Bill Hooker
Open and Shut?: PLoS ONE, Open Access, and the Future of Scholarly Publishing -
This will generate some heat. - Bill Hooker from Bookmarklet
"Although we would be the first to agree that PLoS ONE isn‘t perfect, neither is any journal, as Richard points out – although not until around 30 pages into the article." - Heather Piwowar
I've skimmed most of this now. I think I agree overall with the general thrust at the end but the 30-odd pages of criticism based on a few papers seems a strange way to get there. Or maybe I'm just reading in the conclusion I want to see? - Cameron Neylon
A lot of it feels a bit disconnected and out of date to be honest. I usually find myself nodding along with Richard's pieces even when I disagree and that wasn't the case here... - Cameron Neylon
Sounds like skimming it is the best way to read it :-) the general thrust I think everyone get agree with, some of the arguments seem somewhat odd, indeed. - Björn Brembs
Credit to Richard for elevating the PLoS response to a separate post, rather than leaving it languishing at the end of his long-ass essay. Also, this may be the least of his mighty works, but it does raise very important questions about peer review and pricing. - Bill Hooker
Oh I definitely think he has some important points in there - just unconvinced about the frame he puts them in. And I do believe that costs at PLoS should come down in time - just not convinced that the attack via standards of peer review is the right one. - Cameron Neylon
Yes, that line of reasoning bugs me too. Here are two ways to get actual data on the question: 1, what proportion of papers are published eventually? Iirc, it's around 70% -- in theory, since P.ONE will publish anything worth publishing, it should be around the same as the P.ONE acceptance rate, except to the extent that people are selectively sending their better or worse stuff there. 2, if you randomly assign all the papers published in a given year to groups the same size as the number of papers published in P.ONE that year, what is the average IF of all of those "virtual journals"? If it's <= the P.ONE IF, I should think that weighs heavily against the claim that P.ONE is somehow lowering quality by virtue of its high acceptance rate. - Bill Hooker
I really wish I had time and access and expertise to do the second study... - Bill Hooker
Interesting idea, pace issues with impact factor but any other metric would also do. The figure of ~70% keeps coming up but I don't know of any good recent studies that bring that figure up to date and check across different disciplines. Second study you propose is an interesting one, if for no other reason than how would you control it properly... - Cameron Neylon
I'm no quite sure what to make of the 42 page doc. I think I made it about halfway through, and then started really skimming. Seems like he wants it both ways. Authors should pay less money to PLoS ONE because is is just peer review lite, and it is a cash cow, but the journal should have higher quality standards and a higher rejection rate. Which way do you want it? Do you want the articles to cost more or less? I say we let the citations be the determining factors for the quality of the articles. They are getting on average 4+ cites per year. That means more than half are getting lots more than just 4 cites. - Joe
Joe: Sounds like you're talking median, not mean. The average (mean) could be 4+ cites per year with only one out of ten papers getting 4 or more cites. Is the median for PLoS.One paper cites available? If so, that's a much more meaningful number. (Won't comment on the Poynder thing 'cuz I haven't read it all yet.) - walt crawford
You can't really use IF for any of these calculations... - Björn Brembs
@Bjoern, that's true, I was being lazy. Eigenfactor might be better, or a simple mean/median/variance of citation numbers. @Cameron, not quite sure what you mean by "control" in this instance. - Bill Hooker
This article is also discussed at - Joe
Marking os I remember to look at this later today when back in my office (wish there was a bookmark this for later feature) - Hedgehog