More on scientific publishing

The "sting operation" conducted by someone connected to Science Magazine, which I mentioned before, is still making the rounds.

There seems to be growing agreement that there is something wrong in this area, but the consensus about what exactly is the problem doesn’t exist, even less so for solutions.

One particular exploitation of that piece is the attempt to blame open access journals for the problem, something that irks me to no end and looks very suspicious (at least), as pointed out recently by a blogger: Sketchy science: open access is the solution, not the problem. I totally agree with the author on this, in particular: "People talk about the dangers of the internet, blogging, and social media. Ok, great, interesting. But when people who work in publishing (and make money by charging access to science papers) want to talk about the danger of… open access to scientific information, you have to wonder…" (already emphasized in the original post).

Nevertheless, one proposition that is slowly gaining momentum is the idea of post-publishing reviews, that is, scientific papers will be more like blog posts, the public will be able to comment and those comments will be as available and visible as the articles themselves. See, for instance, this announcement of an yet to be launched journal: The Real Peer Review: Post-Publication.

Although I am in priciple sympathetic to the idea, controls have to be in place to avoid comments to devolve into the usual cesspools that comment sections end up being on the internet.


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