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Tapping badgers

Janne-Tuomas Seppänen
11 Nov 2013

I had couple good conference days this weekend, at nature.com's SpotOn London (Science Policy, Outreach and Tools Online). The conference had very enjoyable informal atmosphere, no stiff upper lip at all. Though for some reason there were tapping badgers everywhere.

Representing Peerage of Science, I participated in a panel dicussion on new developments in peer review. Other contributors were from F1000 (Eva Amsen), BioMed Central (Elizabeth Moylan), LIBRE / Open Scholar CIC (Pandelis Perakakis and Michael Taylor), Rubriq (Keith Collier) and Frontiers (Kamila Markram).

Straight into the session from the airport, with some trepiditation, I did not quite know what to expect. Just in case, I had hauled to station the portside debate-cannons, but hatches were down soon. There are many new ideas and services coming up all the time, so it is an ecosystem, but not always red in tooth and claw; there is also room for facilitation and symbiosis (ecosystems have predators too - was the Bohannon sting proof of evolving academic aposematism?).

Overall, the session was about interesting new ideas and mutual enthusiasm of being part of a change. Questions from the audience did spark some moments in the end (I had left a zinger-mortar accidentally armed at bow), but there were no major debates. That's probably because there is a broad consensus on one important thing: peer review, as it has been done so far, will change. And the change has already begun.

Here is a video of the session. Do watch all of it, but in case you are in a hurry, Peerage of Science part starts at 27:30.

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