New editions to open peer review

Peer Review Week 2016, Article #2

New editions to open peer review

Peer review is a hot topic in scholarly communication. Discussions on the transforming peer review system closely intertwine with other issues receiving increased attention in the research community, such as content of review (book, data, proposal, etc.), or methods of review in different research fields. In fact, the nature of research is undergoing major changes. The accelerated, open and global communication contributed to the development of networked and collaborative scientific work, which gave birth to multidisciplinary research. Thus, this new chapter in scholarly investigations induced discussions on the multifaceted nature of research and all the challenges it brings to the publication, review and dissemination processes.

The Semantic Web journal provides an excellent example how these issues all find solutions in one forum. The topic of the journal itself is “a highly multidisciplinary field of research arranged around the broad vision of sharing, discovering, reusing, and integrating data and services on the Web by making them accessible and understandable to humans and machines alike. It brings together a broad variety of researchers focusing on theoretical aspects, core methods and tools, or on applications in a multitude of disciplines including the life sciences, the earth sciences, industrial information integration, assisted living, data and information management, media applications, and so forth…The Semantic Web journal publishes research contributions from the whole range of Semantic-Web-related research and applications. In particular, it is not only concerned with core technical contributions to the research area, but also with application-oriented contributions to other disciplines using Semantic Web technologies, with reports on high-impact tools and ontologies, and with theory-oriented contributions of primarily foundational interest“ (Hitzler).

It employs an open and transparent review system, which allows for open discussion within the research community by posting manuscripts on the journal website, after passing the initial quality check. By documenting and publicly sharing the review process and acknowledging the reviewers` and editors` names in the final version of the article, the review process of the journal is not only open, but also transparent to the readers. The Semantic Web journal can be considered innovative in other respects, as well: it includes alternative paper types (i.e., other than full research papers) within its review process. See more: Pascal Hitzler, Krzysztof Janowicz. 2015. The Semantic Web Journal Review Process – Transparent and Open. STCSN-E-Letter-Vol-3-No-1‎.

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