August 22, 2008

Young Scientists Posting Data Online

Young scientists are increasingly breaking with tradition by posting raw scientific data online, the Boston Globe reported.

The newspaper said the open-science movement is considered a "brazen, potentially self-destructive move" to many in the scientific community. Traditionally, research is not released publicly until it is published in peer-reviewed research journals.

"We're a generation who expects all information is a Google search away," Barry Canton, a biological engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told the newspaper. "Not only is it a Google search away, but it's also released immediately. As soon as it happens, the video is up on YouTube and on all the blogs. The old model feels kind of crazy when you're used to this instant information."

"Open-science" advocates say open forums could offer the ultimate form of peer review. Critics, however, say traditional methods ensure that bad research doesn't receive wide dissemination.