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Nature magazine has set up a site — Precedings — where scientists can post their papers before those papers are reviewed and accepted. This a big deal. As Nature’s Timo Hannay puts it in a broadcast email:

The traditional way for scientists to share their research results is through journals. These have the benefit of being peer-reviewed, citable and archival, but as a communication channel they are also relatively slow and expensive. As a complement to this, scientists also use more immediate and informal approaches, such as preprints (i.e., unpublished manuscripts), conference papers and presentations. The trouble is, these usually aren’teasy to share in a truly globally way (most repositories are institution- or funder-specific), and you can’t formally cite them (which is important because citation underlies the scientific credit system).

Nature Precedings is trying to overcome those limitations by giving researchers a place to post documents such as preprints and presentations in a way that makes them globally visible and citable. Submissions are filtered by a team of curators to weed out obviously inappropriate material, but there’s no peer-review so accepted contributions appear online very quickly — usually within a couple of hours. The content is all released under a Creative Commons Attribution License, and each item is made citable using a DOI or Handle (the same systems used for peer-reviewed scholarly papers).

Timo goes on to acknowledge that arXiv has done this for physics and other disciplines.

This is very cool. From CC to DOI, it hits all the right notes. Even the name is good. And because Nature is one of the most important research journals around, this is a big deal. [Tags: ]

6 Responses to “”

  1. […] Everything is Miscellaneous Nature magazine has set up a site — Precedings — where scientists can post their papers before those papers are reviewed and accepted. As David Weinberger says, “This a big deal.” (tags: open.access journals) […]

  2. on 20 Jun 2007 at 2:37 am图林丫枝


  3. on 21 Jun 2007 at 2:25 pmSantosh Patnaik

    Nature Precedings needs to have a good rating system for open, community-based review to work well. Currently, submitted articles can be voted for, but that does not tell one how many would have voted against it. Nor does one get to know the negative points unless they go through the whole article themselves. Such negative points may have been mentioned in some comments but they are not easy to spot. Further, one is usually disinclined to write textual comments unless one has a strong interest to do so.

    With open preprint systems, being able to find useful and reliable ideas and data in articles is perhaps more important than being able to submit one. This becomes apparent as the number of articles increase, when searching can return hundreds and thousands of articles. One can’t go through all of them, and a few ‘bad’ articles can easily cause frustration and distrust in the quality of the submissions.

    But if search criteria can include objective measures of article quality, then one can indeed easily find valuable material. Nature Precedings should therefore opt for a point-based rating system where different aspects of articles can be appraised.

    Thus, instead of just letting one vote for an article, one should be allowed to rate its different aspects on, say, a 1-5 scale. Such aspects can include:

    1. clarity
    2. originality
    3. novelty
    4. presence and quality of experimental data
    5. logical procession
    6. depth
    7. proper referencing

    In effect, this would be a proper peer-review system.

    The ratings, both their average and their spread, should be displayed alongside articles.

    A good review/rating system will discourage submission of bad articles, build trust in the usability and reliability of content in Nature Precedings, and encourage quality submissions.

    (similar comments posted elsewhere on the web by me)

  4. […] David Weinberger博客2007-6-18介绍,Nature杂志已经建立了一个网站为Precedings ,在此网站上科学家们可以在他们的文章被评审和接受发表之前先贴在此网上,这可是一项大举措呀。 […]

  5. on 03 Oct 2007 at 10:19 amJoe D

    I’m afraid EiM has yet to reach the top of my lamentably backlogged reading pile, so most of my understanding of the ideas come either from interviews or second hand, but I immediately thought of EiM when discussing the potential shake up of science publishing. I think science (well, academic research in general) can benefit from the revolution in how information is published, organised and interacted with in a more radical way than most fields. Science is notoriously inaccesable at the moment, and a huge part of the problem is publishers locking away the primary sources. And the peer-review system is so established and important to academic publishing (with very good reason under the traditional publishing model) that any shake up of it is likely to be even more fiercely opposed than other forms of review and criticism. I’ve discussed this in more depth here, and would welcome comments from those coming from a technology background.

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