Thursday, September 30, 2010
Communicating beyond the walls of academia
When I think about all of the wasted time we spend trying to format our papers for specific journals, then waiting 3-6 months to hear back from the journal, and then repeating the process until the paper is accepted, it makes me wonder how much more we could accomplish if we removed these hurdles. This process enriches not scientists, but societies and others and serves as a method for "conflicted" direct-to-physician advertising. It's not like we find articles by reading the paper journals anymore. Perhaps we could adopt a process where we publish a working paper online and then journals could compete for the rights to publish the data in their journal. Wouldn't it be cool to turn a journal down?
Any other ideas for re-working the scientific communication system, both within the scientific community and creating incentives for outreach? We have to try harder to advance science against the pervasive pseudoscience that is forever expanding on the internet and within public policy. For example, if we could spend time communicating the benefits of vaccines instead of spending 15 months getting our vaccine paper accepted, we could serve the public more effectively and the public might actually see the value of science
Smith's Aetiology post: "Moving science communication into the public sphere"
Smith's recent talk on scientific communication, the internet and the anti-vaccine movement
Dobb's Guardian Post: Publishing your science paper is only half the job