Research Article (Preprint): “Patching Science – Amending the Literature Through Version Control”
The preprint linked below was recently posted on bioRxiv.
The ideal of self-correction in science is not well served by the current culture and system surrounding amendments to published literature. Here we report on a survey (N = 132) that highlights academics’ dissatisfaction with the status quo and their support for an alternative approach. We then describe our view of how amendments could and should work by drawing on the idea of an author-led version control system. Here authors would include a link in their published manuscripts to an updatable website (e.g. a GitHub repository or similar) that could be disseminated in the event of any amendment. Such a system is already in place for computer code and, as such, requires nothing but buy-in from the scientific community – a community that is already evolving towards various open science frameworks. This would remove a number of frictions that discourage amendments thus leading to an improved scientific literature and a healthier academic climate.
Direct to Full Text Article
4 pages; PDF.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.