Peer review fixes

An article in The Scientist runs through a slew of new approaches to peer review: “I hate your paper.”

A handful of other journals have taken a different tactic altogether to tackle the problem of publication time lagskeep the traditional peer review process but first publish a preliminary version of a submitted paper. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, launched by the European Geosciences Union (EGU) in 2001, along with the 10 or so sister journals that have subsequently been launched by the EGU, employs a two-stage process of publication and peer review, concurrent with an interactive public discussion. After a quick prescreening by one of the journals expert editors, a submitted manuscript is immediately published on the journals website as a discussion paper, and is available for anyone to see and comment on for 8 weeks. At the same time, the manuscript is passed on to referees who are familiar with the subject, and their comments (for which they can claim authorship or remain anonymous) are also posted alongside the discussion paper, public comments, and authors replies. The manuscript can then be accepted for publication, at which point a revised paper is published in the main, open-access journal.

Many other experiments in publishing are discussed, an interesting article. I wish grant agencies would try some of these new approaches, especially the ones that increase transparency.

(via Orac)