scientist Looks Like, an ongoing community photo project to challenge the stereotypical perception of a scientist. You can follow her on her blog Oh, For the Love of Science! and Twitter. Allie will be making her editor’s picks on biology, conservation, ecology, environmental sciences, evolution, marine biology, and geosciences.

Introducing… New features and new editors!

Today ScienceSeeker is launching a fleet of new features that we think will make ScienceSeeker your go-to site for everything about science online.

To see all the new features, you may need to clear the cache on your browser. Here’s what you’ll see:

Expert Recommendations. Most importantly, we have seven new editors who will be helping you find the very best items from the hundreds collected by ScienceSeeker every day. You can check out the most recent Editor’s Picks in the right sidebar of the main page, and by checking the “Editor’s Picks” box in our new Filters section, you can see only the posts that have been recommended by our editors.

Flexible Filters. Speaking of filters, the new Filters feature in the left sidebar will help you narrow down the massive list of items in our feed. If you only want to see posts about Physics, or citing peer-reviewed sources, here’s the place to look. More importantly, you can combine the filters, and generate your own RSS feed. Maybe you just want to see Editor’s Picks on Biology, Astrophysics, and Medicine. Now you can, and you can view them on-screen or have them delivered to your preferred RSS reader.

Make your Own Suggestions. Our editors will be selecting fantastic items from the ScienceSeeker feed, but you don’t have to listen to just them. You can add your own voice to the mix with your own recommendations. Registered users can login, then click on the star next to any entry to recommend it. You can leave a note explaining why you like the post, and soon we’ll have a way for your notes to be automatically posted to social media sites.

Better Photos. ScienceSeeker now not only collects entries and articles from scientists and science writers, it also displays photos picked by our editors. A new slide show on our main page shows the week’s best images in science.

Cite your Sources. If you’re a writer or a blogger, you can now use our “Generate Citation” tool to create references to peer-reviewed journal articles. The code created by our site can be pasted into your blog and is recognized by ScienceSeeker, ResearchBlogging, Zotero, EndNote, and many other services. If you already have an account at ResearchBlogging, you can create a citation here and have it recognized by both ResearchBlogging and ScienceSeeker (And as before, we’ll continue to recognize citations created in ResearchBlogging).

We’d love to hear what you think of these new features—as well as your ideas for new ones. Let us know in the comments section below!