Scientific Publishing Needs to Change

“Our scientific publication system suits a [past] world where scientists rarely met one another and learned of new scientific advances or theories through few rigorously-reviewed scientific journals. Experiments were carefully documented so that they could be repeated and validated for consensus building. The goal of scientific publication was to tear down silos. However, this is not the world we live in, nor is it likely that we will ever go back. The world today is wildly well-connected and scientific communication is literally at our fingertips. We speak in real time with each other, follow prominent scientists and labs on social media, and learn of new scientific discoveries mostly from secondary/tertiary sources. In today’s world, any scientific paper, even ones carefully designed to be without substance, can be published through both legitimate and scam scientific journals with variable accountability, or directly online with no accountability at all. Peer review is known to be a poor predictor of impact, facts today are perceived as relative, and “fake news” is something we contend with from reputable media sources. While our existing scientific publication system has limited value in this world, the scholarly peer review process is more important than ever.” -Dr. Jonathan Thon, faculty at Harvard Medical School

Read the full article from University Affairs here:

Scientific publishing needs to change

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