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Is Danish research being spread effectively enough to the world? Do researchers in the US, India and Australia know of the findings researcher in Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Finland and Denmark are making? If not, a new online initiative called ScienceNordic is hoping to change that – or at least add an additional and lighter component to the peer-reviewed journals.

At a seminar hosted by the Danish scientific news portal, Videnskab.dk, on the visibility of Danish research, a sneak preview of ScienceNordic was given by editor-in-chief, Vibeke Hjortlund.

ScienceNordic is an English language news site for scientific news from the Nordic countries (Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland). The website is independent and the purpose is to take the results of the scientists and disseminate it in a news orientated journalistic manner. It will be launched 15 November 2011.

Objectives and content

Vibeke Hjortlund presented the objectives of ScienceNordic:

  • Give research from the nordic countries a place on the world map
  • Be a communication channel between researchers in different countries
  • Promote the high quality of research from the Nordic countries

The targeted audience is quite broad ranging from the international media over the academic environment to students, businesses, policymakers and the general public.

According to Vibeke Hjortlund, there will be 2-3 news stories per day and news contributed from partners (such as universities and other research organisations). The website will be divided into six sections (Health, Society & Culture, Environment, Technology, Agriculture & Fishery, and Natural Sciences). . I’m happy to see that health is a separate section. It would be cool if public health researchers would actually think in terms of my wide-spread communication of their research other than peer-reviewed journals, but perhaps also share their research as it happens. ScienceNordic could be an opportunity for that.

In addition, there will be a newsletter to which you can subscribe (if prefered, just to subsections)

Interactiveness will come later

Since the news portal has not been launched yet, it is hard to tell how much interactivity there will be. Initially, it will not be possible to comment on the articles, but it is the plan to implement that. Just as Videnskab.dk, there are also plans of blogs and debates in the pipeline. Hopefully it will a lively website that can inspire researchers to become interactive also in other web2.0 fora.

There is already a ScienceNordic Twitter and Facebook page. Naturally, both a so far low on tweets and followers but I look forward to see what happens there.

Who is behind ScienceNordic?

The initiative for the site comes from Denmark and Norway where the scientific news portals, Videnskab.dk of Denmark and Forskning.no of Norway, have joined forces and together with partners from Sweden, Finland and Iceland have developed the website with the financial support from NordForsk, an organisation under the Nordic Council of Ministers.