On BioScience and Life and Such

Final words on “The Elsevier Grand Challenge: Entry # 2”

In Uncategorized on August 16, 2008 at 6:07 pm

A follow up to this post on my submission to the above mentioned competition.

In the spirit of full disclosure and complete open access, here are the reviewers comments to the SciPhu entry:

Review 1
This is an interesting idea, very nice prototype.  But will people actually take the time do put up their papers and manage discussions?  And how does it relate to current publishing practice — augment it, replace, it, or in some other way change it?

Review 2
It seems to me that it would increase the amount of literature available by letting anyone publish, and would force the ultimate decision as to whether the paper is any good to the end scientist, who is already too busy.

I have serious issues with the notion that individual Scientists lack the ability to decide whether a paper is good, nevertheless and admittedly, the points are certainly valid (I have asked myself some of these questions many times myself).

Unfortunately these are also arguments against open access, unrestricted publishing as a whole. The reviews demonstrate a lack of understanding for the web 2.0 environment that all future publishing will have to relate to. In particular it is sad that that lack of time to “manage discussion” can be an argument. It is even more sad that “an increase in the amount of literature” is an argument.

It is ironic therefore that the winning project may have exactly these effects. In fact, looking at the project descriptions that went on to the second round, I am sure they will.


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