Nature Medicine 2.0 alarms by its editor in chief

Oops, the folks at Nature Publishing Group are more and more watching us, the people of the second-generation Internet, you know the two point oh. Recently, the editor chief of Nature Medicine (impact factor 28.878 in 2005), wrote and editorial and even a blog post concerning “what is the Web 2.0–driven scientific publishing world going to look like?” The editorial is a static monologue by form, but at the end of it, there is an outgoing link to the dynamic blog post. And a post is successful, when it becomes a dialogue and that success is fulfilled only through comments.

In the traditional academic environment an editor in chief of a peer-review journal like Nat. Med. is in a position of enormous power from a point of view of an experimental scientist interested in submitting a paper. But this time it is not the case, the emphasis is on the survival of the traditional brand based and peer review model: “One idea is that the community will increasingly do without high-profile journals to decide what an important paper is and what it is not. If many scientists get together to discuss papers in social-networking sites, they may provide visibility to papers published in obscure journals and deprecate articles from more visible titles. If this becomes the case, and if high-profile journals make enough editorial mistakes while selecting the papers we publish, then the value of those publications will indeed go down.” In a fractionated tribal niche world, like the current web “is there room for journals like Nature Medicine?” Continue reading