Sat 26 November 2016

Two new planets for neuroscientists

Posted by ankur in Research (468 words, approximately a 2 minute read)

Keeping up with research publications is always a challenge for researchers. There's simply too much going on. Most of us have a daily or maybe hebdomadal slot where we go over various journals and news. We use things like e-mail alerts, RSS feeds, and that sort of thing. I have a rather long list of RSS feeds set up in the excellent Liferea reader myself.

Now, the one problem with using a desktop application is that it must be set up on every machine that you use - even on your phone. This isn't ideal, really. It is also not ideal that we all end up having our own private lists. So, I thought it'd be nicer if I could set something up on the web that we could all access from everywhere without needing an app. The simple choice was to use venus to set up planet instances.

Those that have been around the free and open source community will already know what planets are. They're web pages that aggregate feeds from various sources - usually community members' blogs. There are quite a few around and I follow a few myself - Planet Fedora, Planet GNOME, and Planet Mozilla, for example. They're extremely useful to keep onesself up to date with the happenings in the communities.

So, I've gone ahead and set up two new planet instances to aggregate information from a myriad of neuroscience sources. The first is Planet neuroscience. The feeds this one aggregates are all from peer reviewed journals. So, pure research on this one. It's one long list of new publications.

The second one is Planet neuroscientists. On this one, I collect posts from various neuroscience news sites and blogs. Quite a few of these sources help make neuroscience more accessible by summarising concepts and results. They also discuss more general topics such as the research method, collaboration, open access, and the sort. So, these are also quite useful to read.

I hope that these two planet instances will help us keep up to date with neuroscience research with less effort than before. They're both hosted on Github and are therefore, public pages. I don't reckon there'd be any bandwidth issues either. They're just static pages. Please do give them a go to see if you find them useful and of course, please spread the word too.

At the moment, I have a cron job that updates them once daily, and I've put up some initial source that I was already following. If you know of any other sources that are worth following too, please do get in touch with me. The themes are extremely simple. You can always open pull requests if you'd like to make them better.

Have a great weekend, and do drop me a line if you find these new planets useful!