New Formats for Journals

With rapidly advancing Internet technologies we are no longer bound by the traditional formats of print scholarly journals – and all of their associated inefficiencies that extend the time to publication. Indeed, with the fast pace of research in many cutting-edge areas of science we can no longer afford the lag times of several months to publication.
Two innovative new models of journal publishing have recently launched that take advantage of the current technology environment and challenge traditional journal formats and peer-review workflows:
F1000 Research – is a new open access life sciences journal that offers immediate publication of all scientifically sound papers. The main time savings occurs in the peer-review process: peer-review occurs post-publication and is entirely transparent. The naming of referees in transparent peer-review processes can also encourage fair and honest reviews. A recent press release from F1000 reports that in the first months since its launch in January 2013 the average time to publication has been one week.
PeerJ – is another new open access journal in the areas of biological and medical sciences that launched early in 2013. It also does not restrict publishing to research with perceived “impact” or “novelty” but instead on “an objective determination of scientific and methodological soundness”. The main innovation of PeerJ is on the economics side. Authors may purchase one-time memberships that will allow them to publish repeatedly in PeerJ without having to pay each time. There are various levels of membership, but the basic level has a one-time cost of $99 and permits one publication a year. PeerJ also asks every member to provide one peer-review each year.
In the electronic age we are no longer bound by page restrictions, there is no need to accept only the most “influential” articles (a practice that is highly subjective anyway), and we do not need to delay publication until the next designated date on the calendar that an issue is supposed to come out. Science will progress much more rapidly when we remove historical and artificial barriers to publishing – and make the results of publicly-funded research more accessible and reusable.