Saturday, September 5, 2015

Why I chose to become a subject editor for the RIO Journal


I agreed to become a subject editor on a new journal called The Research Ideas and Outcomes (RIO) Journal. When Scientific Reports asked be I declined. Here's some of the reasons why I said yes to RIO Journal, in rapidly descending order of importance.

1. The world needs a low-cost alternative to PLoS ONE*
Many people say things like "I couldn't afford to publish all my papers OA at $1350/paper" and so they publish none as OA. While PLoS ONE offers a no-questions-asked full or partial fee-waiver most people feel funny about asking for it (not me though). PeerJ and PeerJ Computer Science offer very cost effective alternatives to PLoS ONE for bio- and computer science-related papers.  For example, on average a PeerJ paper costs me about $200-300. But what about other areas? I was assured that the cost of publishing in RIO Journal would be comparable to PeerJ.  Should this prove not to be the case (the pricing is still a bit up in the air) then I'll resign as subject editor.

(*note that this implies PLoS ONE-like review criteria and use of the CC-BY license)

2. I like the idea of getting "publishing-credit" for my research proposals and other research output
Roughly speaking for every proposal I write, I write one paper less. With the current ~10% success rate I now write more proposals and, hence, fewer papers. I would like to change that because my productivity is judged in large part by my production of peer reviewed papers, and RIO Journal looks like the way to do this.

There are plenty of places where you can share your proposals (I have used figshare which even gives you a DOI) but if I can get them peer reviewed (what RIO Journal calls "validated") at RIO Journal then I can list them on my publication list and get "credit".  If RIO Journal can deliver this for $200-300 count me in.

3. All the other stuff
A. The manuscript is visible upon submission, i.e. you "automatically post your pre-print".
B. The reviews are made public and are assigned DOIs
C. Commenting is possible
D. The people behind the journal are doing this to improve science rather than making money

All these things are very nice but I am not willing to pay extra for it.



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0
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