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Welcome Physical Review Research

This post is addressed to fellow physics researchers:

I very much welcome the new open access journal Physical Review Research by the American Physical Society. It is a step in the right direction. I have great hope in the APS keeping its leadership in physics publishing in a way that journals serve the academic community and not the other way around. PRR aims to serve the whole physics community, subfields being identified by searchable tags. Ideal next steps to my mind:

(i) Gradually subsume the Physical Review journals into PRR (easier said than done, I know, especially moneywise).

(ii) Analogously to the tags identifying subfield, tags should also reflect “importance and broad interest” as now done by the categories of regular articles, rapid communications, and Physical Review Letters (or Physical Review X). A numerical tag would suffice: 1, 2 and 3 for the three mentioned categories, for instance. One could even go for a level 4, indicating the level of papers that would go into…

On the shifting paradigm for research literature

Background. The way research progress is shared and published has been changing during the last decades from the old paradigm that revolved around the fact that publication had to be on paper. The transformation is remarkably slow, however. We are clinging on to basic concepts that were natural for the old paper model (e.g. enormous amounts of journals) but are now of little or no advantage. Among other reasons, the observed inertia is explained by the fact that the traditional business model for scientific literature is ideal for the established publishers. This model has been discussed by many (regularly in The Economist, for instance), whereby publicly-funded researchers produce the content and most of the quality control, and publicly-funded libraries pay juicy subscription fees for researchers to be able to access the research of others. Add to it the partly monopolistic character of the business (an author of an article can choose where to publish, but a reader of that article c…
This is not meant to be a regular blog. No regularity should be expected from it. It is meant for thoughts, opinions, descriptions that are my own and, although they may relate to my professional life, do not reflect the views of the institutions I relate to. I am a physics researcher and teacher, and some of the posts here may address different target audiences, from the general public to the community of fellow physics researchers.