On BioScience and Life and Such

New post on Sciphu.com, the advantages of blog publishing

In Uncategorized on May 19, 2008 at 8:54 am

There’s a new article on SciPhu.com. It’s about pharmacogenetics…..but what I really want to communicate is how superior this way of publishing is:

Here’s what I have experienced while blog-publishing:

1. It is fast. I decided I would publish some data that I already had presented in a talk, since this data wasn’t really fit for a major article. It took me an hour or so to write up and publish the whole thing.

2. One of the reasons it is fast is that it is less rigid in its form. You yourself decide on formatting, wording, whether to use a reference list and how to format this list, or if you would rather have your references as hyperlinks in the text.

3. Papers published on SciPhu.com get hits from google searches. Since the whole text is searchable the hit-probability for people looking for your subject is higher than that on pubmed or any other site where searches are based on title, abstract and keywords. An example is the gel-drying paper which is hit daily by google searches like “SDS-PAGE cracking” or “vacuum drying PAGE” or similar. Although in this case, you could surely search laboratory method web-sites, the fastest way to find your information is probably a google search. This means that any paper published like this has the potential of high visibility. In addition you can get day by day hit statistics, which is probably interesting to many.

4. Communication with referees is interactive and the paper can remain fluid in its format and content. Since publishing like this is rapid it is also bound to be more error-prone. But, by interacting through the comments section, the paper can be continuously revised to correct errors or unclear phrasings. Also the number of referees can be many and since everyone can see the referee-comments, replying to these referees can be done by anyone, not only the authors. Thus, the papers will be less perfect to start off, but may end up better than those in a traditional peer review journal.

5. It is open access and free to everyone. Anyone’s welcome to publish anything as long as it is scientific. This is true scientific democracy.

7. SciPhu.com lacks the “rigid editor” entry point, and it always will.

This publishing solution is not very high tech (but, it may evolve to be), it does not enjoy the recognition that many of the high ranked science journals do (but with active commenting, it can).

As with so many other things in professional life, the potential lies in the numbers. Only if many of us scientists are willing to use publishing channels like these, will it become a success.

This is the age of the web and no-limit communication accessible to all. My recommendation is: Say goodbye to the stale publishing standards of yesterday and come participate in the interactive self-justice of web-publishing.

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