Specificities of Electronic Publication in Medicine
Electronic Media are considered to be a useful tool to distribute scientific information in medicine. Starting in this century all main publishers use electronic information transfer and distribution, either solely by electronic media or in combination with conventional paper printing.
Information distribution and communication require a sender (author), a transport medium (visual or acoustic signals, telephone, radio, TV, printed journals), and a receiver (hearer, reader). Information distribution in science and medicine should permit an objective and non-biased understanding of the transferred information by the receiver (doctor). These actions should be repeatable in time and space. This aim is in contrast to emotional, business-oriented, or political information transfer that commonly wants to direct the receiver in a certain surge or emotion.
Scientific, peer reviewed open access journals have been established since the beginning of this century. After a period of hesitation and resistance which lasted for about 10 years, now-a-days nearly all big publishing companies offer open access journals in their product line. Most of them still hold on paper printed journals in addition, others offer hybrid journals, i.e., paper printed information display contemporary with electronic distribution. The electronic structures differ from classic structures (different, subject oriented domains) to articles of different focus that are fully integrated in only one individual domain. The advantages and disadvantages of the different structures are discussed in detail.
Conclusions and perspectives
Information distribution and communication is one important issue of life. The progress of technology does not stop at the doors of research and practice in medicine. To the contrary, it promotes both, understanding, interpretation and innovation of research, and the practical application. These facilitations of promotion are accompanied by ease of falsification and faked data. Business models of open access publication open doors of temptations to undercut science by anticipated profit. Previously serious publishers are already spoiled, and the scientific community should be aware that global investors are already misusing modern communication in science and research for their profit interest.
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