Open, Online Journals

I recently refereed an article for the journal The Cryosphere. It’s a journal I always mean to pay more attention but until now have been more or less ignoring. My loss.

The Cryosphere describes itself as an "Interactive Open Access Journal". The refereeing process is admirably open and transparent. All comments are posted online and readers have a chance to comment on the paper prior to acceptance and [online] publication. In this way the Cryosphere protects authors from bias and unprofessional behaviour, for example by reviewers.

The whole process seems incredibly smooth. The downside I suppose is the exposure. As an author your manuscript is open to criticism from all corners. This might possibly lead to feelings of victimisation rather than liberation. Scientists after all tend to invest a great deal of themselves in their work. (Let’s face it, we don’t do it for the money).

That said, I think the Cryosphere offers a powerful model for modern publication. Open access is a great concept that will benefit all of us, but especially the more poorly resourced researchers. I think I’ll be submitting a paper to the journal sometime soon. What this space!

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