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Peer review

Page history last edited by n.jacobs@... 14 years, 8 months ago

Tendering non-proprietary review systems

 Now that publications are increasingly being enriched with databases and audiovisual elements, the need for non-proprietary review systems - i.e. peer review systems that do not require the assignment of copyrights to the organizer of the peer review i.c. the publisher - is becoming ever-more pressing. Although there is a steadily growing number of peer-reviewed Open Access journals[1] and an active Open Access Scholarly Publishers Association[2], the supply does not keep up with the growing demand. More and more research funders require open access to the publications that result from research financed by them. Recently the European Commission conducted a pilot initiative on open access to peer reviewed articles in FP7[3], its Seventh Research Framework Programme.  

The first experience has now been gained with a shift from proprietary to non-proprietary systems of peer review (SCOAP[4]  and the Springer experiments[5] at UKB, MPG, Göttingen University and - last week - California University[6]). This conversion can be speeded up if disciplinary communities, universities, and research funders actively enter the market of the peer review organisers by calling for tenders and inviting publishers to submit proposals for a non-proprietary design of the peer review process. Given the current situation - with the American legislature and the European Commission having clearly taken a stand in favour of Open Access - one can expect that such tenders will certainly produce interesting proposals. The time is ripe for this!

As a use case I suggest to discuss the idea of the European Commission putting the following request for proposals in the newspapers. They may outsource the tendering process to an agent, e.g. Knowledge Exchange.  

Leo Waaijers.


"The European FP7 Programme (50 billion, 2007-2013) will result in a stream of publications. For seven areas of research the Commission requires that these publications are openly accessible reviewed articles. In order to have appropriate review procedures in place for these articles the Commission wants to tender the reviewing process under the following conditions:

1.      The reviewing process must be independent, rigorous and swift.

2.      The reviewing may be anonymous, named or open (to be negotiated).

3.      As a result of the reviewing articles will be marked 1 to 5.

4.      Articles with marks 3 to 5 will be published in an open access journal and deposited in a certified (institutional) repository.

5.      In review procedures the Commission will weigh articles with marks 3, 4 and 5 as if they were published in journals with impact factors 1-3, 4-8 and 9-15 respectively (These figures are nominal and subject to disciplinary calibration).

6.      Alternatively, authors may publish their articles in any existing OA journal.

7.      A yield of at least 100.000 open access articles is expected in total.


Proposals should be sent to ...... Possibly several contracts will be allocated e.g. for different disciplines. The Commission will seek the advice of EURAB/ESF/EUA/EUROHORCS in the selection process."


[1] http://www.doaj.org/

[2] http://www.oaspa.org/index.html

[3] http://ec.europa.eu/research/science-society/index.cfm?fuseaction=public.topic&id=1680

[4] http://scoap3.org/

[5] http://www.libraryjournal.com/info/CA6528977.html

[6] http://www.libraryjournal.com/article/CA6631517.html

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