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When publishing in some popular scientific journals, it is easy to understand that it is worth referring to in your CV, job applications, or elsewhere when it is appropriate to talk about your publications.

But what if your publication is not in some scientific journal known worldwide with 50 years history, but on some online web-site, that is definitely not considered to be very scientific and professional among universities, but at the same time it is quite popular among researchers. I mean it has quite big number of people (tens of thousands daily) using it daily, contains many articles on some kinds of research written by researchers themselves, posting comments pointing out the mistakes, etc.

Is it worth mentioning or would it be considered not respectful enough place to be published?

And moreover, what if you "publish" some research on your own blog? Suppose it is popular enough to be considered published paper (i.e., few hundreds or thousands of people have actually read it).

Of course you could ask, "Why not then publish it in the respectable journal?" I would answer that publications I am talking about are not some breaking news or anything, rather just some experiments, that yielded some results, explained couple of things, but not new in any sense, i.e., it is more of educational publications saying "Hey, you can do this and this is how, check it out", probably repeating some experiment done by others, but with more explanations, research, etc. Such publications are not suitable for many journals and I would suspect many journals would not even consider printing it, so it basically can't go further than internet article, though it can get pretty scientific.

  • Maybe you should look into self-publishing sites, such as arxiv.org? – svavil Nov 4 '15 at 11:20
  • @svavil, I thought it is not the place for educational materials, isn't it? I mean If I write about something that pretty much ever experienced researcher knows, but I write it for more young students to help them understand some principles, explaining them better than in textbooks. I thought arxiv.org is not a good place for such articles, am I wrong? Not using it almost to be honest, so don't know much about it. – ScienceSamovar Nov 4 '15 at 11:31
  • arXiv definitely has physics.ed-ph, take a look at what papers are published there. Not really experienced with it as well. – svavil Nov 4 '15 at 11:35
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    "Is it worth mentioning?" In what context? Applying to grad school? Applying for faculty positions? Applying to industry jobs? Idle chat with other researchers? – xLeitix Nov 4 '15 at 11:35
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    @ScienceSamovar In any formal setting, I would approximate the value of a Web-based publication as 0. – xLeitix Nov 4 '15 at 12:09
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I would say there are two significant things to consider:

  • Some journals will consider replication studies, and some explicitly support it (e.g., Perspectives on Psychological Science). Depending on your field, you may wish to investigate this. Replication studies, however, typically aim for a degree of rigor which you may or may not be aiming at.
  • If the effort is more explanatory and educational in nature, then is still belongs in your CV and similar documents, but as "Professional Service" or "Teaching" rather than publication. These count less in many contexts, but are still legitimate and may be important if you are applying to a position that is interested in these types of outreach and education activities.
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One problem with the blog and the website is the quality assurance. A peer-reviewed article guarantees that your research at least meet the quality of that specific journal. Of course some issues exist with the peer-review system but at the moment it is the common way. Everyone can open a blog and popularity does not imply good research. I would suggest submitting the work to a regular journal, and write a shorter blog entry for communication and discussion.

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It may be worth having a section for "Non-peer-reviewed publications". You say you've written tutorial material but other possibilities are that you've written articles for popular science outlets, or the trade press, or even been interviewed about your research in the major news media.

The difficult bit is probably the name for the section (which should go after you "real" publications section. Rather than claiming these as scientific publications (and if they're not really citable/cited, no-one will treat them as real scientific articles) but to provide evidence that you can write for a diverse audience.

Of course, like anything else that could go on your CV, it's about tailoring the CV to the job -- this could be good for jobs with a significant teaching/outreach/science policy component, but might be less useful elsewhere. A selection of these publications might even belong in a section for other interests, depending on the specific nature of the projects and the job you were doing at the time.

There are also (peer-reviewed) journals dedicated to science education at various levels, and studies such as replicating classic experiments with student-grade equipment might find a home there.

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