Biology Direct, an open biology journal

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Jason Morrison

Feb 8, 2009, 12:53:43 PM2/8/09
to diybio

Relevant to the recent discussion of open access publication (i.e. an arxiv for bio), is a journal with an open process as well as open access.  I'd love to hear others' thoughts on this.

An article from Nature Peer Review on Biology Direct:

A snip from that discussion:


Systems: Reviving a culture of scientific debate

Nature (2006) | doi:10.1038/nature05005
Can 'open peer review' work for biologists? Biology Direct is hopeful.

The advent of immensely powerful means of communication in our information age offers unprecedented opportunities for experimentation with new approaches to scientific publishing. In an attempt to offer the scientific community an alternative to the current peer-review system, we recently launched a new journal, Biology Direct.

In Biology Direct, everything happens in the open: the authors select their own reviewers from the editorial board, and the reviews are not only signed but also published, alongside authors' responses, as an integral part of each article. The reviews can be critical or even outright negative. The only condition of publication is that three members of the Biology Direct editorial board become sufficiently interested in a submission to either review it themselves or to solicit a review from an outside expert. Conversely, a paper is rejected if and only if the author cannot get three reviews. Obviously, the authors can 'self-reject', that is, they can withdraw their manuscript if they are not comfortable publishing it having considered its reviews.

(more at the URL...)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Lindsay Cade <>
Date: Sun, Feb 8, 2009 at 11:49 AM
Subject: biology-direct
To: Jason Morrison <>

Maybe you have already heard of it.

here is an article describing it

Sounds like a good idea!

Jason Morrison
(585) 216-5657

Eric Fernandez

Feb 8, 2009, 3:34:30 PM2/8/09
Biology Direct is a great journal. It's published by BIO Med Central. They also publish a variety of other open access journals related to bio. You can find a complete list of their publications here:

Alec Nielsen

Feb 11, 2009, 2:31:23 PM2/11/09
Saw this on The Scientist this morning:

GPeerReview, a web-based peer review tool.

From Google's website:

We intend for the peer-review web to do for scientific publishing what the world wide web has done for media publishing. As it becomes increasingly practical to evaluate researchers based on the reviews of their peers, the need for centralized big-name journals begins to diminish. The power is returned to those most qualified to give meaningful reviews: the peers. As long as big journals provide a useful service, this tool will only enhance their effectiveness. But the more they take months to review our publications, and the more they give unqualified reviews, and the more they force us to clear irrelevant hurdles prior to publication, and the more they lock up our works behind fees and copyright transfers, the more this tool will provide an alternative to their services.

What do you think? Will crowd-sourcing the peer review process expedite and improve the publishing pipeline?

GPeerReview uses the MIT License, and the project homepage is at <>.

Has anyone used this?


Jeswin John

Feb 11, 2009, 3:56:09 PM2/11/09
It won't just be crowd sourced and reviewed the public, if that's what you mean. The reviews will probably be by qualified folks in the respective fields. I think its cool, and article might be more easier to access.
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