Peer review in megajournals compared with traditional scholarly journals: Does it make a difference?

A megajournal is an open-access journal that publishes any manuscript that presents scientifically trustworthy empirical results, without asking about the potential scientific contribution prior to publication. Megajournals have rapidly increased their output and are currently publishing around 50,000 articles per year.

We report on a small pilot study in which we looked at the citation distributions for articles in megajournals compared with journals with traditional peer review, which also evaluate articles for contribution and novelty.We found that elite journals with very low acceptance rates have far fewer articles with no or few citations, but that the long tail of articles with two citations or less was actually bigger in a sample of selective traditional journals in comparison with megajournals.

This indicates the need for more systematic studies, because the results raise many questions as to how efficiently the current peer review system in reality fulfils its filtering function.

URL : http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/leap.1007/abstract

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