• Open Citations and Open Peer Review: Toward a Better Thresher in Scientific Literature (V.2.)

    Arthur Boston (see profile)
    Library & Information Science
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    Open citation data, open peer-review, and open access produce essential materials to transition toward meaningful reform in scientific research assessment. Current research assessment tools notably include, but are not limited to, citation-based measures (Journal Impact Factor, h-index) and article level metrics (download counts, social media); however, the inadequacies of these are well-documented (Paulus et al, 2018). Research stakeholders such as review, tenure, promotion, and grant committees; researchers; the public at large would be well-served by a critical assessment aggregator for understanding the quality and significance of a given article; examples of models of critical aggregation exist in other media, such as Rotten Tomatoes and MetaCritic. Open citation data and open peer-review could play an essential role in forming a critical assessment aggregation platform. Expert disciplinary peers routinely write reviews for article manuscripts, and cited articles are (theoretically) closely read by the authors that cite them. If taken together and made open, these data values could be harvested and combined to form profiles for articles that would give research stakeholders appropriate qualitative and quantitative context to aid assessment done by reading the article itself. The literature itself needs to be open access in order to be read firsthand, whether by humans or machines, and continually reassessed and reconsidered. The scholar community needs to build and own such an infrastructure, and keep it an open enterprise. From a historical perspective, it seems unacceptable to condone the use of research insights that commercial platforms are currently putting on the market; any boycott, however, will be an empty gesture without collective action toward alternative paths.
    This is the second version of a paper I originally submitted to Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication on September 17, 2018 (https://hcommons.org/deposits/item/hc:24365). I don't believe anyone involved in the project has the energy to put further work into this piece, with good reason. I deposit this paper onto Humanities Commons to close the loop on this work. My thanks and apologies to the Journal of Librarianship and Scholarly Communication.
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    2 years ago


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