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Traditionally, strong scientific communities have been at least partly built around physical proximity - either by members of the same department or institute, or through regular meetings and conferences. The online environment and the rise of social media platforms now make it easier to build virtual communities of geographically dispersed people with a common interest. In this article, we explore how such networks can be nurtured, focussing on the Node - a community blog for and by developmental biologists. We also discuss the value of social media outlets like Twitter in building and maintaining scientific communities online.

Original publication




Journal article


Semin Cell Dev Biol

Publication Date





90 - 97


Blog, Community management, Developmental biology, Social media, Twitter, Audiovisual Aids, Community-Institutional Relations, Developmental Biology, Humans, Internet, Scholarly Communication, Social Networking, Teaching, Universities