Susan E Connolly is a first year PhD candidate at the MRC Biostatistics Unit in Cambridge, UK. She holds degrees in Veterinary Medicine and Statistics from University College Dublin. She is a writer of fiction and non-fiction, as well as a coach of public speaking and competitive debate.
It was with great interest that I listened to Domhnall MacAuley’s recent Bradford Hill Seminar on The Future of Medical Publishing, particularly the area of his talk that discussed opportunities and efforts made by journals to widen the reach and spread of published articles. The ventures ranged from tweeting, Facebooking, and other social media avenues to companion blog posts and short video introductions. My first thought was that this sounded like substantial work for no doubt busy academics and researchers. My second was that while these avenues might be useful at making people aware of a particular paper, if the goal was to have a paper actually be read, they were likely insufficient. No matter the publicity given to a piece of work, if the actual content is not engaging, then the browser window is closed or the physical page turned over. ...continue reading