About CommForge2

CommForge2 is the course website for LAIS423/523, Advanced Science Communication, at the Colorado School of Mines. From here, you can link to student sci-tech blogs, read about the course, and comment on current events and stories. Welcome!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Journal Article Translation (JAT)

One assignment we're working on class is taking a research article (not a commentary or news piece) from either the journal Nature or Science Magazine and turning the article into a relevant and interesting blog post.  These two publications, maybe along with PNAS, are probably the most respected science publications out there, and figuring out how to communicate what we might call "high-science" on our popular blogs is a good exercise.

At the very least, it will make you appreciate your workaday science journalists a little more.

As you're writing your blog posts, you might do some pre-writing to prepare:

  • Summarize the article in as plain a language as you can.  Then consider these questions:
  • Who are the authors?  What kind of work do they usually do?  Do they have websites that help you to put the article into context?
  • What led the authors to do the study?  You might be able to learn this from the abstract, the introduction, or their website, if they have one.  You might also see if there were press releases or news stories about the article that you could refer to for more information.  You might also consider emailing the author with some specific questions if you're feeling daring (although emails with questions like, "what is your article about?" probably won't get much of a response).
  • What are the findings?  Were the unexpected in some way?  Or confirm knowledge we already had?  Why do the findings matter to science?
  • And here's the kicker, the hard question:  why might the findings matter to the everyday reader?

No comments:

Post a Comment