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The Media Science

PeerJ, A New Open Access Megajournal Launches 61

Mirk writes "Academic researchers want to make their papers open access for the world to read. If they use traditional publishers like Elsevier, Springer or Taylor & Francis, they'll be charged $3000 to bring their work out from behind the paywall. But PeerJ, a new megajournal launched today and funded by Tim O'Reilly, publishes open access articles for $99. That's not done by cutting corners: the editorial process is thorough, and they use rigorous peer-review. The cost savings come from running lean and mean on a born-digital system. The initial batch of 30 papers includes one on a Penn and Teller trick and one on the long necks of dinosaurs." $99 entitles you to publish an article a year, for life. $300 nets you unlimited articles published per year.
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PeerJ, A New Open Access Megajournal Launches

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  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @10:54AM (#42883425)
    Volunteers, which is basically what we do now. Anyone can submit a paper to the journals my group publishes in, and if the paper meets the requirements, it will be reviewed by volunteers, and if it is accepted it will be edited by volunteers too.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @11:26AM (#42883789)

    From the FAQ [] :

    What subject areas do you cover:

    PeerJ considers submissions of Research Articles in the Biological and Medical Sciences (this scope includes, for example, disciplines such as the life & biological sciences; biotechnology; basic medical sciences; medical specialties; health sciences and other similar fields).

  • Charging authors to publish is not much better than charging people to read the articles

    Every journal I am aware of that uses any kind of peer review process does this. This system, however, is a lot cheaper. I recently publised in PLoS ONE and I had to pay around $1,500 for that. I really hope these guys can keep their publication costs down and manage to acquire some prestige so they get indexed in relevant places.

    What we truly need is a system that is paid for by universities, cooperatively, that allows anyone to submit a paper and allows anyone to download as many or as few papers as they would like.

    Some journals have tried that - look at the institutional memberships at PLoS (my institution is not a member) and BioMedCentral for example - the problem with that though is that memberships like that would usually be paid for by the school libraries and quite nearly every school in this country is trying to reduce their library expenditures.

  • by slew ( 2918 ) on Wednesday February 13, 2013 @11:55AM (#42884153)

    I don't know about PeerJ specifically, but typically the editor (or more generally, editorial board desginees) for the journal selects the specific reviewer(s) for a paper. They don't just hold up a paper and ask for volunteers for a specific paper. To execute the strategy of signing up a bunch of shills and hoping that the editor will randomly select them, and nobody who would actually do a legitimate peer-review, is probably not going to be a very good long term strategy if the editors aren't in cahoots, although it might occasionally work for a very obscure topic.

    On the other hand, that's no worse than the situation today (the more obsure the research, the more cooperative backscratching there is).

    The bigger problem I see is how to entice quality peer-review volunteers. Traditional Journals entice peer-reviewers by offering stuff like book vouchers, or free access for a few weeks per reviewed article and/or free access to all references in the paper during the peer review duration. If it costs nothing to access the journal, these traditional enticements don't have any value. As I understand it, to make up for this, they are forcing members to "volunteer" to review at least 1 time per year (or at least comment on a public submission). I don't see how this would be very effective out of the gate, but as with the /. moderation system, I'm sure it will be tweaked over time...

    FWIW, it seems that PeerJ is apparently currently only Biology and Medical Science Journal (not a true megajournal). Journals in those fields tend to have the most egregious pricing scales and have the most annoying editorial boards (because there are limited publishing options). I'm sure that's a deliberate marketing ploy (hit the Journal industry where it's the most vunerable).

If it's not in the computer, it doesn't exist.