Are Peer-Reviewed Print Medical Journals Becoming Yesterday's News?

While print medical journals -- with their guarded and limited online public access -- still control the often, biased flow of information from conventional medicine to the public, times are changing due, in part, to the presence of Web sites like my own.

I suspect PLoS One and Journal of Visualized Experiments will be only the first of many online-only scientific journals to come, as lawmakers and patients seek out once "hidden" sources of information about their health.

Funded by the Public Library of Science, PLoS One aims to place as many scientific articles free of charge online for anyone to read. On the other end of the spectrum, the Journal of Visualized Experiments serves a sort of "YouTube" source for scientists in which scientists demonstrate their discoveries via short videos. And, an online database funded by Cornell University called arXiv contains some 400,000 scientific papers directly submitted by their authors without peer reviews.

Interestingly, PLoS One will soon evolve into a Web 2.0 model, similar to the highly successful VitalVotes format that allows you to comment on and critique the medical studies and articles posted here on my daily blog. If you haven't signed up yet to become part of this growing community, watch the video tutorial on the top right-hand corner of the main blog page.

USA Today January 24, 2007