Research Article: A New Year’s Wish List for Authors, Reviewers, Readers—and Ourselves

Date Published: December 22, 2009

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): unknown

Abstract: The PLoS Medicine editors offer some suggestions for New Year’s resolutions for authors, reviewers, editors, and readers to consider.

Partial Text: For the most part, publishing of research is a gratifying experience for journals and authors. Such publishing is predicated, above all, on trust. Authors need to trust that a journal’s reviewers and editors provide a fair review process of their papers. And of course journals need to trust authors to provide a fair, honest, and complete account of their work. Only then can readers have trust in the articles that are published.

In case anyone doubts that such a resolution is necessary, look at the furor in July 2009 about the involvement of ghost authors in Wyeth’s marketing of Prempro that came to light after our intervention, with The New York Times, in a court case [1]. Closer to home, a study presented at the Sixth International Congress on Peer Review in September 2009 suggested that we at PLoS Medicine have both guest and ghost authors lurking in our papers [2].

Editors expect reviewers to say “no” to requests quite often—we understand you are busy. But if you can let us know quickly, we can then provide authors with a faster editorial peer review process. We also expect reviewers to declare competing interests related to the paper or the authors [5].

We’d urge our readers to tell us more about what you want from the journal and its online functionality, and what you think of the articles themselves. Read, rate, and reuse the papers. Open access journals are only partially fulfilling their mission if the papers they publish remain embedded in the journals they were originally published in and not reused or redistributed.

We’re sure our authors will have opinions on this but here’s what we resolve to do.



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