I found this article in the Economist very timely in the context of a recent experience I had with a well known peer reviewed journal (more on that below).
Research (by two blogging economists at the World Bank) suggests that academic papers cited by bloggers are far more likely to be downloaded. Blogging economists are regarded more highly than non-bloggers with the same publishing record. Blogs have given ideas that failed to prosper in the academic marketplace, such as the “Austrian” theory of the business cycle, another airing (see article). They have also given voice to once-obscure scholars advancing bold solutions to America’s economic funk and Europe’s self-inflicted crisis.
The experience i recently had was when I sent this note to Journal of the American Medical Association, and got the attached response.
On Dec 27, 2011, at 12:19, jama-comments wrote:
Thank you for your comment. If you would like to send a letter to the
editor, you are welcome to do so at http://manuscripts.jama.com.
From: Ted Eytan, MD
Sent: Monday, December 12, 2011 11:44 AM
Subject: Inquiry re: recent editorial Should Patients See Their Lab
Results? (JAMA Feedback Form)
Comments sent via JAMA Feedback Page
NAME: Ted Eytan, MD
PROMOTIONAL USE: (not answered)
Wondering if you would entertain another editorial, co-written by a
physician and patient, entitled “Shouldn’t patients get direct access to
their lab results?” that would be based on actual data rather than on
I wrote a blog commentary here, thanks for entertaining the idea,
Ted Eytan, MD
The response is a reasonable one in the world of the peer-reviewed journal (“format it the way we expect and maybe we’ll publish it”), however, it leaves one wondering “why go to the effort when I can just post my response in the blogosphere?”
The JAMA article itself has multiple links to share the article out in the social media space, but no space to comment directly on the article or receive trackbacks from social media responses, to share in. In other words, there’s talking, but not listening.
For that, there are now multiple channels outside of the peer-reviewed world, and as the Economist reports is happening in the field of economics, I think there is second guessing happening about the best venue to get ideas accepted in health care. See what you think, feel free to post your experiences.