Why Popular Science shut down comments on its web site; making the most of the NASW internship fair at AAAS; recapping the NASW-supported Cross-Border
Science Journalism Workshop; Ivan Oransky's advice on embargoes; reports from the 8th World Conference of Science Journalists in Helsinki; end-of-the-year tax tips from Julian Block; plus book reviews, news from NASW's president, executive director and cybrarian, and other features. Full text visible to NASW members only.
The first conference reports from travel fellowship winners at ScienceWriters2013 have now been posted on our past events page. Sessions covered so far include "Online and offline tools for mastering your workflow," and "Rising above the noise: Using statistics-based reporting." We'll have more reports and videos in coming days. Also, if you have photos to donate (with credit) to our online albums, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When in doubt, get permission. That's the essence of a CJR post by Sarah Laskow, who covered a session on the subject at the recent Online News Association conference. Attendees heard from two attorneys who outlined what's covered by fair use, and what's uncertain about it: "Copyright law wasn’t designed only to help creators make money; fair use provisions help guarantee that other people can criticize, teach, or transform existing work. But it’s not a fail-safe."
Tommy Tomlinson analyzes another country music classic, the story of a cowboy, a beautiful woman, and a murder in a west Texas town: "Rhythm and sentence length are key to making this song work. The full sentences imply an epic story; the galloping rhythm (11 syllables followed by 10, sung in ¾ time) makes it feel much shorter. Robbins’ record label, worried that the song was too long for the radio, released an edited version. Fans demanded the long version instead."
Tabitha M. Powledge calls the U.S. National Library of Medicine's database PubMed the "single basic irreplaceable tool for research in the life sciences." In her weekly blogs roundup, she discusses the new PubMed Commons, which allows comments on journal abstracts. There's good news and bad in this, Powledge writes: It's a clear step forward for post-publication peer review, but the system tightly restricts who can register and comment.
An aerial camera drone demonstration, a tour of the University of Florida Entomology and Nematology Department, and a welcoming reception are among today's highlights at "a meeting for science writers, by science writers." If you are unable to attend, you can follow the Twitter hashtag #sciwri13 and watch this space in coming days for further reports. The conference runs through Tuesday and we'll post reports as they are received.