Bigging-up the AoB Blog [or, Cann can – and does!]

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

Image: Wikimedia Commons.

The com­mu­nic­a­tion of sci­ence (and par­tic­u­larly dis­cus­sion thereof and thereon, which often takes the form of post-publication review) has many oppor­tun­it­ies in this elec­tronic age. One such out­let is the pleth­ora of social net­work­ing fora. In this regard I’m happy to put in a plug for the Annals of Botany’s own ground-breaking work, notice­ably this very blog you are cur­rently read­ing, which is cared for by ‘the two Alans’ – Alun Salt, ‘cre­at­ive genius’ and the blog’s web developer, and Alan Cann, Internet Consulting Editor for Annals of Botany. But rather than use my words, let me quote another’s, who was com­ment­ing upon Cann’s talk at the recent European Association of Science Editors (EASE) con­fer­ence in Tallinn (Estonia), ‘Alan goes on to describe the Annals of Botany own social media strategy. Its expli­citly low-cost approach has suc­ceeded in extend­ing the reach of the journal through using blogs as hubs for dis­trib­ut­ing con­tent via RSS, Twitter and Facebook while lever­aging emer­ging tools like Flipboard to facil­it­ate con­tent dis­cov­ery on new plat­forms such as tab­let com­puters. By doing all this Annals of Botany is suc­ceed­ing in address­ing new audi­ences and new demo­graphic groups’. A video of Alan’s present­a­tion can be seen at that same URL, and ‘is a real mas­ter­class in how aca­demic pub­lish­ers can make really cre­at­ive use of social media’. So, is this an example of the ‘Heineken effect’ – with the journal reach­ing the parts other journ­als can­not reach? Maybe. In any event, blog­ging is clearly seen as a good thing as PLoS Biology has now star­ted its own, PLoS Biologue. Where the Annals leads, oth­ers surely fol­low. Cheers, Alan and Alun!

Nigel Chaffey. ORCID 0000-0002-4231-9082

Nigel is a botanist and full-time academic at Bath Spa University (Bath, near Bristol, UK). As News Editor for the Annals of Botany he contributes the monthly Plant Cuttings column to that august international botanical organ. His main goal is to inform (hopefully, in an educational, and entertaining way...) about plants and plant-people interactions.

1 Response

  1. AJ Cann says:

    Very kind Nigel. In fact, I was asked to take this talk on tour, and I’ve just returned from giv­ing a ver­sion to the ISAJE meet­ing in Lisbon: http://​www​.par​int​.org/​i​s​a​j​e​w​e​b​s​i​t​e​/​m​e​e​t​i​n​g​s​2​0​1​2​.​htm
    and next month it’s off to the Eurosurveillance meet­ing in Edinburgh: http://​www​.euros​ur​veil​lance​.org

    AoB is indeed lead­ing the way :-)