Accelerated publication of scientific results

Hamm, Robert M. (HSC) Robert-Hamm at OUHSC.EDU
Mon Mar 27 18:13:03 UTC 2017


One important distinction between physics and medicine is that no one is going to treat anyone based on a finding in a paper that has not been reviewed yet, while there is the potential (at least) that a patient’s treatment might be altered based on an unfounded expectation of better results.

Rob Hamm

From: Bruno, Michael [mailto:mbruno at PENNSTATEHEALTH.PSU.EDU]
Sent: Monday, March 27, 2017 11:02 AM
To: IMPROVEDX at LIST.IMPROVEDIAGNOSIS.ORG
Subject: [IMPROVEDX] Accelerated publication of scientific results

Dear SIDM friends,

More than a year ago on this forum we discussed the issue of delayed biomedical scientific publication at some length.  At that time, I pointed out the difference between how biomedical findings are (very slowly) peer-reviewed and published and the much faster way that the physics community does it—by publishing a “preprint” online more or less immediately and accomplishing the peer-reviewing later.  A number of us, especially Dr. Robert Bell, lamented how these delays imposed on the dissemination of new biomedical knowledge are actually impeding the progress of research and creating substantial waste, since many scientists may end up working on doomed, dead-end projects, needlessly consuming their time and other resources for months before a colleagues’ paper is published showing the results they would have needed to refocus their efforts to something more fruitful.

This problem is essentially created by the strangle-hold the high impact journals, ones such as NEJM, Science, Nature, and PNAS, among others, have on biomedical scientists, coupled with the highly competitive “publish or perish” sort of incentives that have spawned a wide range of problems in the research world. The high-impact journals typically insist that new findings be kept strictly secret until released in their pages, and the scientists, in turn, rely on publication in those journals to advance their careers.  For some reason, the physicists seem to have become immune to this problem.

Well, it would appear that the biomedical research world is slowly addressing this, and adopting the same approach as the physicists.  See the article, available here:

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21719438-about-change-findings-medical-research-are-disseminated-too<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.economist.com_news_science-2Dand-2Dtechnology_21719438-2Dabout-2Dchange-2Dfindings-2Dmedical-2Dresearch-2Dare-2Ddisseminated-2Dtoo&d=DwMGaQ&c=qRnFByZajCb3ogDwk-HidsbrxD-31vTsTBEIa6TCCEk&r=xRJEBCjBmL1ypS8G4qfsiN0ww2Uty8FEqU-Ye79RFyM&m=bL0fDvqMHCJfmmxg105tr1dlR0zlVBcFOhOpw3ukQeM&s=Gc30j8UtvAtgJVb-HB7FHnVMwl4Nc9jGk7PI6Wy6SXM&e=>

and this related article:

http://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21719441-alternative-metrics-extend-concept-citation-beyond-journal<https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__www.economist.com_news_science-2Dand-2Dtechnology_21719441-2Dalternative-2Dmetrics-2Dextend-2Dconcept-2Dcitation-2Dbeyond-2Djournal&d=DwMGaQ&c=qRnFByZajCb3ogDwk-HidsbrxD-31vTsTBEIa6TCCEk&r=xRJEBCjBmL1ypS8G4qfsiN0ww2Uty8FEqU-Ye79RFyM&m=bL0fDvqMHCJfmmxg105tr1dlR0zlVBcFOhOpw3ukQeM&s=HIGcQ1S3X8yUGTofLvIv1QpcKmTvHc2k6wWOy4GcSTI&e=>

All the best,

[cid:image004.png at 01D112FF.F77F98B0]
Michael A. Bruno, M.S., M.D., F.A.C.R.
Professor of Radiology & Medicine
Vice Chair for Quality & Patient Safety
Chief, Division of Emergency Radiology
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center
• (717) 531-8703  |  6 (717) 531-5737
• mbruno at pennstatehealth.psu.edu<mailto:mbruno at pennstatehealth.psu.edu>  |
[inspired to keep patient safe]

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