May 28, 2022

New Research Article: “Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information”


Research Blogs and the Discussion of Scholarly Information


Hadas Shema
Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University (Israel)

Judit Bar-Ilan
Department of Information Science, Bar-Ilan University (Israel)

Mike Thelwall
University of Wolverhampton (UK)


PLoS ONE 7(5)
e35869. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0035869


The research blog has become a popular mechanism for the quick discussion of scholarly information. However, unlike peer-reviewed journals, the characteristics of this form of scientific discourse are not well understood, for example in terms of the spread of blogger levels of education, gender and institutional affiliations. In this paper we fill this gap by analyzing a sample of blog posts discussing science via an aggregator called (RB). aggregates posts based on peer-reviewed research and allows bloggers to cite their sources in a scholarly manner. We studied the bloggers, blog posts and referenced journals of bloggers who posted at least 20 items. We found that RB bloggers show a preference for papers from high-impact journals and blog mostly about research in the life and behavioral sciences. The most frequently referenced journal sources in the sample were: Science, Nature, PNAS and PLoS One. Most of the bloggers in our sample had active Twitter accounts connected with their blogs, and at least 90% of these accounts connect to at least one other RB-related Twitter account. The average RB blogger in our sample is male, either a graduate student or has been awarded a PhD and blogs under his own name.

Direct to Full Text

Also of Possible Interest: Research Article: “Beyond Citations: Scholars’ Visibility on the Social Web” (Preprint)

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.