According to a recent online survey, most biologists don't read science blogs or participate in social networking sites (see discussion at Gobbledygook blog http://tinyurl.com/5psqp3). Biologists prefer to read the literature; Web 2.0 sites for scientists haven't yet built up a reputation for accuracy; and online tools useful to scientists are unlikely to be found on Facebook or Digg. Does this mean that Web 2.0 (the name sometimes given to the interactive web) is not working for biologists, or just that it is too new for them?
Right now, the different pieces of Web 2.0 don't quite fit together to provide a useful, seamless service for most biologists, says Gobbledygook author Martin Fenner — although the story is different for chemistry, as is mentioned in the comments section of his blog. But one route to such a project's success is to focus on how it can improve science, rather than get distracted by all possible uses of the technology. An example: Web 2.0 should make the process of paper writing much easier, through online writing, reference sharing, and collaboration and coordination tools.