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Articles tagged with: plos

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[27 Mar 2012 | 17 Comments | ]
A big leap and a logical step: Moving to PLoS

As a child I was very clear I wanted to be a scientist. I am not sure exactly where the idea came from. In part I blame Isaac Asimov but it must have been a combination of things. I can’t remember not having a clear idea of wanting to go into research.
I started off a conventional career with big ideas – understanding the underlying physics, chemistry, and information theory that limits molecular evolution – but my problem was always that I was interested in too many things. I kept getting …

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[8 Mar 2011 | 5 Comments | ]
Reforming Peer Review. What are the practical steps?

So my previous post on peer review hit a nerve. Actually all of my posts on peer review hit a nerve and create massive traffic spikes and I’m still really unsure why. The strength of feeling around peer review seems out of all proportion to both its importance and indeed the extent to which people understand how it works in practice across different disciplines. Nonetheless it is an important and serious issue and one that deserves serious consideration, both blue skies thinking and applied as it were. And it is the latter I will try to do here.

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[7 Jan 2011 | 22 Comments | ]
PLoS (and NPG) redefine the scholarly publishing landscape

Nature Publishing Group yesterday announced a new venture, very closely modelled on the success of PLoS ONE, titled Scientific Reports. Others have started to cover the details and some implications so I won’t do that here. I think there are three big issues here. What does this tell us about the state of Open Access? What are the risks and possibilities for NPG? And why oh why does NPG keep insisting on a non-commercial licence? I think those merit separate posts so here I’m just going to deal with the big issue. And I think this is really big.

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[28 Oct 2010 | One Comment | ]
Binary decisions are a real problem in a grey-scale world

I recently made the most difficult decision I’ve had to take thus far as a journal editor. That decision was ultimately to accept the paper; that probably doesn’t sound like a difficult decision until I explain that I made this decision despite a referee saying I should reject the paper with no opportunity for resubmission not once, but twice. One of the real problems I have with traditional pre-publication peer review is the way it takes a very nuanced problem around a work which has many different parts and demands that you take a hard yes/no decision.

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[29 Apr 2010 | 14 Comments | ]
In defence of author-pays business models

There has been an awful lot recently written and said about author-pays business models for scholarly publishing and a lot of it has focussed on PLoS ONE. Most recently Kent Andersen has written a piece on Scholarly Kitchen that contains a number of fairly serious misconceptions about the processes of PLoS ONE. This is a shame because I feel this has muddled the much more interesting question that was intended to be the focus of his piece. Nonetheless here I want to give a robust defence of author pays models and of PLoS ONE in particular.

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[25 Aug 2009 | 26 Comments | ]

A number of things have prompted me to be thinking about what makes a piece of writing “original” in a web based world where we might draft things in the open, get informal public peer review, where un-refereed conference posters can be published online, and pre-print servers of submitted versions of papers are increasingly widely used. I’m in the process of correcting an invited paper that derives mostly from a set of blog posts and had to revise another piece because it was too much like a blog post but …

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[20 Jun 2009 | 24 Comments | ]

I think it is fair to say that even those of us most enamored of post-publication peer review would agree that its effectiveness remains to be demonstrated in a convincing fashion. Broadly speaking there are two reasons for this; the first is the problem of social norms for commenting. As in there aren’t any. I think it was Michael Nielsen who referred to the “Kabuki Dance of scientific discourse”. It is entirely allowed to stab another member of the research community in the back, or indeed the front, but there …

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[27 Aug 2008 | 12 Comments | ]

This post is an opinion piece and not a rigorous objective analysis. It is fair to say that I am on the record as and advocate of the principles behind PLoS ONE and am also in favour of post publication peer review and this should be read in that light. [ed I’ve also modified this slightly from the original version because I got myself mixed up in an Excel spreadsheet]
To me, anonymous peer review is, and always has been, broken. The central principle of the scientific method is that …