What major advantages does the interactive scientific journal WES offer to the authors of scientific papers?
- rapid appearance and free dissemination;
- transparent peer review;
- immediate feedback via interactive discussion within the scientific community;
- moderate article processing charges and inclusion of colour plots, animated visualization, etc. at no extra charge;
- efficient new way of publishing special issues (no "waiting for the last paper");
- liberal copyright agreement.
What major advantages does WES offer to the readers and scientific community?
- free and rapid dissemination of novel concepts and data;
- fostering and documentation of scientific discussion;
- enhancement of scientific quality control by Interactive Public Peer ReviewTM;
- enhanced information content of scientific papers by appended comments;
- promotion of scientific conciseness and completeness at the same time by including comprehensive abstracts rather than imposing strict page limits.
How are efficient distribution and permanent archiving and accessibility of WES articles achieved by the publisher Copernicus Publications?
WES and its discussion forum are accessible online and free of charge. Copernicus Publications makes sure that the open-access publications are indexed and archived worldwide in electronic archives, search engines, and databases to guarantee their maximum dissemination and impact.
How are manuscripts in discussion and interactive comments archived in WESD, and are the interactive comments citable?
All manuscripts in discussion are archived in WESD and receive a DOI. The short comments, referee comments, editor comments, and author comments posted in the interactive discussion also receive their own DOI, which allows citation of every individual interactive comment.
How does WES ensure the quality of its manuscripts in discussion?
- First of all, manuscripts with a clear lack of substantial results or with excessive formal deficiencies will be sorted out rigorously in the access review.
- Even if a low-quality manuscript passed the access review and was posted in the discussion forum, its deficiencies would most probably be revealed in the interactive public discussion by the referees and other interested scientists.
- The access review is meant to assure the basic scientific and technical quality of the preprints posted in WESD, but the opportunity for an efficient public discussion by all interested members of the scientific community is expected to enhance the actual quality control beyond the limits of the traditional peer review. Even if there are no short comments from the scientific community, a full peer-review process in the traditional sense, albeit in a more transparent way, is still assured before full acceptance and publication of a paper in WES.
What happens if a manuscript that has been posted as a preprint is not accepted for publication as a final paper in WES? Can the manuscript be removed from WESD?
All preprints posted in WESD remain permanently archived, citable, and publicly accessible and therefore cannot be removed. This approach has been chosen for a number of practical and conceptual reasons, and it has proven to be beneficial for scientific communication and quality assurance as explained above.
Nevertheless, we are aware that the appearance of a manuscript in WESD and subsequent non-acceptance into WES can be inconvenient for authors. In such cases, the authors have the following options to proceed:
The authors can appeal to the WES chief editors for review and revision of the editorial decision. In this case, the chief editors will carefully review the decision of the associate editor who originally handled the manuscript. This process will normally involve the original or additional referees and an iteration of manuscript review and revision. An appeal is recommended only if the authors are firmly convinced that the editorial decision not to accept the paper for WES was clearly erroneous and that their manuscript clearly meets all evaluation criteria for acceptance into WES.
The authors can submit a rewritten manuscript for review and discussion in WESD, and possible publication in WES. If the associate editor and/or authors of a manuscript discussed in WESD conclude that the manuscript can and should be rewritten in a way which goes beyond regular revisions (e.g. addition of substantial new results, etc.), a rewritten manuscript can at any time be submitted for independent review and discussion in WESD, and final publication in WES.
The authors can submit the manuscript to an alternative journal. In many scientific journals, posting in a scientific discussion forum (like WESD) is considered equivalent to prepublication on a scientific preprint server (like arXiv.org) and is not regarded as a reason for exclusion from (re)submission for fully peer-reviewed publication. We expect that in the long run most if not all scientific journals will adopt this policy. Authors of preprints that are not accepted for further review after discussion or where a revised manuscript was not accepted for final journal publication can request a withdrawal if needed for resubmission to another journal. The preprint stays online but the reader is notified about the withdrawal.
Normally, even very good manuscripts can be further improved by revision. In the unlikely event that a very good manuscript cannot achieve publication in WES, a revised and further improved version is very likely to achieve publication in an alternative journal.
The authors can ask Copernicus Publications to formally withdraw their preprint from WESD if rejected after peer-review completion. The preprint stays online but the reader is notified about the withdrawal.
Overall, we are confident that the advantages of permanent archiving outweigh the potential disadvantages. For exceptional individual cases in which this policy may be disadvantageous, we regret any potential inconvenience. Nevertheless, we hope that we have the authors' understanding and continued support in the effort to improve scientific communication and quality assurance via interactive open-access publishing.
Where can authors find guidance on data and software deposition, availability, and citation?
Copernicus Publications is a signatory of the Commitment Statement in the Earth, Space, and Environmental Sciences. The Enabling FAIR data project provides extensive guidance on questions relating to data and software deposition, citation, and availability. This guidance is mostly also applicable for data outside the Earth, space, and environmental sciences: http://www.copdess.org/enabling-fair-data-project/enabling-fair-data-faqs/