Thursday, 12 April 2012
The Wellcome Trust has recently thrown its weight behind proposals to publish scientific papers online, for free. Wellcome indeed!
Today, downloads of scientific papers are charged for. Publishers claim that the charge represents the value they add in editing and distributing the papers. I know from personal experience that these charges put off amateur research.
According to the BBC, 90% of the papers submitted to Nature are rejected. Are the claims of publishers that they provide a valuable quality control service, valid? Or can we use the Internet to do the same job?
Perhaps appropriately qualified scientists should be allowed to rate each paper they read. Allowing PhD graduates to grade the paper and add comments could be very beneficial. They may also advocate links to othe papers they prefer. Such a system wouldn't be impossible: there are already databases of PhD graduates such as this.
Freeing up the scientific information could significantly enhance Interactive Democracy!