Publishing Models With Open Review
by Thomas Arildsen
All of the platforms I mentioned previously are in the third and fourth quadrants above and they are all review platforms decoupled from the actual publication of papers. Where PubPeer and selectedpapers.net seem to aim at being independent post-publication peer review and discussion platforms, Publons seems to be trying both that approach as well as offering themselves as “review service provider” to journals.
One of the visions I have seen people describe is that of a publishing model where papers are published as “preprints”, they get reviewed openly in some forum for that purpose – for example the platforms I mentioned. Journals are then simply formed as collections of these openly accessible papers based on their openly accessible reviews. This kind of journals does not own the papers (in terms of copyright and reduced access) and the value they add is simply to help readers filter through the jungle of available papers as well as put a “seal of quality” on the collected papers. This is probably in the more idealistic and radical end of the spectrum, but I like the idea.
A less radical but similar idea is that of portable peer review where authors can submit papers for review to a “review service provider” and then take the review comments to a journal (after probably altering the paper according to review comments) for consideration for publication. Should the journal not be interested, you can take it to another journal – still along with the same review comments. This could save some work and time in the review process. This seems to be what for example Peer Evaluation and Libre as well as Publons are doing.
I am particularly interested in how well Peer Evaluation and Libre will fare. These two platforms are created by two organisations that sound to be non-profit and seem quite open and idealistic. Collective Developments is behind peerevaluation.org. From their homepage:
Peer Evaluation is an Open Access initiative allowing for the dissemination and evaluation
of scholarly works. As a supplement to quantitative reputation metrics (H index, citation counts…),
Peer Evaluation comprises a qualitative reputation system powered by peers alone.
Finally, its business model is the one of a community interest project. – See more at: http://www.collectivedevelopments.org/#sthash.Ikw4SfCX.dpuf
The organisation behind Libre is Open Scholar C.I.C. Their homepage states:
Open Scholar C.I.C. is a not-for-profit organisation whose activities, assets and profits are dedicated to the purpose of providing benefit to the scientific community. Our mision is to develop ideas and tools that promote open and transparentscientific collaboration for a more fast, efficient and naturalorganisation, evaluation and dissemination of global knowledge.
Particularly Open Scholar sounds interesting to me. As they also write:
Our community is open to new members who wish to join efforts towards building a new culture of transparent academic collaboration for the benefit of global knowledge.
Well, I just might give it a shot and accept that invitation. I am eager to try to find some way to contribute to this open science publishing movement.