15|10|07: Jan Velterop on peer review

Jan and I with (in my case) an undeserved halo. Photo: M. Holl

Jan and I with (in my case) an undeserved halo. Photo: M. Holl

Yesterday I had the honour to host Jan Velterop at IST Austria. Jan is a pioneer of the open access movement which he initiated with others in the late 1990s. In his talk at IST Austria Jan focussed on the value of peer review which, according to Jan, as practiced by the publishing industry today is a slow, expensive, unreliable, high variable, ineffective, arbitrary, anonymous process that undermines scientific skepticism, puts careerism before science, and is confirmation-biased. In order to make it more reliable and transparent and much cheaper to the scientific community, Jan proposed “peer review by endorsement”, arguing for a strict separation of the reviewing and publishing processes. While scientists should do the reviewing under their own names in the pre-publish phase using archives, the publishers should restrict themselves to the production phase, publishing scientific literature found worthwhile by the scientists.

Here is my introduction, the link to the slides can be found below:

„Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Oliver Lehmann and I welcome you on behalf of IST Austria. This is the second event in the lecture series on “New Trends in Scholarly Communication” initiated by the Austrian Academy of Sciences, The Austrian Science Fund FWF and IST Austria. I therefore especially welcome our colleagues from our partner institutions. Our guest this afternoon is Jan Velterop. Jan is a trained marine geophysicist and went into science publishing when he joined the Dutch company Elsevier. He acquired further experience in the industry working for Academic Press and the Nature Publishing Group before focusing on Open Access. Today, Jan is going to talk about peer review, its limitations, its future development and its alternatives. He postulates that peer review is the crux of scientific journal publishing and that there are ways to make peer review more reliable and much cheaper. Jan recently proposed a reformed model of peer review which can be found on his blog titled The Parachute and has the subtitle: ‚It only works when it is open‘. I assume he will tell us more about model in his talk.“

The slides