Thursday, January 13th 2011

Crowdsourcing revisions to my OpenLab piece

On January 7th, Jason Goldman of the Thoughtful Animal and this year’s Open Lab Editor, announced the finalists for Open Lab 2010, a yearly anthology of about fifty of the best pieces of online science writing.

Magically, out of 900 posts, two of my IVF posts made it: My IVF story: pregnancy and My IVF story: conclusions, to be made into a single essay.

I know. Holy crap! I’m excited, pleased, proud, and surprised. I was a reviewer for this year’s edition,* so I know it was time-consuming work — I can only imagine how much more work for Jason himself. I really appreciate how this anthology is produced by the community, and reflects the best thinking of a large group of people, and how many selfless volunteers put in work.

Unfortunately, I’m also a little harried right now. The deadline to turn in my revision is January 21st, but on the 20th I have an NSF proposal due, as well as the papers for my probationary review (that’s the review tenure-track folks get every year). I’ll be away this weekend for Science Online 2010, with my kid, and classes start next week.

I want to combine these two posts as thoughtfully, and seamlessly, as possible. I have a few different ideas about how to do this in a way that reduces the total size of the essay, rather than lengthens it, but I also thought: why not ask my readers? Maybe you read the posts and had questions or felt like things were missing from the original version; maybe you felt elements of it were redundant. I’d like to hear what you think! This will help me when I carve out time to revise the two posts into an essay.

To sweeten the pot, I’ll send a little present to each person whose comments I use when I make my revisions. Maybe some origami sticky notes or a titanium spork? I’ll also make sure to acknowledge each of you on the blog.

*Obviously I didn’t review any of my own stuff — each reviewer only got a small portion of posts to read each round and I didn’t even know who the other reviewers were until the end.

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