Journals, Repositories, Peer Review, Non-Peer Review, and the Future of Scholarly Communication
22 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2013 Last revised: 26 Aug 2021
Date Written: November 17, 2013
Peer reviewed journals are a key part of the system by which academic knowledge is developed and communicated. Problems have often been noted, and alternatives proposed, but the journal system still survives. In this article I focus on problems relating to reliance on subject-specific journals and peer review. Contrary to what is often assumed, there are alternatives to the current system, some of which have only becoming viable since the rise of the world wide web. The market for academic ideas should be opened up by separating the publication service from the review service: the former would ideally be served by an open access, web-based repository system encompassing all disciplines, whereas the latter should be opened up to encourage non-peer reviews from different perspectives, user reviews, statistics reviews, reviews from the perspective of different disciplines, and so on. The possibility of multiple reviews of the same artefact should encourage competition between reviewing organizations and should make the system more responsive to the requirements of the differing audience groups. These possibilities offer the potential to make the academic system far more productive.
Keywords: Academic journals, Open access, Peer review, Scholarly communication, Science communication.
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