Provostial Publishing

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= related to new forms of Peer Review for Open Access publishing through digital repositories


Joseph Esposito:

"Unlike traditional publishing, where editors review each paper for publication, provostial publishing is a means to determine which authors can post to the repository. The requirement: the author must be affiliated with or sponsored by an established institution. Thus both Harvard and MIT have mandated that faculty deposit their papers into an OA repository. No one is reviewing those papers beforehand; it’s enough that the authors have achieved a position on the faculty. Whereas editors select papers, provosts select authors.

Provostial publishing is a means to assert a baseline level of quality control for what would otherwise be open to massive abuse and “data dumping.” We want OA to be open, but we don’t want it to be foolish. So, for example, I have experience in the world of publishing and digital media and may be permitted to deposit papers in a repository in those areas. (This, by the way, is precisely how Scholarly Kitchen operates.) But suppose I were to hanker, say, to present my grand theory of cognitive science. I have no credentials in the field, no doctorate, no research record. My paradigm-busting paper on cognitive science would not have the blessing of a provost or other sponsor and would thus not be entitled to a place on the repository’s servers. Similarly, a cognitive scientist with no experience in publishing, who has not gone through the years of apprenticeship, would not have access to deposit documents in a repository dedicated to publishing matters. This is not a free speech issue. The Web abounds in venues, but we needn’t open all services to anyone who comes along." (