Faculty of 1000

Post-publication peer review

Everybody’s Talkin’

Posted by rpg on 15 April, 2010

It’s been a while since I’ve said anything about the F1000 website. You might remember that’s what I was working on when I first arrived at SNG (much to my surprise, it has to be said); since about February I’ve been increasingly full time on The Scientist. I still maintain a professional interest in what’s going on across the office, though, especially when it comes to a couple of my pet projects.

One of those projects is user comments.

We’ve been having a bit of a discussion about comments on evaluation pages. My original plan was to have a separate forum so that people could talk about articles evaluated by Faculty Members. But for various reasons that morphed into comments directly on the evaluation itself, which I think is probably a better way of doing things. This does cause a few headaches, though: we don’t want to ‘dilute’ the impact of what our FMs say, we’re a serious site—by professionals, for professionals—and need to honour the trust our users place in us (so can we allow comments from just anybody, and how are you, as a reader, to judge the worth of those comments?), we want to avoid trivial and inappropriate content but at the same time commenting for the bona fides should be as easy and straightforward as possible.

I’m encouraged that Nature are now allowing commenting across the site, and will be watching what happens with interest. In the meantime, Neil Saunders has some useful advice for publishers who want to encourage comments.

My question to you is, what else would you like?

I should point out that we’ve already decided that only registered users who are in a ‘subscription zone’ can comment (only subscribers can read the content anyway; except for the articles we make free), and that all comments will go live immediately, and there’ll be the ability to flag comments as inappropriate. That’s on the advice of our lawyer, so is unlikely to change! But have at it: what really annoys you/stops you from commenting on other sites?

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