Tuesday, March 08, 2011

More on open access publishing

Some time ago I got a questionnaire from Project SOAP (Study of Open Access Publishing) and now they have various survey data, presentations, and videos of their symposium on their web site. Go and have a look if you're interested. I don't think there are any big surprises in what they found, but it is clear that the open access movement is gathering momentum.

Of course the EGU journals don't stop at open access but also have a fairly open review system too. I say fairly open, as there is still some behind-the-scenes stuff (which may include substantial revision and re-review) between the initial open discussion phase and the final publication. I'm not sure why this part of things is hidden from view, perhaps they have their reasons. It is interesting to ponder how their procedure contrasts with the various attitudes that have been expressed recently about people publishing reviews that they have received. I see no fundamental ethical problem with that in principle, I haven't been particularly tempted to publish them in full but have certainly discussed reviews received in general terms, and I recall Jim Hansen doing the same in the past in one of his email circulars. So long as the reviewers are not identifiable, I don't see how there can be much of a problem with this.

Of course, that should not be interpreted as excusing someone who asks about the identity of a suspected reviewer while promising confidentiality, and then decides to blab about it all over the internet...

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