Tag Archives: Peer review

PKP Launches New Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study

Interesting work on finding a “sustainable open access model for peer-reviewed scholarly publishing”.

“The Public Knowledge Project is pleased to announce the launch of the Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study. This two-year initiative, in collaboration with the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition (SPARC) and other important stakeholders, will explore the feasibility of establishing publishing cooperatives that bring together libraries, journals, scholarly societies, presses, and others as a financially sustainable open access model for peer-reviewed scholarly publishing. The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation is providing a grant of $460,000 to support the project.

“Now that we have widespread acceptance of open access to research and scholarship,” states John Willinsky, Khosla Family Professor at Stanford’s GSE, Professor (Part-time) in Publishing@SFU, and PKP Director, “we need to carefully assess ways of transitioning from subscription-based to open access publishing. While Article Processing Charges work for well-funded research, we obviously need a model that can serve all fields of research and the cooperative has the advantage of building on the shared goals, existing collaboration, and current funding of libraries, journals, and societies.”

The $460,000 MacArthur Foundation grant will be devoted to (a) gathering financial data from journals and libraries to establish current investment levels in professional quality publishing; (b) consulting with stakeholders – research libraries, scholarly journals, scholarly societies, presses, funding agencies, and others – about perceived gains and risks of a co-op approach to open access funding, governance, and structure; and (c) develop and assess open source co-op publishing infrastructures for running pilot studies to evaluate impact on scholarly and public quality of this approach to open access publishing.

If the results of the first three stages show sufficient promise, the Open Access Publishing Cooperative Study plans to hold a culminating “constitutional assembly” for stakeholders in scholarly publishing. The assembly will apply what has been learned in the study to forge the principles and structures by which such cooperatives might constitute a means of bringing about sustainable and global open access to research and scholarship.”

For more information and interview requests:

Kevin Stranack, Project Manager
Public Knowledge Project
kstranac[at]sfu.ca

For more information about the study, visit the project website: http://oa-cooperative.org/

A little provocation…

Here are a couple of excerpts from The Past, Present & Future of Scholarly Publishing by Michael Eisen of UC Berkeley to kick off discussion ahead of the Sydney Conference: “And interested members of the public – like many of you – find it difficult to engage with scientific research. Is it any wonder that such a large fraction of the population rejects basic scientific findings when the scientific community thumbs its collective noses at the them by making it impossible for them to read about what we’re doing with all of their money?”3157622372_1d8ecf1e71_o “…the only thing that distinguishes a contemporary paper from a 17th century one is the occasional color photograph. The multilayered, hyperlinked structure of the Web was made for scientific communication, and yet papers today are largely dispersed and read as static PDFs – another relic of the days of printed papers. We are working with the community to enable the “paper of the future”, that embeds not only things like movies, but access to raw data and the tools used to analyze them.”

Image: Print Paradigm RIP (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“…while it is a nice idea to imagine peer review as defender of scientific integrity – it isn’t. Flaws in a paper are far more often uncovered after the paper is published than in peer review. And yet, because we have a system that places so much emphasis on where a paper is published, we have no effective way to annotate previously published papers that turn out to be wrong… …So what would be better? The outlines of an ideal system are simple to spell out. There should be no journal hierarchy, only broad journals like PLOS ONE. When papers are submitted to these journals, they should be immediately made available for free online – clearly marked to indicate that they have not yet been reviewed, but there to be used by people in the field capable of deciding on their own if the work is sound and important.”