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Letters to the Editor
February 2001

Virtual Publication

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2001;58(2):203-204. doi:

The recent set of articles on psychiatric practice in the new millennium inspired me to share my vision of the scientific journal of the future. It is a virtual journal, existing entirely in cyberspace, in which any set of data, any theoretical musing, and any research grant proposal may be published at the wish of the investigator/theorist. Each investigator has his or her own Web site, and there are also commercial Web sites specializing in particular areas of scientific inquiry, such as the neuropharmacology of the locus ceruleus. Commercial Web sites competitively solicit submissions using their technical capabilities, the quality of their criticisms, and the scope of their marketing as incentives to attract data sets and original ideas. They sell advertising space to stay in business. Individual and commercial Web sites hire professional reviewer groups for statistical and methodological criticism. Groups that specialize in particular types of criticism advertise their product by pointing to the impact of manuscripts they have reviewed on the particular field of inquiry, and superordinate critics of these critical firms emerge. From the CyberScienceTimes, December 2036: "NeuroFarm Vanguard wins the coveted Novum Organum prize for 2036, having endorsed a whopping 23% of the ‘cutting edge' original manuscripts (as recognized by the National Academy of Sciences) in the field of electrogenetic pharmacoprosthetics for the year just ending. This amazing record, coupled with their Hits-to-Misses Ratio (HMR) of 78%—the second highest ratio since statistics have been kept—places the NeuroFarm Vanguard among the elite reviewing companies in the history of the genre. Congratulations to all involved from CBT."

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