charlie Rapple and Antony Williams
reach and impact of
“Adequate communication is a prerequisite for strong science and technology,” says a
government report on my desk. The report addresses the challenges of communicating
research effectively during an era of “information explosion,” and the need to “explore
and exploit new methods” for sharing knowledge [ 1].
Sound familiar? And yet the report is dated January 10,
1963. (Neither of the authors of this article was even alive
at that time!)
The “information explosion” has achieved levels that
US President John F. Kennedy’s Science Advisory Committee
(the authors of the report) could barely have imagined.
There are currently over 50 million research articles, and
this number is estimated to be doubling every 20 years.
If we consider alternative publishing approaches such as
blogs, wiki, and exposure of work via other social networks, that growth in the overall “literature” is even more
dramatic. It is already acknowledged that a substantial
proportion of online articles and books are never down-loaded [ 2]. What can you do to ensure that your own work
does not meet this fate, but is found, read, applied, and
• kudos is a new digital platform that helps researchers
track efforts to communicate about their work.
• charlie Rapple, one of the co-founders of kudos, explains
how the service aims to benefit researchers.
• Antony Williams, a scientist at the Us Environmental
Protection Agency’s National center of computational
toxicology, provides a user perspective.