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Out with the Old?

At The Scientist, George Lundberg says it's time for science and medical publishing to get with modern times and embrace the Internet age. Despite advances in modern technology and the efforts of open-access proponents, subscription-only journals and traditional peer review remain firmly entrenched in the publishing culture, Lundberg says. But now, "mature Internet technologies coupled with exploding genomic data may lead to inexorable transformation in scientific publishing, parallel to the change that is rocking biomedical disciplines themselves," he adds. Social media technologies should also become part of scientific communication, he suggests, citing that it was the idea of merging these new communication technologies with new genomic technologies that brought about the launch of Cancer Commons, "a 21st-century, nonprofit publishing platform," for which Lundberg is editor-in-chief. This new platform serves as an open-science community for clinicians, researchers, and patients to collaborate in developing better therapies, Lundberg says. And though there are challenges to making this work, it could serve as a model for 21st century publishing, he adds.