Education And Debate

“Papers” will still exist

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: (Published 20 December 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1695
  1. Peter Newmark (, editor, Current Biologya,
  2. Vitek Tracz, chairman, Current Science Groupa
  1. a Current Biology Ltd, London W1P 6LB
  1. Correspondence to: Dr Newmark

The very term “paper” is inescapably bound up with the printed word and has no real place in the context of “online.” It carries with it clear notions of space limits, formats, and information packaging that have become an integral part of the way science is currently communicated.

Printed papers are the manifestation of the quantum theory of publishing. Scientists accumulate data, publish them, and repeat the process over and over again.

The size of papers varies somewhat, with authors intent on increasing their publication list slicing their work much more thinly than …

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