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April 02, 2009


Great post! It sums up a fairly complicated issue very clearly. Also, I hadn't seen your 2006 paper on peer review before now -thanks for pointing it out, I really enjoyed it!

Hi Richard, thanks for the nice post. Some brief comments on existing "implementations":
1a) manuscript formatting can be done automatically by means of templates (like those used in TeX or wiki environments, though XML would be preferable), though their usability is crucial to adoption by researchers. Also the metadata creation and its conveying to providers of unique identifiers for content (e.g. DOI) or content providers (e.g. Researcher ID) can be done automatically.
1b) editorial review can be skipped
1c) peer review is already performed by researchers, and I do not see how it could be otherwise. However, I do not see a reason why peer review could not be done after a piece of research has been made public via posting to some suitable destination on the internet ( http://arxiv.org/ has been doing this for almost two decades now). An interesting post in this regard is at http://bit.ly/Ppfk .
2) Digital archiving of back issues is an area where publishers may still be helpful, though librarians (and the likes of Google) may do the job, too. Another arena for them might be the creation of multimedia versions of scientific content, as http://jove.com/ are striving to do.
3) Yes, implemented in http://www.doaj.org/ but also http://www.scholarpedia.org/ .
4) No suitable implementation that I know of, but I think this is just a matter of time, and at least PLoS are working on it (cf. http://bit.ly/4uiW2r ).

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