Academic Publishing: Reform Peer Review IV

Science can progress if it is reproducible. I find it odd that different teams look at the same problem and funding gets duplicated throughout. It doesn’t merit consideration if the expected results are “different” by just bringing about a change in the “methodology”. This is a very generic statement; but it should encourage sharing of scientific results. Here’s the problem statement:

According to the priority rule, the first scientist to publish a particular discovery gets the credit for it (Merton [1973b]Dasgupta and David [1994]Strevens [2003]). So a scientist who wants to get credit for her discoveries has an incentive to publish them as quickly as possible, in order to maximize her chances of being first.

Reform academic publishing

The idea for opening up a “data-exchange” is to provide an immediate form of “raw data” for everyone else to ingest. This exchange can work on “blockchains”- provide an immutable form of data repository and based on aligned trust of the community.The biggest advantage would be to place the results in public scrutiny without the lag times from journals which have high rejection rates.

The obvious disadvantage of this system is for the marketing, which can’t make any “big-bang” breakthroughs. Imagine the rash of “late breaking abstracts” emails from several conferences to entice the users on the fence and drive up foot falls in the conference.