In Pre-Internet times, peer-reviewed journals were the best way to disseminate research to a broad audience. Even today, editors and reviewers cherry-pick papers deemed the most revelatory and dispatch them to interested subscribers worldwide. While the process is cumbersome and expensive, it has allowed experts to keep track of the most prominent developments in their respective fields. This article, recently published in The Economist, is about blogging science without peer review. It looks at how Web 2.0, with its emphasis on user-generated content, may prove to be a path to speedier scientific advancement.
While blogs have today emerged as the quickest and easiest way to self-publish your content, some regulations such as FINRA and SEC consider blogs as mere advertising vehicles rather than discussion forums. According to industry experts because of disclosure and anti-fraud considerations, the information that advisers disclose on blogs requires the same compliance scrutiny as corporate press releases. While FINRA's existing rules categorize blogs as advertisements that require supervisory review, the Securities and Exchange Commission maintains that blogs should be treated as a company statement.
Press releases are a popular vehicle to disseminate health information to the lay media. While the quality of press releases issued by scientific conferences and medical journals has been questioned, no efforts to assess pharmaceutical industry press releases have been made. This article by Bindee Kuriya of the Department of Rheumatology, University of Toronto; Elana C. Schneid of the Department of Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto; and Chaim M. Bell of the Departments of Medicine and Health Policy Management and Evaluation, The Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, seeks to systematically examine pharmaceutical company press releases about original research for measures of quality.
In a conversation format, seven anthropologists with extensive expertise in new digital technologies, intellectual property, and journal publishing discuss issues related to open access, the anthropology of information circulation, and the future of scholarly societies. Among the topics discussed are current anthropological research on open source and open access; the effects of open access on traditional anthropological topics; the creation of community archives and new networking tools; potentially transformative uses of field notes and materials in new digital ecologies; the American Anthropological Association's recent history with these issues, from the development of AnthroSource to its new publishing arrangement with Wiley-Blackwell; and the political economies of knowledge circulation more generally.
This paper by Mary Piorun, Associate Director and Lisa A. Palmer, Catalog Librarian, describes the Lamar Soutter Library's process and costs associated with digitising 300 doctoral dissertations for a newly implemented institutional repository at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Locally digitising dissertations or other scholarly works for inclusion in institutional repositories can be cost effective, especially if small, defined projects are chosen. A successful project serves as an excellent recruitment strategy for the institutional repository and helps libraries build new relationships. Challenges include workflow, cost, policy development, and copyright permissions.