16 October 2006

True Open Access

One of the things that continues to amaze me about blogs is the quality of some of the writing. A case in point is this fantastic essay by Richard Poynder. It's an extremely thorough consideration of whether open access means that peer review is on the way out.

Here are a couple of ideas that were new to me:

In September, for instance, a group of UK academics keen to improve the way in which scientific research is evaluated launched a new OA journal called Philica.

Unlike both Nature and PLoS ONE, Philica has no editors, and papers are published immediately on submission — without even a cursory review process. Instead, the entire evaluation process takes place after publication, with reviews displayed at the end of each paper.


Philica is not the only new initiative to push the envelope that bit further. Another approach similar in spirit is that adopted by Naboj, which utilises what it calls a dynamical peer review system.

Modelled on the review system of Amazon, Naboj allows users to evaluate both the articles themselves, and the reviews of those articles. The theory is that with a sufficient number of users and reviewers, a convergence process will occur in which a better quality review system emerges.

And you're getting it all for free: true open access. I just hope you are grateful.


tunguz said...

The open access journals will only start becoming popular once a robust post-publishing filtering system is implemented. The current state of peer review, inadequate as it is, does provide at least some reference point for people to asses the value of published scientific articles. At Naboj we are striving to develop a universal peer review platform that will help users asses the value of different scientific articles.

Glyn Moody said...

It looks interesting - I wish it every success.