Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Wellcome Trust

The Wellcome Trust has recently thrown its weight behind proposals to publish scientific papers online, for free. Wellcome indeed!
Today, downloads of scientific papers are charged for. Publishers claim that the charge represents the value they add in editing and distributing the papers. I know from personal experience that these charges put off amateur research.
According to the BBC, 90% of the papers submitted to Nature are rejected. Are the claims of publishers that they provide a valuable quality control service, valid? Or can we use the Internet to do the same job?
Perhaps appropriately qualified scientists should be allowed to rate each paper they read. Allowing PhD graduates to grade the paper and add comments could be very beneficial. They may also advocate links to othe papers they prefer. Such a system wouldn't be impossible: there are already databases of PhD graduates such as this.
Freeing up the scientific information could significantly enhance Interactive Democracy!

1 comment:

Amanda said...

There is a website that allows researchers to publish and make available for other researchers to comment upon and build upon, their hope is to make scientific research more efficient through publishing even null results to prevent a repetition of non-productive experiments. The site uses creative commons to allow the sharing of research whilst allowing the users to hold ownership of their material. The site is called figshare ( is based in London. This may just fit some of the criteria you mention.

Happy Friday