Re: Open Letter to Philip Campbell, Editor, Nature

From: (wrong string) örk <Bo-Christer.Bjork_at_HANKEN.FI>
Date: Fri, 1 Dec 2006 16:20:47 +0100

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The discussion about the costs of peer review has been interesting to
follow. From the perspective of the governments who fund research it
really does not make much difference if they bear the cost of peer
review directly embedded in the subscripion costs they fund via
university and more specifically university library budgets or via the
more indirect costs of the share of their valuable time that often the
best researchers spend on reviewing often very mediokre papers. The
total cost is what matters, not how it is born by publishers or the
universities of the reviewers and often also editors. If this cost would
be calculated using the marginal salary costs of professors this global
cost would be a much bigger item in the total picture than often imagined.

I^Òve been working on a model of the total scientific communication
process which tries to highligth both all activities in journal
publishing which have a cost effect but also activities where added
value is created. The idea has been that the model can be used as a
basis for different types of cost comparisons. In the model the overall
peer review process is split into three major activities: managing the
review process (typically done by the editor or guest editors);
reviewing (done by the reviewers) and revising the manuscript (done by
the author).

A preprint of an article explaining the full model
Björk, Bo-Christer. A model of scientific communication as a global
distributed information system. Draft paper, 20.11.2006. Submitted to
Information Research is to be found at

Hopefully it can help in clarifying some of the issues

Best regards

Bo-Christer Björk

Received on Fri Dec 01 2006 - 17:39:24 GMT

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