There’s a problem with academic publishing. This could be (but isn’t) a post about the lottery of peer review, the scandalous mountain of largely unpaid reviewing and editorial work that journals benefit from, the urgent need to adopt open access, or the interesting dynamics introduced by pre-print servers. Instead, this post is about a big problem with an easy solution: hours and hours of expert scientific time (and with that, grant money) currently being wasted reformatting manuscript for the initial submission to various journals. The solution: create and implement a truly universal manuscript format for the initial submission.
My blog on the “disease called peer review” (Dec 12th) evoked many comments (including from some journal editors), and these directed me to the concept of preprint publishing. Physicists started this 25 years ago, and were followed by mathematicians, computer scientists, and more recently by biologists. It is not yet widely known or practiced in the medical sciences. At least I was barely familiar with it, but I can only admit that this may well help to cure the “disease called peer review“ and H-indexitis. Continue reading