I want to know what *YOU* think about review, preprints, and publication

As part of the OpenPub project, we’re soliciting folk to send us videos about their experience with the scholarly publication process. We want to use these to try and crowdfund the development of OpenPub – our preprint server with robust tools for discussion and interaction. Interested? Check out the full request over here and/or email me!

4 thoughts on “I want to know what *YOU* think about review, preprints, and publication

  1. Jarrett, online commenting/discussion systems associated with journals have been around for years and are hardly used. Nobody has any incentive to comment there. And people who are inclined to comment on and discuss papers already do so via other avenues–blogs, Twitter, Google groups, etc. Why would it be any different for a preprint server? I’m guessing you’ve already thought of this and you’ve got a good answer–I’m just curious what it is! 😉

    • Indeed, we’ve looked a bunch of them. The general consensus is that they failed because a) the UI made conversation secondary or even tertiary and b) the effort needed to participate was too high. In contrast, we want to make conversation primary and make it as easy as possible to interact with each other. We’re heavily indebted to mathoverflow here, as their model has been a roaring success. I’ll put some UI pictures up soon.

      We’d *LOVE* it if you and the Dynamic Ecology team would record your responses to our questions. The more the merrier. I’ve been pondering posting a call to ecolog, but, thought I’d tap the wild world of scientists online first.

      • Re: that consensus that the problem with existing online commenting systems is the user interface, I assume you mean that’s the consensus in your working group? A working group that I’m guessing is comprised mostly of younger, tech-savvy, social-media-lovin’ types? Just speaking for myself, the reason why *I* don’t use journal commenting systems have nothing to do with the user interface. So it’s possible that you may be gambling on the frequency of people like those in your working group, vs. the frequency of people like me. 😉

        Hadn’t heard of mathoverflow, sounds interesting. Although again, I do wonder how much rapid uptake of preprint servers (with or without commenting/discussion features) in other fields is representative of what will happen in ecology. Only one way to find out, I guess!

        I wish you best of luck. I think widespread uptake of preprint repositories by ecologists, even if no one ever comments, would be a really valuable and important change in our communication practices. I’ll be giving you a shout-out in our linkfest post on Friday, and I’d be happy to pass on any responses we happen to get over there.

        • Tech-loving, yes. But the rest, that’s variable. We do recognize that there is a significant socialization barrier as well. To me, it reminds me of nothing so much as crossing the barrier of getting people to participate in science crowdfunding, which was instructive for me. So, it comes down to a bit of a social engineering problem And we have ways… *cackle*

          Thanks for the shoutout – and, really, I’d love to hear what you think, so consider a video! The more we get, the better, as we want to know what the ecological community things!

          Oh, and mathoverflow – where else can an advanced high schooler and a Fields medalist interact? And for a perhaps more relevant example (at least for those of us doing statistical analysis).

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