It’s good to know you’re not alone

My admiration for BMC Bioinformatics knows no bounds:

Publishing perishing? Towards tomorrow’s information architecture

From the abstract:

Although the Internet has revolutionized the way our society thinks about information, the traditional text-based framework of the scientific article remains largely unchanged.

To truly integrate scientific information we must modernize academic publishing to exploit the power of the Internet.

And later in the article:

Scientific contribution should not be measured solely by journal publications.

They also mention the role of funding agencies in promoting publication avenues other than the traditional journal article. I’ve come to think that a lot of the fault in academia lies with funding agencies. In Australia for instance, the journal article is the sole currency of any worth when it comes to applying for grants or seeking permanent positions. The agencies set the rules, what can the researchers do but follow them if they want to succeed?

I spent much of the past week feeling depressed about how slowly internet innovation trickles into the academic consciousness. This article cheered me considerably.

3 thoughts on “It’s good to know you’re not alone

  1. On the “two steps forward, one step back front”, in the UK the way research will be funded after 2008 is moving away from the overly cumbersome Research Assessment Exercise (which includes non-journal and even unpublishable contributions to science – in some areas such as Earth Sciences this can make up a large portion of the total RAE score for a department). It looks as though the replacement for the RAE will be “metrics” based. There are two main metrics currently being considered, publication in journals (ranked by a citation index) and research income generated.
    I wouldn’t be too harsh on the funding agencies though, their imperative tends to come from the treasury.

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