Sunday, October 01, 2006

Web journals vs. Peer Review

There's a revolution coming in science. Will it be good or bad?

The first Web-based "open peer-review" journals are appearing. Traditionally, a paper is scrutinized (sometimes savaged) by qualified reviewers before it appears in a print journal or its online counterpart. But the Public Library of Science is launching its first open peer-reviewed journal, PLoS ONE, which will appear on the Web and then be subject to review from anyone who puts forth the effort. Will it lead to a flowering of new and innovative ideas? Or will the result be a flood of shoddy work unleashed on the public? Opinions differ, but the idea of open web journals can't be stuffed back in a box. It's going to happen - for good or ill.

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