Recent era 2001–present

Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, an open access journal launched in 2001 by the European Geosciences Union, has a two-stage publication process. In the first stage, papers that pass a quick screen by the editors are immediately published on the Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions website. They are then subject to interactive public discussion alongside formal peer review. Referees' comments (either anonymous or attributed), additional short comments by other members of the scientific community (which must be attributed) and the authors' replies are also published in ACPD. In the second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if the article is formally accepted by the editors, the final revised papers are published in ACP. The success of this approach is shown by the ranking by Thomson Reuters of ACP as the top journal in the field of Meteorology & Atmospheric Sciences[21] In June 2006, Nature launched an experiment in parallel open peer review – some articles that had been submitted to the regular anonymous process were also available online for open, identified public comment.[22] The results were less than encouraging – only 5% of authors agreed to participate in the experiment, and only 54% of those articles received comments.[23][24] The editors have suggested that researchers may have been too busy to take part and were reluctant to make their names public. The knowledge that articles were simultaneously being subjected to anonymous peer review may also have affected the uptake. In 2006, a group of UK academics launched the online journal Philica, which tries to redress many of the problems of traditional peer review. Unlike in a normal journal, all articles submitted to Philica are published immediately and the review process takes place afterwards. Reviews are still anonymous, but instead of reviewers being chosen by an editor, any researcher who wishes to review an article can do so. Reviews are displayed at the end of each article, and so are used to give the reader criticism or guidance about the work, rather than to decide whethe it is published or not. This means that reviewers cannot suppress ideas if they disagree with them. Readers use reviews to guide what they read, and particularly popular or unpopular work is easy to identify. Another approach that is similar in spirit to Philica is that of a dynamical peer review site, Naboj.[25] Unlike Philica, Naboj is not a full-fledged online journal, but rather it provides an opportunity for users to write peer reviews of preprints at ArXiv. The review system is modeled on Amazon and users have an opportunity to evaluate the reviews as well as the articles. That way, with a sufficient number of users and reviewers, there should be a convergence towards a higher quality review process. In February 2006, the journal Biology Direct was launched by BioMed Central, providing another alternative to the traditional model of peer review. If authors can find three members of the Editorial Board who will each return a report or will themselves solicit an external review, then the article will be published. As with Philica, reviewers cannot suppress publication, but in contrast to Philica, no reviews are anonymous and no article is published without being reviewed. Authors have the opportunity to withdraw their article, to revise it in response to the reviews, or to publish it without revision. If the authors proceed with publication of their article despite critical comments, readers can clearly see any negative comments along with the names of the reviewers.[26] An extension of peer review beyond the date of publication is Open Peer Commentary, whereby expert commentaries are solicited on published articles, and the authors are encouraged to respond. In the summer of 2009, Kathleen Fitzpatrick explored open peer review and commentary in her book, Planned Obsolescence, which was published by MediaCommons using "Commentpress", a Wordpress plugin that enables readers to comment on and annotate book-length texts. Another form of "open peer review" is community-based pre-publication peer-review, where the review process is open for everybody to join.