Re: Self-Archiving Refereed Research vs. Self-Publishing Unrefereed Research

From: George Lundberg <>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2001 17:27:45 +0100

This may read a bit like a "commercial" but it is relevent to this
discussion nonetheless be forewarned:

Allow me to point out that <>
has created Medscape Select as a deliberate selection from Medline to
begin to try to accomplish the clearly stated goal of Editor di
Diodoro. One of the best things about Medline is it contains around
4000 medical journals. One of the worst things about Medline is it
contains around 4000 medical journals, most of which the usual
practicing physician never heard of and cares little or nothing about
(and does not trust information from).

Practicing physicians do not have time to study "the world literature"-
be it traditional paper, electronic, self-archived or some mix. They
want the most reliable and applicable information quickly. Medscape
Select, a search process of only the "best" 269 of the 4000 Medline
journals, is one Medscape method of meeting this real need. Our
methodology for determining "best"---somewhat arbitrary to be sure---
is described at Medscape Select. And, far from Stevan's Harnad's
statement of a few days ago suggesting that i as a person was trying to
keep the medical literature behind fiscal barriers, i remind readers
that my well documented position is quite the opposite, and for an
example, <> is a FREE-to-all
internet users, primary source, peer reviewed, general medical journal,
the nature of which prevents the need for self-archiving, since it
publishes quickly, after peer review, and proper editing, has
relatively high acceptance rates since there are no paper costs, and is
itself on Medline and in Medscape.Select.
George Lundberg

-----Original Message-----
From: Danilo Di Diodoro [mailto:Danilo.DiDiodoro_at_AUSL.BOLOGNA.IT]
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2001 4:27 AM
Subject: Harnad's quotation

Professor Rothenberg,

thank you for your thorough analysis of my version of Harnad's
quotation. I share your worries about the development of a possible new
fractious industry (and it is already at work), but as you know, today
readers have to protect themselves from the flood of irrelevant and
unimportant information. And the need for this protection will last, at
least until the all system will change (and also this change is already
at work).

In the meantime, while we are waiting for the disappearing of all the
useless papers published in the field of Medicine (perhaps the 80? 90?
per cent of all papers), I think that the ideal on line resource for
scholars and scientists can't be all papers in all fields.

In my view, the ideal resource should let the readers to ignore the
existence of all the irrelevant papers. Who decides which are the
irrelevant papers? It is impossible to answer to this question (the
reader himself? But how could he decide it without reading the
papers?), and, as a matter of fact, we are talking about ideal on line
resource. In the real world, researchers should stop to write useless
papers, and the "vanity press" should disappear from the field of
Medicine, but this is another business...

Thank you very much for your attention,

Best regards,

Danilo di Diodoro - Editor of Gli ospedali della vita - Bologna, Italy <>

Richard Rothenberg wrote:

Professor Di Diodoro:

I think your revised version is admirable, but I would hate to be the one to
decide what papers are really important in a field, and I'm afraid such a
definition would generate a fractious new industry.

Rich Rothenberg

Richard Rothenberg, MD
Annals of Epidemiology
69 Butler St. SE
Atlanta, GA 30303
TEL: 404-616-5606
Received on Wed Jan 03 2001 - 19:17:43 GMT

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