Monday, October 13, 2003


The launch of a new academic journal on the internet with the awkward name, “Public Library of Science Biology” seems to have made a bit of a splash as an “alternative” source of scientific information. There is no sign of it abandoning the usual academic Leftist orientation, though.

Internet-only academic journals are not at all new, of course, though few of them have much prestige. All academic journals are a bit of a waste of time these days, however. They are only useful for credentialling -- showing that a scientist can write at a standard that is approved by his/her peers. Particularly in the fast moving sciences, most communication is via the internet. Google is the first step for ANYONE researching a topic these days so scientific results and analysis that are up on the net will get 1,000 times more attention than something that exists only in the pages of an academic journal. Until I put my academic papers on the net I had got no enquiries about them for years. Now I find that graduate students email me about them regularly. I did briefly consider submitting to an academic journal my recent demolition of Van Hiel’s misleading work on the psychology of conservatism but that would have meant a 2-year wait until it appeared on the net and even then most journals put their files up in that accursed slow-loading PDF format which most Googlers look at only as a last resort. So instead, I put the article into the fastest-loading format there is (hand-coded html), took ten seconds to post the article in my personal webspace and now anybody googling the name “Alain Van Hiel” will be looking at my critique of his work in very short order. An infinitely better way of circulating information! And it also means that any of my fellow-bloggers who would like to help snooker Leftist misinformation can link to my article and help push it up the Google page-rankings.


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