Opasnet Journal

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Opasnet Journal is a hypothetical, international, scientific journal. It is an open access journal that is published on the Opasnet website. It is based on the principle "publish first, review later" in a similar way as Arxiv in physics. It publishes articles on any field of science, if the article is written according to the open assessment method. Each article is an object in Opasnet (typically a nugget, variable, or assessment). Each article is given a URN (instead of a DOI) number. Articles are freely available in PDF format.

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With assessments made to support policies, there is a constant need of new published peer-reviewed information. A critical problem typically is that although the information exists, it has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal or series. The process of peer review is often lengthy, typically several months. In addition, the authors aim to publish in good journals, and there is a high risk of rejection so that the submitting process starts over again in another journal.

In physics, where the speed of scientific innovation is high, researchers cannot afford the delay in publishing, because someone else may publish the same innovation. Therefore, physicists typically publish their manuscripts without any peer review in a website called Arxiv.org. A manuscript may subsequently be criticised and edited, until the author thinks it is ready for publication in an "official" scientific journal.

This system speeds up the publishing process, gives the new information available to the users earlier, and is more fair in the competition about the first publisher of an innovation.

A similar system is needed in other fields of science as well. The current idea is to launch Opasnet Journal, which would have the same principle as Arxiv: publish first, review later. Opasnet offers a natural workspace for writing manuscripts of this kind, and the peer-reviewed and accepted manuscripts can also be published as articles in Opasnet.

Writing process

The writing and editorial processes differ significantly from traditional scientific journals. Actually, it is upside down. The publishing process starts by publishing a contribution about a description of the object. The description is improved by subsequent contributions by anyone (in the spirit of open participation), until the object is sound and good. This may contain original scientific research (usually in the form of a nugget, see e.g. KTL Sarcoma study), but it can also be a review of a topic (usually a variable or an assessment). All versions of the article are openly viewable by anyone. The first phase is by far the most resource-consuming part.

The second step in the publishing process is to write acknowledgements to the talk page. It basically describes who contributed to the writing of the object and in what way.

The third step is to make a peer review of the object by two to four independent peer reviewers. The authors may contact the Editorial Board of the Journal, and pay the review fee to get a peer review for their object. In addition, the Board may launch the peer review process, if it finds an object that warrants publishing in the Journal; in this case, the Board will pay the review fee. The peer review is performed on the object page, and the contributors improve the page based on reviewers' comments until it is acceptable. The reviewers disclose their conflicting interests, if any, on their own user page.

When the review has been successful, the object is given an URN and volume, issue, and article numbers. The object page and the talk page are printed into a PDF file and stored onto the website of the Journal, from where it can be downloaded. It is important to notice that the object itself is NOT locked but it may change in time as more information shows up. An article is just a particular version of the object at some point in time, but permanently available as a peer-reviewed article.

See also