The gold standard of scientific discourse has been the peer reviewed scientific journal. That is, to distribute reports of scientific experiments and discoveries to likeminded and respected fellow scientists to evaluate and if they passed muster to publish them in an obscure journal.
That was a great process for…1912. It is totally out of date for 2012. With the power of the Internet there is no reason scientific reports need to be sent only to selected reviewers. They can be submitted instantly to hundreds and the discussion can be instantaneous and in far greater depth than the old (I mean really old) journal system allowed.
Scientists, just like the rest of us hang on to tradition and find change challenging. Never the less freeing scientific truth from the antiquated peer review system will accelerate the growth and spread of knowledge to an amazing degree and should actually improve the review system.
The irony, says Ijad Madisch, is that while reinventing so many other aspects of our life, the web never really overturned the world of academic publishing. More than 30 years on, we’re still relying on old-fashioned peer-reviewed academic journals to share research among the world’s leading thinkers.