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Re: Taking Our Academic Medicine

Besides smearing the peer reviewers for Open Access journals, this comment also perpetuates the myth that traditional publishers employ a more expensive peer review process.

Peer review, a most important aspect of the publishing process, is mostly done by invited volunteers. Very few scientific journals have paid, in-house reviewers. It is these unpaid volunteers, chosen for their expertise, who assure the quality and authority of academic journals, whether Open Access or not. I fail to see how "unpaid" is more expensive for traditional journals than it is for Open Access journals. Copy editing, used by some journals and not others, is not peer review.

I'm not sure the "trained monkey" reviewers for BMC, PLoS, and other Open Access journals appreciate your comment.

Mark Funk
Head, Collection Development
Weill Cornell Medical Library
New York, NY 10021


At 12:01 AM -0500 11/20/05, Peter Banks wrote:
However, what authors want from journals is the rigor of peer review and
the stamp of authority it conveys. And that--despite the OA assertion that
peer review can be done cheaply, perhaps by trained monkeys in a low-rent
trailer in South Dakota--is where the cost, and the value, enters
publishing. "Value" is not low price, as you will find if you buy your
wife's Christmas gift at WalMart rather than Tiffany. For a journal, it is
the cost to deliver quality, authority, and distribution.