Why (and How) Nature and Reddit Science Are Teaming Up

Read the full post in SciLogs.

On December 6, Reddit’s Science “Subreddit” announced a partnership with the venerable science news source Nature. Why did they team up?

I wanted to know what Reddit, essentially an online bulletin board with an active community of users, would get out of partnering with Nature. I also wanted to know what Nature would get out of partnering with Reddit, which – though nicknamed “the front page of the internet” – has occasionally come under fire for the unsavory nature of some of the material posted there.

Here’s the bare bones of what the partnership entails. Reporters and editors associated with Nature will receive “flair” from Reddit Science. Flair is subreddit-specific text that tells other users about an individual’s qualifications to comment on a subject. In this case, the flair will indicate the reporter or editor’s affiliation with Nature. Nature staff cannot submit their own material to Reddit (a longstanding Reddit rule designed to hinder efforts at self-promotion), but can comment on relevant material submitted by other users. Similarly, the partnership’s announcement makes clear that Nature staff “will comply with…[Nature’s] long-standing policies: no commenting on Nature editorials (as they are stand-alone and anonymous), on retractions or corrections, or on why particular papers were accepted/rejected from publication.”

To learn more, I approached both Nature and Reddit Science. Below, you’ll find two  Q&As. The first is with Ananyo Bhattacharya, the chief online editor of Nature. The second is with the moderators of the Science Subreddit. My questions were relayed through Victoria Taylor, Reddit’s director of communications, and the moderators are anonymous.

In the interest of full disclosure, I’d like to note that this blog is part of the SciLogs blog network, which is associated with Nature.com.


    1. I think a lot of what shows up on Reddit also shows up on other social media channels.

      I’m not a Redditer, but my husband is. I probably should check out the Science subreddit, but I’m also having information overload issues, so it probably won’t happen for awhile. I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that I can’t keep up with everything (although I certainly try :-)).

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