150 years of intellectual writing

The Atlantic Monthly has opened its extensive archives in honor of its 150th birthday. The collection is organized into broad categories, including traditional ones like religion, politics, and women’s rights; there are also more intellectual ruminations like idealism and practicality and markets and morals. Naturally there are technology and science categories as well, and the latter has particular items of interest like this contemporary review of Darwin’s Origin of Species, an essay on Mars by Percival Lowell, and a rumination on the philosophic impact of atomic physics by Warner Heisenberg.

Open Peer Review and MRI

I have decided that my inaugural post on this respectable, scientific blog should, of course, be filled with rampant speculation and ungrounded commentary. Sadly, Aziz does not have that “Organizing the Secret (Yet Open-Source) Cabal that Shall Rule ISMRM” tag for this blog…Respectable commentary on image reconstruction coming later in the week.

One thing that I have followed with some interest is the recent open peer review/open access movement. One comment I’ve heard is that if “pre-publication” review is shortened or eliminated, various negative consequences will ensue: scientists will have little motivation to send in comments, mean quality of a publication will suffer, etc.

So, here’s a crazy idea: create an open-PR MR journal (make it electronic only, even) and focus it on the areas of MR that are not well-served by the current paradigm. Have an editor give submissions a cursory check, and send it off. Focus it in the following (non-exhaustive list of) areas:

  • Simple measurements (scattered useful information, such as the T1 of a group of body tissues at 7T)
  • Negative results
  • Commentary on reasonably straight-foreward tasks that might have a minor hitch (“My experience combining SENSE, EPI, and Dixon”).

Basically, make a purposefully low-impact journal, at least as an initial experiment. Give it a small audience, so that people can keep up with it. Make it over simple topics so that you don’t feel nervous if you want to use it in your own research. And then see how it works.

What does everone else in the blogosphere think?