Blogroll – the column

Instead of blogging about our plans to update the list of links this page carries (updated today you’ll be pleased to know), I’m talking about Blogroll, the column that goes in the monthly issue of Nature Chemistry.

This short, 300-word, column is basically intended to provide a snapshot of the interesting, funny, wacky, serious, contentious writing and issues that we read every month on chemistry blogs. This column has been on our wish-list right from our first meeting to discuss what sections we wanted in the journal. As our most recent Blogroll says ‘We don’t like blogs…we love them’! One of the things we’re aiming for is widening the audience of the blogosphere to those (perhaps more senior) chemists who don’t read blogs.

Which is why we couldn’t fail to cover the reaction to Royce Murray’s editorial in Analytical Chemistry for our latest issue. We were pleased to get some positive comments about it on Twitter, but also noted @biochembelle muttering about the irony of a column about blogs being behind a paywall.

Now, whether Blogroll should be in the journal or on the blog has been discussed in the team a few times this year, particularly as the Research Highlights pages might be changed a little next year. The main points in favour of keeping it in the journal are that this (hopefully) gets it under the noses of the non-blog-reading chemistry public, whereas to our blog readers, it’d be old news. But fear not, blogateers, for blogroll will remain in the journal! But fear not, non-subscribers, for we’re going to post it on the blog too! December’s column will be posted soon.

Looking back at the past two years’ worth of Blogroll, we’ve covered some 43 different blogs/magazines, with a few (16) getting repeat visits. For those who like meaningless lists, in the lead is the Chemistry Blog with 9 mentions, closely followed by C&EN (magazine, rather than blog) on 7, In the Pipeline with 5, then Everyday Scientist and Wavefunction level-pegging on 4.

Pulling together and writing Blogroll is one of my favourite tasks of the month, so thanks to all the bloggers we’ve covered so far – keep up the good work!


Neil Withers (Associate Editor, Nature Chemistry)