Papers reviewed without publication in journals or on platforms deemed “of equivalent merit”
The Plan S open-access initiative has announced its support for newly emerging ways of producing research papers, in which peer review takes place independently from publication in journals or on platforms.
This is a fantastic move by the Plan S team that has the promise of both breaking the shackles of exorbitant subscription fees and the publication fees that could exclude the voices of researchers outside of the richer countries. This has the potential to truly democratise knowledge and offer a more constructive way for experienced researchers to participate in peer review. If it is vulnerable to dodgy papers and cheats, we observe that it really isn’t much more than it is already than with subscription-based publishers and submission-fee open access publishers. We have included links to 13 related items. This is very exciting!
It praised services offering peer review outside of publication in a traditional venue, such as Next Generation Repositories, PREreview and Review Commons, for giving authors “the freedom to decide how and when to disseminate their peer-reviewed article”.
“These innovative developments turn attention away from the prestige of the journal or platform to focus on the intrinsic value of the peer-reviewed article itself,” Plan S said. “They allow for more equitable access to research results by offering a solution to openness for all researchers.”
The initiative did not say which of its funders backed the position.
Plan S has proved controversial since it was announced in 2018 as a way to open up access to publicly funded research results. Some researchers have complained about having their ability to publish in subscription journals curtailed, while some publishers have complained about the kinds of open-access publication the initiative has endorsed.