Biomedical Education Poster
Pre-editing scientific research
Thank you for your thought provoking observations. I believe that pre-editing archives of the type you suggest are inevitable once the internet is recognised as the preferred medium for academic activity. It is so much more convenient and cheaper to use that this transformation seems inevitable too. Even before that, pre-editing archives will have a lot to offer. The net is so responsive to needs that I cannot help thinking this one will be met.
The reason for the delay in setting up such a system has many facets -
1. The growth of the internet caught everyone off guard. It is now so big that getting an overview of even one subject is extremely hard. No one in academics is taking it seriously enough to realize the "organizing" the Internet clearing house in a particular subject is a route straight to the intellectual center of the future.
2. Prepublishing something on the Internet disqualifies a paper from publication in a print journal in the minds of some editors. Since publication in print journals is the measure of success in research very few are prepared to risk spoiling their chances.
3. No one makes any money out of a pre-editing archive. Yet organizing it and putting it on the Internet takes time and effort and may even require payment for space on a server to host the archive. You may have to devise a commercial system before anyone will take it seriously!
The Orthogate Project has provision of such an archive for orthopaedics as one of the aims. However, we are starting from a different angle - first establish Orthogate as a viable clearing house for Orthopaedic information on the Internet and then, when we have the stature, introduce all these innovations. If you can mastermind a shortcut we will be delighted!
Orthopaedic Surgeon, BC, Canada
Content Editor, Orthogate www.orthogate.org
Sat Dec 12