Frequent Flyer Miles of Publishing?

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Photo by Nicolas Genin.

66ème Festival de Venise (Mostra)

In the touching film “Up in the Air,” Ryan Bingham played by George Clooney has an ambition of earning ten million frequent flyer miles, for which he:

receives an instant upgrade: a personally engraved metal card that will allow him to directly access his own private operator, someone who will greet him by name.

No such thing exists for publishing – whether you’re a writer, a reviewer or an editor – until now.

Mike Fowler of the Nature Network describes a new “publishing revolution” in his recent blog post. The current system for publishing creative works, especially for scientists, is time consuming with the sole reward of enhancing one’s academic standing. Like Mike Fowler, I have reviewed hundreds of manuscripts for a wide range of journals and serve on Editorial Boards on a voluntary basis. On top of that, most journals that accept my work for publication require “page charges,” sometimes well in excess of $1,000.

There is a better way.

Peerage of Science is a new initiative that aims to improve on some of the perceived problems with peer review, independently from journals and publishing houses. They aim to have scientists organise themselves into a community that submits articles, selects which they would like to review, and gain rewards for carrying out the sort of work they already do for free for the journals, by accruing credits by reviewing, that are then used to ‘pay’ for manuscript submission. Reviewers are also given the opportunity to publish the critiques they write of their peers’ work.

Peerage of Science was founded by researchers at the University of Jyväskylä in Finland.

I wish this new venture success, because the traditional system of academic publishing has become outdated and cumbersome.