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Josh Nicholson

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When you think of blogging you might think of a blog for cuddly cats, party parrots, the '90s, or celebrity gossip (we will not link to any of those, except cuddly cats). You probably do not think of ground breaking research, original ideas, and a powerful mechanism for research communication. And while you may be largely right, there is a world of blogging that is extremely important, a community that we wish to empower and serve with our latest feature release at Authorea, scientific blogging. In this post we wish to highlight how blogging can improve research, improve researchers career prospects, and why researchers should use a system designed for research blogging, like Authorea.Blogging as a place for correcting the scientific recordBlogging has proven to be integral towards maintaining and correcting the scientific literature. In fact, in many cases it is blogs and other forums where scientific fraud as well as common errors are first highlighted and ultimately corrected \cite{Yeo_2016}.  Blogging as a place for publishing "grey literature"Blogging allows researchers to post different types of content, ranging from journal clubs, peer reviews, single-figure observations, class essays, opinions, etc. There is a huge value to the research community to share "different" types of content, blogging allows researchers to easily do that. Blogging as a place of public outreachNearly all original peer-review publications are paywalled. Meaning it is difficult, if not impossible, for the majority of the world to legally access scientific research. Blogs, however, are nearly all completely open and accessible. More than that, they are also often times accessible in language. The discoveries and recommendations for which society invests substantial economic and human capital, should be directly disseminated by the people who really understand them, and not by the media and the political class, who often over-hype and in some case even distort the results. Blogging can be the long sought bridge between academia and the general public, something increasingly becoming required by grant agencies.Blogging as a way to advance your careerBlogs are by and large thought of as a distraction from communicating scientific ideas in a way that "counts." However, blogs can in many cases have a much larger impact on your career by providing you a forum to communicate with the world. Not all careers and hirers have such a limited way of thinking as tenure committees. Want to start blogging today? Create a group with us for free here. Want a custom design? Email us at hi@authorea.com