A recent publication, Peer review in scientific publications, by the Science and Technology Committee in the UK government has supported open peer review of scientific research. In the concluding statements the publication states that “while pre-publication peer review continues to play an important role, the growth of post-publication peer review and commentary represents an enormous opportunity for experimentation with new media and social networking tools. Online communications allow the widespread sharing of links to articles, ensuring that interesting research is spread across the world, facilitating rapid commentary and review by the global audience. They also have a valuable role to play in alerting the community to deficiencies and problems with published work”. It then goes on to “encourage the prudent use of online tools for post-publication review and commentary as a means of supplementing pre-publication review.” So, we seem to be one step ahead here at Physiopedia, we have already seen this opportunity and have been publishing open research and encouraging open peer review for the last few months. This is an area that we would like to explore more and welcome any articles for publication or contributions to peer review.
In a most timely manner the Guardian newspaper this week published an article by George Monbiot which describes academic publishers as the “most ruthless capitalists in the Western world”. In his article, Academic publishers make Murdoch look like a socialist, he comments on how academic publishers charge vast fees to access research paid for by us, the taxpayer. The article is a solid reminder of how the academic publishing world works and reminds me of the article that David Wiley wrote in 2009, The parable of the inventor and the trucker, in support of open research. George concludes that it is time to “throw off these parasitic overloards and liberate the research that belongs to us”. I say “let’s do it”, that’s what we’re all about here at Physiopedia, liberating knowledge, providing universal access for all.