Did someone just admit that journal articles don’t communicate science effectively?

A brief article in the latest Journal of Proteome Research, entitled The Structural Genomics Consortium makes its presence known (ACS, subscription-only), begins with a summary of output from the SGC:

Researchers with the Structural Genomics Consortium (SGC) have been toiling away in their labs for ∼4 years now, solving and depositing hundreds of protein structures in public databases. To date, they have deposited 15% of the human protein structures solved so far and have published >100 papers on their findings. Yet, many scientists still don’t know what SGC does.

The next paragraph made me sit upright (my italics):

We haven’t spent a lot of time on communication because we wanted to spend the time on science and scientific publications, but we appreciate that if we want our scientific output to be used to its maximum, we need to let more people know what we’ve been up to.

I may be reading too much into that sentence – perhaps they define communication as outreach via media to a wider community, as opposed to publications which are aimed at a specialist audience. However, I’m tempted to see it as a subconscious confession that the traditional journal article is increasingly ineffective as a communication tool in our science big, science connected world.

One thought on “Did someone just admit that journal articles don’t communicate science effectively?

  1. The language of scientific papers is to hard, both to be created on the side of the authors and to be de-coded on the other side of readers. The time when (because there was no FriedFeed or Twitter or Google Reader) reading of a manuscript brought an afternoon’s pleasure because of the immersion in its writing, is over. To put it simply: we don’t need to get our geek dose from reading papers any more, so just publish results on blogs and the communication will take place among the people connected online.

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