There is an upsurge of so-called “impact augmentation papers” – authors review only papers published in their own journal. Imagine your are an editor. You have published last year 100 articles, 50 are not being cited at all, 45 are being cited 3 times, 4 articles are being cited 20 times. Your papers are being cited 215 times, divided by 99, voila your impact is being 2.17, not too bad (although it would be fair to say that you had picked up only 4 nice papers). Lets go – send out an email to a buddy to write an impact augementation paper – “the year in retrospect in our famous journal”. Lets say, this paper now cites all your orphan papers, in total 85 articles. So your overall impact is 215+85 / 99+1 = 3.0. Wow, an increase of nearly one point by just one paper! Did ICI Thomson notice that? Nay, nay.
First Monday has an interesting article of Paul N. Courant about “scholarship, academic libraries, and publication”. There is a risk with all these websites that academically valuable material will become invisible some time. I also have frequent problems to locate 5 year old online supplements. Yea, yea.
PLoS ONE may revolutionize science communication. Have a first look at www.plosone.org. As they write: “Be one of the first to appear in this new Open Access 2.0 online forumâ€”and qualify for a great low pre-launch price. We’ll peer review your work and publish it online as soon as possible so that it can start a conversation within the community that will enhance scientific progress.” Will it still be traditional, 1:1 translated publishing system? Or can we even edit any text? What about lists of open questions? And a true synopsis – like the one theologians use to compare the four canonical gospels? Yea, yea.
The International Journal of Epidemiology has some extreme views of the Philosopher’s stone – have to confess that I am a fan of Keneth Weiss and Anne Buchanan. Did we waist millions of $ for nothing?