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Re: PLOS article metrics

But isn't post-publication peer review simply too ad hoc?  No one
selects reviewers in this environment; people just volunteer comments
as they feel inclined to do so.  Anyone who reads the comments sent
to, say, The Chronicle of Higher Education realizes that they are
very hit or miss in quality, relevance, and even sanity!  Who is
going to guarantee that every article actually gets a fair peer
review post-publication? Some may get many reviews, of wildly varying
quality, and others may get none.  Is there an imperative at work in
some scholarly communities, like high-energy physics, that makes
post-publication peer review a workable practice?

Sandy Thatcher
Penn State Press

>No, I haven't missed the continuing peer review; I wrote about it
>back in 2004 prior to the launch of PLOS One:
>http://j.mp/Kh4zJ.  I call this "post-publication peer review."
>PLOS is doing a great job with this, though this is an area where
>there is undoubtedly more to come.
>The question that is raised here is whether with post-publication
>peer review, is pre-publication peer review necessary any longer?
>This would not have been possible in the print era, but now that
>annotations can be placed directly on Web pages, an article's
>commentary becomes as much a part of it as the research that
>underlies it.
>With post-publication peer review alone, augmented by truly
>powerful computer systems for linking, annotations, etc., the
>cost of editorial review would drop much further.  Indeed, it
>should not cost more to upload an article to a service than it
>does to download a song on iTunes.
>This is the real long-term threat PLOS faces: the possibility
>that the innovation it helped to spawn continues to develop until
>PLOS itself is marginalized by its high cost structure.  PLOS,
>having chipped away at the principal and practice of peer review,
>is on its way to learn that unmediated computer processes are
>mere bits, and bits are free.
>Joe Esposito