It seems that The Harvard Crimson can’t leave Open Access alone. Less than a week since their previous piece they have published another article, from a more supportive point of view. This one is by Patrick Jean Baptiste and Yifei Chen and is called “The Fall of the Scientific Wall“.
They still haven’t quite got to grips with the idea that PLoS ONE is a properly peer-reviewed publication, calling the pre-publication review “only cursory scrutiny“. Other than that slip these two authors do a pretty good job of describing the potential benefits to science of a more open form of review. Grigori Perelman and arXive get solid discussion. They sum up like this:
We do not claim that online communities should replace more institutionalized peer-review processes in a comprehensive manner. Prestigious journals such as Science or Nature give groundbreaking scientific results the esteem they deserve. But by and large, anxieties about open-publication online journals are unfounded. Even Nature allowed the public to judge papers submitted last summer in tandem with traditional peer-review. Initiatives such as PLoS ONE will help promote free and unfettered scientific study, supplementing and revolutionizing an oligarchic academic process. It is both ignorant and regressive to reject this democratization.
I can hardly wait for the next instalment.