I strongly support modern practices in open science — including publication of preprints and open access publications, open peer review, providing freely available software packages implementing new statistical methodology, and providing freely accessible code and data repositories to support computational analyses.
These practices greatly contribute toward fundamental aspects of good science, including reproducible research, faster and more equitable access to research findings, and enabling iterative scientific progress by allowing other research groups to build on previous results.
I aim to follow these practices in all of my main projects. (In collaboration projects, where I am not directly responsible for these decisions, I will encourage the main authors to follow these practices.)
In my view, the current academic publishing system is seriously flawed, and requires major reform. The current system — where commercially driven publishers control access to journals of varying levels of prestige — creates serious distortions in scientific practice, provides little value for either individual scientists or science overall, and consumes public research funding for private commercial benefit.
In my own experiences, some of the greatest sources of frustration have been poor quality editorial services (e.g. errors introduced during copy-editing), unreasonable demands for timelines (e.g. 24–48 hours for checking proofs), and excessive publication fees (e.g. thousands of dollars per article for open access publication). However, much more serious is the overall distortion in science due to researchers targeting their research programs to match the interests of prestigious journals, and academic hiring committees potentially relying on journal impact factors as a proxy for research quality.
Luckily, a number of innovative initiatives are underway, which aim to improve academic publishing practices and develop new modes of publication. This includes preprints (e.g. bioRxiv and arXiv), new and innovative commercial publishers (e.g. F1000Research and ScienceMatters), preprint overlay journals (e.g. biOverlay), university-driven journals (e.g. University Journals), and open journal-independent peer review (e.g. Review Commons). I am excited to continue following these developments, and will take part wherever possible.
Code of conduct
If you plan to work with me, you agree to abide by an appropriate code of conduct policy for an academic environment, such as the Contributor Covenant Code of Conduct.
Some hiking and skiing photos from the beautiful Swiss Alps.