This Blog explores ideas for the future of scientific publishing. I feel that the current system is unsatisfactory in many respects and retains its current form not because it is near optimal, but because of its historical development in the pre-internet era and because it provides large profits to the publishing industry. The internet allows for a more open, transparent, objective, powerful, and cost-efficient system. The first step toward the realization of an alternative is to imagine it. Two elements are needed to revolutionize scientific publishing:
(1) Open access (OA) is one essential element. There is wide agreement about the desirability of open access to the scientific literature.
(2) Open post-publication peer review (OPR) is the other essential element. Although this idea is being discussed and even tested in some circles, it is not widely known, let alone accepted as essential to the future of scientific publishing. This blog aims to explain why OPR is essential and how it might be implemented. In brief, OPR will provide an ongoing forum for review and reception of scientific papers. It will also provide numerical quality ratings of papers, allowing individual scientists to prioritize their reading without having to rely on journal prestige as the only indication to quality. The key ideas are described here (synopsis, brief argument, full argument).
Without OPR, the evaluation of scientific papers will never be truly open. Moreover OA will be more difficult to implement as long as we rely on the journals to administer the review process and on journal prestige as the only immediately available quality signal about new papers. OA enables free reading. OPR will enable free reception and writing. The two go hand in hand.
Please feel free to comment or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have related ideas, concerns, feedback, or pointers to relevant developments.
– Nikolaus Kriegeskorte