Open Access News

News from the open access movement

Saturday, June 09, 2007

More on Nature Precedings

Pedro Beltrão, Nature Precedings, a pre-print server for biomedical research, Public Rambling, June 7, 2007.  Excerpt:

...I have been participating in the beta for some months now and as it is mentioned in the editorial it will be openly available starting next week. All documents are citable (have DOIs), are not peer-reviewed (in the formal sense) and are archived under a creative commons license (derivatives allowed). The site has the community features (tagging/commenting/rating/RSS feeds) that you would expect and that will hopefully allow for requesting and providing comments on early findings. In summary an nicer version of ArXive for biomedical research.

I think this is great news that serves on one hand to improve access to research (open access by pre-print archiving) and increase the openness of research. This can provide a place for independent time-stamping of early findings and could be improved (hopefully with community feedback) until it is appropriate for formal submission to a peer-reviewed journal.
A framework for open science (in biology) can now go from blogs/wikis to pre-print server to peer-reviewed journals. Many ideas might die along the way and many collaborations might form by connecting early findings in an unexpected way.

Of course if you are in maths/physics you have arXive and you are probably wondering what is taking us biomedical researchers so long to get into this.

Update. Also see Bryan Vickery's thoughts on Nature Precedings, mixed with his reminiscences of Elsevier's now-defunct Chemistry Preprint Server. Excerpt:

Just like the CPS, submissions will be screened for appropriateness, but no judgement will be made by the internal editors about the quality of the work. This, is the job of the community.

The next step is, obviously, to allow authors of research articles posted to Nature Preceedings, to be able to submit these directly to a peer reviewed journal and for that journal to be able to link directly back to previous versions of the manuscript.

PhysMath Central, from BioMed Central, does exactly that. Authors can upload their arXiv manuscript directly to the online system. See Chris' recent blog posting "How to submit your arXiv manuscript to PMC Phys A."

Nature is certainly taking what Web 2.0 has to offer, and making it reality. I wish them luck.