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BioMed Central launches Biology Direct

ect aims to provide authors and readers of research articles with a unique system of peer review. Authors must approach three Editorial Board members directly to gain their agreement to review the manuscript or to nominate alternative reviewers. Editor-in-Chief Laura Landweber says, "Our Editorial Board members were carefully chosen, since they will almost autonomously run the journal: one can select one's own reviewers and, in most cases, they will be drawn from the editorial board itself, thus ensuring a high standard of review. An advantage of selecting one's own reviewers is the ability to choose people who will at least understand the article, since in so many new areas of biology finding the appropriate reviewers can be part of the problem of the conventional peer-review system."

This novel review process gives the author the opportunity to discuss points raised directly with the reviewers, and to revise their manuscript as much or as little as they wish, according to the suggestions or criticisms of the reviewers. Ultimately, reviewers can express reservations about the manuscript but publication can still go ahead unrevised (if the author wishes) unless there are ethical or scientific problems with the manuscript. The aim is to publish the most complete, informative, and interesting manuscripts possible but not to obstruct publication except in extreme cases.

In an editorial to launch the journal, the Editors explain, "our goals with this new journal, Biology Direct, are unapologetically ambitious: to establish a new, perhaps, better system of peer review and, in the process, bolster productive scientific debate?. They continue, "Anyone who ever attended a scientific conference worth its salt knows that the discussions can be quite vigorous, often enough going to bare knuckles, especially during the coffee breaks or at the bar, but also in the conference room itself. Sometimes someone gets upset or offended but it is, definitely, an exception
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Source:BioMed Central


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