Re: Request for Input/Suggestions
Tue, 23 Sep 1997 12:31:04 -0400 (EDT)

In a message dated 9/23/97 8:56:56 AM, wrote:

>Exploring my reactions, I note that I have learned about as
>much as I have time to learn or feel that I need to learn about
>medicine and physiology from Medline, which consists entirely
>of abstracts. Is it time for an Exline? I think this would be
>a "peer-reviewed" online journal of articles, research, and
>debate on futurist topics. The part most useful to me is that
>in order to be eligible for inclusion in such a journal, writers
>would be required to supply abstracts for their material that
>could be searched and read by busy individuals such as myself.

To be technical, Medline provides the abstracts from journals rather than
being a journal itself. Your proposal is for the Journal of Futuristic

>What I haven't figured out is why someone would run such a
>thing, and why people would consent to review writings -- how
>would they get paid? Presumably if the reviewers are of high
>enough reputation, writers will do the abstracts just so they
>can submit the papers for review (hm -- this might also result
>in some more well-thought-out writings). Somehow it seems that
>subscriptions wouldn't work, because there's so much information
>available for free. Maybe a time-delay subscription, where
>people who pay get more articles?

>Darn it, what would *you* pay for?

I don't think scientific journals are run as profit centers. Primarily, they
serve for information exchange amongst people who need that information to do
their jobs. Readers pay enough to get the things published because they need
that information so badly. People participate for the prestige, for
"publish-or-perish", and out of the desire to spread their ideas.

The discussions on this list often reasonably approximate peer review.
Getting reviewers wouldn't be a problem. My question is what would people
use such a resource for? I can't see much use for it myself other than my
own personal enjoyment, and the model of scientific journals indicates you
need more use than that to get the thing going.