[Taxacom] Pre-submission peer-review and online import of specimen records from BOLD

Peter Rauch peterar at berkeley.edu
Tue Sep 22 15:18:57 CDT 2015

How does the "peer", as in "peer review", play in this
still-vaguely-described "open access" process ?

What mechanism(s) would be needed / useful to deal with the presumably huge
number of "reviews" of also-presumably still-not-published draft documents ?

It's easy enough to say that poor quality reviews can simply be ignored, or
can be put to rest handily by other, more competent reviewers. But, that
itself implies that there will be such more competent reviewers who will
indeed have the time and patience to read, think about, and comment on
those incompetent reviews.

I understand --I think!?!-- the notion of removing physical paper from the
final production process, and I understand --I think-- the notion of "open
access" to information.

What I am asking about is what will be the mechanisms to address the
then-open floodgates to gratuitous(?) commentary on draft works such that a
"fair" (and authoritative / professional) handling of all that input is
possible ?


On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 12:58 PM, Dan Lahr <dlahr at ib.usp.br> wrote:

> Hi Doug,
> The question was open to all, I very much appreciate your response AND
> would still like to hear what Lyubomir has to say about the issue.
> I am very much in agreement with your view (Doug).  I believe that a fair
> summarization is "This more dynamic model is implementable as soon as we
> abandon traditional printing and move to Open Access, in a process that
> will only add to our experience as a whole." More specifically:
> "Abandoning traditional print journals and going for a model of online
> public review would have nothing but positive consequences for the
> taxonomic community."
> I have no doubt about this.  There are incredibly prolific areas of
> taxonomy that would greatly increase by having a much more streamlined
> system of publication of primary descriptions mostly, but probably of
> systematic revisions as well.  Neal does raise a very fair point that this
> system needs to be recognized by institutions, or else taxonomists will be
> at a disadvantage -- it baffles me how the physicists are able to make a
> dynamic system like ArXiV work and we can't....
> cheers,
> dan
> __________________________________
> Daniel J. G. Lahr
> PhD, Assist. Prof.
> Dept of Zoology, Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil
> Office number: + 55 (11) 3091 0948
> http://www.ib.usp.br/zoologia/lahr/
> On Tue, Sep 22, 2015 at 4:31 PM, Doug Yanega <dyanega at ucr.edu> wrote:
> > On 9/22/15 11:06 AM, Dan Lahr wrote:
> >
> > Full support to this initiative from my part.  Working on a group with
> > relatively few experts, it is fairly obvious and easy to realize who is
> > reviewing your taxonomic paper.
> >
> > My only concern at this point would be one of implementation --  how
> could
> > traditional journals implement the ARPHA or a similar system seamlessly?
> >
> > I assume the question was directed at me rather than Lyubo - if not, he
> > can offer his perspective independently.
> >
> > My perspective is that we need to dump traditional print journals. Before
> > everyone jumps down my throat, ask yourself what it is that traditional
> > journals offer that you could never get from publishing online. The
> answer,
> > objectively, is nothing. I can imagine a chorus of responses along the
> > lines of "But my specialist journal allows me to get my specialized paper
> > published in such a way that it gets reviewed by like-minded specialists,
> > and is read by like-minded specialists, without having to compete with
> > other papers on more popular or generalized topics!" - but that is a
> > spurious claim. An online publication model means there are no page
> limits,
> > no limits to how many papers can be published, so there is no competition
> > for space; an open review model means that the EXACT SAME PEOPLE who
> > presently review your specialist papers can still review them (but now
> > there are EXTRA reviewers available that would not have been in your
> > traditional journal); because it's online, the EXACT SAME PEOPLE who
> > presently *read* your specialist papers can still read them, thanks to
> > Google (but now there are EXTRA readers seeing your work that would never
> > have bothered to read your traditional journal). If the argument is that
> > the thing that sets these journals apart is their editorial staff, whose
> > specialized expertise makes them uniquely suited to ensure quality
> control
> > in others' works, that's spurious exactly as noted above - all of those
> > editors would be free to engage in the review process of every paper they
> > see fit to, and it shouldn't make a difference if they are no longer
> > *personally responsible* for the final decision as to when something is
> > ready to be published; if their opinion is that something is or is not
> > ready, then their argumentation should be persuasive in a public forum
> just
> > as well as in an echo chamber.
> >
> > If you run a professional society whose sole source of revenue is from
> > printing a journal, and virtually all of whose dues are spent to make
> that
> > publication happen, then having a new publication model would let you
> > re-think the focus of your society; you could cut your dues and still
> > accomplish more (like holding meetings or making small grants), once the
> > massive expense of printing the journal has been eliminated. After all,
> > every one of those works you are presently paying to print could be done
> > online, and still have the same editors, reviewers, and readership, as
> > noted above.
> >
> > I would also submit that works should either be deemed publishable or
> not,
> > rather than being assessed on some purely subjective scale of quality,
> > where only those ranked highest make it into print. Abandoning
> traditional
> > print journals and going for a model of online public review would have
> > nothing but positive consequences for the taxonomic community. The only
> > people I can see being unhappy with this are the people who publish and
> > profit from print journals, and the bottom line to me is this: do they
> > exist to serve taxonomists, or do taxonomists exist to serve them? If we
> > insist upon a different publication model, then we'll be served by a
> > different kind of publisher.
> >
> > Sincerely,
> >
> > --
> > Doug Yanega      Dept. of Entomology       Entomology Research Museum
> > Univ. of California, Riverside, CA 92521-0314     skype: dyanega
> > phone: (951) 827-4315 (disclaimer: opinions are mine, not UCR's)
> >              http://cache.ucr.edu/~heraty/yanega.html
> >   "There are some enterprises in which a careful disorderliness
> >         is the true method" - Herman Melville, Moby Dick, Chap. 82
> >
> >
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