Everyone should have free and open access to research. This is, as we know, the first major contemporary challenge for academia. We believe that the dependence of research on its current business model is primarily material : paid journals do indeed play an important role in the formatting, validation and dissemination of research.
PEERS is a non-profit organization created by researchers for researchers to bring the latest technological advances to the benefit of open access. By automating as many of the tasks traditionally performed by paid journals as possible, our goal is to eventually be able to do without what they provide today.
PEERS is also an opportunity to go further than traditional journals. Facilitating data access and collaboration in data re-analysis is the second major contemporary issue. Nowadays, data sharing is done on dedicated sites and not in the journals themselves.
PEERS encourages data sharing in a way that is unique in the world: not only can published works directly integrate data and operational code, but we have implemented a GUI for crowdsourcing, visualization and data analysis. This makes it possible for everyone to contribute to data, to explore data and to re-analyze data. Our ambition is to push open data standards to the furthest possible to host the highest quality research.
Traditional peer review is an opaque process inherited from paper journals, which was consistent with their space constraints and the prohibitive cost of 'versionning' work. Open review systems are just beginning to spread, and open review is increasingly emerging as the third major contemporary issue of opening academia.
PEERS offers a fully transparent open review toolkit based on the model of large collaborative web 2.0 projects. Any reader can, anonymously or not, make their case for their approval of a given work, raise questionable points that will create a dedicated discussion thread, or request a change to the work that can then be accepted or refused by the authors with a single click.
PEERS makes the work of reviewers visible and quantifiable, which is an essentiel step to take if we want to value the the diversity of essential academic work.
Collections are the method by which PEERS provides researchers with the means to re-appropriate the dissemination of research. Any researcher or community can create a collection on PEERS. These are our equivalent of journals: they are multimedia lists that can relay written, audio or video works, published on PEERS or externally.
Collections use a unique system of transparency on the conditions of inclusiong and voting, giving those who manage them complete freedom on the terms that suit them while giving readers a unique perspective on the construction of the journal. Each collection can then be discussed in a dedicated thred by the community.
Research is a social activity, and on PEERS the social organisation of research takes the form of 'communities'. A community is a network of researchers with common interests, which may take the form of collections or joint research projects.
For example, a PEERS community can be a laboratory, a research group, a more or less formal network, a learned society or a working group within it.
An open, collaborative and accessible data analysis system
A specialized text editor for the next generation of academic writing
A powerful toolbox for open community review
A simple way to create a journal or a reading list