Several publishers and academic institutions have tried to make community-based tools that crowd-source academics (or hand-pick them, which is worse...) to recommend good journal articles or encourage discussion of articles as they're published. By and large they've failed, but the tools are out there and it may very well not be long before the ultimate journal-killing web resource comes along which allows publication of results and the discussion and distillation of them into something much easier to digest than your average paper. The main thing that's missing is a system which actually encourages discussion so that there is a lively debate going on around each publication or result. I don't think anyone's been able to make this happen yet. I have some ideas for how to do this which I think are blindingly obviously the way to do it, but so far no one in the publishing world seems to have thought of them, so maybe they're wildly impractical.

It would be great if the OKF could get hold of some government funding and have a go at making this thing though, as I think you're a) the right organisation to be trusted to do it right; and b) in a very good position to be in with a chance of making it work - you've got the skills and I expect you've also got the contacts, or if you don't have the contacts I expect it'd be easy to get them.

submitted 11 Jul, 19:36

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I like the idea and in fact have been thinking along those lines for sometime now. Yesterday (coincidence??) I have commentrd ion a post by Peter Murray-Rust with my "fairy tale" on how to get publishing reformed The OKFN is a great place to share ideas. We have a working group @ccess where we discuss al;l things open access. You are more than welcome to join us, if you haven't already


solved 13 Jul, 06:33

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tom olijhoek
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I've been thinking about it for ages too, and you're dead right when talking about communities - that's exactly what I had in mind (just with one overarching environment for communities to develop in, which makes it easy to navigate between and around different overlapping communities). Peter talks about it coming from universities, which would be a great start, but what's really needed is the infrastructure to mine the journal articles (which I also think should be revised as an idea - there's too much focus on narrative in the biological sciences, which causes a lot of problems)...

(13 Jul, 11:36) Easy_now

... yeah, the infrastructure to present the data, but also for the 'meta' level on top of that which deals with presenting and policing the community and discussion. There's room for a few more 'meta' levels on top of that, but it'd take too long to talk about here so maybe I'll see you in @ccess. I'd love to get involved, but sadly I don't have the computer skills to make any contribution beyond talking about the general structure of how the thing should work, which is the exciting bit that everyone who could get involved in doing the real work probably already has an opinion on, I'm sure!

(13 Jul, 11:50) Easy_now

How about pursuing venture capital as PeerJ did?


solved 17 Jul, 12:15

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Kilgore Pike
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That could work, but I have the feeling that to make it appeal to academics it should be government funded and as non-commercial as possible. Also, there would probably be some issues around the commercial viability of it. I don't know how the database/webpage design thing works myself, but I have the feeling that for it to be done well enough to be successful, and to attract a critical mass of academics, it'd need a long-term investment before it started paying off, and it might not pay off in money very easily. Maybe through ads? But like I said, what do I know? I could easily be wrong...

(19 Jul, 14:57) Easy_now

Ideas to move science publishing into the digital world are thrilling. I've been developing ideas for a wiki-based structured paper recommendation myself, incorporating that scientists need to see a real advantage towards the current publishing and literature review model before they would spend time for it, with room for development towards a complete withdrawal from journal publishing.

It seems as if there are lots of failed ideas around however; and before any other attempt is started, one should analyze why those attempts didn't catch up. I'm searching for room to discuss this. Are there mailing lists around already, apart from [open-science]?


solved 22 Jul, 04:50

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Asked: 11 Jul, 19:36

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Last updated: 22 Jul, 04:50

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