Could StackExchange be used to "do" open science?

+10 votes
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asked Aug 7, 2015 in Open Science by jojo (285 points)

The Q&A sites on StackExchange are a great platform for gathering knowledge about a multitude of things.

In my eyes, the reputation system does an excellent job when it comes to rating questions as well as answers according to usefulness and objectivity of their content.

Thus, the question arises, whether this framework along with the rating system could not be used beyond Q&A? In fact, I have been playing with this idea for a while but to be honest, I still could not make up my mind about it:

Could StackExchange's Q&A framework be used for A&R, as in Article and Review?

When looking at the tools one has at hand for writing a Question: There is the possibility to write equations (see mathematics), images are supported, links, ... everything you need to write an entire article, and the same goes for an answer (a review in A&R).

Just as a question and its answers are rated now, an article and its reviews could be rated (maybe a bad rating without leaving a comment should not be allowed in A&R). The history function for the edits already serves as version control and would assure a complete history of an article and all of its reviews. The rating system would serve as measure for impact-factor with the additional advantage that reviewing articles could finally be rewarded. The only thing that would need some adaptation is the accept answer functionality, as rather than a review, the article would need to be accepted at some point.

In fact, some time ago I started a proposition about this on area51, just to see what other users think about it. It seems that some really like it and others think the idea is plain stupid. As I said, I'm not really decided yet, I think such a site bears a great potential to publish, review, judge and access scientific findings openly.

So the question at hand really is:

What are the arguments in favour or against using StackExchange's Q&A framework as a ScienceExchange A&R platform to publish scientific results openly?



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