Blog
About

In:  Peer Review  

Future trippin for #peerrevwk15

Image credit: Into by Gisela Giardino, Flickr, CC BY-SA
Image credit: Into by Gisela Giardino, Flickr, CC BY-SA

Imagine if you will a perfect world where all knowledge is openly available to use and share without restriction. This might seem like a bit of a stretch most days but bear with me here!

Believe that the content narrative continues to move beyond the confines of today’s mainly static article. That an ongoing stream of results, data, figures and ideas flows for transparent review and discussion. In short, that a reductionist approach to scientific communication prevails which renders journals with their slow publication cycles and impact factors obsolete.

It’s not that hard to see the evidence of these trends already. Think about the rise of blogs and social media as suitable places for scientific discussion, the growing importance of continuous publication, data sharing and interactive figures. All this in the pursuit of making research and researchers themselves more visible, as they deserve to be.

Logo: download wiley.com/peerreviewweeklogos
Logo: download wiley.com/peerreviewweeklogos

This Peer Review Week, ScienceOpen wants to pose a simple question. As the number of research outputs grow and diversify (data sets, negative results, case reports, preprints, posters…) is the research community going to be able to peer-review all these objects prior to publication?

We think not. There isn’t enough time in the day, money to pay for it or even appetite for doing this now. Will these outputs be useful none-the-less? Absolutely, if we have a powerful way to find and filter them based on parameters readers find helpful and authors find rewarding. For example:

  • What do my peers think of this information?
  • Are there any updates to it?
  • What impact did it make in the world and who noticed?
  • Which work is worth highlighting in a specific field?
  • How many times was it cited and where?
  • If I took the time to review it, can my contribution be found and cited?
  • Will these efforts enhance my career prospects?
  • How many times was it cited and where?

None of these valid questions are impacted by an evolution away from blind or double-blind anonymous peer review, apart from the speed with which we can answer them. Transparent processes and simple web tools can filter faster, better and cheaper than journals and pre-publication peer review ever could.

This is why at ScienceOpen we’ve developed systems for Post-Publication Peer Review; Versioning; DOI allocation; Article Metrics; Collections; Open Citation Information and more – to demonstrate a different (and we would argue better) way forwards.

This inaugrual Peer Review Week, we invite you to consider this argument and disagree with us by all means. We look forward to a lively and spirited debate!