Domhnall MacAuley is a CMAJ Associate Editor and a professor of primary care in Northern Ireland, UK
What is happening to scholarship in medicine, how are career scientists responding to academic pressures, and has it affected clinical science? And, in the world of scholarly publishing, what has happened to the research paper, how we share research outcomes, and the academic dialogue? Demands on the scientific community may have altered research priorities, but journals and their editors are also buffeted by advances in communication and commercial tensions. In sharing advances in medical science within the research community and beyond, publishing the definitive paper is not that straightforward anymore. ...continue reading
Alireza Jalali, MD, is Interim Head of Anatomy in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Ottawa, Canada, and Social Media Adviser to the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada
At a recent conference I was approached by more than a few colleagues and asked about the Kardashian Index (K-index). For those oblivious to the term, K-index is a ratio of a researcher’s Twitter followers (as a measure of “celebrity”) over the number of their research citations (as a measure of “scientific value”). The authors of the article that defined it imply, and I quote: “A high K-index is a warning to the community that researcher X may have built their public profile on shaky foundations, while a very low K-index suggests that a scientist is being undervalued.” Many physicians were wondering if they should maintain their presence in “Twitterverse” (cyberspace area of Twitter, with more than 500 million active users) as academic community may view this negatively. I found this thought-provoking, particularly in a time when misinformation on Ebola is wide spread across internet and the presence of physicians, as health advocates and educators, in the digital world is important and can even be viewed as a part of their social accountability.
The Good: ...continue reading