Monday, November 24, 2008

Is peer-review broken?

Maverick physicist Garrett Lisi thinks it is. In a fascinating article in Seed Magazine Lisi defends not only his physical viewpoint, but also his decision to upload his latest scholarly work to the open-access forum of choice for more and more publishing scientists.
    "I think peer review is important, but the journal-operated system is severely broken. I suspected this paper would get some attention, and I chose not to support any academic journal by submitting it. Under the current system, authors (who aren't paid) give ownership of their papers to journals that have reviewers (who aren't paid) approve them before publishing the papers and charging exorbitant fees to view them. These reviewers don't always do a great job, and the journals aren't providing much value in exchange for their fees. This old system persists because academic career advancement often depends on which journals scientists can get their papers into, and it comes at a high cost — in money, time, and stress. I think a better peer-review system could evolve from reviewers with good reputations picking the papers they find interesting out of an open pool, such as the physics arXiv, and commenting on them. This is essentially what happened with my paper, which received a lot of attention from physics bloggers — it's been an example of open, collaborative peer review."

And, a related article here: Reviewing Peer Review

1 comment:

David Booker said...

BTW, for my co-workers - I subscribe to "SEED" magazine if you would like my back issues.