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May 6, 2004 9:54 PM   Subscribe

Interesting papers in neuroscience. From Wellcome Laboratory of Neurobiology.
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posted by Gyan (6 comments total)

 
Thanks for this, Cyan - very interesting indeed. I hope that more such easily accessble librariies of scientific papers turn up.
posted by donfactor at 2:44 AM on May 7, 2004


Pretty much every lab in every scientific field has a page of papers. You can also search PubMed for life science related papers, and Citeseer for CS related papers.

For more neuro papers, you can try here. They're a fine bunch of people.
posted by hammurderer at 11:28 AM on May 7, 2004


hammurderer: You probably are right, but I think donfactor is referring to 'easily accessible', as in comprehensible and of broad interest.
posted by Gyan at 12:31 PM on May 7, 2004


Some of these papers are extremely well written. Some are not.

Some of these articles ("the disunity of consciousness", for example) start in the field of neurobiology, move into philosophy and end in speculation and opinion. That would be entirely acceptable to certain journals and would have your article immediately culled from others. Certain articles in this collection have been published in very widely respected journals with an extremely high standard of peer review, and some haven't.

The problem with your average reader being exposed to papers in this format is that they usually have no idea about the author's background, the intended use of the paper's topic in attempting to influence a wider argument, or the quality of the research being presented. Even well established academics with a good working track record can have a crackpot agenda that rears its ugly head from time to time.

A random collection of papers like this gives the average reader no way to judge the quality of the research in an individual paper. This kind of site is more effective as a tool for marketing yourself as an academic (on a CV), or for propaganda than it is a tool to inform people and further science.
posted by snarfodox at 8:10 PM on May 8, 2004


What people have to understand is that these articles are embedded in an incredible amount of context. You can look at each paper as another point being made in an argument that in some cases has continued for decades, or even centuries.

They're like chess moves, and an understanding of the wider game is necessary to see why they've been made and what the author has in mind.
posted by snarfodox at 8:20 PM on May 8, 2004


What would make electronic publishing extremely useful to academia is not wider distribution of articles but a way to permanently update and annotate existing papers.

Links to further development of the same theory or otherwise relevant papers would be extremely helpful. There should, especially, be a far better mechanism for retraction. The perfect example is Ricaurte et. al and their "Severe Dopaminergic Neurotoxicity in Primates After a Common Recreational Dose Regimen of MDMA ('Ecstasy')" where mislabelling of drugs completely wrecked their experiment.
posted by snarfodox at 8:49 PM on May 8, 2004 [1 favorite]


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