The kerfufle about NASA’s arsenic DNA discovery a couple of weeks ago reminded me of the kerfufle in the summer about the centenarian GWAS study. In both instances, the first thing I noticed was that I couldn’t download the papers. I wouldn’t even classify myself as an open-access zealot, but when you’re at a big research university and you’re used to clicking on things and having them show up, that’s annoying as hell. (Science eventually relented and made the NASA paper available to all. The longevity paper is still not available without a personal subscription, although the expression of concern is.)
I have no idea, but I wonder… do papers published via ScienceExpress have a higher rate of later significant revision or retraction than those published through the standard process?
It seems that the only real purpose of ScienceExpress is to try to force people to buy personal subscriptions to get early access to these “hot” papers. The price we all pay is that they’re rushed to press, apparently without proper review, and then almost nobody can read them after they get breathlessly writen up in the newspapers. It doesn’t serve anyone’s interests – not those of readers nor authors, and certainly isn’t good for Science.