Yesterday I was contacted by DovePress Medical, a publisher of peer-reviewed research with a review opportnity.
I was asked in a very pleasant email whether I could review a submitted paper to The Journal of Pain Research. I wasn’t expecting this as for several years I have been on the other side of the fence, submitting my papers to journals for publication. So this was a very nice change, to be able to sit on the other side and critically review the work of some other author. This was a first to me.
I had trouble sleeping a little last night and wasn’t quite sure why. But then I understood wholeheartedly. What an incredible honour for someone to ask me of my professional opinion. Today I took this seriously and spent quality time immersing myself into the author’s work. I could feel their passion and hard work within the text. I made some critical points and suggestions for improvement, just like the others reviewers have done for me in the past, in hopes that the corrections would be made and in turn, publication.
I wanted to write a little thank you to the many reviewers out there that need acknowledgement, and luckily I am humbly now one of them. This is an important role as all good publications are now, as a standard, peer-reviewed and require the ones who know the material best to make judgements regarding what gets published. The work to complete a review is an act of good will to the betterment of science. And for those that are interested, most submitted papers have at least three reviewers. Reviewers are not paid. It is sort of like jury duty. You just do it. Society is calling upon you and I took this role seriously. Perhaps because this was my first, I am making a big deal about it. Although I do feel it is a big deal and a job to take seriously. Again, thank you DovePress for the opportunity to contribute to the scientific community.
Open Access Publication vs Subscription Based Publication
There are two main types of scientific publications in the world of peer-reviewed manuscripts. The one that is gaining more popularity is called open access publication. This type of publication allows any reader, of all ages, to read the entire manuscript without a fee. All you need is a computer and internet access. I have one publication under my belt like this which was submitted to the Journal of Circadian Rhythms. In the end, the author owns the copyright. But in order to get a paper published with an open access journal, the author also has to pay money. I remember it being around $2500. Not cheap.
The other type of publication is subscription based publication. I have two of these types published. In this case, a reader requires a subscription to the journal in order to read the entire manuscript. Also, all copyright is signed over to the journal so in the end, you as the author, do not own the material. Also, this subscription based publication doesn’t cost any money. Subscription based publication has forged the early research days. This was quite standard if you wanted to read any really good research. Everyone was publishing in this type and it was highly regarded as the best quality of papers and reviewers.
But with the advent of the internet, open access publication is gaining higher credibility and reputation. It will likely eclipse the other subscription based publication for many reasons but primarily because anyone can read all the author’s content and not be forced to pay to read it.