July 11, 2012
If someone were to ask me what I was most excited about in terms of future developments, then it would almost certainly be the Hypothes.is project:
In short: it’s the ultimate editor and peer reviewer all rolled into one. At the moment, we work very much in a top-down system, but Hypothes.is operates on a statistical logic: it is a distributed comment system that follows a reputation-based model. After all, everyone has their own specialist knowledge and this will allow you to apply that knowledge in areas where it is useful. We often see in the age of celebrity, fame and money that a disproportionate amount of coverage is given to those who aren’t necessarily worth much in terms of their contributory value. That is, we have a skewed weighting system in terms of the voices that are heard, with amplification being based on fame and wealth and less on specialisation. Not only is fame and wealth a problem, but the Internet has also given rise to a sea of noise, spam and trolling, making it increasingly difficult to find useful information.
In terms of Open Science, my guess is that we’ll start to see authors publishing their articles straight onto a homepage or library repository, allowing for their work to be peer reviewed almost instantaneously. Meanwhile, journals will likely operate in a post-peer review niche, whereby they collect the most valuable articles and publish them in a context where they increase said article’s reputation value. This is why I refuse to write off journals in the Open Access era: they will likely migrate into a role in which they act as centralising hubs for content that’s been filtered according to quality.