The inaugural edition of SciPost Physics, a free scientific journal for both authors and readers, will be officially released today. This two-way open access journal forms part of the unique open access scientific publication portal SciPost, which handles a strict but transparent ‘peer-reviewed refereeing’ selection method.
SciPost is the brainchild of Jean-Sébastien Caux, professor of Theoretical Condensed Matter Physics at the UvA and a research leader at FOM Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter. Caux created SciPost out of frustration about the traditional system of scientific publishing in which researchers have to pay to view and share their own publications.
With SciPost, which was launched by Caux and several colleagues this past June, the physicist provides an answer to the calls of many scientists for the open access of peer-reviewed scientific articles. The website SciPost.org is entirely managed by researchers and is completely free of charge for readers and authors (truly two-way open access). The quality is guaranteed by a strict selection procedure supported by an open, peer-witnessed review process. Similar innovative journals already exist for other disciplines.
In only a few short months SciPost has grown from being an idea of one scientist into a platform to which different international experts have committed themselves, for example by joining as a member of the Advisory Board or of the Editorial College. ‘Obviously, there is always a certain amount of hesitation in letting go of established traditions, but scientists are naturally inquisitive’, says Caux. ‘And those who get to know our method of peer-witnessed refereeing are quickly converted. This review method, in which not only designated reviewers but all registered SciPost contributors can review draft articles, plus the fact that comments are completely public, leads to higher overall quality and usability and gives recognition to the substantial work done by reviewers.’
SciPost is rapidly becoming more widely known within scientific circles. The contributions for publications on SciPost are varied and international. The very first article on SciPost was published in September and dealt with research into a quantum mechanical gas. This was followed by several more articles, which together formed the inaugural edition of the journal SciPost Physics. The other submissions for the first edition comprise a wide array of subjects, from theoretical accounts on quantum physics to the experimental implementation of a frequency-shifted feedback laser. `SciPost Physics offers a platform to high-quality physics from all sides of the discipline’, says Caux.
‘We are currently working on the first edition of a second journal, SciPost Physics Lecture Notes, in which researchers can publish didactic material’, says Caux. ‘What’s more, we will soon also be publishing SciPost Physics Select, a journal with highlights selected by the Editorial College. The SciPost journals not only encompass the entire physics research field – SciPost is also the place for comments and suggestions on other publications, and will include links to scientific theses.’