Talk:Opasnet Journal

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A response to a Bad Science blog text touching peer review

If we think of a typical article, it consists of two parts: first, a description of the study design and the data obtained; second, interpretations of the results and discussion in a wider context. The first part is permanent in time, as the observed data does not change. In contrast, making interpretations is a social activity (involving also other researchers than the original authors), and it will change in time (sometimes dramatically).

Only the first part should be archived in a frozen, article-type form. These could well be published first and peer reviewed only later, as is the current practice in some fields of science (see

The second part, interpretations, should be dealt with in open workspaces designed for mass collaboration. There are methods to effectively organise these discussions to achieve convergence. To give one example, see pragma-dialectics in Wikipedia. These methods are still under-utilised (this blog is a typical example).

As an example, let's look at the current discussion raised by Peter Duesberg and David Rasnick. If their interpretations are on shaky grounds, they could have easily been shot down in an open workspace, without any need of editorial decisions. In an open workspace, anyone could publish their statements (idea promoted by Bruce G Charlton) and all statements incoherent with facts would be invalidated (idea promoted by Ben Goldacre) by peers. There is no need to remove invalid statements, because they are shown to be invalid. On the contrary, it prevents from repeating invalid statements.

A paradigm shift to open scientific workspaces has at least two major problems. It is not clear how scientists could get merit from participating in mass collaboration instead of writing articles. In addition, this might cause problems to the business logic of scientific journals.

We have drafted a procedure description for a journal that is based on the ideas briefly described above: Opasnet Journal (

Mikko Pohjola
Jouni Tuomisto
environmental health scientists
THL, Finland