Open peer discussion: An alternative to closed peer review by Peter Hoff, University of Washington
Journals and their alternatives
Our current journal publication system has traditionally served two purposes: dissemination and peer review. Regarding dissemination, the journal system arguably does a good job with some things (special issues, discussion pieces, copy-editing), but does a poor job with others (open-access, time to publication, article updating). Happily, we have alternative ways of disseminating our research. For example, the arXiv provides an updatable, open-access article platform that appears publicly within days of article submission. Furthermore, posting an article on the arXiv does not preclude it from being published in a journal. In this way, the arXiv can be seen as a complement to the journal system, rather than just an alternative or replacement.
The standard argument against replacing the journal system with something like the arXiv has been that the journal system provides peer review. However, the journal peer review system is deficient in many ways and, unlike…
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