Current Liblicense Archive - Adequate peer review?

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LIBLICENSE-L  February 2013

LIBLICENSE-L February 2013

Subject:

Adequate peer review?

From:

LIBLICENSE <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

LibLicense-L Discussion Forum <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 17 Feb 2013 08:55:27 -0500

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From: Joseph Esposito <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Sun, 17 Feb 2013 05:21:55 -0600

I have been sitting in a conference this weekend in which one of the
principal topics has been the future of peer review.  So it was with
surprise and consternation that I happened to see the abstract to an
article in PLoS ONE:

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0056178

The article covers a study of how people read ebooks.  And there, in
the very first sentence of the abstract, is a simple factual error.
The abstract states that ebooks outsell print books in the U.S. and
UK.  Not true.  Ebooks outsell print at Amazon, but the book biz is
far bigger then Amazon, three to five times bigger, depending on who's
counting.

Is this a problem of peer review? A problem of insufficient
copy-editing?  A copy editor would have fact-checked that item, but
copy-editing is one of those things that is being cut back or even
eliminated to reduce costs for Gold OA services.  The problem is
structural:  Gold OA requires lower costs because the burden of paying
for the work rests with the producer instead of being spread across
all the readers.

Gold OA, in other words, structurally requires lower editorial
standards.  Much of the time we may not care about that, but then you
stumble on one simple error and begin to reflect on the entire
enterprise.

Joe Esposito

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