Most of my dear readers will have either noticed or written about the lack of comments on scientific articles, for instance at the BMC journals and most notably at PLoS ONE, which was designed for interaction of author and reader.
At this point, there’s not too much to add to the conclusions: It’s takes to much time to comment on a scientific article properly, there’s no incentive (can’t put it in your CV) or honor to be gained (no one asked me to review this) and they are not written to be discussed (open/pragmatic) but supposed to discuss the results thoroughly themselves. However, despite all the comments on the matter, trying to study the phenomenon on the web is difficult due to the lack of strong keywords: Searching for “comments on publications” does not take you to very informative resources.
Similar discussions were underway in the Usenet and a particular consideration on the lack of comments made into Wikipedia as Warnock’s dilemma, which I stumbled across by chance. The term did not stick but it’s a worthwhile keyword for research in communication in blogs and scientific publications. Most of the considerations listed can be applied to all forms of written electronic communication.
Next: The careful analysis of the source for the scarcity of my blog output. A killer post.