An analysis of the present system of scientific publishing: What’s wrong and where to go from here

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We are not presenting a system similar to the present scheme where journals in print are also available online, rather a total and unmitigated shift from print to online; we envisage the following multi-tiered system: After completing a project, the researcher submits her paper to a web-based journal along with a standard reasonable submission fee to cover the initial costs of editing. The journal’s editorial board decides whether the project and the paper fit their basic criteria for publication and, if so, the paper is uploaded to a limited access web site. Other researchers in the field who have registered for access to this site, and have expressed interest in the subject matter, are notified automatically via email of the submission. Over the course of some flexible period of time, depending on the subject matter, other researchers can log in and evaluate the paper, posting their comments and suggestions; this online discussion is moderated by an editor assigned to the paper. Once this review period ends, the editor can decide, based on the comments, whether to accept the paper as is, request changes and send it back for another round of review, or reject it. Each draft of the article throughout the review process is saved and contains a unique identifier. Upon acceptance, the author is charged an additional fee to cover the costs of publication and archiving. The final paper, which should be immutable and authentictable44, may be uploaded to the journal’s website, but must be uploaded to a freely accessible archival web site, providing unlimited access to anyone.

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