Last year scientific publishing reached an impressive milestone. Way back in the 17th Century, 350 years ago, the world’s first journal Philosophical Transactions B was published by the Royal Society. The technical innovation those days was the pioneering printing press, which at that point in history was comparable to the advent of the internet as it enabled an efficient way to spread scientific knowledge far and wide. Not much has changed. Journals are still the way we communicate science. Ironically, during these 350 years we have seen science itself progress astronomically. Watson and Crick discovered life’s building block DNA, Niels Bohr and others unravel the intricacies of quantum theory, we’ve even put a human on the moon; so that begs the question, why do we still disseminate science in a similar fashion to 350 years ago?
The journal article is merely a proxy for science communication, but its static nature isn’t how science is done – in many cases it’s not the best way to convey research. A scientist should not be saying what is the best journal for my work, but rather what is the best format to communicate my science. One way to achieve a more complementary way of sharing research would be to open up elements of the publication process and take advantage of the digital age. With today’s technology we can start to tackle the current pain points such as peer review, data availability and universal access. In particular making peer review open and attributed could start to drive a culture shift in how we share, trust and evaluate work. This talk will therefore explore the benefits of open peer review, as well as the advantages of making the whole publication process open and transparent.