Scitizen, the first open science news source, is launched today!
Scitizen brings together a community of scientists and science writers who provide the public with an accurate, balanced and accessible description of developing stories in science. Scitizen gives moderation control back to the scientific community in a system based on peer reviews: working scientists review every submission before publication.
Scientific journalism is thriving. The public has developed a strong appetite for science, which most scientists consider good news. However, the long scientific process (peer-reviewed literature, monthly popular magazines) makes it difficult for scientists to contribute to discussion in the short time-frame of traditional media. There is a real risk that unbalanced comments and opinions may lead to a certain misrepresentation of science stories and an increasing mistrust toward scientists.
“Take part Media” announces today the launch of Scitizen, the first open science news source by scientists and science writers, for the public: http://scitizen.com
Scitizen aims to bring together a community of scientists and science writers who provide the public with an accurate, balanced and accessible description of the background of developing stories in science. To date, the scope of the stories already ranges from subjects such as extra-solar planets to stem cells and will be extended to all disciplines of science. Researchers and writers give an objective picture both of what is currently understood to be the general consensus and what is still a subject of controversy within the scientific community.
Working scientists review articles before publication.
Scitizen is open: everyone can submit an article. Having as its goal to become a trustworthy news source, Scitizen has established a peer review like moderation system:
1. Every submission to the site is sent to the subject’s reviewers and placed on hold for 3 business days. The reviewers are working scientists in the research field.
2. The reviewers can write anonymous comments on the article, accept it or reject it.
3. After 3 days, if half or more of the reviewers have accepted the publication, the article is posted on the homepage together with the reviews and the discussion starts.
Scientists and writers start an open discussion on issues at stake in science.
Any reader can post a comment in response to an article. “We hope that discussions will provide the readers with a better understanding of a story’s context and will ultimately help bringing science closer to society” says Gilles Prigent, CEO and co-founder of Take Part Media.
Undesirable comments are flagged quickly: an “Alert moderator” link will soon be available at the bottom of each comment.
30 scientists from 10 countries have already joined the initiative as reviewers.
To date, Scitizen already covers 8 subjects: Dark Energy, Extra-solar planets, Climate change, NanoBiology, Stem cells, Bird Flu, Nanostructures and Future Energies.
More than 30 scientists from 10 countries have joined the initiative as reviewers for their disciplines.
About Take Part Media:
Scitizen is edited by Take Part Media, a Paris-based media company founded in March 2006 with private funds by Gilles Prigent and Jean-Philippe Lorenzo, both holders of PhDs in Physics.
Scitizen is unbiased and free of any particular agenda. Its editorial policy guarantees the diversity of scientific opinions on topics still subject to debate. Reading Scitizen’s articles is and will remain free. Reviewers and article authors are not paid, nor sponsored.