Open access journals such as PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports or BMJ Open publish all papers they judge to be technically sound; they do not attempt to select the papers that they publish based on their scientific importance. Some authors perceive this as a disadvantage to career advancement (e.g., tenure or grant applications) because committee members might view such papers as being of lesser quality compared to those published in more traditional peer-reviewed journals.
Epistemio’s Reviews on Demand enables authors to reap the benefits of publishing in open-access "megajournals" while earning the same credibility as papers published in traditional peer-reviewed journals. Epistemio will perform an independent, post-publication review of your article, which you can then reference when including your article in a CV. This extra step can effectively demonstrate to committee members who assess your work that your article is of no lesser quality than an article published in a traditional journal.
How long does a review on demand take?
The results of the review will be provided within 2 months of requesting it. In the rare instances when the opinions of at least 3 reviewers are not provided within this timeframe, if a publication processing fee has been paid, it will be fully reimbursed.
How can I get credits to spend on a review on demand?
You can get such credits by rating and reviewing publications on Epistemio. You may rate and review the publications of your choice that belong to your field of expertise, such as the publications that you have read lately for your own research. The rating and review may be anonymous. To start rating and reviewing publications on Epistemio, sign up or log in (if you are not already logged in), then find the desired publications using our search engine or in your Epistemio library, and add a rating and a review for each publication. You may request one review on demand for every 5 publications that you rated and reviewed on Epistemio.
How comes that PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports and the similar journals do not attempt to select the papers that they publish based on their scientific importance?
These journals (often called "megajournals" because they publish a large number of papers) have a business model that is different from the one of traditional journals. From the PLOS ONE journal information and reviewer guidelines: "Often a journal's decision not to publish a paper reflects an editor's opinion about what is likely to have substantial impact in a given field. These subjective judgments can delay the publication of work that later proves to be of major significance. PLOS ONE will rigorously peer-review your submissions and publish all papers that are judged to be technically sound. Judgments about the importance of any particular paper are then made after publication by the readership, who are the most qualified to determine what is of interest to them." "Unlike many journals which attempt to use the peer review process to determine whether or not an article reaches the level of 'importance' required by a given journal, PLOS ONE uses peer review to determine whether a paper is technically sound and worthy of inclusion in the published scientific record. Once the work is published in PLOS ONE, the broader community is then able to discuss and evaluate the significance of the article". Scientific Reports' author charter states: "We believe that if your paper is scientifically valid and technically sound then it should be published and made accessible to the research community. Papers are not assessed based on perceived importance, significance or impact. We also welcome papers describing negative results and scientifically-justified replication studies." BMJ Open has a similar policy: "BMJ Open will publish all submissions judged to be technically sound after peer review."
Are you criticizing PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports and other similar journals?
Not at all. We believe that these journals provide a great service to science. They help to accelerate the progress of science, because authors may publish their results quicker, without the delays resulting from multiple rounds of review and rejections at traditional journals. They provide open access to publications and do not impose artificial page limits or charges for the use of colors in figures. However, the model of these journals is at odds with existing practices where articles are assessed based on the perceived importance of the journal where they have been published. For all journals, including traditional ones, indicators of importance based on averages over many articles published therein, such as the impact factor, predict very poorly the properties of individual articles. In the case of PLOS ONE, Scientific Reports and similar journals, the fallacy of considering the perceived importance of the journal as a proxy for the importance of individual articles is even bigger, because megajournals do not even attempt to assess the importance of articles beyond their technical soundness. But this does not mean that what these journals publish lacks scientific importance. Among the published articles the importance may vary significantly, and there are many very important articles. The assessment of importance is left to be done post-publication, and Epistemio Reviews on Demand provides such an assessment.
Still having questions about Epistemio Reviews on Demand? Contact us
Michael B. Eisen, co-founder of PLOS, about Epistemio Reviews on Demand
PLOS ONE reviewer guidelines
Scientific Reports author charter