Publishing Before The Idea Is Done
In the good old days, which were actually not so long ago, it took a long time to get a scholarly work published. A very long time! Peer review, editing, printing, and distribution by snail mail. All in, a year from start to finish of the process. BUT. Along comes the Internet, and then social media, and now we can “publish” an idea within minutes of it even occurring to us. In some ways this is good news. Doctors used to complain to me regularly that medical journals were way too slow for them to be relied upon to keep “up to date.” BUT. In this recent blog post, an influential Information Age physician comments on the risks attendant to instantaneous publication. No third party, he notes, is now adjudicating the accuracy or the worth of the ideas being set forth. And, given that the space for publication is now unlimited, the triage task of deciding what is worthy of reading is a daunting one. Bottom Line. The blogger has a recommendation. Use the instant publication media for the active and ongoing exchange of ideas, but hold certain juried publications for the sharing of ideas that are “fully baked.” Makes sense!