|The system of scientific print journals has some well-known imperfections. WPE is designed to remedy five of them.
When an article is submitted to a print journal, it is first sent to one or more editors, who then send it to several anonymous reviewers who do not necessarily know the author(s). They then return their reviews, and the editor makes a decision whether to accept the article as is, require revisions, get more reviews, or reject the article outright. This review and revision process takes months. If an article is not accepted the first time (a common occurrence), the article's author can take years to find a journal editor who provides an accepting set of reviewers.
Once the article and revisions are accepted, the publication process begins. The manuscript is sent to a layout artist who puts it into the journal's format and then sends the "galley" back to the author for review. The author corrects the inevitable mistakes, and returns the galley back to the printer. The journal issue is then composed, printed, and sent to the subscribers. This publication process can take months to years!
There is no need for such delay. An online journal can get research to readers within minutes of submission and the process of review, debate, and replication can get started immediately.
Imperfect Interjudge Reliability:
The current system of prepublication, anonymous peer review results in articles being rejected for unsupportable reasons and accepted despite glaring errors. Scientists have no idea how many articles are not printed just because the authors gave up on finding an understanding set of editor and reviewers. WPE offers a system of post-publication peer reviews done by scientists who sign and defend the reviews.
Lack of Debate:
The same process of delay and imperfect peer review affects the ability of scientists to conduct debates on findings. Again, this slows the pace of Science. WPE offers a place for scientists to conduct rapid exchanges to clarify, understand, and then assess research findings.
Lack of Accessibility:
Even world-class university libraries cannot subscribe to all the print journals in psychology, and not everyone lives near a world-class library. The Web can allow the world's readers access to research findings (and the resulting debate) quickly and for free.
A High Rejection Rate:
Even with the multitude of print journals, the rejection rate remains unnecessarily high. WPE allows many more research findings to be presented, reviewed, debated, and replicated quickly.