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Public peer review in open access publications: pros and cons
Conveners: Bárbara Ferreira , Thies Martin Rasmussen 
Thu, 21 Apr, 15:30–17:00

In traditional scientific publishing, editors ask peer reviewers to evaluate the quality of the work submitted to their journal and determine whether it is suitable for publication, in a process that is almost always anonymous and happens behind closed doors. In some open access publications – including the majority of the EGU/Copernicus journals – submitted papers are, instead, subject to public peer review. The referees' comments, which can be attributed or anonymous, are published along side comments by other members of the scientific community (attributed) in an open-access, public discussion forum, where the paper authors' publish their replies as well. The submitted paper is also published in this discussion forum before peer review.

This open, public peer review system aims to foster scientific discussion and improve quality assurance by making the peer review process more efficient and transparent. But critics argue that publishing papers prior to peer review contributes to the noise of science as the non-peer-reviewed draft of the paper can be freely distributed, even if the journal ends up rejecting it for publication.

In this debate, panelists will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of open, public peer review.

Moderator: Hubert Savenije, EGU Publications Committee Chair


Ulrich Poeschl (Chief-Executive Editor, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics)

Martin Rasmussen (Managing Director, Copernicus)

András Bárdossy (Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Hydrology)

Jonathan Bamber (Co-Editor-in-Chief, The Cryosphere)