Interactive…really?

Last week, I was asking myself what would be the best way to comment a published paper:  submit a letter to the editor/e-comment or a blog post. The paper I wanted to comment on was published in a journal offering an interactive platform to send online comments. I found that idea attractive. So, I decided to submit my online comment a couple of days ago. Clearly, the period of time between today and the day I have submitted my comment is rather short for the authors to answer. Also, in that particular comment, all issues are not addressable.

However, when you carefully look at the last, let’s say, 15 online comments, there is no answer from the authors who published manuscripts targeted by online comments. To my knowledge, the percentage of answers/rebuttal by the authors of the targeted manuscripts seems higher…

Although I understand that some issues contained in online comments/letters to the editor are not necessarily addressable, I consider that our job doesn’t stop after the publication of a manuscript. The discussion following the publication of the manuscript is, to my eyes, as important as the publication in itself…

Having access to an electronic platform to submit online comments is definitely a step forward, but it would be great, even if the work doesn’t appear in the “Publications” section of the CV, to see answers/rebuttal to online comments. That would render that process truly…interactive.

What do you think?

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