LIBRE available for testing

We are happy to announce that after a long delay, a prototype of the LIBRE platform is now available for testing at the temporary address: http://www.lib-res.org. We do not consider this version ready for public release, but we rather see it as a working prototype that can serve to receive feedback from the community in order to continue its development.

For the last months, apart from working on the LIBRE platform, we have been busy presenting and discussing our ideas with different stakeholders from the academic community, the publishing industry and also the European Commission and politicians inside the European Parliament. The reception of the innovative, journal-independent model for scholarly evaluation and communication we promote has been very positive, but in order to advance with the development of the platform and the promotion of our ideas we now need proper funding. So far, we have been supporting the project mainly with an investment from our directors, and with a grant by a “Proyecto de Excelencia” of the Spanish Junta de Andalucía (P07-SEJ-03155). The directors and the rest of the stuff have been and will continue to work as volunteers and the only people that have received remuneration so far have been the programmers, software designers and accountants. Other expenses include the fees for permanent archiving of reviews through CLOCKSS, hosting and IT services, and for the design and printing of promotional material.

In the following months we will concentrate our efforts in securing funding for the continuation of the project. For this reason, we would appreciate the collaboration of fellow scholars —members of the organisation or not— who would be willing to present LIBRE and the ideas on which the project is based to their institutes and libraries. A small fraction of what a single University library pays annually  for journal subscriptions would be sufficient to support our project for a year. We are willing to closely collaborate with interested colleagues and provide all necessary material to prepare engaging presentations for their communities.

Alternatively, LIBRE could be further developed as a community project by volunteer programmers who would share our enthusiasm for the cause of liberating research evaluation from academic journals. We would therefore appreciate any effort to bring us closer to such communities of programmers.

Next week we will publish the journal-independent peer review manifesto and start collecting signatures for the research community’s right to be evaluated autonomously, openly and transparently.

Thank you all for your interest and support so far and keep in touch as exciting times for academia lie ahead!

6 thoughts on “LIBRE available for testing

  1. What is the small fraction? 1% 10%

    The table of annual fees paid by UK Universities presented Gowers suggests the average total is about 1,000,000 pounds (or 1.7 M$, or 1.2 M Euros)

    If you specify the percentage you actually need, that would help your community seek and propose appropriate funding mechanisms. In the U.S. funding at the 1% level ($17,000) is commonly crowd-sourced… I’m guessing you’re after 10% or ~$170,000/year?

    • This will largely depend on whether we will manage to make this a community project mainly developed by volunteer programmers. In that case costs can significantly drop to around $50,000 year or even less. Otherwise we are talking about $150,000-$200,000 per year.

  2. This may be interesting as well: a software platform that I have developed in the past weeks, motivated by my own experience as a PhD student:

    DocRev – http://www.docrev.org

    Briefly, the idea is to transfer the effort of reviewing documents to a crowd-sourced platform: a user provides feedback to other users’ documents, and in return obtains feedback for his own documents.

    My motivation stems from “yet another review” of a research paper of my own that I had already read many times for re-submission. At the time I was already so fed up of reading it that I’d rather read someone else’s work instead, hoping that another person would instead read my own work.
    Not only would that be refreshing, not to be reading always the same thing and maybe learn something new, but it would also be way more productive to catch problems in the document with a fresh pair of eyes.

    In fact, this is just a use case specific to research, but I believe the concept is applicable to any area and types of documents. Examples:

    – Send a formal letter to a lawyer, which requires familiarity with certain terms. Why not ask a law student or even a young lawyer to look at it in exchange for our own expertise?

    – Maybe you wrote a blog post or some meaningful content and would like to get some feedback before publishing it.

    – You have some work in progress in a specific area for which you know no one and would love some feedback.

    – Camera-ready research papers, which you have read countless times, but that probably still have some bugs/typos.

    – You are sending an application to a job offer / grant / project, and would love a review of it.

    If you are still reading, then I really encourage you to try it out:

    DocRev – http://www.docrev.org

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