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Can Online Communities Change the Future of Peer Review?

Posted by Laura Dress on Oct 28, 2016 3:00:00 PM


Over a year ago at iGEM 2015 I connected with the founder of BioTreks and showed him Breezio. In it, he saw the potential to make a monumental impact on how high school synthetic biology research could be taught, particularly with regard to exposing students to the publication experience and the peer review process. In order to achieve this, some of the biggest challenges we needed to address involved how the schedules of typical high school students, and their teachers/mentors, presented time constraints that were vastly different than college students. Another challenge was that he understood there would be great benefit to bringing high school synbio students together outside of iGEM to help with each other’s research, but he didn’t have an easy ‘place’ for everyone to meet.


Since this time he, the BioTreks community, and Breezio have come together with the clear purpose of helping high school students learn and improve their work through the peer-review process. As a result we have demonstrated that online, BioTrekers can not only change the future of peer-review, they will lead it forward.

It has been said that it takes a village to raise a child, which means every person in that village has a shared responsibility. If you think of a potential publication, and all the research that goes into making it, as someone’s ‘baby’, the more ‘villagers’ that can help ‘raise’ it up, the better. This make YOU the deciding factor….will you take on the responsibility of improving the future of peer-review?

Can live peer-review actually work? The answer is simple: YES! Check out the first of its kind - BioTreks journal, a journal produced through high school students virtual peer-review in Breezio.


Topics: Community peer review, BioTreks, Scholarly publishing

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