One scientific journal, one scientific community

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There’s interesting relation between this comment by Richard Gordon and Bryan J. Poulin entitled “There is but one journal: the scientific literature” (posted under essay in PLoS Medicine entitled “Why current publication practices may distort science”):

(…) Frankly, when downloading a paper, we pay more attention to the contents than the name of the journal, which has become incidental. “Artificial scarcity”[3] is a frame of mind. The result of all these technologies and attitudes is that we are rapidly approaching the concept that there is but one journal: the scientific literature. (…)

and recent discussion about interdisciplinarity of science, summarized by Abhishek Tiwari in his recent post, where he cites Robert Phair, systems biologist:

If I could change one thing in modern science, I would stop the fragmentation and specialization. To do synthetic work, we need more broadly based professional societies, academic departments, and journals, NOT more specialized ones. Current academic department structures evolved from the reductionist paradigm and simply do not support synthesis effectively.

Sounds nice: one scientific journal, one scientific community. I’d love to see that in practice. However, I feel that resistance is going to be huge. Not only because it may seem at first like throwing the baby out with the bath water (framing or labeling helps people to organize and understand the world). Also, I have an impression that this wholeness seem to require a new kind of mind – capable of synthesis and capable of dealing with complex problems.

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