The journal Psychological Inquiry has just made an issue on open access science open access. I’ve flicked through a couple of articles and they look like a thoroughly interesting combination of pros, cons, and speculations. In particular, the opening article states the needs of an open science movement very clearly in its abstract:
We call for six changes:
- full embrace of digital communication;
- open access to all published research;
- disentangling publication from evaluation;
- breaking the “one article, one journal” model with a grading system for evaluation and diversified dissemination outlets;
- publishing peer review; and
- allowing open, continuous peer review.
I think these six principles sum-up the needs of the research community quite well. We are working in an out-of-date and horribly expensive system that is not benefitting scientists or those who use the science. There has always been pushback against these kinds of measures (see the response in the same issue of Psychological Inquiry by the editor of a different journal), mostly along the lines of “it’s too hard” or “that won’t work”. However, those sorts of arguments are undermined by a number of journals which are doing precisely these things extremely well. I’ll mention Cryosphere as an example that I have had experience with. A few small changes could go a very long way towards improving the system, and we cannot let the editors and publishers try to convince us that it cannot be done!