Biologists speed up scientific progress by going rogue and publishing directly to Internet

Discussion in 'Science & Society' started by Plazma Inferno!, Mar 16, 2016.

  1. Plazma Inferno! Ding Ding Ding Ding Administrator

    On Feb. 29, Carol Greider of Johns Hopkins University became the third Nobel Prize laureate biologist in a month to do something long considered taboo among biomedical researchers: She posted a report of her recent discoveries to a publicly accessible website, bioRxiv, before submitting it to a scholarly journal to review for "official" publication.
    To commemorate it, she tweeted the website’s confirmation under the hashtag #ASAPbio, a newly coined rallying cry of a cadre of biologists who say they want to speed science by making a key change in the way it is published.
    Unlike physicists, for whom preprints became a default method of communicating discoveries in the 1990s, biomedical researchers typically wait more than six months to disseminate their work while they submit it — on an exclusive basis — to the most prestigious journal they think might accept it for publication. If, as is often the case, it is rejected, they try another journal. As a result, it can sometimes take years to publish a paper, which is then typically available for a time only to colleagues at major academic institutions whose libraries pay for subscriptions. And because science is in many ways a relay, with one scientist building on the published work of another, the communication delays almost certainly slow scientific progress.

    I agree with the move. Academic journals are just a hindrance to the expansion of human knowledge and scientific progress. But still, peer review is important IMHO.
    danshawen likes this.
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  3. Ophiolite Valued Senior Member

    It is a problematic area. As a keen amateur, armchair "scientist" I am frustrated by the limited number of research papers available in the fields that interest me - this especially bad in geology. There is a need - well recognised I think - for an approach that speeds up the process, makes material more readily available and yet ensures its high quality. I suspect there will be a lot of pain before an effective solution is found.

    It shouldn't be beyond the science community to develop a system that offers improved peer review. A member on another forum I frequent proposed a novel approach. Would you consider it unethical if I contacted him and asked if he would post his thoughts here? It could make for an interesting discussion.
    danshawen and Plazma Inferno! like this.
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  5. Beer w/Straw Transcendental Ignorance! Valued Senior Member

    The internet...

    I think all torrents come from ThePirateBay (or end up there inevitably) and other torrent sites filter the content. The internet can potentially peer review itself.
    danshawen likes this.
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