Old news.  I refer to the article “Who’s Afraid of Peer Review?”  by John Bohannon published today in Science.  The article is described as “A spoof paper concocted by Science reveals little or no scrutiny at many open-access journals.”  That statement is true.  However, it is also true that traditional publishers have been found to lack scrutiny as well.

Bohannon did confer with a small group of scientists.  He reports that some say “that the open-access model itself is not to blame for the poor quality control revealed by Science‘s investigation.”  For me, that is the salient point.  Whether articles are open access or not is independent of quality peer review.  The benefits of making research available for other researchers to read and build upon outweigh the rogue publishers, or instances of shoddy peer review.  Traditional methods of publishing were developed to make science more accessible.  Open access extends that goal.  The issue now, for us in academia, is to teach others how to evaluate critically the quality of research in an article, however delivered.