Open Access Referees

The new journal (Biology Direct), hopes to revolutionise the peer review process by placing the burden of selecting “referees” for a paer on the shoulders of the authors themselves and removing the protection of referee anonymity that has been the mainstay of the scientific publication system for decades, if not centuries.

The journal suggests that such an approach to peer review will increase “both the responsibility and the reward of the referees…eliminating sources of abuse in the refereeing process” and presumably reducing the risk of fraudulent results entering the scientific literature.

It remains to be seen whether referees will voluntarily expose themselves to the criticism of their peers for those papers they review, whether that’s authors wishing they’d picked someone else when a paper is slated, or rivals suggesting that a referee is at fault when a paper receives a positive review.