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October 1996

Knowledge or NoiseScientific Publication and the Electronic Journal

Author Affiliations

From the Illinois Eye and Ear Infirmary, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Ill.

Arch Ophthalmol. 1996;114(10):1269-1270. doi:10.1001/archopht.1996.01100140469022

Over last few years, the Internet has grown exponentially and is developing a role in the exchange of scientific information. However, a number of problematic issues are associated with electronic publications, including limited transmission speed, undependable file longevity, poorly documented postpublication editing, copyright infringement, and cultural impediments to acceptance. By measure of citation frequency, electronic journals seem to have limited influence within scientific discourse, but this medium is as yet in its infancy. Since electronic publication enjoys many potential advantages over traditional print publication, it is expected to gain far greater influence over time. The American Medical Association group of publications recognizes this and intends to develop its electronic publications with attention to maintaining traditional critical scientific standards.