Wednesday, February 1, 2012

scientific journals in the e-publishing age


There's been a bit of discussion on Google+ (John Baez - Jan 30, 2012) on the future of costly scientific journals. As print fades into history, there is no reason why scientists cannot have a system where their so-called pre-publications (e.g. on arXiv.org, a current source for many of these) can be reviewed, and with revisions acceptable to a peer community be qualified as being designated as published.

Proposal: arXiv.org continues as it is and some group creates arXiv-Review.org (completely independent of arXiv.org) that accomplishes the intended goal of reviewing the articles of arXiv.org. When an article on arXiv.org gets a pass from the arXiv-Review.org scientific peer community, it's designated as published.

(The problem, as has been pointed out, is for some group to actually go and create arXiv-Review.org.)

What would be the result? A free and open article submission and access system as it exists now (arXiv.org) and a independent review system (arXiv-Review.org).



Update (2012-02-02): Looks like the site has been created.

networksolutions.com/whois-search/arXiv-Review.org:
Domain Name: ARXIV-REVIEW.ORG
Created On: 02-Feb-2012 03:35:26 UTC

(There's also a Google+ Page: +ArXiv Review)

The first step is to provide a Primer and Goals and Mission Statement for the site (along the lines of arXiv.org/help/primer).


Here is a start:

arXiv-Review.org

arXiv-Review is an openly accessible, moderated forum for commenting on and reviewing arXiv.org articles. (For information about arXiv, see arXiv.org/help/primer). To provide for this, each article submitted to arXiv can potentially have a review thread in arXiv-Review for comments and reviews.

Each review thread in arXiv-Review is identified by following the same reference scheme described in arxiv.org/help/faq/references. For example, corresponding to arXiv:math/9910001v1 <http://arXiv.org/abs/math/9910001v1> is a potential review thread arXiv-Review:math/9910001v1 <http://arXiv-Review.org/rev/math/9910001v1>.

Browsing arXiv-Review is open to everyone (the "readers"). Those who comment on and review articles (the "reviewers") must register on arXiv-Review. In addition, a reviewer may be a member of a select "board" (TBD) on arXiv-Review (and this identification will indicated).

arXiv-Review system for evaluating arXiv articles: TBD.

arXiv-Review sponsors and operators: TBD!



Notes
1. See also: Proposal for A New Publishing Model in Computer Science, Yann LeCun.
2. Elsevier's Publishing Model Might be About to Go Up in Smoke - Forbes. Remarks on Google+: John Baez - Feb 1, 2012