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Science AMA Series: Are community calls to change scientific publishing right and, if so, what is the future? We are Jason Hoyt and Peter Binfield, Co-founders of PeerJ, Ask Us Anything!
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r/Science AMAs
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Hello /r/Science. We are Jason Hoyt (CEO and Co-founder) and Pete Binfield (Publisher and Co-founder) of PeerJ and PeerJ Computer Science - peer-reviewed open access academic journals offering low cost, high quality publishing for researchers in the fields of life science, medicine and computer science. Ask us anything! Jason Hoyt - As Co-founder and CEO of PeerJ I believe that research needs to be openly available if we are going to solve this century’s biggest challenges. I’ve long been an advocate of Open Access and not afraid to challenge the closed nature of the scientific publishing establishment. It is also this ethos that led me to believe that authors deserve to publish their work at a very minimal cost to make it openly available to the world. The premise when starting PeerJ was a simple one - If we can set a goal to sequence the Human Genome for $99, then why shouldn’t we demand the same goal for the publication of research? At PeerJ we have built a publishing venue that serves the needs of academic authors and not the other way around! With today’s technology there is no excuse for research to be hampered by slow publishing processes, high costs, or locked behind paywalls. By building our publishing platform in house, and open sourcing many of those components, we are able to significantly speed up the publishing process and add useful technology for authors on an ongoing basis. I firmly believe in transparency which is why PeerJ offers optional open peer review and article level metrics. Prior to founding PeerJ I was Chief Scientist and VP of R&D at Mendeley. I also hold a Ph.D. in Genetics from Stanford University, so I understand firsthand the challenges facing researchers. Peter Binfield - Having been a Publisher in academic publishing for over 20 years I have witnessed the growth of the internet and its transformative power for scientific research and communication. As Co-founder and Publisher of PeerJ I want to ensure this technology enables a democratized scientific publishing process and helps to make research openly available for all. I believe that publishing needs to be in service to the academic community to best facilitate the rapid and broad dissemination of research findings. It is still an unfortunate fact that for many scientists today their work is often hidden behind expensive publisher paywalls making it inaccessible, not just to those researchers who can’t afford the cost of the journal subscription, but also to the rest of the world’s population who may benefit from those discoveries. By making scientific research open and more shareable it in turn enables reproducibility and therefore a faster scientific discovery process. I’m proud that PeerJ is a part of making this happen. Prior to co-founding PeerJ I held senior positions at Institute of Physics, Kluwer Academic, Springer, SAGE and Public Library of Science (PLOS). At PLOS I ran PLOS ONE, and helped to develop it into the largest and one of the most innovative journals in the world. There is always more to be done but we hope our efforts at PeerJ encourage further change in the academic publishing process. We look forward to answering any questions you may have about PeerJ, open access publishing or anything else in general. Ask us anything and we’ll be happy to answer. We’ll start answering questions at 1pm ET (10 am PT, 5 pm UTC.) 1.14 pm PST 9/24/15: Thank you to you all for the insightful questions and debate - we are now signing off. We look forward to publishing more great science, freely available to the world!