Web Journals Threaten Peer-Review System

So, it appears that an open source philosophy has some new converts. I understand the usefulness of peer review when it’s done well. Of course, it is often not done well, and the result is a quasi-review system that inhibits access to information. In a world that is making it easy to publish your own material and for users to filter and aggregate what they find useful, it just makes sense that we remove the shackels of peer review and replace it with “reader review.”

Take a look at this:

LOS ANGELES (AP) – Scientists frustrated by the iron grip that academic journals hold over their research can now pursue another path to fame by taking their research straight to the public online.
Instead of having a group of hand-picked scholars review research in secret before publication, a growing number of Internet-based journals are publishing studies with little or no scrutiny by the authors’ peers. It’s then up to rank-and-file researchers to debate the value of the work in cyberspace.
The Web journals are threatening to turn on its head the traditional peer-review system that for decades has been the established way to pick apart research before it’s made public.
Next month, the San Francisco-based nonprofit Public Library of Science will launch its first open peer-reviewed journal called PLoS ONE, focusing on science and medicine. Like its sister publications, it will make research articles available for free online by charging authors to publish.

But unlike articles in other PLoS journals that undergo rigorous peer review, manuscripts in PLoS ONE are posted for the world to dissect after an editor gives them just a cursory look.

Here’s the full text of the article.

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