Peer Review: OPEN COMMENTS

Alexander Berezin berezin at MCMAIL.CIS.MCMASTER.CA
Fri Jan 19 13:22:48 EST 1996



To Keith Robison, Greg Harriman and others:
in view of many comments today, I send a bulk
reply.

Looking on all aspects of PR vs Non-PR publishing
(junk stuff, crackpots, etc) why won't we pursue
an OPEN COMMENT option as perhaps an intermediate 
solution. It may not sovle it all, but it may
help a lot, if introduced widely.

All right, I'll drop (for the beginning at least)
idea on Non-PR sections in established journals.
Let's continue to run the system the way is goes 
so far APR). But let's advocate editors
to allocate 5 % to 10 % (or whatever) space 
for OPEN (non-peer reviewed) comments on published
papers.

Limitations on legnth can apply but no PR of
any kind for the published comments (except of
commonsense check for obsceneties and libel).
Also, reasonable time frame can apply, e.g. to
comment only on papers published in last year
or two. 

It will likely be clear in a short while that 
those papers which will not attract any comments 
(or attract just trivial - let readers to decide) 
will likely to be seen as useless (despite that 
they passed APR). Aouthors submitting papers 
will be much more cautious in what they submit
as their reputation will eventually depend not
so much on the fact of publishing paper, but on
how much people are willing to comment on it. 

Possible objection: there will be some 
graphomaniacs and/or crackpots which would 
want to comment on almost anything published.     
 
Constructive Solution: put a limit on how 
many comments are allowed from a given
person per year (say, 5). Than people will
be choosy about what they want to comment on
in a given journal.

**********************************
Alexander A. Berezin, PhD
Department of Engineering Physics
McMaster University, Hamilton,
Ontario, Canada, L8S 4L7
tel. (905) 525-9140 ext. 24546
e-mail: BEREZIN at MCMASTER.CA
**********************************

  



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