This week, Joe Pickrell at Genomes Unzipped asks why researchers publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. He writes that the current journal system is costly, time-consuming, and random, among other things. As an alternative, Pickrell envisions a system of immediate publication, connected to a social media network, in which readers could recommend papers and researchers could search for them based on the community's opinions or rankings. That's where a sort of "killer app" would come in, he says. "Once a system like this exists, and it can be shown that it's possible to judge people (for grants, tenure, et cetera) in this system based on the impact of their work, rather than the prestige of the journal in which the work is published, it's an additional easy step to eliminate the journals altogether," Pickrell adds. In comments to this post, Pickrell's readers discuss accountability, the wisdom of crowds, and more.
An App for Papers?
Jul 14, 2011