Dr. John Adler is the Editor in Chief of the Cureus Journal of Medical Science and Dorothy and Thye King Chan Professor in Neurosurgery Emeritus at Stanford University.
In your opinion, what is wrong with the current system of medical publishing?
So much of publishing is presently geared towards a small elite community of academic physicians who understand the rules of the process and have the most time to engage in the publishing “game”. This means that the ideas from these academics, many of whom are not necessarily accomplished clinicians in the real world, are most widely circulated. Of course much of this process is intended to support the academic tenure process, which needs to create at least the illusion that certain ideas are innovative as opposed to merely being the product of an observant physician. Part of this stems from an excessive reliance on statistics.
Why are some slow to embrace the Open Access philosophy?
For the above reasons, academic physicians who have dominated journals for generations are loath to see publishing democratized. Democratization threatens their exclusivity/power in communicating medical science to the world.
What motivated you to start the Cureus Journal of Medical Science?
Having spent a lifetime in academia I could see that many truly clever, experienced and innovative physicians living in the trenches of medicine had no voice within the broader world of healthcare.
How do you measure success at Cureus?
The number, quality and reach of the articles we publish, as well as how engaged readers are with the content within.
Why should doctors and researchers publish in Cureus?
Cureus’ makes it easier and cheaper to publish a peer reviewed article than was ever possible before.
What makes a strong approval editor? What do the Cureus editors look for when critiquing medical science?
Ultimately Cureus’ most important duty is to our readers. It is somewhat ironic that Cureus’ responsibility to readers transcends that of our physician “customers”, with whom our editorial team primarily interacts. With this understanding in mind, I like it when an approval editor understand this hierarchy of accountability, approaching an article first and foremost from the reader’s perspective. Their job is not to kill/reject articles but to make sure that by reading carefully they suss out any “BS”, so that the reader has less work to do. Having said that every article, every time, by every reader should be approached with some measure of skepticism. There are no absolute truths in science. This is why our mantra is to publish “credible” science allowing the best science to “pass the test of time”.
Are you currently working on any research?
As a matter of fact, I just co-authored the following article published in Cureus: Neuromodulation via Focal Radiation: Radiomodulation Update
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