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Nature Essay – Trial by Twitter

January 21, 2011

Here is a well balanced essay just appeared in Nature stressing post publication peer review – the tag line sums it up all:Blogs and tweets are ripping papers apart within days of publication, leaving researchers unsure how to react

The major problem as I see it is:

Journals have had a little more success with post-publication peer review in the form of comments to the online versions of their papers. But the discussion is hardly vigorous, largely because the journals have usually solicited these post-publication critiques on their own websites, rather than on popular social networking sites.

And a solution appears to be on the horizon:

Given the vagaries of such measures, there is a growing interest in methods that would aggregate and quantify all of the online responses and evaluations of a paper — producing what Neylon and some others are referring to as ‘alt-metrics’ — and compare it with more conventional metrics

altmetrics home
Has Journal Commenting Failed
Twitter Survey Report (Sept 2010) on scribd
More stats for the PLoS alt-metrics study

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