Thursday, March 4, 2010

On why you should vote for us in the 2010 Research Blogging Awards
Research Blogging (RB), "a system for identifying the best, most thoughtful blog posts about peer-reviewed research", aggregates posts that discuss research literature on a variety of topics.

As a molbio blog, created by scientists and directed to scientists (particularly molecular biologists) in which we discuss articles in the field, many of our posts have been aggregated to RB in our ~1 year of existence.

Our hard work has recently been recognized by two nominations to the "2010 Research Blogging Awards", in the "Best New Blog" and "Best Expert-level Blog" categories (we were selected within several nominees by a panel of judges). On a personal note, I'm also among the finalists for "Research Twitterer of the Year".

Regrettably, a few days ago I was notified that due to 3 links posted on the last fews days of December 2008, the panel of judges decided to take us out of the race towards "best new blog", as it only considers blogs launched in 2009. In any case, we feel that making the cut into the finalists in that category was already a huge accomplishment, particularly due to the nature of our blog which is not directed to the general audience (and the judges are not molecular biologists).

Research Blogging Awards 2010 Finalist
This is badge that finalists can proudly display in the blogs

Who will decide who wins these awards? Notably, the bloggers themselves. Bloggers who are part of the RB community will vote for their favorite blogs in each of the 20 categories.

So, if you are a RB blogger and you are here wondering whether you should vote for MolBio Research Highlights for "Best-expert level blog" for the "2010 Research Blogging Awards" (and for me in the "Research Twitterer of the Year" category) , the answer is a resounding yes! :) . Let me tell you a few reasons why:

1) Since day one, this blog has stood aside from most science blogs: it is written by scientists (molecular biologists, with a background in fungi and plant molecular biology, RNA processing, human genetics and cancer), and (here's the twist), FOR scientists: for molecular biologists looking for a place to read about interesting articles, news, tools and websites in the field.

2) Want to know about recent notable articles in molecular biology? Then be sure to check "Around the Journals", a Google-reader based system, in which we aggregate what we consider are interesting articles in the field. You can follow it by RSS and many of them are tweeted about.

3) Our posts discussing primary research literature are generally well received in the RB community and in Twitter, where I promote our posts. Our posts have been featured in the Cancer Research Blog Carnival (which we once hosted) and get many "views" at RB.

Some of our most-viewed blog posts, aggregated to RB, include:

Cancer Stem Cells: the root of all evil?
An alternative cloning strategy: yeast recombinational cloning
Targeting cancer stem cells: chemical style
Fourth time is the charm: the quest for the final plasmid
What is Epigenetics? An operational definition
Are we training pit bulls to review our manuscripts?

Also see:
A few ideas for grad students in the life sciences to keep in mind

4) We noticed that even though there are several blog carnivals, one in Molecular Biology was missing (See here). I started a very successful series of posts entitled "Picks of the Week", in which, every week, I select notable posts in the field, aggregated to RB the week before. These posts are generally among the top-viewed at RB every week.

"Picks of the Week" has even had Guest Hosts, including "Best New Blog" nominee, Lucas Brouwers (See here and here)

5) Due to my post on yeast recombinational cloning (An alternative cloning strategy: yeast recombinational cloning), I was invited to write a article for the european life science magazine Lab Times. This journal is "one of the most popular Life Science journals in Europe and is recognized as a grassroots magazine produced by scientists for scientists"

6) I was invited to write a post for the popular blog Benchfly for the "Model Organism Week" series. This post, on the fascinating fungus Neurospora crassa and its importance on the history of molecular biology (The Almighty Fungi: The Revolutionary Neurospora crassa), has accumulated many visits, and is among the favorite articles at that blog. Recently, it was permanently added to Benchfly's toolbar.

7) We have a lot of new ideas and projects for this year (I don't want to get into the details, as they are a surprise), but some involve more guest posts, as the idea is to make more grad students participate in this blog, so they can contribute with their expertise in areas in which we are lacking, so that MolBio Research Highlights can be of use to more and more molecular biologists worldwide, working on a variety of topics.

I hope this brief overview of what has been our ~1st year behind MolBio Research Highlights encourages you to follow, and importantly, participate in our blog, and also, to vote for us for "Best Expert-Level blog" in the 2010 Research Blogging Awards and for me as "Research Twitterer of the Year". Remember to follow me on Twitter.

We want this project to become a useful tool for fellow researchers.

ScienceBlips: vote it up!



el astudillo said...

You should include instructions about how to vote for your blog :-)
It would be useful.

Alejandro Montenegro-Montero said...

Hey Pablo,

All RB bloggers should have received an email from RB with the following subject:

Subject: Cast your vote for the Research Blogging Awards 2010!

Listed there are the instructions.

If you haven't received it yet, check your spam folder or contact RB at

el astudillo said...

I checked my mail and yes, I have it.
Congratulations for your nominations.

scisu said...

you've got my vote! keep up the great work!