23 January 2007

Perishing publishers

"Scientific articles are tailored to present information in human-readable aliquots." There you have it then. The foundation stone of all those journals that researchers love.

This is the first sentence in the abstract of a paper on BioMed Central, Publishing perishing? Towards tomorrow's information architecture.

Funnily enough, the rest of the abstract is in English and makes sense. Who would argue with the sentiment that "To truly integrate scientific information we must modernize academic publishing to exploit the power of the Internet."?

The language of the first sentence reminds me of a comment someone made at a meeting last week. It was a reference to an engineer who had written an impenetrable report. His excuse, my contact said, was that if he had known how to write he would have gone to Harvard. The authors of the paper with that delightful first sentence are from Yale.

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