Reading the Latest Research When Online Tech Magazines Summarize It All

Reading popular tech magazines and high tech magazines online saves a lot of time. No one has the time to go through all of the scientific journals and read papers on every subject. Research papers are produced now in such mass quantity, and often universities and researchers are doing the same types of studies getting similar results, and each of their papers is published in a separate or different journal.

The other day someone had given me a slight critique and told me that the knowledge I had on various subjects was not as good as his because he read the actual scientific journals, and I only read the tech magazines summaries. That’s not exactly true, I read both, but the summary type articles in a much higher percentage of course. Okay so, let’s explore this thought for a second shall we?

First, there is no way that one individual can read all the scientific journals in all the different areas of science. Therefore by him only reading the scientific articles and those journals he is limited in the amount of information he takes in. Further, if I read and scan hundreds of tech magazines summaries per day I can follow all of the areas of science, and anything notable that catches the eye of a science writer. Indeed, in explaining this to my acquaintance he dismissed my notion, but I also explained to him that I could always look up the scientific research in the Journal if I read something that I wanted to pursue further.

Now then, if you are working in a very limited niche of science then perhaps you get aggravated reading some of the tech magazines summaries. Often the writers get it wrong, or don’t fully understand the topic they are writing about. And since you know a lot about the individual niche subject matter you can spot mistakes right away. I noted that those research folks often leave comments explaining how a popular magazine science writer got it wrong, and what the paper actually says, and what the research indeed means.

Still, to get into that discussion and debate, which is also online in those popular magazine science articles, you have to go and read them, and then read the comments at the bottom. When you read a scientific journal, you may or may not get the follow up comments until the next issue. It seems the tech articles are a better way to communicate through summarizing. I’m sure even if you read actual journal articles you will admit that you do a lot of skipping and skimming as time is valuable, so you are really only reading be summary, conclusion, and abstract anyway – so what’s the difference?

For those of us that need to know a lot about a lot of things, it seems to me that reading these summaries in the popular magazines or in the online news is probably the better way to go. So, I hereby completely dismiss the critique of those who are not of the same view. Please consider all this and think on it.