Re: Restructuring Learned Society Communications

From: Arthur Smith <apsmith_at_APS.ORG>
Date: Wed, 9 Sep 1998 15:45:26 -0400

I find the ideas here quite interesting, and certainly worth
investigating. We have had some similar notions. The problem that
always comes back to us, though, is one of scale. If you have interactive
discussions on a scientific article, you have to have somebody moderating -
fine if you only have one or a few papers involved, but can you really
scale it up to the millions published every year? What if Stevan Harnad had
to moderate a thousand discussions like this in a year, a hundred a month,
instead of just this one? Of course, more participants on the referee/reviewing
side means more work from each participant too - what if each of us
had to be involved in 30 interactive discussions like this at once? On
the positive side, it would probably significantly cut down the total number
of publications if the authors had to spend so much more time on the
reviewing end. Perhaps it would even help overall scientific productivity -
communication is important after all. But I think the transition problems
here dwarf the ones we have discussed on going from paper to online-only!

  Arthur (
Received on Tue Aug 25 1998 - 19:17:43 BST

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