Victor Venema, Grassroots Review Journals, University of Bonn, Germany
Website or social media links
Current stage of development
Main design for the communities (review journals) is ready to be implemented. Multiple communication channels set-up apart from a newsletter/distribution list.
Years, but for this sprint we can do a small part.
Background information on current practices
It takes years to build up a reputable scientific journal, while the reputation of journals is important for scientific careers. This together with copyright law gives publishers enormous market power, reflected in prolonged profit margins of 30 to 50%, bad service and little innovation.
Overview of the challenge to overcome
Break the power of the publishers by putting the assessment of the quality of research back into the hands of the scientific community by building up an open post-publication peer review system. The more this system is accepted the less important it is where a paper is published. To replace the current system all studies need to be reviewed, articles and preprints, good and bad articles.
The ideal outcome or output of the project
A working prototype for a Grassroots post-publication peer review system based on WordPress Multisite. So that we can start inviting editorial teams to start reviewing.
Description of the intervention
The design is ready as plain text where every review is simply a blog post; see https://grassroots.is for details on the design. These blog posts should become automatically generated review pages by giving a DOI and the names of the editors in charge of the review. Elements on this page should not be plain text, but machine readable, so that it can be distributed with an API and ActivityPub protocol (pubfair). Starting a new journal should be automated and a new journal should be able to reuse (all) reviews of an existing journal to make the review system federated.
Plan for monitoring project outcome
During the time of the sprint I plan to work along with the volunteers in designing and coding the system. Our common code is on GitHub. It would be great to immediately start a second federated server, but I can also give access to my development server.
What’s needed for success
Additional technology development
The review journals should also be communities that connect researchers in a field. Thus also systems to communicate meetings, projects, datasets, software, etc. are valuable, as well as social media capabilities. The Open Social Media system (Fediverse) are starting to make this possible. They already have good micro-blogging system (Mastodon, FediScience) and now a new system for events (Mobilizon).
Feedback, beta testing, collaboration, endorsement
A blog post on the Grassroots review system won the OpenUp Blog Competition.
Working on a proposal for this system for the German Science Foundation.