On-line Publishing

D. R. Forsdyke forsdyke at post.queensu.ca
Tue Apr 27 21:39:06 EST 1999

Bruce MacDonald wrote:
> As a patient with a rare autoimmune disease, I need peer-reviewed
> information, whether on-line or published journals.  I can't be expected
> to discriminate between what is and what is not valid research on the
> basis of my own knowledge of the researchers working in a particular
> field, for I do not have that knowledge.  Just think of me as an ignorant
> "consumer" of medical information, one of millions who seek to determine
> information about diagnosis, prognosis and treatment options for a
> disease on which virtually nothing exists outside of medical journal
> articles.

     I suspect that your needs would be best met by the "secondary
literature",... books and journals for the general reader, rather than
the primary literature created by researchers active in the field.

       If you want to go to the front line literature, and do the
sifting yourself, there are a number of available sources for
independently determining the credibility of an author. One is the
science citation index. But the bottom line is, that you never can tell.
Who would have guessed that an obscure paper by an obscure monk was a
breakthrough in genetics (Mendel 1865, not discovered by the
establishment journals until 1900).

If you are interested in autoimmune disease, there are a growing number
of interesting web-pages, but no "index" to tell you which are the
"best". However, you can check out the authors' citations, etc. as one
independent index.

Sincerely, Donald Forsdyke. Discussion Leader, Bionet.immunology

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