Need for a change in scientific publishing
Outsourcing of scientific publishing to scientific journals is problematic, both economically and academically. It is expensive, slow, non-transparent, unbalanced and excluding. Academic library subscriptions contribute substantially to the publishing companies’ 30-40% profit. There is general consensus that scientific reports should be openly accessible on the Internet. This is generally not the case with articles published in the traditional scientific journals. Open access journals are multiplying fast, but many are of questionable quality. Although open access publishing is less expensive than journal subscription, the article processing charges (APC) of open access journals are still high (up to 5,000 USD) and should be reduced. Science is expensive, scientific publishing should not be expensive.
The impression the present system, with its editors and anonymous reviewers, conveys of quality and objectivity, is partly an illusion. The basis for decision on manuscripts is too thin and the balance of power is too uneven.Instead of a complicated fallible system, a simple fallible system is suggested: web-based, indexed and searchable repositories funded and organized by accountable and non-profit institutions/organizations where researchers may upload reports that have been thoroughly reviewed by and are supported by one or more competent, impartial, unbiased and named expert peers chosen by the authors themselves. After publication, reports may be further openly evaluated and commented online by named researchers in the field. Article processing charges should be moderate. Such a system would be simple, reasonable, fast, transparent, balanced, including, efficient, and adequately quality secured.
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