The author steps forward

I’ve decided to identify myself, as well as disclose where I work.

Since I took a university job about a year ago, I’ve wanted to try writing independently as a freelance journalist. My goals: see if it’s compatible with my job (which I enjoy), explore interesting areas of science and keep in touch with issues I used to cover at the North County Times.

Many freelance journalists have blogs and use them to develop and support their work. For people with a day job, I’ve seen several approaches to the question of: do you identify yourself and your employer?

A. Be open and hope for the best. No secrets. Many of the folks on Science Blogs (good example) take this approach.

B. Identify employer but leave name off blog, like this.

C. Identify self but not employer, although the employer is not a total secret. This seems to work for Derek Lowe, whose Pipeline blog I’ve enjoyed for years.

D. Don’t identify self or employer. If your blog is full of frustration and indignation over life as a postdoc, this might be a good idea.  But it means scrubbing your comments of anything that could give away who you are.

A certain prosecutor/press critic might also fall into category D, although people seem to know who he is (and that blog appears to have evolved into a joint endeavor).

I’d love to hear how other life sciences-oriented bloggers with day jobs handle this issue.


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