Letters Academic medicine

Time for a scientific social network

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.39143.615579.FA (Published 08 March 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:491
  1. Felix E C Greaves (felix{at}felixgreaves.co.uk),
  2. Alexander Finlayson
  1. University Hospital Lewisham, London SE13 6LH

    Ioannidis et al state that an aim of academic medicine must be to develop a global outlook,1 and Sandars describes the importance for doctors of building a virtual network of information sources via the internet.2

    The new technology combining these two ideas—social networking websites3—could be harnessed for immense benefit to the scientific sector. A scientific social network would allow scientists to share details of their current research, ideas, and techniques and freely distribute their results. It would reduce wasteful scientific redundancy by preventing scientists from doing experiments others have done before them. It would also enable cooperation between groups across the world.


    • Competing interests: FECG and AF are developing a free, open access social networking website for scientists: academicswithoutborders.org (open to public access from April 2007).


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