Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Future of Medical Publications

For those of you interested in medical publications and scientific journals, here is a recent perspective on interactive journals and the future of medical publishing, printed in the American Journal of Medicine.

In academics, a coveted accomplishment is the peer reviewed paper. In this process, manuscripts are received by journals, reviewed by editors, and then distributed for peer review. If deemed suitable, the manuscript is then published. This time honored practice allows for quality and scientific rigor. Critics point out that reviewers and editors may have their preferences and biases that affect manuscript publication.

Over the years, individual medical blogs (like this one) have flourished.  Many medical journals have not fully embraced novel technologies afforded by the internet. Of the 588 journals reviewed in the above perspective, 9% had a journal based blogs, 8% allowed for direct web based commenting on an article, and 90% utilized social media/email sharing.

In the information age, the paucity of journal based blogs and direct commenting on medical articles by readers is lamentable. Allowing readers to more fully participate, interact and comment on scientific publications will result in wider dissemination of ideas, enhance perspectives and promote further inquiry. 

The tools for this are available, the time is now.

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