Journals & Magazines

Little evidence for effectiveness of scientific peer review

Jen pointed to this BMJ Story on a systematic review {URL?} of peer review journals from the international Cochrane Collaboration.
They say despite its widespread use and costs, little hard evidence exists that peer review improves the quality of published biomedical research.
Published last week, the review is the third in a series from the Cochrane Collaboration Methods Group. The other reviews look at the grant application process and technical editing.

Journal's Closing Spells End of an Era

Sue, Bob, and Jen all pointed to
This NYTimes Story on the end of the Partisan Review.
The quarterly journal of culture and politics that emerged from the ideological ferment of the 1930's to become the house organ for a generation of brilliant American intellectuals and writers, is ceasing publication after 66 years. The journal's final issue, a tribute to its co-founder and editor in chief, William Phillips, who died in September at 94, is being mailed to subscribers this week.

Publication Impact Factors

Lee Hadden writes: " Jerald L Schnoor, editor of the ACS' Environmental Science and
Technology, has an editorial in this month's March 1, 2003, edition, page
79A, on the impact of selected articles in magazines.
Regretfully, the article does not discuss the need for excellent
indexing and free article accessibility to help with the impact factor.
Those articles which don't get indexed and which are hidden behind high
access costs, often don't get the impact they deserve. Other articles,
perhaps less important but marketed better, often get undeserved impact
numbers.
Read more about it in This PDF."

Barnes & Noble and Book Magazine Try a New Tack

Robin from over at In My Book sent along This NYTimes Story on Book, a magazine filled with book reviews, author interviews and effusive features.
Book and Barnes & Noble have restructured their partnership to cut costs and more closely integrate the magazine with the chain. Starting with the May/June issue, the magazine will be called Barnes & Noble Presents Book. The circulation promised advertisers will be cut to 150,000 from 750,000, and the magazine will be more prominently displayed in the chain's more than 600 stores.
The magazine about the book world burned through $700,000 in the first two years as it struggled to find readers and advertisers.

Go Read The New Cites & Insights

The April 2003: Vol. 3 No. 4 issue of Cites & Insights has hit the web newstands. Walt has a great section that focuses on some blog related issues this time. Here's the TOC:

* Perspective: A Zine is Not a Weblog
* The Library Stuff
* Bibs & Blather
* The Filtering/Censorware Follies: CIPA and the Supremes
* The Good Stuff
* Trends & Quick Takes

Swimsuit issue under wraps

Jack Stephens passed along one of the Punniest stories I've read in a long time. The Macon Telegraph reports that guys who wouldn't know a Dewey decimal from a Mountain Dew are after the SI swimsuit models and their barely covered, um, reference sections.

"I would say that of the group of people who are normally not interested in it, the biggest group of people who look at it are the librarians themselves," she said. "Just out of curiosity, to see what's gonna be in it this year that we need to be aware of, and how bad is it this year, and how ridiculous these girls look ... how ludicrous."

New England Journal of Medicine Retracts Study

News That The New England Journal of Medicine has retracted a study on Monday because one of the coauthors falsified signatures of the majority of the researchers named on the study as it was being reviewed.
To prevent the problem from happening again, the journal plans "to inform all authors of record by e-mail when their manuscript is accepted."

Throwing Magazines Into Oblivion

jen Young passed along This NYTimes Piece on trying to keep up with your magazine subscriptions.

\"Every few months, I load a bag with magazines from three months ago or longer. No wistful glances at the cover, no flipping through the pages. I don\'t want to know that the Sept. 30 New Yorker has an article by Adam Gopnik titled, \"Bumping Into Mr. Ravioli: How We Got to Be so Busy.\" I am too busy to read about how I got this way.\"

Magazine of Southern writing reborn

Here\'s A Chicago Sun-Times Story on the relaunched Oxford American.
Billed as \'\'The Southern Magazine of Good Writing,\'\' the Oxford American almost folded last year. It was taken over by At Home Media Group Inc., publishers of an interior decorating magazine. The new owners moved the publication from Oxford, Miss., to its new home in Little Rock.
NPR Has a Story as well.

Forty new countries given low cost access to health journals

The World Health Organization Says Forty-three new countries were added to the list of eligible participants in the Health InterNetwork Access to Research Initiative (HINARI) this week, giving them online access to 2,200 high-quality medical journals at drastically reduced prices.

The 43 countries, which all have gross national products per capita of between $1,000-$3,000, join the 69 low-income countries (GNP/capita below $1,000) whose hospitals, medical schools and research institutions already access the package for free.

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