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      Aggregating post-publication peer reviews and ratings

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          Allocating funding for research often entails the review of the publications authored by a scientist or a group of scientists. For practical reasons, in many cases this review cannot be performed by a sufficient number of specialists in the core domain of the reviewed publications. In the meanwhile, each scientist reads thoroughly, on average, about 88 scientific articles per year, and the evaluative information that scientists can provide about these articles is currently lost. I suggest that aggregating in an online database reviews or ratings on the publications that scientists read anyhow can provide important information that can revolutionize the evaluation processes that support funding decisions. I also suggest that such aggregation of reviews can be encouraged by a system that would provide a publicly available review portfolio for each scientist, without prejudicing the anonymity of reviews. I provide some quantitative estimates on the number and distribution of reviews and ratings that can be obtained.

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          Most cited references 13

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          Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals.

           Richard Smith (2006)
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            Is Open Access

            Open Peer Review by a Selected-Papers Network

            A selected-papers (SP) network is a network in which researchers who read, write, and review articles subscribe to each other based on common interests. Instead of reviewing a manuscript in secret for the Editor of a journal, each reviewer simply publishes his review (typically of a paper he wishes to recommend) to his SP network subscribers. Once the SP network reviewers complete their review decisions, the authors can invite any journal editor they want to consider these reviews and initial audience size, and make a publication decision. Since all impact assessment, reviews, and revisions are complete, this decision process should be short. I show how the SP network can provide a new way of measuring impact, catalyze the emergence of new subfields, and accelerate discovery in existing fields, by providing each reader a fine-grained filter for high-impact. I present a three phase plan for building a basic SP network, and making it an effective peer review platform that can be used by journals, conferences, users of repositories such as arXiv, and users of search engines such as PubMed. I show how the SP network can greatly improve review and dissemination of research articles in areas that are not well-supported by existing journals. Finally, I illustrate how the SP network concept can work well with existing publication services such as journals, conferences, arXiv, PubMed, and online citation management sites.
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              The ups and downs of peer review.

              This article traces the history of peer review of scientific publications, plotting the development of the process from its inception to its present-day application. We discuss the merits of peer review and its weaknesses, both perceived and real, as well as the practicalities of several major proposed changes to the system. It is our hope that readers will gain a better appreciation of the complexities of the process and, when serving as reviewers themselves, will do so in a manner that will enhance the utility of the exercise. We also propose the development of an international on-line training program for accreditation of potential referees.

                Author and article information

                Front Comput Neurosci
                Front Comput Neurosci
                Front. Comput. Neurosci.
                Frontiers in Computational Neuroscience
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                07 March 2012
                22 May 2012
                : 6
                1simpleRomanian Institute of Science and Technology Cluj-Napoca, Romania
                2simpleEpistemio Ltd. London, UK
                3simpleEpistemio Systems SRL Cluj-Napoca, Romania
                Author notes

                Edited by: Diana Deca, Technical University Munich, Germany

                Reviewed by: Dietrich S. Schwarzkopf, Wellcome Trust Centre for Neuroimaging at UCL, UK; Dwight Kravitz, National Institutes of Health, USA

                *Correspondence: Răzvan V. Florian, Romanian Institute of Science and Technology, Str. Cireşilor nr. 29, 400487 Cluj-Napoca, Romania. e-mail: florian@
                Copyright © 2012 Florian.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in other forums, provided the original authors and source are credited.

                Figures: 1, Tables: 5, Equations: 3, References: 38, Pages: 8, Words: 6714
                Hypothesis and Theory Article


                scientific evaluation, post-publication peer review, peer review


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